19 Jun Free NFC East Odds
Free NFC East Odds | Expand The Boxscore’s Divisional Futures Series
Expand The Boxscore’s free division odds series starts with the NFC East, as we examine each team’s O/U projection for the 2020 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles come into the season as the defending division champs. There is a separation between the top and bottom of the division. Does that include the defending division champs?
Let us take a look at the team odds and decide which teams to trust, and which to stay away from (lines from DraftKings Sportsbook)
Last Season: 8-8
2020 O/U: 9.5
So Jerry Jones drafts better from his yacht than he does from the war room? Jason Garrett wants to have a word…
After lucking into getting CeeDee Lamb in the first round, Dallas continued their draft luck by getting Trevon Diggs in the second-round. A player many thought they would take in round one. After filling out the rest of their draft with impact players, the Cowboys have the most talent rich roster in the division. Yet this seems to be the case most seasons.
The offensive depth may be the best in the NFL with a re-signed Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Lamb, and Blake Jarwin taking over for Jason Witten. If Cooper can remain healthy for the season his partnership with Michael Gallup may become the second-best duo in the NFL behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Add to this the physicality of Lamb and the team has all aspects of the pass game covered.
After a mock hold out in Cabo last summer, Ezekiel Elliott got the contract he wanted. While his season was not dominant, it was good, gaining more than 1,200 yards on the ground. Zeke’s back-up Tony Pollard can carry the load in a pinch, too.
All of these offensive weapons will help Dak Prescott as he looks for a long-term contract. He had a great season in 2019 and finished the season as the fantasy QB 2 behind MVP Lamar Jackson. He may also take his place firmly amongst the top five QB in the NFL by the end of the season considering the talent he has to work with, making the win total attainable.
The defense lost a lot with the departure of Byron Jones to Miami. They lost not only the best man to man corner in the NFL but also a leader on the defense. It will be up to newly signed Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Alden Smith to provide a pass rush and take the pressure off the rest of the defense. The Cowboys added Diggs and signed roving safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to help address glaring needs in the secondary. That’s a lot of retooling for one side of the ball.
We will need to see what new coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have in store.
Bet: Over 9
New York Giants
Last Season: 4-12
2020 O/U: 6
I was happy to see Joe Judge get the head coach position with the Giants. I am not sure if he was the right man or not but much like Mike Pettine, he is from my hometown area. So, I am happy for him. The Giants are going to have to change a whole lot more before they are competing in the NFC East.
The first thing which needs to change is the QB. Not the player in Daniel Jones. Instead the way in which he plays. He had some exciting games in 2019, but the downs were just as low. His 15 fumbles led the NFL last season. This was due a lot to the offensive line, which has been patchwork for too long. After drafting offensive tackle Anthony Thomas at number four in the draft, Nate Solder can move to the right side and allow Thomas to block the blind side. This will provide the protection needed to give Jones more time as well as giving Jones time to find his receivers and Saquon Barkley.
The best player on the team is Barkley. After having 91 receptions as a rookie the number fell to 52 in his sophomore season. This number needs to get back into the range of 80 to 90 for New York to compete because of his explosive play-making ability. The receivers leave a bit to be desired. Sterling Shepard has shown bursts of talent when healthy, Golden Tate is a reliable possession receiver, and Darius Slayton showed up in his rookie season as a bigger target.
The wild card in all of this is Evan Engram. The talent is there. He is more a big receiver than a tight end. If injuries do not slow him, he is a top tight end. Unfortunately, injuries are a concern and he has yet to finish a season healthy. If this happens again it will limit New York even further.
What can we say about the defense? It is bad. Plain and simple. Bringing in James Bradberry to what is becoming Carolina north is an upgrade. DeAndre Baker had a rocky first season out of Georgia. After his off-season trouble, we will need to find out if he makes it back onto the roster. Other than Bradberry there is not a true star caliber player on the roster. Much like with Dallas, New York will need to rely on its offense to win high scoring games until the defense gels. Unlike Dallas, they do not have the skill players to carry a mediocre defense.
Bet: Under 6.5
Last Season: 9-7
2020 O/U: 9.5
After a season plagued by injury, a lot was left on the table for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. DeSean Jackson came back to be the deep threat the team needed. After a great first game with 150 yards and two long TD an abdomen injury forced him out the remainder of the season. Add to this the missed games from Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard and the offense was in shambles by the end.
Zach Ertz performed up to his normal standards and Dallas Goedert continued to improve on his 50 receptions and 5 TD as a rookie in 2018. By far, the biggest bright spot was Miles Sanders. The first year back from Penn St. not only was he able to remain healthy for all 16 games, he also showed there may in fact be a bell cow back in the Eagles future.
During the first half of the season, Sanders showed his receiving chops while allowing Jordan Howard to handle much of the rush work. This allowed him to finish the season catching 50 of his 63 targets for 509 yards and 3 TD. After the injury bug hit Howard, he took over the main backfield duties and rushed 179 times for 818 yards and 3 more TD.
With Jordan Howard now on the Dolphins, Sanders will be counted on to improve on what he started in 2019. This could see him as not only becoming a top 10 fantasy RB but also a top 10 NFL RB in 2020. His 53% snap share of 2019 could realistically jump into the 75% range, meaning a jump in his numbers. How will the loss of guard Brandon Brooks impact Sanders’ upside?
The defense is loaded up front with Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox coming back. The Eagles adding Darius Slay and Vernon Hargreaves as replacements for veteran leader Malcolm Jenkins. If the Eagles want to win the division again, they will need to remain healthier in 2020 than they did in 2019. Positive regression applies to the medical tent too, right?
Dallas is far better talent-wise, and the in-division games are always tough. Philadelphia will again threaten for the division and Doug Peterson will have the team ready.
Bet: Over 9.5
Last Season: 3-13
2020 O/U: 5
Whether or not Washington is successful in 2020 depends on what the team gets from the QB position. Dwayne Haskins or Kyle Allen need to step up, with Haskins more than likely being the starter and Allen bringing knowledge of new head coach Ron Rivera’s system.
Terry McLaurin was a late round revelation last season. He was the best rookie receiver in the league for the first half of the year showing his ability to be the number one. Much of this was due to his year long connection with college teammate Haskins. But a lot of it also had to do with his ability to separate and get open.
When it comes to the run game, Washington is likely going to have to count on a cornucopia of backs. The elder statesman Adrian Peterson keeps plugging along, and Derrius Guice and Bryce Love present youth and injury risk. If both can stay healthy it would be a major bonus. The offensive line will officially be without Trent Williams, who was jettisoned to San Francisco. Geron Christian, Sr. or free agent addition Cornelius Lucas III are expected to fill the hole at left tackle
On defense, the Redskins are not much better, but did add to the depth of their defensive line. They got Chase Young at number two overall in the draft and he is expected to be a difference maker. The rest of the defense has concerns that could not be fixed in one off-season.
Bet: Under 5
This is a two-team race.
It will be interesting to see if Mike McCarthy can resurrect his career with Dallas. He has the talent on both sides of the ball to do so. But will he stick to his revamped analytical-minded philosophy?
In Philadelphia, the stability is also there. The organization is to the point where even in a season marred by injury, the team still finished at 9-7. The coaching staff gets the most out of their players.
Both of these teams could be 10- or 11-win teams. Both could make the playoffs in the newly expanded format. But only one can win the division.
Bet: Philadelphia Eagles +140
Dominick is a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area. Playing fantasy football for more than 20 years and writing for more than five, he has a vast knowledge of both the NFL and fantasy football. Despite his being blind, Dominick is a consistent ranker amongst FantasyPros experts, and always strives to be better than last season. Follow him on Twitter @EnvisionFF and read his weekly Best Bets articles during the season.