In Philadelphia, we have drama that even Hollywood couldn’t create! How it all started...the 2020 draft! The majority of our fanbase was baffled, I would dare say apoplectic in the second round selection of Jalen Hurts. After all, we just had our “franchise” QB, Carson Wentz throw for over 4,000 yards, while doing so to an unheralded wide receiving corps that had no members achieve over 500 yards. A feat, never done before! Additionally, he had a very respectable TD to interception ratio of 27 to 7! Dare I mention the monster contract he signed just a year earlier! Yet the befuddling pick of Hurts, when players like Denzel Mims, and Jk Dobbins were on the board to sure up the offense. Or, if getting the best available talent to help a need on defense, the fine safety, Jeremy Chinn was available. Even modest trades could have been made to perhaps secure a Chase Claypool type talent?
Despite this decision, it is my opinion, Hurts was drafted out of fear that Wentz would inevitably get injured? Although not his fault, the cheap shot to his head by Clowney in the Wild Card round, once again had us wondering, “Could this kid ever take us on a deep run?” So was Hurts, an overthought pick, as an injury insurance policy? Or, perhaps as trade capital if Wentz performed back to his 2017 form? It had to be one of those 2 reasons...right?
Entertaining the innuendo of management does not like Wentz, or Pederson does not like Wentz, or the locker room ultimately does not like Wentz, or Wentz was uncomfortable with Hurts in the background, is just that, innuendo! Regardless if he is a diva that is tough on coaches, or has entitlement issues is irrelevant! Truthfully, many quarterbacks, or star players are “Grade A Jerks”! None of that matters if you win! However, when you play poorly, and the team does not win, then innuendo, and such fodder become headlines.
The fact that it was god awful play that led to Hurts finally starting, a fall from grace that I have never seen in my 40 plus years of watching sports, and not an injury, is what made this a “B” movie, Hollywood script!
Now what? Trade Carson, and get killed financially with dead cap money? Build up Hurts’s value, and trade an affordable player under control, for great draft capital; hoping coaching changes can fix a broken Wentz? Or, bring them both back, and let them compete, and may the best QB win-to have probably an untenable situation!
What logic, what reason, what data, what strategy can we use to make this difficult decision!
Easy...Daily Fantasy Sport or DFS statistics, particular Draft King numbers! Who thought it could be so easy?
A quick education into DFS fantasy play regarding football. In a nutshell, you draft players weekly, based on an assigned price amount given to that player. You try to use your savvy to project the best lineup of various position players, which is capped, and achieve the best possible point total to win some money. A player’s assigned value can fluctuate based on success, failure, or steady play. For QB, regardless of formulas that will bore you, such as 2.5x their value is a good score, etc., I’ll just say 20-30 points is good, above 30 points is great, and above 40 points is awesome! Below 20 points, and you had better hope some of your other players have monster weeks, or your team will “crap the bed”!
With this in mind, I dug deep to look at Carson’s Draft King numbers since his arrival into the league. After reviewing the data, my decision became rather easy. Let’s take a look…
In his rookie year with normalcy regarding voluntary/ involuntary camps, training camp, pre-season games (he did injure his ribs if you recall) etc., Carson ultimately became the starter after Teddy Bridgewater’s horrific injury, which led to the trading of Sam Bradford. Carson’s first game was against the woeful Cleveland Browns. His DFS total in his first start, a respectable 19.2 points. Not great, but for a rookie, again, respectable. His next 3 games were against 2 bad teams, and a very good Steelers team. Ironically, his best point total was against Pittsburgh, with 24 points. His first 4 game DFS point average was 18.45 points. I stress the first 4 games, because ultimately, that is how many games Hurts will start to perhaps give us a fair comparison? Carson’s entire first year average, 15.06! Not very good!
2017, the best Carson we have seen! His best DFS game was mid year against Washington, with a 32 point performance. His worst game, a 13.2 point game vs. the Giants. Ultimately, before his season ending injury, his year end average was a modest 23.36 points.
2018, and Carson had his best game against a bad Jaguars team, accumulating 25.6 points. Again, solid, but not great. His worst game, a dismal 3.8 points against a terrific Saints team. His 11 game average, after his back injury, an underwhelming 20.13 points. Obviously, we all thought Carson was not himself after the knee injury. Then one could argue his mediocre stretch before his year ended, was because of the bad back?
2019, and what was in my opinion the start of the downfall? What! He threw for 4,000 yards to awful receivers, and had 27 TDs, and led them to the playoffs! Agreed, but most of that year he was mediocre, and had Ertz, and Goedert. Great QBs make players better than they look, and fans shouldn’t use lack of talent around them as an excuse! Make that talent look better than they are! P. Manning, Rodgers, Brady, and Brees have made no name receivers look better than average! I digress, how did Carson perform regarding his DFS numbers? His best DFS game was the opening game against Washington, with 28 points. His worst game was against Dallas with 9.8 points. It also should be pointed out, he had that 4 game stretch at the end, to get the birds into the playoffs, against 4 bad teams-The Giants (23.9 points), Washington (22.5 points), Dallas (22 points), and the Giants again (17.1 points). Again, no spectacular performances, just ugly wins vs. bad teams. His year end DFS average was 23.31, very similar to 2017.
This year as we know has been a disaster! Yes, the offensive line has been decimated, and have played awful. Yes, the Reagor pick has us all wanting Jefferson, and Aiyuk! That being said, film study has shown countless times Carson missing wide open receivers, making the wrong reads, and not making smart decisions with the football (taking unnecessary sacks, awful interceptions, and not throwing the ball away). Actually, some of his DFS stats were not bad. I attribute that to constant catch up mode, and garbage time, inconsequential TDs. His best game was the comeback win against the Giants with 31.8 points. A great DFS performance, but if you recall, he played 3 horrific quarters before the hapless Giants let him tease us at the end. His worst game, 5 points against Green Bay before finally getting pulled. His worst full game was 8.7 points against the Giants in their second clash. His average before his apparent season ending benching, 18.37 points. As of this article, a career average of 20.04 points! Just Meh!
Enter Jalen Hurts. In less than 2 quarters of play in his debut, he had 10.3 points. Project that over a full game, and over 20 points. Hurts benefited from a Packers team not necessarily prepared for his skill set, but he also was at a disadvantage being thrust into a tough situation. His first full start against the Saints, arguably the NFC’s best defense, 23.3 points! Game 2, another solid defense in the Cardinals, who the week prior, had 8 sacks and 3 turnovers against the resurgent Giants. How did Hurts do...40.82 points! His second full game! No person is as level headed as me when it comes to tempering expectations. I’ve been on multiple podcasts saying as much. However, all DFS models jacked up his value to a top 5 QB. The week leading up to his 40.82 performance, he was a bottom tier value. Many experts have him as a top 5 QB this week, and many more say he is a must start in your beer league fantasy championship game! That is unheard of! The trend should continue against a bad defensive team in Dallas. Washington's defense brings a challenge to end the year, but again, most experts expect this trend to continue.
Let's give Hurts a modest scenario of 25-30 points to finish out the year, per game. Even with that, his first 4 game DFS average should blow away Carson’s first 4 games. And remember, Carson started off against 3 bad teams, and had a full offseason of preparation. Even to further drive this point home, based on his potential strong finish, many models already have him as a top 5 QB draft for fantasy next year!
I get it, this is no way to evaluate your players, it is just a cute, tongue and cheek way to measure a QB. Plus, the sample size on Hurts is too small! Just assume projections please! At the same time, DFS does show performance! And if your QB is a projected top 5 QB pick in fantasy, that bodes well for his performance, and ultimately the team!
So, don’t ask Howie, don’t listen to the radio, just read this article, and tell me, who should be our QB next year?!
By Dan Green, @dmgteach on Twitter