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Carson Wentz - How Soon is Too Soon in Redraft?

Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles were arguably the best team in the NFL. With a 13-3 record and a first-place finish in the NFC East, the team from Philly had a lot going for it heading into the playoffs.

However, after an injury to starting quarterback Carson Wentz, the team's playoff hopes were threatened. We all know how that story played out - backup quarterback Nick Foles was able to lead the team to a Super Bowl berth and was the MVP of the game as well. Now, with Wentz recovering from his surgery in the offseason, there are plenty of question marks over who will start the 2018 season as quarterback for the team. All signs point to Wentz, but he is still in the process of recovering from his injury and will likely be held out of the majority of the offseason.

That being said, Wentz (if healthy) will be the team's starting quarterback. This makes him a very solid fantasy force for owners to consider. With an ADP of 71st overall and only two seasons of production, the debate over when to take Wentz in redraft formats is one that will carry on for the majority of the offseason. Let's assess all the facts and figure out what the best spot to take Wentz would be this year.

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Wentz's 2017 Season

Needless to say, nobody expected Wentz to have the season that he did in his second professional season after being picked second overall in 2016. Wentz only played in 13 games, yet according to FantasyData scored the 5th most points for a quarterback last season. In fact, his points per game were tied for the league's best at 21.7 with Russell Wilson (not counting Deshaun Watson, who only played seven games). With 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 3,200+ passing yards, Wentz was an unstoppable force at the helm of an extremely effective Eagles offense. Additionally, the quarterback added 299 rushing yards on 64 attempts. Wentz had a QB rating of 101.9, placing him among the league's best at the position.

It's clear that Wentz has developed into a very good quarterback at the NFL level and experienced a breakout year in 2017. However, this all happened before he tore his ACL, which is a very difficult injury to recover from. Additionally, fellow quarterback Nick Foles was able to take the reins and successfully lead the team to a Super Bowl championship, earning him praise from the staff on the team and the confidence of the locker room.


2018 Recovery and QB Competition

It seems that Wentz has been recovering well from his injury that he sustained at the end of the 2017 season. However, ACL tears are hard to fully recover from, and Wentz will likely miss the entirety of the offseason. Furthermore, his ability to start in Week 1 is still a big question mark at this point. Needless to say, there is considerable risk attached to the third-year quarterback, who only has one year of good production at the NFL level under his belt.

Additionally, fellow quarterback Nick Foles will have an entire offseason to train with the first team and show coaches why he should be the guy in Philadelphia. The veteran quarterback's new contract with the Eagles includes millions in incentives if he is able to be the starting quarterback. This means that Foles has every reason to go for the starting job, and the rapport that he will build with players throughout the offseason gives him a leg up on Wentz (for the time being). However, the Eagles didn't draft Wentz second overall to not play him - it is more than likely that Wentz will be your starting quarterback in the 2018 season after putting up an MVP-caliber 2017 season. The only questions are how much Foles will push him for the starting job and whether Wentz will be available to start the season.


2018 Fantasy Outlook

Right now, Wentz is going 71st overall (according to Fantasy Football Calculator) in redraft leagues. Wentz is the ninth quarterback off the board, behind relatively unproven commodity Jimmy Garoppolo and new Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. If he is able to return to his 2017 form, Wentz has the potential to outperform his ADP and be one of the top quarterbacks at the end of the 2018 season. However, it's safe to assume that his 2017 season is close to his ceiling fantasy-wise, meaning that his current draft position is a good value if you assume some regression. He is going right around where he should be; whether you draft him at his current value is up to you.

Wentz's floor is a mediocre QB1/2 (given the team he plays for and the weapons he is surrounded with as well as his risk of re-injury), and his ceiling is up with the league's best. Therefore, a mid-round pick feels about right for Wentz in redraft formats. However, with the depth at quarterback this year and the draft capital you will spend on a guy like Wentz (who has question marks, as we have discussed), it might be better to wait to draft a quarterback with similar breakout potential like Chiefs signal-caller Pat Mahomes or comeback candidate Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. If you do choose to draft Wentz at his asking price - which again, feels like a good value for him - you should definitely pair him up with a safe option late in order to shore up the position for your team and mitigate Wentz's risk of starting the season on the bench or, however improbable, losing his job to Nick Foles.


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