Carson Wentz Fantasy 2022
Who would have thought that we would have Carson Wentz back in the NFC East for the 2022 season? The Colts ultimately decided to move on from Wentz after just one season with the team and ended up trading for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (an upgrade in my opinion).
Wentz, now with the Washington Commanders, looks to once again recover his NFL value with the team. If I can be honest, I get the feeling that this could be Carson Wentz’s last stop. If he can’t right the ship, he may be labeled a backup for the rest of his career. Then again the Commanders were in desperate need of a new quarterback after testing out Taylor Heinicke for a season as the starter after the pickup of Ryan Fitzpatrick failed to take off.
Another hot take. Carson Wentz finishes as a Top 10 QB for the 2021 Fantasy season.
— William Spencer III (@Hype_Phinest) February 18, 2021
Wentz had a nice team with the Colts in 2021 but didn’t take full advantage of the pieces around him and when he was rolling, his wide receivers were injured. TY Hilton, for example, missed seven games and was hardly the focus of the Colts’ passing offense as he saw just 37 targets on the season. Parris Campbell was no better as he missed 11 games and saw just 20 targets on the season. So if we’re going to be fair to Wentz in this instance, we have to understand that he didn’t have a ton of weapons at his disposal in the passing game.
The positive for the Colts’ wide receivers was Michael Pittman, who managed to break out in his second season going for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns, finishing inside the top 20 among fantasy wide receivers. Wentz actually had a pretty solid season when you look at his fantasy production of him too.
Over the first nine weeks of the regular season, Carson Wentz was actually a top 10 fantasy quarterback (so I was half right). Over that span, Wentz averaged 18.6 fantasy points per game and had a 17:3 touchdown to interception ratio. Not bad, right? Where the problem rears its ugly head is the latter half of the season when Wentz would completely fall off a cliff. Over the final eight games, Wentz would only produce two games with 15 fantasy points or more and would fall to the QB21. His fantasy points per game would also take a hit, falling from 18.6 to 12.2 and Wentz would throw just 10 more touchdowns to three interceptions as the Colts offense would flow through Jonathan Taylor and the game run down the stretch.
Wentz finished as the QB13 in 2021 but because he was so unreliable in the latter half of the season and the Colts opted to lean on Jonathan Taylor plus the injuries to the wide receiver group, Wentz would crap out with the Colts brass in the front office .
Now that he is in Washington inside the NFC East, can Wentz be better?
I think he can. I don’t believe that Washington is on the same level as the Indianapolis Colts but I do think they give Wentz more than enough to work with in order for him to be a consistent quarterback. Let’s look it over.
Time To Take Command
With what the then “Football Team” had at their disposal, Taylor Heinicke couldn’t get the job done. Plain and simple. Compared to Wentz last season, Heinicke threw for 3,419 yards (Wentz – 3,563), 20 touchdowns (Wentz – 27), and 15 interceptions (Wentz – 7) with an 85.9 passer rate. Carson Wentz in the same category was at a 94.6 passer rate. That’s good for 13th overall among quarterbacks. For Heinicke, that 85.9 puts him at 25th overall.
Heading into next season, Wentz will be throwing Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims, and Dyami Brown. At the tight end position, it looks like Logan Thomas is going to summarize that role after missing much of the 2021 season with injuries. As it stands, Terry McLaurin is the obvious go-to for both Wentz and fantasy managers. Last season with Taylor Heinicke under center, McLaurin finished just inside the top 25 wide receivers (25th overall) for fantasy managers last season averaging 12.6 fantasy points per game.
McLaurin had 1,053 receiving yards and five touchdowns but saw 130 targets, good for 13th overall among wide receivers. That’s a pretty solid line for targets and production with a mid-quarterback. With Wentz, I expect McLaurin to improve on those numbers. Especially when it comes to his downfield production of him. Last season, McLaurin finished 7th in total air yards (1,656 yards). That’s 471 more yards than Michael Pittman had with Wentz throwing him the ball with the Colts. The benefit between both quarterbacks however is the use of the deep ball. Carson Wentz excelled in this particular area over Taylor Heinicke. Though Heinicke had more deep ball attempts than Wentz (64/60), Wentz finished with a higher completion percentage, completing 43.3% (6th overall) to Heinicke’s 32.8% (24th overall).
Considering the kinds of weapons the Commanders have in McLaurin and Samuel (when he’s healthy), they have substantial speed on their side to get downfield in order to make use of Wentz’s big arm. But going downfield is not the only thing that Carson Wentz has at his disposal.
Both Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic are solid pass catchers. Gibson in particular is good at evading tacklers, finishing 5th among running backs in 2021 with 87 evaded tackles. Having a shifty weapon like that catching passes and making defenders miss can help keep the chains moving. McKissic is no slouch either, finishing the 2021 season with an 81.1% catch rate on 53 targets.
Logan Thomas is another weapon that can be useful to Carson if he can stay on the field. Thomas only played in six games last season before going out with a torn ACL against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 6. Thomas did manage to catch three touchdowns up till that point. In 2020, Thomas finished 4th among tight ends in red-zone targets with 18 so Washington likes to use Thomas’s big frame down in scoring position and also finished 9th overall in touchdowns in the same season. Wentz has had a propensity to rely on his tight ends before. He was attached to Zach Ertz back during his stint with the Eagles but that didn’t seem to be a part of the game plan when he was with the Colts.
Fantasy managers looking to grab some sleepers may want to keep an eye on guys like Logan Thomas later in the draft. Overall there may be some interesting pieces to look at from the Commanders. In 12 team drafts, Carson Wentz may be one of the quarterbacks to go undrafted. Like at the outset of the article, Wentz did have a nice start to the season before falling off the wagon and yet still managed to finish 13th among quarterbacks in fantasy points.
Wentz will have to prove that he can be a bit more consistent for fantasy managers. An injury to a top quarterback may prompt Wentz to get picked up off waivers during the season. Keep Wentz in your back pocket just in case for now.
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William has been playing fantasy football since 2012 and has loved every year of it. Plus, trash-talking with friends over football is great too. He’s been writing over the past 3 years, contributing for RealDealFantasyHQ.com, Fantasysphinest.com, and LeagueWinners.com just last season. He also started up his own fantasy football podcast “The Fantasy’s Phinest Podcast”. William enjoys helping provide advice through research and when he’s not doing that, he’s taking care of his family and cooking in the kitchen.