It doesn’t need to be stated that Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and DeAngelo Williams are must-starts, but the Eagles’ defensive prowess to start the season is more likely a mirage than the real thing. Against the anemic offenses of the Browns and Bears, expect Pittsburgh’s big three to put the Eagles back on their toes. All three deserve starts in all formats.
Despite Markus Wheaton’s return, he will likely be slated for a rotation with Eli Rogers and Sammie Coates. This throws a wrench into the value of all three receivers, and is a situation to avoid until more clarity emerges. Jesse James can be considered a risky, touchdown-dependent TE2.
Though the Steelers clamped down on A.J. Green, Jordan Matthews has proven capable of having a high ceiling and floor. His 23 targets are a team-best by a wide margin, and he has already developed a rapport with rookie Carson Wentz. Matthews’ 6-71-0 line in Week 2 would have been a 7-106-1 line if he hadn’t dropped a would-be 35-yard touchdown pass. Matthews is a solid WR2 with WR1 upside.
Ryan Mathews has been the Eagles’ primary back, but he faces a stout run defense that bottled up Bengals and Washington running backs to a 3.36 yards per carry average. Mathews is the favorite for goal-line duties once again, but should his usage dip down to the 10 touches he received in Week 2, he won’t be a viable starter. Mathews can be considered a low-ceiling flex option, while Darren Sproles deserves flex consideration in PPR formats.
Wentz has the look of a quality NFL starter, but fantasy owners likely have more to lose than gain by entrenching him in lineups due to how deep the quarterback position is as a whole. Usage concerns also deem Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor and Trey Burton worthy of bench spots.