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Two-Man Backfield Status Report



D’Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott


Let’s start with the Eagles. There are only two Eagles RBs who I am targeting based on what we’ve seen in preseason so far: D’Andre Swift and Kenny Gainwell.


Swift got the night off in Week 2, Gainwell got the night off in Week 1, but he got the night off with Boston Scott - this could’ve been a “you know the offense so take the first night off” kinda thing, but reports out of camp are indicating that Gainwell is very integrated within the first team offense.


Rashaad Penny is getting work after Boston Scott. He can move up a bit, but it doesn’t seem obvious that he’ll be the primary early-down back like I thought he would earlier in the off-season.


With Swift getting the night off with a lot of other starters this past weekend, he’s in line to at the very least be part of a 1-2 punch, and we know his receiving ability makes him have RB1-type of upside even if he’s not overly involved on the ground.


Dameon Pierce & Devin Singletary


I think we might be too low on Dameon Pierce guys – he played an every-down role with the first team, and was on the field for 100% of snaps with the starters. Devin Singletary didn’t come in the game until Pierce’s night was over.


Pierce was an early down RB last year and was very solid in that role… and when you consider Devin Singletary’s usage last week in terms of him coming off the field on 3rd downs for Dare Ogunbowale, there’s a chance Pierce has a new passing down role come Week 1.


Just more reasons to take shots on Pierce at his price. He might be the RB to grab in the 5th round where he’s going now. Don’t forget how efficient Pierce was last year as a rookie - he’s a damn good RB.


Javonte Williams & Samaje Perine


Javonte Williams defied the odds. He’s really a true outlier in his recovery - he came back and played a significant role in a preseason game. Him and Perine split time pretty much 50/50 – in WIlliams’ first game back.


Perine played the receiving back role - he played almost every third down snap, but Javonte saw 5 targets on 8 routes ran, with 8 opportunities total on 13 snaps with the starters. That’s absolutely amazing, and it looks like he’ll be good to go for Week 1. And you have to wonder as the season goes on, if he’s already splitting 50/50, will his role increase even more?


Is it still kind of risky drafting Williams? Yes. There can be complications with the type of injury he had - it wasn’t just an ACL, it was an ACL, an LCL and a PCL… but it’s looking good for him right now. And if he’s going to continue to go around the 7th round, it’s not that bad.


The other option is to just wait and grab Perine later… but A) it does seem like they want to feature Javonte for the most part and B) there isn’t a guarantee that Perine has the standalone value we think he does based on how they just used Javonte in this game. He will definitely have upside later in the year if he doesn’t have any setbacks early on.

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