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Fantasy Outlook: Carson Wentz

Fantasy Outlook: Carson Wentz
Will Carson Wentz have any significant fantasy value this year?

Will Carson Wentz have any significant fantasy value this year?

After a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles used the second overall pick to select North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz, the highest they’ve drafted a signal caller since using the second slot to take Donovan McNabb in 1999. He turned out OK compiling a 92-49-1 record with the Birds while throwing for 32,873 yards and 216 touchdowns. He was also the last QB to win a playoff game for the Eagles. Howie Roseman and his staff will be hoping that Wentz does the same sooner rather than later…but it’ll probably be later.

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The Eagles have made no secret of their plans to start the 2016 season with Sam Bradford, allowing Wentz the time to adapt to the business of playing QB in the NFL. These plans may have been slightly upset due to the “unexpected” behavior of Bradford since news of the trade broke.

Bradford has earned $1 million per touchdown pass throughout his NFL career. Plus, he was being backed up by such luminaries as A.J. Feeley, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis and Mark Sanchez. Therefore, Bradford has found the prospect of a team having the audacity to look to a future without him about as appealing as I find springing for a round of drinks (I may find this very appealing, but I’ve never done it).

If Bradford makes good on his current plan to stay away, this could mean that Chase Daniel and Wentz take some first team snaps, accelerating Wentz’s ascension to the starting job. But let us assume that Sammy Sleeves eventually returns to the Eagles’ nest, and Wentz does indeed redshirt 2016. This would give Wentz practically no fantasy appeal this year.

Does this disqualify him from dynasty consideration? Absolutely not. Dynasty expert Rumford Johnny has Wentz as his third-ranked rookie QB in dynasty rookie drafts while Wentz is the 25th player being taken in dynasty drafts according to DynastyLeagueFootball.com, and the second QB.

Aside from hoping he’ll eventually become the first Eagles quarterback to surpass 4,000 yards passing (McNabb’s 3,916 in 2008 remains a franchise single-season record), Wentz offers that tantalizing prospect to fantasy owners everywhere of being able to use his feet to good effect. As well as passing for 5,115 yards in college, he also added 1,028 yards on the ground, scoring 13 touchdowns.

In 2014, his 642 rushing yards was good for second on the team. Eagles coach Doug Pederson used the zone read on occasion as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, with quarterback Alex Smith rushing for the fourth most yards among quarterbacks in the last two seasons. If the Eagles can re-establish the ground game that served them well in 2013 and 2014, this duality at the quarterback spot gives Wentz huge appeal.

While Jared Goff is most likely to start from the outset, and Paxton Lynch may have fallen into the perfect offensive situation matching his skill set, Wentz is well worth adding and stashing in your rookie drafts. Having a head coach and offensive coordinator who both played quarterback in the NFL (Pederson and Frank Reich) and a steady veteran to take the heat out of the temptation to rush the rookie into action, Wentz should not take a meaningful snap until he is 100% ready to do so…sssuming Bradford sucks it up, that is.

Neil Dutton is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Neil, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ndutton13.

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