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Week 9 Eagles DFS Play – Eagles D/ST

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Despite a 7-9, the Philadelphia Eagles finished surprisingly high in Football Outsiders DVOA metric. They ranked 4th overall, with the highest ever ranking for a team with a losing record. This was largely in part to their 4th ranked and 1st ranked DVOA defense and special teams respectively.

In 2017, the Eagles defense got off to an up-and-down start. In Week 1 they held the Washington Redskins to 264 total yards, their 2nd best total of the season, while producing a season high 4 turnovers. Over the next 3 weeks they would allow an average of 386 total yards per game, getting gashed through the by the New York Giants (366) and the Los Angeles Chargers (342).

Over the next 4 games they would find their groove, averaging 298.5 yards per game. They allowed mostly garbage time yards to the Arizona Cardinals (307), produced 3 turnovers in a big win over the Carolina Panthers, contained the Redskins in their second go-round, and only allowed 238 total yards in as they stifled the struggling San Francisco 49ers at home.

For all the hullabaloo about the Denver Broncos defense, the Eagles defense has produced far more turnovers (14 to Denver’s 6) and more sacks (22 to Denver’s 17). Obviously, Denver has played one less game, but the Eagles still average more sacks and turnovers per game and it’s not particularly close.

Enter the Broncos offense. With QB Trevor Siemian benched and Brock Osweiler starting, the Broncos are hoping to get a spark. Let’s look at some quick facts about this offense and what brought about this change:

  • 18th ranked passing attack (218.3ypg)
  • 9th ranked rushing attack (123.4ypg)
  • 24th points per game (18.1)
  • 2ND in turnovers (17)
  • T-3rd sacks allowed per game (3.6)
  • 22nd in 3rd down covnversion (39.4)
  • 0 for 7 on 4th down conversions

This is not an offense to be feared, in fact, it is an offense that defenses should be streamed against. Even with the QB change, consider that in 2016 Brock Osweiler was responsible for 20 turnovers in 16 starts (includes playoffs), he ranked 6th highest among qualifying, starting Quarterbacks for INT percentage with 3.1%, and he was in the bottom five for TD percentage and completion percentage.

A deeper dive into Osweiler’s 2016 year reveals a quarterback extremely uncomfortable under pressure, posting a QB rating of 49.9 (6th worst). He also struggled mightily to throw accurately beyond 20 yards of the line of scrimmage, posting a stat line of 12/63, 379, 4 TD, 4 INT for a QB rating of 46.9 (2nd worst).

To be effective against the Eagles, the Broncos must find success in the ground game, where the Eagles are only giving up a league best 70.4 yards per game. Pro Football Focus has Denver’s run blocking advantage as 8th worst for the week (-13%). If the Broncos get behind the chains early the Eagles will be able to pin their ears back and get pressure with the Broncos having a -13% pass blocking advantage, 3rd worst for the week.

The Eagles should have no issue shutting down the Broncos offense that has failed to hit 20 points in the last 5 games, led by a Quarterback who produced 9 games of 20 points or less in 2016. This is a smash spot for the Eagles defense that can be played in all formats.

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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