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Miles Sanders - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Miles Sanders
PHI

RB PHI

#20 Running Back

187 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 14
Experience: 2 Yr(s)
Age: 24
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 211
40 Time: 4.49

Weekly Outlook

3d Projection

Low Floor

5.3

DS Projection

9.3

Consensus

38 other sites
10

Med Ceiling

13.3

Rest of
Season

10

Week 7 Projections
Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
51.9 0.3 3.1 22.9 0 9.3
Weekly Writeup
Eagles OC Shane Steichen said this week: "Miles is a heck of a back. We've got to get him going." We've been awaiting any indication that Philly coaches planned to give Sanders the ball more. That's enough to get him into mid-RB2 territory in this challenging week. Sanders has fared well in touch shares thus far and run well when he's gotten the chance.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rush Yds Rush TDs Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
56 0.3 2.5 20.3 0.1 10
Week 6
At this point, it’s not totally clear whether HC Nick Sirianni knows that Sanders is actually a bona fide NFL RB as opposed to Jalen Hurts’ caddy.

The Eagles -- despite an extremely young WR corps and a 2nd-year, run-happy QB behind center -- have attempted the league’s 4th-fewest rushes through 6 games. Philly ranks 5th in the league in neutral-down pass rate, according to RBSDM.com, throwing on 61.3% of such plays.

Sanders, meanwhile, ranks just 31st in the league in carries. His shares within Philly’s underused backfield look much better: 73% of Eagles RB carries, 68.7% of offensive snaps and 11% of total targets. He’s also averaging a nice 4.7 yards per rush (with no run longer than 24 yards) and has rebounded his catch rate to 78.3% from last year’s 53.8% debacle.

We just need Sanders to get the ball more. Sirianni hasn’t given us reason to believe that he plans to. But the Eagles sit 2-4, ranked 20th in scoring, 19th in yards and 18th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA. They clearly need to do something different.

That all makes Sanders a decent buy-low right now -- with his fantasy owners surely not clinging too tightly to a RB with no TDs through 6 games. You can read more of the case for buying Sanders in our 3rd Buy/Sell/Hold Report.
Week 5
The final TD of Sunday’s win over the Panthers gave us a glimpse of what Nick Sirianni referred to last week as 1 aspect taking carries away from Sanders.

Jalen Hurts literally did just that when he pulled the ball away from the RB and ran it in himself from 6 yards out. Of course, that’s the design of the play. Sanders looked like he might have gotten into the end zone if Hurts had handed to him. But the QB did make it in untouched. Hurts’ rushing ability will be a hurdle for Sanders’ production all year -- especially near the goal line.

Otherwise, Sanders’ usage was OK. His 11 rushing attempts constituted 84.6% of the team’s total RB carries at Carolina. And the 2nd of 2 Kenneth Gainwell carries came only after Sanders probably got himself pulled by going out of bounds twice on the final possession rather than getting down to keep the clock running as Philly tried to bleed it.

Sanders also beat Gainwell 5-3 in targets, catching all 5 of his looks but turning them into only 6 yards. Even when Philly was playing from behind in the 2nd half of the 4th quarter, Sanders remained the primary back.
Week 4
When a seemingly central player is getting as little work as Sanders has the past 2 weeks, you’d like to hear the coach indicate that they plan to give him the ball more. HC Nick Sirianni hasn’t really said that in the wake of Sunday’s loss to Kansas City.

“Sometimes with us in our run game, we’re reading this. It’s a read where Jalen can run it or it’s a read where he can pull it,” Sirianni said Monday. "So, there’s more calls to Miles than are showing up on the stat sheet. We have the ultimate confidence in Miles. It’s nothing he’s doing, it’s the reads are taking the quarterback other places with the ball. We look to get him going in our offense more.”

It’s good that Sirianni doesn’t say Sanders is doing anything wrong. But the explanation also makes it tough to know what to expect from the RB’s snap count.

For what it’s worth, Sanders has played near-identical snap shares in each of the 4 games: 66%, 67%, 60% and 64%. And even though Kenneth Gainwell leads him by 4 targets and 2 catches on the year, Sanders has run more pass routes in each game. He has yet to run a route on less than 48.8% of Jalen Hurts’ dropbacks. Gainwell’s Week 4 rate of 36.1% marked his high to this point.

It’s certainly noteworthy that Gainwell has earned more targets on fewer opportunities. But the whole picture shows there’s room for Sanders to rebound. We did already see him garner 20 opportunities in Week 1 and then 15 in Week 2, before 6 and 10 the past 2 games.

Just how much upside he actually has, though, remains to be seen.
Week 3
Not very much of Sanders in this one. He didn’t have a touch until catching a short pass in the final 2 minutes of the 1st quarter, and had his only 2 carries of the game until midway through the 2nd quarter. 1 carry went for 24 yards, but the running game was all but abandoned after that. Sanders caught 3 of 4 targets for 34 yards.
The Eagles weren’t equipped to compete in a shootout at Dallas, so there’s little reason to believe they will be against the visiting Chiefs on Sunday. It’s possible that Philly could come out with a conservative, ground-based offense to try to shorten the game and KC’s opportunities to score. However, Sanders has had fewer carries and rushing yards in each game and hasn’t scored a TD this season. In addition, LG Isaac Seumalo (foot), the 3rd Eagles O-line starter injured, will miss the rest of this season.
Week 2
Sanders’ Week 2 didn’t offer much of note. He ran fine, gaining 55 yards on 13 attempts, with a long run of 10. His 68% share of HB carries was actually up vs. his Week 1 number.

We’d obviously rather see more than 2 targets, but Philly attempted only 24 total passes in this one. Kenneth Gainwell edged Sanders 3-2 in targets, benefiting some from the team being in hurry-up mode after falling behind by 11 early in the 4th quarter.

Sanders maintained the clear lead once again, though, logging 20 more total snaps than Gainwell. He also beat Gainwell 19-9 in routes.

A Week 3 visit to Dallas doesn’t hold anything worrisome on defense. The only downside risk for Sanders is the chance Philly falls behind and shifts to chase mode. Don’t overrate that angle in your fantasy planning this week, though, especially after the Cowboys managed just 20 points against the Chargers on Sunday.
Week 1
The number of Eagles players worth talking about after Week 1’s lopsided win overshadowed what was a nice opener for Sanders.

Philly’s lead back carried 15 times for 74 yards, including runs of 23 and 18 yards. He also caught 4 of 5 targets for 39 more yards.

Sanders claimed 62.5% of both RB carries and RB targets for the team at Atlanta, with Kenneth Gainwell the only other Philly RB to play any offensive snaps. Gainwell did poach a 3rd-quarter TD from 8 yards out. But that came when he replaced Sanders after a 25-yard catch-and-run on Sanders’ 3rd touch in a 4-play span.

Gainwell also caught a 4-yard TD pass late in the 2nd quarter that was nullified by penalty. But that came at the end of a “2-minute” possession for which Gainwell served as the only RB. That was also the only other time Philly ran plays from inside the Falcons’ 10-yard line.

It’d be nice if Sanders were the “2-minute” back, but we can settle for him ceding that role if he can still get 14% target share. It’s too early to tell what the red-zone usage will look like, but it’s hard to imagine the Eagles leaning on a rookie RB who is 10 pounds lighter in that range. Most likely, the 2 will prove interchangeable near the goal line.

If you have Sanders, you should be happy with how Week 1 went -- especially because it included no playing time for Boston Scott.

Sanders looks even more like a fantasy starter right now than he did at draft time.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Sanders logged fewer carries and targets in his 2nd season vs. his rookie year, but he improved by multiple measures.
  • According to Football Outsiders, Sanders went from 30th in rushing DYAR and DVOA in 2019 (among 45 qualifiers) to 15th and 19th, respectively, among 47 qualifiers in 2020.
  • Sanders also improved in Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating, from 33rd among 61 qualifiers in 2019 to 18th among 63 last season. He also saw a jump in breakaway percentage, which measures the amount of production that comes from big plays. Sanders went from 30.1% in 2019 to 33.4% in 2020. This could be viewed positively or negatively, but it at least points to the big-play ability of Sanders -- especially when you consider that Philly’s offense fell from 14th to 28th in Football Outsiders overall DVOA from 2019 to 2020.
  • Sanders’ receiving took a dive in 2020. That showed in the traditional stats:
    • 2019: 3.1 rec/game, 31.8 yards/game, 10.2 yds/rec, 3 TDs
    • 2020: 2.3 rec/game, 16.4 yards/game, 7.0 yds/rec, 0 TDs
  • His performance in that area declined according to PFF receiving grade, PFF pass-blocking grade and Football Outsiders metrics.
  • Sanders went from 10th among 46 qualifiers in PFF yards per route run in 2019 to just 50th among 58 in 2020 -- losing nearly a full yard off his mark.
  • Philadelphia added only 5th-round rookie Kenneth Gainwell and waiver-pickup Kerryon Johnson to the backfield.
  • New HC Nick Sirianni has coached in 12 NFL offenses. Those teams have averaged 226.2 rushes per season for their top ball-carrier and 68.8 targets for their top backfield receiver.
  • Sirianni has spent 12 years as an offensive coach in the NFL across 3 staffs: 4 years in Kansas City (before Andy Reid), 5 with the Chargers, and 3 with Indy. Those offenses have averaged a 56.45% passing share. That would have been the 11th most run-heavy offense in the league last year.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Sanders dealt with injuries that cost him 4 games and removed him early from a 5th in his 2nd season. That chipped away at his stat totals. But the advanced metrics pointed to improved rushing performance even as the offense crumbled around him. Sanders slipped as a receiver, though. How much of that came from the decline in QB play? We’ll see. But the new coaching staff has already showed an affinity for the screen game. And Sirianni’s history appears RB-friendly. Sanders also faces light competition. Philly added only 5th-round pick Kenneth Gainwell and Lions castoff Kerryon Johnson to an already-shallow backfield. Sanders looks like an easy buy at his Round 3 ADP.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Eagles RB Miles Sanders (chest) graduated to a full practice on Friday. He's good to go for Monday night's game vs. the Cowboys.

View all Miles Sanders Shark Bites »

Eagles RB Miles Sanders (chest) was limited on Thursday, the team's first practice of the week. We don't have any other info on the injury, but the fact that Sanders was out there at all suggests he'll be available for Monday night's game vs. the Cowboys. We'll get another update on his status tomorrow.

View all Miles Sanders Shark Bites »

Eagles RB Miles Sanders has had "far too many drops" in training camp so far, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro writes. Sanders' receiving production fell off a cliff last year, when he posted a 28-197-0 line after a 50-509-3 as a rookie. His 8 drops were part of the problem. Zangaro adds that Sanders is having a good camp as a runner, looking "quick, explosive and agile." He's a safe bet to operate as Philly's lead ball-carrier this season. But his role in the passing game is in question. We'll see if he can clean up the drops going forward.

View all Miles Sanders Shark Bites »

Eagles RBs coach Jamel Singleton hinted that his team plans on deploying a committee backfield in 2021. "There are very specific skill sets you need in your room," Singleton said. "You need a first- and second-down runner with that really elite ability. You need a guy that can pass protect on third down and be short yardage. You need a back that can run routes and you can put him out in empty. It’s really a combination of that. I think the days of, ‘he’s an every-down back,’ that’s a little skewed these days because of the speed, because of the contact.” There are very few every-down backs in today's NFL, so this certainly isn't a death knell to Miles Sanders. But we're curious to see exactly how much work he'll cede after the Eagles added rookie RB Kenneth Gainwell and RB Kerryon Johnson to a group that already included RBs Boston Scott and Jordan Howard.

View all Miles Sanders Shark Bites »

Eagles RB Miles Sanders (knee) is out for Sunday night’s game vs. Washington. It looks like he hurt his knee in Thursday’s practice. We’ll see if it’s anything that’ll impact his 2021. Sanders’ absence leaves the Eagles’ backfield to RBs Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and Corey Clement.

View all Miles Sanders Shark Bites »

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