Fantasy Football Player Notes
Week 1 Rankings
This is a new Washington team, something Wentz wishes wasn't the case, as they've been a team he's routinely dominated. Over the last three years, he's played them five times, averaging 292.0 passing yards and 15.8 rushing yards, with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Those are QB1 numbers. Under Ron Rivera, will those numbers change? Most likely, yes. However, it is their first game with the new scheme, and they've had no actual game experience. Their secondary has a brand-new look, as they've moved on from Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar, and are moving forward with Ronald Darby, Kendall Fuller, and Fabian Moreau. There's likely to be some miscommunications early on, though their front-seven is nasty, and may not offer Wentz a whole lot of time. Between Matt Ioannidis, DaRon Payne, Jonathan Allen, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat, they're going to bring the pressure. It does help that the Eagles have one of the better offensive lines in football and that there will be no home-field advantage with crowd noise. Referencing stats about Washington last year won't do us any good, but I can give you this about Wentz: He's posted QB1-type numbers in at least 50 percent of his games in each of the last three years. The only other quarterback who can say that is Deshaun Watson. Knowing the variables on Washington's defense, I'll side with Wentz in this battle and say he can be started as a low-end QB1. The issue with relying on a massive performance? He's down his top two receivers (Alshon Jeffery and most likely Jalen Reagor) and has even dealt with an injury of his own during training camp.
Have we hit the point with Rivers where he's on the decline in his career? I mean, not everyone is Tom Brady or Drew Brees playing well into their 40s. Rivers will turn 39 in December, so it's possible we've already witnessed the beginning of the end. Now insert an offseason that includes no real game action to build chemistry with the receivers, and you might have a disaster. If there's hope, it's the Jaguars defense. Actually, if you wanted to find one game where Rivers played extremely well last year, he completed 16-of-22 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns against them in Week 14. They were bad enough then, but the Jaguars lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and A.J. Bouye this offseason. Sure, they tried addressing the defense in the draft, but relying on rookies to start is never a great thing, especially with no NFL preseason action. Rivers has experience in Frank Reich's offense (2014-2015), so it's not all new to him. You can also hang your hat on the fact that the Jaguars allowed 10 quarterbacks to post at least 15.1 fantasy points against them last year. The Colts are projected for 26.5 points in this game, so there's a shot he delivers more value, but as is the case with most players on new teams, I'm approaching with caution. He should offer a decent floor as a middling QB2, but this is likely to be a run-heavy gameplan.