NFL News & Analysis

Indianapolis Colts QB Carson Wentz on track to play in 2021 NFL season opener

Jul 28, 2021; Westfield, IN, United States; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz (2) at Grand Park. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich announced quarterback Carson Wentz will be a full participant in practice Wednesday. Assuming all goes well in practice this week, Wentz will play Week 1 when the Colts take on the Seattle Seahawks.

Wentz is just over five weeks removed from surgery that extracted a loose bone from his foot. His original timeline for recovery was 5-to-12 weeks.

Wentz, who was named a team captain Wednesday, also was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list Aug. 30 He was activated Sept. 2.

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BETTING IMPACT

Colts Week 1 spread correction: After opening as 2.5-point favorites, the spread completely flipped for the Colts, who moved to 2.5-point dogs. The spread has dropped slightly down to 1.5 with the latest Wentz news, but it still only seems playable from the Seahawks side based on PFF's projections. PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

Load up on Jonathan Taylor player props: Wentz could be close to immobile, forcing the Colts offense to rely heavily on Taylor. The Seahawks earned the second-best run-defense grade in the league in 2020, but Taylor should go over his Week 1 prop totals on volume alone. PFF's Player Props Tool leverages the latest fantasy projections to reveal betting opportunities within player prop markets.


FANTASY FOOTBALL IMPACT

Michael Pittman's second-year breakout: Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. should be viewed as a breakout candidate who can easily surpass his ADP (WR53) with Wentz back in the fold. As a rookie, he caught seven balls for 101 yards in Week 10 and commanded a season-high nine targets in the Colts' lone playoff game, hauling in five for 90 yards. Click here for PFF fantasy projections. 

A true alpha? Pittman was a fiend with the ball in his hands last year, ranking third among wide receivers in yards after the catch per reception (7.4). The WR1 role is up for grabs in the Indianapolis offense, and Pittman is primed to take over as the true alpha in 2021. Click here for PFF's fantasy rankings. 

Don’t draft Carson Wentz: Even if Wentz is perfectly healthy for Week 1, he's a quarterback to avoid in fantasy drafts — he is a low-upside play even in his new situation in Indianapolis. He has only finished as a top-five QB three in three weeks over the past three seasons, and none occurred last year. Wentz also won’t be helped by his new offense and its bottom-10 receiving corps. Click here for fantasy football QB rankings and tiers. 

Taylor stock up: Wentz's return to the lineup ensures that the Colts' offense will be operating at its highest capacity. The more efficient the offense is, the more scoring opportunities Taylor will see. Have confidence selecting the talented second-year back in the second round as the team leans on him while Wentz gets acclimated to his new surroundings. Click here for fantasy football RB rankings and tiers. 

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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