With the start of the 2023 NFL season just three weeks away, NFL Training Camp battles are getting heated as players battle it out for roster spots. The current NFL roster cut date is August 29 at 4 PM ET, so teams have under two weeks to get their rosters to the 53-man limit. After that, we may have to adjust our 2023 fantasy football rankings and NFL projections as you prep for fantasy football drafts. You can read more about the current NFL training camp battles happening in our Fantasy Football Draft Guide, but I want to focus on one in particular that has been puzzling. The Philadelphia Eagles backfield is murky, at best, with Rashaad Penny being signed in free agency and D’Andre Swift coming over in a trade with the Detroit Lions. All the backs have looked good in practice, and the first preseason game made things more complicated with supposed backups Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott getting the night off. So how should we evaluate the Eagles’ backfield when the current fantasy football ADP is so drastically different? Could one of these running backs emerge as a fantasy football sleeper? Are there any potential fantasy football busts to avoid? Let’s take a look.
2023 Fantasy Football ADP for Philadelphia Eagles Running Backs
The back with the highest ADP is D’Andre Swift, who is currently going as RB26 with an aggregate ADP of 75.14. He was efficient in his touches last year, with a 5.5 yards per carry (YPC) average and 389 yards on 43 receptions through the air. Swift looks to be the best pass-catching back on the Eagles’ roster, but while that may be good for other teams, the Eagles ranked dead last in running back targets last year. How much work is Swift actually going to get in the passing game? If the first preseason game is any indication, not a ton. Swift saw just six snaps, with two carries and exactly zero targets. Sure, you can’t use that as a benchmark for the entire season, but it’s still not great. Then you look at Penny’s usage.
Penny is going a bit lower than Swift in fantasy drafts, falling to RB35 at an ADP of 102.91. While he has been efficient when he’s been on the field, staying healthy has been a MAJOR problem; in three years, he’s played in just 18 games. Penny was also heavily featured in the Eagles’ first preseason game, playing 16 snaps throughout an entire quarter. The problem with that? He only carried the ball four times and, like Swift, saw no targets.
Then there’s Kenneth Gainwell. He’s currently going as RB52 at an ADP of 151.76. According to some beat reporters, Gainwell is playing at a high level in camp, but he’s never been highly featured in the Eagles offense. He only had 53 rush attempts last year and 68 the year before. Still, many think that Gainwell may be the RB1 on this offense, and the fact he didn’t play in the preseason game makes many think he’s already solidified his spot. The other side of that coin is that maybe the Eagles already know what they have in him, so they don’t need to play him, but it may be a little bit of both.
Fantasy Football Draft Advice
So how should you value these running backs in your fantasy drafts? With the injury concerns of both Swift and Penny, I’m finding it hard to take them, even at their ADP. If Swift doesn’t have that pass-catching upside he’s had in the past, it’s also a concern. While I’m not completely sold on Gainwell, I’m MUCH more comfortable taking him at his ADP than I am either Swift or Penny. I think this backfield turns into a full-blown committee, and in that situation, I’m taking the lowest cost/highest return guy.
Related NFL Links:
- 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Guide: The Ultimate Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
- 2023 Fantasy Football ADP Risers & Fallers August 11: Javonte Williams Moving Up RB Rankings
- 2023 Fantasy Football Player Debates: Is Jahmyr Gibbs Worth His Current ADP?
- 2023 Fantasy Football Player Debates: Should You Draft Kenny Pickett at His Current ADP?
- 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Strategies: How to Account for NFL Injuries in Fantasy Football
- NFL Breaking News: Ezekiel Elliott Signs with the Patriots, Dalvin Cooks Signs with the Jets