When the topic of elite fantasy football quarterbacks has been brought up this offseason, fantasy football fans and analysts alike have been pointing at two players: Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck.
While I do agree that those players are undoubtedly the number one and two players at the position, I don’t think the gap between them and number three is necessarily that big. In fact, I would argue that the gap between number two and number three is a smaller gap then the difference between number three and four. This “number three” guy I’m referring to, ironically also wears the number three on his jersey. This player, of course, is Russell Wilson.
Last season Wilson finished third amongst quarterbacks in total fantasy points, and he did so on a team that had a run first and win the field position battle mentality. Wilson outscored consistent fantasy monsters like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, all while throwing the ball about 150 and 200 times less than the aforementioned superstars. How did he score so high while throwing the ball so few times? Simple, Wilson took care of the football and used his legs to score A TON of points. With the same coaching philosophies in place in Seattle I expect similar results from Wilson this season.
With the addition of Jimmy Graham to Seattle’s offense Wilson’s passing totals are sure to exceed last year’s production. Graham’s inclusion to the Seattle system will assuredly translate to more touchdown passes, and yards out of Wilson. Teams attempting to double cover Graham in the red-zone, and quite frankly anywhere on the field, will also give Wilson more running lanes and rushing opportunities. While it is difficult to imagine Wilson exceeding his 849 rushing yards from last season, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It also is certainly within the realm of possibility that Wilson will exceed his rushing touchdown total (6) from last season, directly because of the addition of Graham to their offense.
Make no mistake about it, Seattle will have one of the hardest offenses to defend in the NFL this season. I believe that not only Wilson’s, but also Graham’s and Lynch’s fantasy production will be a testament to that statement.
In terms of tiers, Wilson is either at the bottom of the first tier of quarterbacks, or at the top of the second tier of quarterbacks (depending if you’re a glass is half-empty or half-full kinda guy). The nice thing about Wilson compared to Rodgers and Luck (the two quarterbacks ranked ahead of him), is where Wilson is being drafted on average compared to the other two. Rodgers and Luck are typically being drafted in the second round, with an ADP (average draft position) of about 15 and 18 respectfully. Whereas Wilson is being taken late round four or even into round five, and has an ADP of about 48.
If Wilson is available in the fifth round of your draft (talking about 12 team leagues here, look at the ADP and adjust the rounds if you play in league with more or less teams) you may seriously want to consider taking him. It will give you a decided edge over everyone who picks a quarterback after you, and you should already possess a decided edge over the two schmucks who took their quarterbacks before you.
Hopefully this was informative for anyone on the fence about Wilson, or was looking to get an elite fantasy quarterback without doling out a second round pick for it. Any fantasy football questions? Post in the comments, or hit me up on twitter @EmpeyJoel and I’ll be sure to answer you!