Every Eagles fan and many fantasy owners worst nightmares were confirmed today.
#Eagles coach Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz has a torn ACL. He’s out.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 11, 2017
With Wentz lost for the year we need to examine the impact this will have on the other fantasy assets on the Philadelphia Eagles roster.
Taking a look at Foles’ career stats on Profootballreference.com shows one magical season… then a whole lot of nothing after that.
Foles 2013 season was nothing short of incredible. In only 10 starts he threw for 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. As an Eagles fan, I can tell you that stat line is incredibly deceiving. Everything that could break right for Foles that season broke right. Foles had numerous touchdowns to Riley Cooper where defenders just fell down leaving the wide receiver wide open. Foles also had multiple passes where he threw the ball up to an area congested with WRs and DBs and somehow had an Eagle come down with the ball. On at least 5 occasions that season DBs allowed easily interceptable balls just slip through their hands.
Nothing Foles has done that season has garnered much confidence in him. Can the Eagles win with Foles? Yes, they can. The run game is going to need to play the largest part in this equation to help limit Foles exposure. If the Eagles can limit Foles to around 25 pass attempts a game then I think he can be a streamable QB in 1 QB leagues and a definite starter in Superflex leagues. Again, if Foles can limit his mistakes and utilize Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Alshon Jeffery he can produce decent fantasy totals.
Nelson Agholor will see the most significant negative impact with the loss of Wentz. One of Wentz’s best skills was extending a play with his feet, and Agholor often ended up with the ball on these plays. Agholor is excellent at coming back to his QB when he’s in trouble. Agholor scored two touchdowns against the Seahawks in week 13 on broken plays. Foles does not have the mobility to extend plays, and this will hurt Agholor.
Alshon Jeffery should continue to be the leading target on the team, and I don’t see this injury destroying his fantasy points. Nick Foles is prone to make throws he shouldn’t make, Alshon Jeffery is excellent on 50/50 balls, and I can see him coming down with multiple receptions that leave coaches and fans shaking their heads. Zach Ertz should also be a start even with Foles in there instead of Wentz.
Overall volume should drop for all of the Eagles pass catchers which is obviously going to impact their scoring, but it’s hard to determine exactly how much. In addition to the volume decreasing there are just passes that Foles can’t make that Wentz does. Here’s a couple of specific examples:
— Kirk Hollingsworth (@theUSC) December 10, 2017
Yes this an amazing catch by Jeffery, but Foles doesn’t even get the ball in a position for Jeffery to make this play.
On this touchdown pass to Trey Burton, Wentz lets it go to a spot knowing/expecting Burton to get there and make the catch. Foles is not adept at plays such as this.
— Blockchain & Tackling (@KheeLee) December 11, 2017
If the Eagles want to win, the best option available to them is running the ball 30-35 times a game. It seems like having three talented RBs should enable them to do so. Jay Ajayi coming off an Eagle career-high 15 carries on Sunday needs to see 20-25 touches a game from here on out. Ajayi is the most talented and well-rounded RB on the roster. The Eagles need to feed him the ball, plain and simple. Ajayi should have an opportunity to win someone a fantasy championship over the next two weeks.
Corey Clement should see 10 carries a game. Clement is a powerful runner who follows his holes and is quicker than he appeared in college. Clement excels in the screen pass game, and the Eagles would be well served to expand on his usage in the passing game. Sunday saw Clement take a screen for 28 yards early and then see not one more target the rest of the day. I’ve been touting Clement all season and if used properly can provide some flex appeal these last few weeks.
LeGarrette Blount should be used as the hammer. Goal line carries, 3rd and short, to help salt away the clock. That’s it. Blount should see 5-10 carries a game.
In speaking with DFFs own @DPT_fjeldy he noted that Wentz shouldn’t see any long-term complications from the torn ACL. The doc noted that both Tom Brady and Philip Rivers have been able to return and thrive after suffering the same injury. Though Wentz is a more mobile QB than both those players the point still holds. My hope is in the future Wentz will limit his scrambling. Mobility is a great weapon for a QB to utilize, I just prefer he utilize it within the pocket going forward.
Thank you for reading. Give me a follow on Twitter if you’d like @DFF_Shane.