Carson Wentz, the Washington Commanders’ starting quarterback, is prepared to go. The Commanders saw Wentz as an improvement over former fill-in starter Taylor Heinicke, despite the fact that he had been released by two other teams in the previous two offseasons.
Head coach Ron Rivera of the Commanders is hoping for a winning season for the first time in his career with Wentz at the helm. In spite of the scoffs from Eagles and Colts supporters, Wentz’s third stop in the NFL could turn out to be the charm.
How Carson Wentz May Affect The Offense Of The Commanders?
Wentz hopes to redeem himself in Landover, Maryland. Wentz has been criticized as a leader and teammate in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, most notably by Colts owner Jim Irsay and GM Chris Ballard.
Washington is arguably his final chance to rehabilitate himself as an NFL starting quarterback. Wentz’s stats were good (3,563 passing yards, 27 TDs, 7 INTs) but the season was a disaster.
The Colts lost two consecutive games they could have won and were eliminated from the playoffs by the Jaguars. Wentz was blamed for failing when his team needed him most. Wentz will strive to regain his 2017 form.
Several years away from a severe injury that lost him a Super Bowl run, he now has Terry McLaurin and first-round selection Jahan Dotson to pass to. Wentz won’t be able to rely on the running game as he did with Jonathan Taylor
But he’ll have upgraded weapons in RB Antonio Gibson, TE Logan Thomas, and emerging wideout Dyami Brown. Wentz can throw deep. Washington can maintain passing success if he avoids turnovers. Wentz’s off-season connection with Dotson might lead to a huge play.
What Kind of Fantasy Football Effect May Wentz Have?
Wentz left Indianapolis without fanfare. His 3,563-yard and 27-touchdown season were outstanding, but the team’s failure to clinch the playoffs in Jacksonville sealed his fate and attracted the owner’s ire.
He has no qualms expressing his thoughts to anybody with paper and a pencil. It’s likely Wentz’s last shot to start full-time. Wentz joins a squad with a murky quarterback situation. Players have battled with Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Garrett Gilbert, Alex Smith, and Colt McCoy.
McLaurin has felt it most. I wish the NFL had a transfer gateway for him. McLaurin caught 77 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns as the WR25 in PPR after another 130-target season (WR32 in points per game).
The QB play was inconsistent. McLaurin can separate and win against anybody, but his QBs pushed him into coverage with underthrows or errant passes. Wentz is an improvement over McLaurin, albeit he’s no sniper.
Heinicke passed for 3,419 yards (Wentz: 3,563), 20 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions with an 85.9 quarterback rating (Wentz – 94.6). Wentz outperforms Heinicke on deeper targets. Wentz completed 43.3% of his deep passes (sixth in 2021) versus Heinicke’s 32.8%. (24th overall).
McLaurin’s fantasy football floor may equal his ceiling if these deeper targets connect. In 76% of his games last season, he was a WR3 or worse. McLaurin had 37% top-24 (WR2+) weeks in his three years. It’s hard to believe anybody else on Wentz’s fantasy effect.
Gibson is losing reps to J.D. McKissic and Brian Robinson. Curtis Samuel didn’t play WR, leaving Dotson an option. McLaurin is the lone fantasy athlete that has a chance to win the league.
How Do The Odds On Commanders May Change If Wentz Plays A Role?
Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have had eerily similar trajectories since their 2016 drafts. Both struggled as rookies, improved in Year 2, and led their clubs to the Super Bowl (which Wentz’s Eagles won due to Nick Foles).
Both quarterbacks’ careers have deteriorated. Wentz is more of a wild card than Goff in a make-or-break season for the Lions. Goff may not be in Detroit in 2023, but he has no successor apparent.
Wentz has (rookie Sam Howell), which affects his and Washington’s other 2022 betting chances. When betting on players, schedule and postseason outlook must be considered. Washington is a long shot to win the NFC East and make the playoffs in a division with the Cowboys and Eagles.
They’ll also play the Titans, Packers, Colts, Vikings, 49ers, and Deshaun Watson’s Browns. Despite a relatively simple schedule, Washington must win at least three of their harder games to make the playoffs. We wouldn’t advocate betting on it.
Wentz’s summer reception was mixed. Rookie receiver Dotson will assist, but the offense is still a work in progress due to Samuel and Brown. Thomas may never duplicate his one-hit-wonder 2020 season due to age and injuries.
Wentz’s last season in burgundy and gold is likely. If they’re out of the playoffs by Week 14, Howell might take over. Wentz must surpass expectations to raise his playmakers. That’s risky.
Wentz Affects Washington’s 2023 NFL Draft Intentions
Wentz should delay the Commanders’ QB decision. There was concern that Washington could need to draft a quarterback in 2022 or 2023, but the team instead traded for a veteran.
Wentz is the man heading into 2022, or at least Washington will treat him as such until he doesn’t earn it. When that moment will come is unclear.
Wentz failed as Philadelphia’s quarterback in 2020. A late-season collapse with the Colts also hurt his reputation. NFL cycles reoccur. With Wentz on his third club in three years, it’s hard to be confident in his comeback. Even the Commanders appear to know this.
The Commanders picked divisive QB Sam Howell in Round 5 of the 2022 NFL Draft. Wentz’s deal features a possible out in 2023, which relieves the Commanders of the dead cap.
If Wentz suffers again with the Commanders, Washington may start again with minimal investment. This might hurt coach Rivera.
Wentz’s return to form is desired, and he may not be in a worse spot than Washington to do it. Wentz is backed up by a great cast and one of the best offensive lines in the league.
The paper trail suggests that Wentz has all he needs to fix the ship, not simply for himself but for the Commanders as well. If Wentz were to find his form again, there would be no need to choose a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft or later.
However, Wentz has had a less-than-ideal previous two years. One may be wary of assuming that the next one will be very different.