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NFL Fantasy Exit Interviews: NFC East

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NFC East


Dallas Cowboys (8-8)

2019 Team Offensive Ranks Total offense: 6th Passing: 2nd Rushing: 5th

Statistical Leaders (Final positional ranking/PPR ranks)
Passing: Dak Prescott -- 4,902 yards, 30 TD, 11 INT (QB2)
Rushing: Ezekiel Elliott -- 1,357 rush yards, 12 TD (RB3)
Receiving: Amari Cooper -- 79 rec., 1,189 yards, 8 TD (WR10)

What went right: While the Cowboys on the field were a rollercoaster ending in disappointment for their fans, they were a pretty good option for plenty of fantasy managers. Dak Prescott had a career season, eclipsing 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns for the first time. Ezekiel Elliott was among the contenders to be the first overall pick and while he was left in Christian McCaffrey's wake -- like literally everyone else -- it's hard to be upset about drafting a player who was top three at his position and averaged nearly 20 points per game.

Things were more of a mixed bag at receiver. Cumulatively, things went well for Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Both players topped 1,100 receiving yards and finished in the top 25 at receiver. The issue is that both suffered from a lack of consistency. A 39-point game is nice but incredibly frustrating when followed up with a two-point effort.

What went wrong: It's hard to point to any particular thing that went truly wrong with Dallas' offense from a fantasy perspective. Even Jason Witten came out of retirement and finished as the TE11 -- although that might say more about the state of the tight end position than Witten himself. If there's one small cause for concern, it was seeing Elliott get 24 fewer targets than a season before. Many of those were funnelled to rookie Tony Pollard but in the long run, this feels like a quibble and not truly something to be worried about.

What needs to improve: After a decade, the Cowboys fired Jason Garrett and replaced him with former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. After spending a season away from the game, McCarthy says he's embraced new principles and new ways of doing things. But perhaps most importantly, he says he'll leave playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who got the Cowboys off to a hot start last season before Garrett took back the playcalling job. This team is loaded with talent and should again have plenty of players flying off draft boards relatively early.

New York Giants (4-12)

2019 Team Offensive Ranks
Total offense: 19th
Passing: 18th
Rushing: 19th

Statistical Leaders (Final positional ranking/PPR ranks)
Passing: Daniel Jones -- 3,027 yards, 24 TD, 12 INT (QB24)
Rushing: Saquon Barkley -- 1,003 yards, 6 TD (RB10)
Receiving: Darius Slayton -- 48 rec., 740 yards, 8 TD (WR37)

What went right: Whereas the Cowboys were a bonanza for All Things Fantasy, the outlook wasn't quite so rosy in New York. In most cases, it was simply a matter of guys not being able to stay healthy. But those injuries did open the door for other players and one who walked right through was Darius Slayton. While most eyes were on Daniel Jones, Big Blue's other rookie made a name for himself by averaging 15 points per game from Week 10 until the end of the season. Slayton's emergence adds to an already talented group of Giants pass-catchers -- a group that hopefully can stay healthy next season.

What went wrong: We can begin with a group of pass-catchers that suffered more injuries than the Wet Bandits. Beyond Slayton, no Giants receiver or tight end played more than 58 percent of snaps. That means anyone who drafted Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, or Evan Engram spent a lot of the season scrambling to find other options.

Maybe the biggest disappointment was Saquon Barkley. The second-year running back was the closest thing to a consensus as the No. 1 overall pick in most drafts but he failed to live up to the monstrous campaign he posted as a rookie. Not all of it was on him. A high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3 forced him to miss three games, a surprisingly small number considering the injury. When he returned, he didn't look like quite the same player and lacked the big play explosion many expected. But for those fortunate enough to make it to the fantasy playoffs with him on their roster, he made up for it with a pair of huge performances in Weeks 15 and 16. So all (most?) was forgiven.

What needs to improve: Apart from the obvious point of players staying healthy, all eyes will be on Daniel Jones yet again. The man who pushed Eli Manning to the bench -- and ultimately into retirement -- had moments that made us all understand why New York spent the sixth overall pick on him in last year's draft. But if he's going to be a franchise quarterback, or a quality fantasy starter, he'll need to significantly cut down on the turnovers. Twelve interceptions in 13 starts is frustrating enough but 11 lost fumbles in that same span is downright maddening. If he can curtail that, a lot of things about the Giants offense will look much more promising.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

2019 Team Offensive Ranks
Total offense: 12th
Passing: 11th
Rushing: 11th

Statistical Leaders (Final positional ranking/PPR ranks)
Passing: Carson Wentz -- 4,039 yards, 27 TD, 7 INT (QB10)
Rushing: Miles Sanders -- 818 yards, 3 TD (RB15)
Receiving: Zach Ertz -- 88 rec., 916 yards, 6 TD (TE4)

What went right: Zach Ertz remained the top target in the Eagles offense -- even if he had just one 100-yard game and lacked the kind of eye-popping week-to-week numbers that many people hoped for when they drafted him. But he was a top five player at his position and do I really need to remind you how bereft tight end was of consistent producers? No. No I do not.

Then there was Miles Sanders. In a class full of talented running backs, Sanders seemed like a good player in a tough situation. Doug Pederson is not known for riding one running back and early on, Sanders was predictably stuck in a committee. He never fully emerged as a workhorse but as the season progressed, the Eagles gained more confidence in the rookie and gave him a larger role. Nothing about Pederson's history suggests Sanders will become a workhorse next season but it's become clear that he is the No. 1 back in Philly. That's a good thing.

What went wrong: Much like their counterparts in New York, the Eagles receivers couldn't really stay healthy. DeSean Jackson played just three games in his return to Philadelphia before being felled by an abdominal injury. Nelson Agholor missed five games. Alshon Jeffery missed six. Things were so bleak for the Eagles that at one point they brought back Jordan Matthews, though he only suited up for two games and caught just four of 12 targets. If you need any clue how bereft Philly was at wideout, their most productive receiver down the stretch was Greg Ward, a converted quarterback. One day, maybe everything will work out for Carson Wentz and he'll get a full season with a full supporting cast.

What needs to improve: Keep everyone healthy. That's it. That's the analysis. Oh and maybe Doug Pederson could do us all a solid and just pick one running back to make his workhorse. It would be nice if that running back's name was Miles Sanders, but we'll work with whatever we're given. But how about we make it Miles Sanders, huh? Kthxbye.

Washington Redskins (3-13)

2019 Team Offensive Ranks
Total offense: 32nd
Passing: 32nd
Rushing: 22nd

Statistical Leaders (Final positional ranking/PPR ranks)
Passing: Case Keenum -- 1,707 yards, 11 TD, 5 INT (QB31)
Rushing: Adrian Peterson -- 898 rush yards, 5 TD (RB33)
Receiving: Terry McLaurin -- 58 rec., 919 yards, 7 TD (WR29)

What went right: When people talked about the rookie wide receivers that could make an immediate impact in 2019, Terry McLaurin's name wasn't near the top of the list. But the speedster from Ohio State burst onto the scene immediately with touchdowns in each of his first three NFL games. He was looking like one of the biggest bargains in fantasy until the team decided to make a change at quarterback, going from veteran Case Keenum to rookie Dwayne Haskins. In other news, Adrian Peterson managed to stiff-arm Father Time yet again, rushing for nearly 900 yards in place of an injured Derrius Guice.

What went wrong: This offense felt doomed from the start of the season. Already working behind a bad offensive line that got worse when star left tackle Trent Williams refused to report to the team over a medical dispute. Guice's second ACL tear in as many seasons took one more potential young star out of the rotation. Once things went south for Keenum and Washington turned to Haskins, it got appreciably worse. What little fantasy value that one could find in the Beltway all but evaporated.

What needs to improve: Ron Rivera is building a veteran coaching staff in the hope of changing the culture in D.C., but to generate more interest from fantasy folk, the biggest change will need to be major improvement from Haskins. Or, barring that, finding a different answer at the position. We're still waiting to see what Derrius Guice can be over a full season and he'll be drafted in plenty of leagues but his injury history means he'll likely come at a discount.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who is ready to do a little binge-watching. Send him your aspirations to apathy via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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