Darren Sproles is expected to play his usual role for the Eagles this season as a backup running back and contribute on special teams. DeMarco Murray was traded to the Titans, which means Sproles could be the No. 2 running back behind Ryan Mathews. But Sproles has proven to be better for his team than Fantasy owners, and in 2015 he had 83 carries for 317 yards and three touchdowns and 55 catches for 388 yards and one touchdown. Sproles only had four games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, and he has limited upside in standard formats. In PPR leagues, Sproles could be a No. 4 running back since he had at least four catches in eight games. But in any format he's only worth drafting with a late-round pick since his upside is limited for Fantasy owners.
Sproles is expected to be a complementary option to starting running back Ryan Mathews this season, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Sproles could earn an extended carry total if he develops the hot hand in a game, but otherwise he's expected to make most his damage as a change-of-pace runner or a mismatch in the receiving game. At 33 years old, Sproles has intentionally been preserved somewhat during the preseason to ensure he remains fresh over the course of the upcoming campaign. In 16 games last season, Sproles finished with 317 rushing yards, 388 receiving yards, four offensive touchdowns and two punt return scores.
Sproles is listed as the No. 2 running back on the Eagles' first unofficial depth chart, The Inquirer reports. Sproles and Ryan Mathews are reportedly far ahead of the other backs, with the former expected to handle most of the passing-down work while the latter gets most of the carries. Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood are also in the mix to earn roles, but Smallwood has missed the last week of training camp while recovering from a quadriceps injury. Sproles recently signed a one-year extension that also increases his salary for this season.
Sproles agreed to a one-year contract extension with the Eagles on Friday, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. Sproles is now set to remain in Philadelphia through the 2017 season, with the additional year worth $4.5 million. Despite his old age for a running back at 33-years-old, Sproles figures to play a key role out of the backfield and as part of the return game. Per usual he should be a bit more valuable in PPR formats as he's proven to be a versatile option in the team's aerial attack as well.
Sproles has reported to practice and resumed his "extensive" role in the Eagles' system, Dave Zangaro of CSN Philadelphia reports. Sproles skipped the voluntary portion of the Eagles' offseason program due to family-related issues, but returned to practice Tuesday and participated in both team and position drills, as well as on special teams returning punts. The latter is nothing new, as Sproles has been returning punts for years now (and has returned a pair for touchdowns each of the past two seasons). Nonetheless, it's reaffirming to hear newly-assigned head coach Doug Pederson declare the almost-33-year-old Sproles as the "primary guy" regarding punt returns, and offensively as "a big part of what we do." Sproles has operated as a gadget player collecting 70 rushing attempts and roughly 50 receptions on average in each of his two years in Philadelphia, but those numbers could rise in a remodeled offense sans DeMarco Murray.
Though Sproles was not in attendance for the Eagles' voluntary OTAs, per NJ.com, coach Doug Pederson expects the running back to be present for the team's mandatory activities. With Sproles not on the field and Ryan Mathews limited in his work this week, Kenjon Barner and rookie Wendell Smallwood have been seeing added RB reps. While there have been reports that the Eagles received calls from other teams inquiring about Sproles during the NFL draft, no deal is imminent. In the event that the Eagles do move Sproles, or he sustains an injury, Smallwood -- who is viewed as a natural pass-catcher by Pederson -- could see added opportunities in the team's offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|9||11/06||@New York Giants||26||20.38|
|12||11/29||Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|16||12/23||New York Giants||26||20.38|
|3 Year Avg||64||289||4||55||460||1||104|