Game Predictions & Player Projections - PHI vs. LAR

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: PHI 24, LAR 26

(Line: LAR by 2.5, O/U = 50.5)

UPDATE #2: As of Saturday night, Ertz remains in the concussion protocol. He is still a game-time decision for tomorrow. The Eagles play the later afternoon game so his status is likely not certain until after all the first games start on Sunday.

UPDATE: Robert Woods is listed as questionable and had a limited day on Friday but is still not expected to play until next week. Zach Ertz had limited work the last two days but has not passed the concussion protocol. I will hold him out until he clears but that could happen by game time so check the inactives. If he is active, he will be 100% good to go.

The 10-2 Eagles finally ended their ten game winning streak and are now tied with the Vikings for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The 9-3 Rams won their last two and lead the NFC West by one game over the Seahawks. This will be one of the best games of the weekend.

Philadelphia Eagles

1 @WAS 30-17 10 BYE xxx
2 @KC 20-27 11 @DAL 37-9
3 NYG 27-24 12 CHI 31-3
4 @LAC 26-24 13 @SEA 10-24
5 ARI 34-7 14 @LAR ---
6 @CAR 28-23 15 @NYG ---
7 WAS 34-24 16 OAK ---
8 SF 33-10 17 DAL ---
9 DEN 51-23      
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI @ LAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Wentz 20,1 230,1
RB Jay Ajayi 70,1 3-20
RB Corey Clement 10 3-30
WR Nelson Agholor 3-30
WR Alshon Jeffery 3-40,1
WR Golden Tate 6-100,1
WR Mike Wallace 4-50,1
TE Zach Ertz
PK Jake Elliott 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Eagles finally fell but it was on the road and not in the same division. They are now the No. 2 seed after the Vikings currently due to tiebreakers. This is the biggest week and the toughest game. All others will see the Eagles favored and likely be a fair amount. If the Eagles can get past the Rams - who they may meet in January - then at worst they'll hold onto the No. 2 seed and wait for the Vikings to lose a game.

QUARTERBACK: Carson Wentz has thrown a touchdown in every game and was on a seven-week stretch with multiple touchdowns until the loss in Seattle. The 348 yards he passed in Week 13 was a season-best and he has been much more likely to end up around 200 to 220 yards because the rushing offense usually does more than they did last week.

RUNNING BACK: LeGarrette Blount was limited to a season-low eight carries and the transition to Jay Ajayi started last week when he rushed nine times for 35 yards and caught three passes for 11 yards. Blount has just four catches on the season and had been solid with 12 to 15 carries per game. Corey Clements role decreases a little every week and he had just three runs last week and three catches. Forecasting the distribution of work is a challenge since it is changing. But Ajayi is getting the bigger chunk now and doing more with it when he runs.

WIDE RECEIVER: Nelson Agholor feasted on the Seahawks secondary last week with Richard Sherman gone. He turned in a season-best seven catches for 141 yards and one touchdown. Agholor had been consistent with only around 30 yards for the last four games. Alshon Jeffery ended his four-game scoring streak but still caught four passes for 61 yards last week. That's right at where he's been for the last five games. Jeffery tends to get the most targets of the wideouts but any absence of Zach Ertz should play into more work for Agholor and Jeffery.

TIGHT END: Zach Ertz suffered a concussion last week and is in the protocol. I will add him into the projections once he is cleared.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams have been outstanding versus the pass at home where there have only been four passing touchdowns allowed. And Drew Brees had the highest yardage there with only 246 yards in Week 12. This is a defense much like the Seahawks last week. Wentz always throws a score but even tossed for two would be the first time that happened this year. Rely on moderate yardage and one score. More are possible and the Rams gave up two or more scores in three road games. But so far the Rams have played very well against the pass when at home.

They have also been tough on the run in most weeks though they did allow 13 touchdowns to the position this year. This defense held the visiting Saints to only 118 yards on 16 carries just two weeks ago. Ajayi and Blount merit consideration but Ajayi has to be considered the safer play, particularly since he is adding receptions each week. This is the weakness of the Rams.

The wideouts are not going to win this game. The Rams secondary has only allowed two touchdowns to visiting wide receivers all year and only DeAndre Hopkins gained more than 71 yards against them in Los Angeles. Agholor and Jeffery should be held in check here as have all others. If Ertz remains out, it helps the wideouts but only marginally.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 14 12 2 11 6
Preventing Fantasy Points LAR  5 31 9 6 2 4

Los Angeles Rams

1 IND 46-9 10 HOU 33-7
2 WAS 20-27 11 @MIN 7-24
3 @SF 41-39 12 NO 26-20
4 @DAL 35-30 13 @ARI 32-16
5 SEA 10-16 14 PHI ---
6 @JAC 27-17 15 @SEA ---
7 ARI 33-0 16 @TEN ---
8 BYE xxx 17 SF ---
9 @NYG 51-17      
News | Statistics | Roster
LAR vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Jared Goff 250,2
RB Todd Gurley 70 6-50,1
WR Brandin Cooks 6-90,1
WR Cooper Kupp 6-80,1
PK Greg Zuerlein 4 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams won six of their last seven games and the troublesome part is that their last two losses were to the Vikings and Seahawks - both postseason contenders. The Rams resumed their high-scoring ways after the loss to the Vikings and it included a win over the visiting Saints. They are one game ahead of the Seahawks and lost to them in Week 5. that makes next week in Seattle the most important game of the year. With the Eagles visiting, there's no chance the Rams can afford to look ahead. But win or lose here, it all comes down to what happens in Week 15.

QUARTERBACK: Jared Goff scored in all but two games this year - the Vikings and Seahawks. Goff has beat up on weak teams with three or four touchdowns but less so versus the better opponents. The last home game went against the Saints and he passed for 354 yards and two scores. He has been more productive in most home games.

RUNNING BACK: Todd Gurley hasn't rushed for 100 yards since Week 7 but he is turning in over 100 total yards in nearly every game and mixes in three to six receptions to help his totals. In the last two home games, he's been limited to only around 70 rushing yards but added 55 to 65 yards as a receiver in each. He's coming off a Week 13 tilt in Arizona where he ran for 74 yards and added six catches for 84 yards.

WIDE RECEIVER: Robert Woods remains out and is targeting Week 15 for his return. Sammy Watkins stepped up with Woods out and caught a touchdown in both games. He scored in four of the last five though he never catches more than three or four passes. His last home game versus the Saints saw him catch four passes for 82 yards and a score for his best effort since Week 3. Cooper Kupp hasn't scored since Week 7 but is solid with around 60 to 70 yards in every game.

TIGHT END: No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Eagles have been one of the best against the run all year and allowed only three rushing scores this year - none since Week 4. No running back has broken 100 rushing yards against them. Gurley is still a solid start but he'll need his receptions to prop up his fantasy value here. He has a better chance of scoring as a receiver than as a rusher.

Goff goes against a secondary that has been less formidable when it faces one of the better passing attacks. They just gave up three scores to Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers managed two scores and 347 yards on the Eagles. Goff should end up with a couple of passing scores that will favor Cooper Kupp the most. There is also a chance that a tight end will score but that's hard to rely on here with both Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett typically not that productive.

Gaining Fantasy Points LAR 13 8 2 26 1 3
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI  14 2 17 20 11 15

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