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The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the Philadelphia Eagles

More Early Prep (AFC): BAL | BUF | CIN | CLE | DEN | DET | GB | LAR | MIN | SEA | NYG | WAS | PHI

More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC | LV |

Philadelphia Eagles stats to know

Miles Sanders is an interesting case study. As the Eagles became a run-dominant team in the second half of the season, Sanders' efficiency easily put him at the head of the running back group. Yet the team intentionally held off on giving him a lot of snaps, and they were proven right to do so. His regular season ended in Week 16 because of a fractured hand, and that came several weeks after he missed three games with an ankle sprain. 

If you break Sanders' 2021 into two parts, you can see how he got better as the Eagles embraced the run more. 

  • Weeks 1 through 6: 9.5 carries per game, 4.7 yards per rush, 2.63 yards after contact, 10.5% of carries gained 16-plus yards, 31.6% avoided tackle rate; 3.0 receptions per game
  • Weeks 11 through 16: 14.8 carries per game, 6.1 yards per rush, 3.15 yards after contact, 10.8% of carries gained 16-plus yards, 13.5% avoided tackle rate; 1.4 receptions per game

But because the Eagles tried not to break him, his playing time looked considerably different. 

  • Weeks 1 through 6: played 69% of Eagles' snaps, had 66% of Eagles' overall RB touches & 4 of 6 touches inside the 10
  • Weeks 11 through 16: played 44% of Eagles' snaps, had 46% of Eagles' RB touches & 6 of 14 touches inside the 10

Snaps don't win Fantasy weeks, but high-value touches do. Sanders was limited in obvious passing situations all season long and competed with other running backs AND his quarterback when it came to scoring short-yardage touchdowns. 

There's nothing to suggest that will change in 2022 -- it could even get worse because Sanders is on the final year of his deal and the Eagles could draft a multi-year replacement. I wouldn't take Sanders to be a starter on my Fantasy team unless I was waiting on running backs on Draft Day.