Miles Sanders vs. Kenneth Gainwell: Sanders Takes Step Forward in Week 5

Miles Sanders worked as the Eagles clear No. 1 back in Week 5.
Miles Sanders worked as the Eagles clear No. 1 back in Week 5. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Sirianni is making the Philadelphia Eagles a weekly guessing game, as he decided to give Miles Sanders his highest snap rate of the season in Week 5. 

This comes after Kenneth Gainwell played the best game of his rookie season in Week 4 and appeared to be gaining ground on Sanders in the competition. At this point, I don’t think Sirianni knows which running back he prefers in the offense.

Sanders entered Week 5 with fewer catches and targets than Gainwell, but he made five grabs on six targets against the Carolina Panthers, albeit for just six yards, while Gainwell caught one pass for eight yards. 

The Eagles were able to orchestrate a comeback win, which bodes well for Sanders since he was the primary back, but I really think this backfield is a toss up on a weekly basis. 

Kenneth Gainwell vs. Miles Sanders Stat Comparison

Touches (Carries and Receptions)

  • Sanders: 64
  • Gainwell: 35

Rushing Yards

  • Sanders: 214 (4.4 YPC)
  • Gainwell: 100 (4.8 YPC)

Receiving Yards

  • Sanders: 111
  • Gainwell: 122


  • Sanders: 0
  • Gainwell: 2

Snap Counts

  • Sanders: 218 (66.46 percent)
  • Gainwell: 107 (32.62 percent)

If you look at our breakdown of this backfield from last week, Sanders has gained a significant edge in touches and saw a rise in snap percentage as well. 

It’s not much for fantasy owners or player prop bettors, and the fact that Jalen Hurts (three rushing touchdowns) has been the primary rushing option in the red zone over Gainwell and Sanders makes both players dicey options in WynnBET’s touchdown scorer props. 

The Eagles will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ league-best rushing defense in Week 6 on Thursday Night Football. 

Philly is likely going to play from behind and we’ve seen Sirianni abandon the run quickly already this season. I’d fade both Gainwell and Sanders in any rushing props, especially on a short week.

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