Carson Wentz is repaying the Colts’ faith in him
The Indianapolis Colts have struggled to a 3-5 record, but Wentz has been efficient and a noticeable upgrade over 2020 starter Philip Rivers. The shine around Wentz looked as if it dulled significantly last season, as he completed a disappointing 57.4% of his passes. In 12 games with the Eagles, he threw for 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Yet, through eight games this season, Wentz’s completion percentage is at 62.2%, and he has already thrown 14 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions.
Unfortunately, the improved performances haven’t translated into elite fantasy football production. One of the big reasons for this is that Wentz’s rushing production is down considerably from last season.
In 2020, Wentz averaged 4.3 rushing attempts and 23 rushing yards per game. Most importantly, he rushed for 5 touchdowns in 12 games. This season, he is averaging 3.1 rushing attempts and just 13.5 yards per game. He also only has 1 rushing touchdown in eight games.
Wentz hasn’t let fantasy managers down but hasn’t elevated himself to becoming a guaranteed weekly starter, either. He’s the QB12, despite the Colts not having their bye week yet. Of those quarterbacks who have played more than two games, Wentz is the QB16 in points per game. Additionally, he is coming off a 3-touchdown performance against the Tennessee Titans, although he did throw 2 interceptions in the 34-31 overtime defeat.
The Colts’ offense is coming together
The Colts’ receivers have been playing well recently, but they’ll be without one of their top options for Thursday Night Football. T.Y. Hilton has been ruled out of the game with a concussion, which he sustained on Sunday in only his second game of the year.
Wentz is used to playing without him, but Hilton had 4 catches for 80 yards in his season debut and could have played a crucial role in the offense.
Michael Pittman Jr. has been the star of the offense. Wentz has targeted him 65 times, and the two are developing chemistry. Wentz will likely continue to do so against the Jets, but other playmakers can also cause problems. Zach Pascal is a solid second receiver who has established himself as a reliable option.
Elsewhere, Wentz has spread the ball around between running backs and tight ends, with Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, Jack Doyle, and Mo Alie-Cox all acting as safety nets at times to keep the offense moving.
Should you start Wentz in Week 9?
Despite their record, the Jets have performed reasonably well against quarterbacks in fantasy this season. They’re currently allowing the 13th-most points per game to the position. That’s not to say that they’re a good defense, though.
The main issue with playing QBs against the Jets is that they’re allowing the most fantasy points to running backs. The ground game is the path of least resistance for offensive coordinators, and they’re using RBs to torch New York’s defense.
Fantasy managers shouldn’t be scared by the matchup, but there could be quarterbacks on the waiver wire in more appealing situations.
Wentz is currently the QB11 and 11th overall player in our Week 9 fantasy football rankings. He’s a borderline starter in most 1QB leagues but a good option in superflex.
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