Jalen Hurts named starting quarterback by Eagles for NFL Week 14: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Philadelphia Eagles have named rookie Jalen Hurts their starting quarterback for Sunday’s Week 14 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
For Carson Wentz, Schefter is reporting the expected, the former second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft will serve as Hurts’ backup.
Jalen Hurts named starting quarterback
Wentz is 3-8-1 in 2020 as the Eagles’ QB1 and 35-32-1 in 68 career starts. In comparison, Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016 who went ahead of Wentz, is 41-25-0 in 66 games while Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick that year, is 42-27-0 in 69 games.
Wentz has yet to record a playoff win (0-1) while Goff is 2-2 with a Super Bowl appearance and Prescott is 1-2 in postseason play.
Jalen Hurts Fantasy Football Fallout
Wentz has completed 57.4% of his passes this season (251-of-437) for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. He’s also recorded 276 rushing yards and five scores on 52 attempts while fumbling the ball 10 times, losing four of them. That is a 21:19 TD/TO ratio.
Despite his poor efficiency, Wentz is the fantasy football QB13 with 213.4 points and a 17.9 FPPG average in 12 games played.
However, Doug Pederson is not out to win fantasy football championships. He is after a second Super Bowl and Hurts might be his best shot to get the Eagles there in 2020. At worst, the quarterback change could ruffle Wentz’s feathers or at least jump-start a lost offense.
In December 2019, with the team riddled by injury, Wentz completed 66.2% of his passes for 1,509 yards, 10 touchdowns, and a pick. Wentz led the Eagles to a 4-1 record last December, including four straight wins to close out the season and clinch the NFC East.
Considering how poorly Wentz is playing this season, the Eagles do not believe he is poised to make a similar run.
Hurts is a player the Eagles believe can light a spark on the offense. In right around 22 minutes of play in last week’s loss to Green Bay following the benching of Wentz, Hurts completed 5-of-12 passes for 109 yards, one touchdown, and an interception, adding another 29 rushing yards on five attempts.
He put 13 points on the board in the fourth quarter and gave the Eagles a fighting chance before Aaron Jones put the game away with a big touchdown run spanning over 70 yards with just under three minutes remaining in play.
In comparison, Wentz 6-of-15 passes for 79 yards in the first 38 minutes of the game, leading the Eagles to a first-quarter field goal.
We don’t know much about Hurts outside of the aforementioned 22 minutes of sustained playing time as the Eagles quarterback. However, we do know that he is a better athlete, a tad faster, and can make more splash plays with his legs.
The Eagles are also the healthiest they have been in a long time at pass-catcher with Zach Ertz’s Week 13 return. Ertz caught 2-of-4 targets for 31 yards in the loss.
Alshon Jeffery has even been back for the past four games, but you wouldn’t know it. He’s gone catch-less in three games while posing a 2/15/0 line back in Week 12.
There is talent on the Eagles’ offense. To be fantasy-relevant, Hurts must find a way to overcome their regressive offensive line play. Pro Football Focus ranks the Philadelphia offensive line 18th in pass blocking and 19th in run blocking. In years past, the Eagles perennially had a top-end unit.
In most formats, Week 14 opens the fantasy football playoffs. Outside of Superflex leagues or leagues in which you must start two quarterbacks, you are better off sitting Hurts and employing the wait and see approach.
Getting a matchup with the Saints, whose defense is yielding the third-fewest FPPG (16.2) to enemy quarterbacks, you probably will thank me later for telling you to sit him.
This is one of those scenarios in which I rather have Hurts pop on my bench, than bust in my starting lineup. However, if Hurts manages to play well, he gets the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 15, the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 16, and if your fantasy championship is in Week 17 — I advise you to change that — Hurts will get Washington at home.
Jalen Hurts Betting Fallout
With an unknown like Jalen Hurts under center, this could go really good or really bad for the Eagles. The sportsbooks know that.
Currently, the Saints are giving 7.5 points at SugarHouse NJ. Considering how well the defense has been playing, yielding fewer than 16 points in each of their past five games to quarterbacks that include Matt Ryan (twice) and Tom Brady, it would not surprise me if the line moves in New Orleans’ direction, even more so.
The Saints’ defense is also surrendering the fourth-fewest passing yards per game (212.8) and the second-fewest rushing yards (76.1) per game. This may not be the best team for Hurts to debut against. The Saints could win this one big, or at least enough to cover a 10-point spread in case it moves that way.
Currently, the Eagles-Saints lines are suspended at PointsBet, which means you can take advantage of this game right now at SugerHouse NJ.
It could pay to take advantage of the Eagles +7.5 at SugarHouse NJ before they take it off the books:
Point Spread: Saints -7.5 (-103)/ Eagles +7.5 (-120)
Total: 44.5 — Over 44.5 (-110)/ Under 44.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Saints (-335) Eagles(+250)
Implied Totals: Saints 27 Eagles 17.5
Prepare for your Week 14 fantasy football and betting
Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter.
Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation.
15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019)
| 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020)
| 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).
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