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How to handle Miles Sanders vs. Seahawks in Wild Card round

Sanders says he’ll be okay to play through an ankle issue that forced him to leave last week’s win over New York. Does that mean you can trust him in your lineups?

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders rushes the ball against Washington during the first half at FedExField. Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Despite not seeing the practice field at all on Wednesday or Thursday, Miles Sanders says he’ll be good to go when Philadelphia takes on Seattle this Sunday in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. The rookie running back is dealing with an ankle issue that limited him to just 23 offensive snaps in the Eagles must-win contest against the Giants last weekend, a game that eventually saw the little-used Boston Scott play the role of hero. Filling in for the injured Sanders, Scott turned 23 touches into 138 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns, leading Philadelphia to a 34-17 victory and an NFC East crown.

Scott’s presence really throws a wrench into the DFS viability of Sanders, if the the 22-year-old is, in fact, able to suit up against the Seahawks. Sanders was able to log at least 80.0% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in four of the six games where Jordan Howard was unavailable due to his own injury - a level of usage that’s generally viewed as elite - however, the risk of re-aggravation is where things start to get a little nerve-wracking. Scott’s two biggest fantasy performances of 2019 have both come versus New York and, more importantly, have both come in situations where Sanders was forced to leave the contest with an ailment. If the Penn State product truly isn’t operating at 100% health, I’m positive Doug Pederson would have zero reservations about going with a more balanced committee approach. That was always sort of his philosophy on RBs, anyway.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders

I actually like Sanders a lot this weekend as your archetypical GPP play. I think Pederson showed his hand last Sunday by barely using an active Howard, eliminating the former Bears’ running back from any sort of sizable pilfering of carries. As for Scott, we’ve seen his best-case scenario can only come to light with Sanders incapable of taking the field. The rookie RB’s ceiling is monstrous if he can stay in the game and, unlike most of the backs priced over $6K this weekend on DraftKings, Sanders legitimately has a decent matchup. Seattle’s is ranked 26th against the run by DVOA and its surrendered 175.3 opponent rushing yards per contest the last three weeks.