The Philadelphia Eagles looked like they were punting 2016 after naming rookie quarterback Carson Wentz their Week 1 starter. Sixty minutes into the season, they look like geniuses.
Wentz looked ready to handle the NFL rigors Sunday, leading the Eagles to a dominant 29-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. He threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Jordan Matthews seven times for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Mathews added 77 yards and a score on the ground, and the Eagles outscored the Browns 16-3 in the second half.
Here is a look at how all three should fare from a fantasy perspective going forward.
|Carson Wentz Stats|
Outside of two-quarterback leagues and keeper formats, it's best to avoid rookie quarterbacks. This remains the case. Wentz doesn't offer much from a running perspective, so he's not going to offer value in the weeks when he, you know, looks like a rookie.
The Browns have the worst collection of talent in the NFL. It's not even close. If you were looking for a best-case scenario for Wentz to make his debut, this was it. Sunday's game had no relevance from a fantasy perspective other than to say he likely won't be hurting Matthews or Mathews.
|Ryan Mathews Stats|
As long as he's healthy, Mathews is getting the work. That's the takeaway. His 22 carries were 17 more than his next-closest competitor, Darren Sproles, and Mathews was on the field for nearly every first and second down.
Mathews wasn't particularly effective on his carries, though. His longest run went for seven yards, and he finished with 3.5 yards per carry against a bad Browns defense. Kenjon Barner seemed to add life to the offense every time he replaced Mathews. Mathews also didn't see a single pass thrown his way, so he's shaky in points-per-reception formats.
In standard leagues, though, he's a solid RB2 until he proves otherwise.
|Jordan Matthews Stats|
Matthews had a spectacular Week 1 last year before settling into mediocrity, but there's little reason to believe Sunday's performance was a fluke. He's in his third NFL season, has shown consistent improvement every year and didn't have any outlier catch that spiked his numbers.
Deployable every week in PPR formats, Matthews has a shot at establishing himself as a high-end WR2 in 2016. He's the Eagles' top target, doubling any other player's targets with 14. You won't see much in the way of big plays, but Matthews probably didn't go high enough in most drafts.