By Pasha Hashemzadeh
Here we provide you with a fantasy outlook for each NFC East team:
Jerry Jones made headlines this offseason when he drafted Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick in the draft. With a healthy Tony Romo and a new workhorse RB in town, the Dallas offense looks to make the most of its opportunities behind the league’s best offensive line. All-Pro wideout leads a pass-catching corps that features veteran TE Jason Witten. This offense has elite fantasy options in Dez and Elliott, while Witten serves as a TE2 with upside. When Romo is on the field, he produces at an elite level, but staying on it is his problem. If you go the Romo route come draft time, make sure you draft another quality QB as insurance. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will spell Elliott at times, though neither is worth drafting. WRs Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams can be left on the wire as well. They have proven they can’t produce when given the opportunity to and I don’t see growth this year. Steer clear of the Dallas defense, as they will be one of the poorer units in the league.
New York Giants:
Eli Manning has one of the best weapons in the league at his disposal in WR Odell Beckham Jr., though he can never seem to put up consistent fantasy numbers. Beckham is among the elite WRs in the league and should be drafted in the first round. Victor Cruz can’t seem to shake the horrific knee injury he suffered two seasons ago, making rookie WR Sterling Shepard and intriguing late round flier with Rueben Randle out of town as well. The Giants have a stable of running backs in Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Paul Perkins, the latter of whom is the most talented and is a player to monitor during camp and preseason. Jennings figures to start the season, and if you’re going to draft him as your low-end RB2/flex play, make sure to handcuff Perkins to him in the later rounds. The Giants have a subpar defense that shouldn’t be drafted, as well as their TE duo of Will Tye and Larry Donnell.
New HC Doug Pederson has proclaimed Sam Bradford as the starting QB come season commencement, though with all the positive buzz surrounding rookie Carson Wentz at OTAs, he figures to have a few starts in 2016. QB is the biggest question mark of this offense, as while Pederson has named Bradford his starter, this could very well turn in to a battle if Wentz keeps up the good work. Ryan Mathews figures to be the starting tailback and workhorse in the Eagles’ offense, given he can stay healthy. He could be a steal come draft time, as many will shy away due to his injury history. He will be running behind a good offensive line led by All-Pro Jason Peters and you should make sure you handcuff rookie Wendell Smallwood to Mathews if you draft him. WRs Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews look to make big strides in their second and third years, respectively. Matthews could lose touches if he doesn’t succeed more on the outside, while Agholor is the more talented WR and could breakout in his second year. Agholor can be bought for cheap and is worth a flier come draft time. TE Zach Ertz was given a big contract this season after his mini-breakout during the second half of last season. Draft him in the early to mid rounds, as he has the upside of top five TE and a high floor as well given Pederson’s offensive scheme. The Eagles defense has shown playmaking ability in the recent past, though they simply aren’t a strong enough unit at the moment to be drafted.
After years of futility in the passing game, Washington might finally have its answer at QB in the franchised Kirk Cousins. With the ‘Skins tagging him this offseason, he is essentially entering another tryout year and should play at the top of his game. He is a high-end QB2 with upside. The offense bolsters many pass-catching options for Cousins, including rookie WR Josh Doctson, veteran WRs DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, and Pro-Bowl TE Jordan Reed. Reed should be the second tight end off the board after Gronk. With all the options on offense, I would steer clear of the dwindling talents DJax and Garcon, and rather take Doctson at the end of the draft, as he offers the most upside, as he has great hands, size, and speed and could prove to be a go-to for Cousins in the redzone. Second year man RB Matt Jones fumbled five times in limited touches last year, something of a major issue for him. He will be a player to monitor this offseason, as should he feature well in camp and preseason, he could be a value pick in what is expected to be a potent Washington offense. Rookie RB Keith Marshall was the fastest in his class, and looks to challenge Jones for touches this year. He’s a good handcuff to have for Jones owners. The Washington defense simply does not have enough talent to be drafted this year, despite the signing of stud CB Josh Norman.