Yes, it’s hard to get particularly excited when discussing kickers and defenses in fantasy football. While both of these positions can have their moments of usefulness, they are typically only good for their projected points and perhaps slightly more. Still, fantasy owners will go out of their way to draft a top-tier defense over a intriguing bench player simply because of the hype that surrounds these respected units in reality. However, if there is one fantasy defense that I can point to as being disrespected in fantasy albeit slightly, it would be the vicious defensive squad of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Percent Owned On Fantasy Teams (Yahoo Fantasy): 27%
Fantasy Points Through Week 1 (Half PPR): Projected: 6.40 Actual: 22.00
Two years ago, the Eagles defense was considered one of the worst units in the league and were barely better than the historically atrocious defense of the New Orleans Saints. Since then, the Eagles have been trending upward to being a top-10 unit and if Sundays tenacious performance against the Washington Redskins is any indication, the Eagles are arguably already amongst the best.
Specifically, the Eagles’ front seven are relentless at pursuing the quarterback and are stout at stopping the run. While the Eagles thin secondary allowed 200 passing yards in week 1, they held the Redskins to a meek 64 rushing yards and sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins four times for 40 yards. Combine that with the fact that they forced three fumbles and scored two touchdowns and you have an amazing defensive squad that is just as brutal as it is opportunistic.
Understandably, the Eagles suspect secondary is a cause for concern and will mostly likely get exposed when they have to face pass heavy offenses. Luckily, the Eagles defense is matched up fairly favorably with opposing offenses until they play the Dallas Cowboys in week 11. Although a week 2 matchup against the Chiefs could be problematic, weeks 3-9 have the Eagles being considered a below average defense just once (19th against Carolina Panthers) while being considered a top nine defense or better in four of those match ups (Giants, Cardinals, Redskins and 49ers). Simply put, the Eagles are set defensively for the foreseeable future until after their Bye week where they are considered a top-10 defense on just two occasions.
While I would never suggest that anyone should trade for this vastly underrated defensive unit, if they are sitting on the waiver wire you should quickly snatch them up before some one in your league comes to the inevitable realization of how reliable they actually are. Their favorable upcoming schedule combined with their relentless front seven will provide the Eagles defense with a fairly high fantasy floor more often than not.