By: Alfredo Flores (Twitter: @ChxckenAlfredo)
Original Post Date: 9/25/2017
Player Analysis: Carson Wentz
Why Carson Wentz will be a QB1 this season.
Last season we saw Carson Wentz hyped as one of the better young QBs early in the 2016 season. As the season went on, we saw Wentz’s production go down. I am a believer that Lane Johnson being suspended for ten games was a big reason for this. Along with the starting RT missing 10 games, the starting left and right guard missed 6 games as well between the two. Taking the sample size from the 11 games (’16 games 5-14 & ’17 week 6), there is a dip in production for Wentz. During that 11 game span the Eagles went on to lose 8 of their 11 contests. Their biggest issue here was the average amount of yards Wentz lost on sacks in those 11 games, which was 17 yards a game. No matter what down that happens on, you’re bound to end up needing to throw on later downs to move the chains, where defenses already know it’s coming. Wentz threw 435 times, completing 264 passes (61% completion) for 2,600 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Carson’s highest passer rating over those 11 games was 110.7, his low being 52.4 and averaging 74.3. Putting these games into a fantasy perspective, Wentz highest fantasy finish was 7th with a low of 29th, and averaged out to be the 19th best QB. Carson’s per game averages weren’t a sight to be seen, but he averaged 24 completions, 39.5 attempts, 236.4 yards, 0.82 TDs, 1.09 INTs, 2.45 sacks with a loss of 17 yards. Off of his numbers during those 11 games, his average yards per attempt were 5.98 yards with an average of 9.85 yards per completion. The team averaged 19 points a game, gave up an average of 24.6 points while holding the ball 31 minutes over that span.
Let’s take a look at the sample size of 11 games we now have, that include 6 games from the 2016 season and 5 from the 2017 season with Lane Johnson playing. In these 11 games, the team has gone 9-2 while Wentz had 241 completions on 379 attempts (64% completion), 2,766 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 22 sacks losing 106 yards, and a 97.47 passer rating. During those 11 games, he had Peters (LT), Kelce (C), Brooks (RG), and Johnson (RT) to keep him up right. Those totals listed above averaged out to be a per game average of 21.9 completions with 34.5 attempts, 251.45 yards, 1.82 TDs, 0.45 INTs, 2 sacks with a loss of 9.64 yards. With the reduced yards lost on sacks, it helps keep the playbook open to the run game. The highest passer rating Wentz received was 128.3 with a low of 70.1, while these numbers are improved his fantasy ranks were improved as well, having his highest week as 2nd, his low of 26th, with an average of 13th best QB (a 6 rank jump). Over these 11 games compared to the 11 missing Johnson, Wentz’s average per attempt and completion rose from 5.98/YPA to 7.30/YPA and 9.85/YPC to 11.48/YPC. Over this 11 game span, the team average points flip flopped, as they averaged 27.6 points per game, while allowing only 16.6 points per game, and holding the ball for an extra 3 minutes a game at 34.
Now here’s why Wentz can be a QB1 and I’m comparing it to last season’s QB12 Russell Wilson. If the offensive line can stay healthy with no suspensions, those averages listed above can keep Wentz in talks as a top 12 QB. Russell Wilson, over 16 games last season, averaged similar numbers to Wentz over the 11 games above. Russell averages 22 completions, 34 attempts, 263.6 yards, 1.31 TDs, and 0.69 INTs, per game. Russell’s average yards per attempt are 7.73 and per completion are 11.95. Where Wentz is slightly lower in YPA & YPC, but he makes up where he out averages Russell in TDs and less INTs. Given the fact that Eagles WRs from 2016 had a 7.1% drop rate last season compared to the two new additions average drop rate of 2.1%, Wentz production should only go up. With 6 weeks in the book already and the revamped receiver core, Wentz has been QB5 week 1, QB2 week 2, QB22 week 3 (in 3 games hasn’t passed QB22 against NYG), QB17 week 4, QB3 week 5, and QB7 (without Lane) week 6. Wentz is also currently first on % of first downs while passing on third downs with 55.6%, ahead of Brady and Rodgers. Buy into the hype while there’s still a chance.