(It’s probably very apparent already that I am an eagles fan, and as such, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t spend some time hating on the cowboys.)
I’ve been looking over a lot of projections for fantasy QB’s and for the life of me I cannot figure out why there is such a discrepancy between Carson Wentz’s projections and Dak Prescott’s projections (from here on out they will be referred to by first name only because me Carson and Dak are buddies.) I get that Dak had a VERY productive fantasy year last year and Carson left players a little…wanting, but at a quick glance this off season I can’t at all understand how people are projecting those trends to continue. Both are second year players, both are in the same division, and both have something to prove, so lets delve into some comparisons on these guys and figure out why everyone loves Dak and why Carson is sailing under the radar.
A look at the eagle’s off season:
The eagles were absolute sweaty garbage in the receiving department last year. Not sort of sweaty. Not kind of garbage. ABSOLUTE SWEATY GARBAGE. Red zone efficiency was horrible, drops were rampant, mental game was shaky at best. So, this off season the team shelled cash dollars to bring a red zone monster of a WR in Alshon Jeffery and a deep ball pro In Torrey Smith. Adding two veteran wide outs will pull pressure off Jordan Matthews (a guy who has no problem hitting 8 touchdowns a season) and Zach Ertz (a top 5 TE last season) mid field, and if those guys are ALL in check, there still is the possibility of passing to the RB which is something the team should excel at with Darren Sproles and Darren Sproles lite (Donnell Pumphrey). All I see there are the touchdown/yardage equivalent of dollar signs in my eyes.
As if that wasn’t enough, they added depth on the offensive line (a line that pro football focus is projecting to be the best in the league this year*) and will have their starting left tackle back in Lane Johnson (a guy that directly impacted the eagles success rate with a 5-1 record with him on the field and 2-8 when he was not on the field.) *yeah ok I get it, it’s way too early to accurately make these calls but it’s still a f
All these changes should easily equal out to a passing game that will remain high volume with better red zone targets, less drops, and more accurate passing without Carson having to scramble as much from the pocket. If you can’t see the narrative for a solid passing year there, then I’m not sure what to tell you.
Now for the Dak hate:
I cannot argue that Dak’s season was phenomenal last year. He was very efficient with his throws, had an extremely low turnover rate, and was playing behind one of the leagues best offensive lines which gave him plenty of time to best execute every throw/run.
This offseason has seen very little change for Dak except the decline of the cowboys amazing offensive line. With a retired Doug Free and a traded Ronald Leary, Dallas’ line took some hits and left at least one major hole in the left guard spot. This won’t spell disaster for the cowboys offense, but it certainly won’t operate as smoothly as it did before, and with one of the worst schedules for a passer, I don’t see a future where Dak is in the top three for fewest interceptions at the end of the season (like some of our esteemed fantasy footballers have projected him.)
On top of poking holes in the o-line, Dallas has done nothing to shore up the numbers in their receiving corps, leaving the only big name to be Dez Bryant. Cole Beasley had a good rapport with Dak last season so that helps, but with an aging (ageless?) Jason Witten and no other real names in town, receivers are thin for the cowboys. Sure, Zeke is solid in the receiving game, but most defenses know where Dallas’ weapons are and will plan appropriately.
Overall, I just don’t know how Dak is ranked so highly in projections and Carson Wentz is sooo low comparatively. I’ve heard nothing but extremely positive things coming from fantasy pros all around about Dak and the only way to buy into that idea is that Dak is a truly elite NFL talent, and frankly, one year of accurately tossing passes does not a QB 1 make (cough cough 2013-Nick-Foles cough cough).
If you’re at your draft a QB 2 spot comes rolling around, hopefully this helps direct you towards a QB with some real upside and not just a guy who will be ok on the season!