The 2021 offseason has just begun and there is already another major trade that has a massive impact on fantasy football. The Indianapolis Colts have acquired quarterback Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz is reunited with his former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and looks to bounce back from a poor 2020 season. Let’s breakdown the impact of this Carson Wentz trade and the impact it has on the fantasy value of the Colt’s offensive players.
Carson Wentz Trade: How He Affects the Roster
Fantasy Impact on Carson Wentz
There is no question that Carson Wentz is coming off of his worst season of football. He had a career-low in QB rating (72.8), completion percentage (57.4), yards (2,620), and TDs (16). One major aspect of why Wentz struggled is his offensive line was the worst in his career. Wentz was sacked 50 times in 12 games last year, 13 more times than in 16 games in 2019.
Back in 2017, when Wentz finished as a top-five quarterback, Wentz was only sacked 28 times. He thrived when he has time to read the field and find the best option, and the Colts provide him that opportunity. The Carson Wentz trade makes sense for Indianapolis as the Colts have one of the best offensive lines in football. They only allowed 19 sacks on an immobile Philip Rivers last year.
2017 was also the last season when Wentz and Reich were together. Wentz has struggled without Reich as his coach, and now that they are reunited. We should see a return to form for Wentz. As of right now, Wentz slots in as a high-end QB2 with upside. With the new weapons around him, a great offensive line, and a strong run game, Wentz is set up for success this upcoming season. The future looks bright for the Colts after the Carson Wentz trade.
Fantasy Impact on Jonathan Taylor
Jonathan Taylor was already coming into the 2021 fantasy football draft season as a top ten option at running back. Wentz will have a positive impact on Taylor even if he does not improve his draft ranking. With Wentz now at quarterback, defenses will have to respect the passing game as well as Wentz’s ability to run the ball.
This will mean fewer eight-man boxes for Taylor which means more running room behind the strong Indianapolis offensive line. Taylor could see an increase in work in the passing game as well. Last season, Taylor saw 39 targets in his 15 games. In 2019, Wentz targeted Miles Sanders 63 times. Nyheim Hines is still a factor in the passing game as well but Taylor is the biggest beneficiary of the Carson Wentz trade to the Colts.
Fantasy Impact on the Colts Receivers
With T.Y. Hilton a free agent, Michael Pittman is set up to become the WR1 in Indianapolis. Pittman showed flashes of potential last year. From week nine onward he averaged over 14 yards per reception on his 30 catches in that time. Pittman will be the outside receiver for Wentz, and in the past, Wentz has heavily relied on this position. Pittman could be a huge benefactor of the Carson Wentz trade.
Back in 2017, Wentz utilized Alshon Jeffery heavily. That year, Jeffery saw 120 targets. If Pittman can see a similar target load from Wentz, he will provide WR2 value for fantasy teams while coming at a discount in drafts.
Parris Campbell will provide the speed and stretch the field for the Colts offense. Even Colt’s GM Chris Ballard has said recently that Campbell will be a “valuable member of this team moving forward.” Campbell will start the season as a boom or bust WR4 for fantasy but has the upside to be much more. If Wentz can bounce back and show consistency, Campbell can be a dangerous weapon. He has the speed and athleticism to take any catch to the endzone and if healthy, will see plenty of targets in this offense. The wide receivers should be thrilled about this Carson Wentz trade.
Fantasy Impact on the Colts Tight Ends
Wentz has always had a preference for targeting his tight ends. Zach Ertz was a fantasy monster during his time with Wentz, seeing eight TDs in both 2017 and 2018. He also had over 100 targets in every full year with Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback. Wentz should continue to utilize the tight end position in Indianapolis. The question comes down to who will be his favorite tight end?
Trey Burton is an unrestricted free agent and Mo Alie-Cox is a restricted free agent. This leaves Jack Doyle as the only tight end currently on the roster. The Colts could add another option at the position, but if they do not, then Doyle could be set up for a big season. Right now, the Carson Wentz trade swings in Doyle’s favor.
Doyle has shown the ability to be a fantasy asset from his time with Andrew Luck. Doyle does not present elite tight end upside even with a large number of targets though. He would be nothing more than a high-end TE2 due to his volume. However, if Indianapolis brings in an option in free agency like Hunter Henry, or through the draft with someone like Pat Freiermuth, then this position has the potential to provide a top ten tight end for fantasy football.
Much of the fantasy potential for the Colts rely on if last season was a fluke for Carson Wentz due to his poor offensive line. It’ll be interesting to see if the Colts can help him bounce back. I fully believe between reuniting with Reich, having a strong offensive line, a solid running game, and young explosive receivers, this could be an offense that will provide a lot of fantasy value in 2021. The Carson Wentz trade was the right choice made by this front office.
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Carson Wentz trade.