Kenneth Gainwell or Boston Scott: Who has more fantasy value moving forward?

With Miles Sanders likely to miss Week 8 against the Lions, what are the fantasy outlooks of Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott?

This past Sunday against the Raiders, we finally saw Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders get involved early in the game — something fantasy football managers have been clamoring for all year. Sanders looked set for a big game, but then he suffered an ankle injury that currently has him listed as week-to-week. After that, the combination of Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell saw work out of the backfield. With Sanders likely out for at least this week, which of Gainwell or Scott has more fantasy value going forward?

It was close to an even split between Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell

After Sanders went down, Scott saw 7 carries to Gainwell’s 5. Scott turned his opportunities into 24 yards on the ground, and Gainwell logged 20. Pretty even. Scott also scored a touchdown, getting an opportunity to convert from the 1-yard line. The goal-line work could be meaningful if Sanders were to miss an extended period of time.

Where things got interesting, however, was the passing game. Scott only had 1 reception for 5 yards, while Gainwell caught 4 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. This is where Gainwell separates himself from Scott.

Gainwell has been utilized in the passing game all season, not just while Sanders is out. If this is going to be close to an even split in rushing attempts between the two, and Gainwell will continue to see his passing work, then he is clearly the better fantasy option in this backfield.

The Eagles don’t hand the ball off very much

The Eagles have been more than pass-happy this season; they’ve been straight up pass-reliant when Jalen Hurts is running it.

Hurts has 66 rush attempts this season for an average of 9.4 per game. Philadelphia, as a team, has 164 rushing attempts on the season. If you take Hurts’ 66 out of the equation, that’s only 98 rushing attempts not by the quarterback through seven games.

That number is a whopping 23 attempts lower than the New York Jets, who have run the ball the league-least at 121 attempts. And that’s only through six games, one less than the Eagles.

Maybe head coach Nick Sirianni is starting to see the error of his ways, which is what led to Sanders seeing 5 carries on the first drive last week before getting injured. I’m more inclined to believe that this team will continue to not hand the ball off very often, instead relying on the legs and arm of Hurts more than the rushing abilities of their running backs.

Scott could be a serviceable fill-in this weekend against the Detroit Lions if you’re desperate for a running back. However, I’d much rather roster Gainwell both for this week and moving forward when Sanders returns.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.

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