It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We start off with the quarterbacks. Russell Wilson changed teams this season, as the Seahawks traded him to Denver for a bevy of picks, Noah Fant, and something called a “Drew Lock.” Russ steps into a situation that will actually let him cook for a whole season, with comparable weapons to those he had in Seattle. Is it the return of slam dunk top-five quarterback Russell Wilson in 2022? Let’s take a look at his prospects.
Russell Wilson ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: QB9, 76 overall
Average Auction Value: $3.4
Russell Wilson Statistics:
|Year||4 PPTD||6 PPTD||4 PPTD/G||6 PPTD/G||Year||Att||Yd||TD||YPC||Att/G||Yd/G|
aDOT+ represents a player’s depth of target compared to the league average for that season. Air yards data is from FTNFantasy.com/air-yards
2022 Russell Wilson Fantasy Football Overview:
Russell Wilson missed games for the first time in 2021, as he suffered from a mallet finger due to his hand colliding with a helmet on a pass. He, in typical Russell Wilson fashion, returned far too soon and was an active detriment to the Seahawks for most of the games upon his return. Prior to the injury, Wilson averaged 261 passing yards, and 2.3 touchdowns, with zero interceptions. Upon his return, those numbers dipped to 213 yards per game, with 1.7 touchdowns, and 0.6 picks per game. This includes getting back to form in weeks sixteen and seventeen, where he had nearly 500 passing yards and 7 touchdowns.
Damaged finger or not, Russell Wilson’s 2021 pass volume was on pace for 486 targets, the fewest since he threw the ball 427 times in 2018. That’s just not conducive to fantasy football production from the quarterback. Over the last five seasons, Wilson averaged just 31.5 pass attempts per game, which would have ranked 22nd last season, just between Lamar Jackson and Trevor Siemian. Now, he moves to Denver, with Nathaniel Hackett, who spent his last few years in Green Bay alongside Aaron Rodgers. To say that he will Let Russ Cook is an understatement, as he didn’t step on his shine. But, Rodgers and the Packers weren’t at the top of pass attempt leaderboards; Rodgers attempted just 3 more pass attempts per game under Hackett than Wilson has thrown in the last three years.
So we will see a bit of a step forward from Russ in the pass attempts category, but with both Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon returning, it’s likely we see a two-back system in Denver, just like Hackett ran with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams before running it with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. What I will enjoy, however, is increased play calling proficiency. The Seahawks tied themselves to slowing the ball down and dragging the game through the muck. The Broncos will do no such thing.
2022 Russell Wilson Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Russell Wilson is an incredible value in salary cap drafts, going for less than $3 per Yahoo!, and he’s QB11 off the board per FantasyPros average draft position stats. Do you know what he finished last year, with all the nonsense flying around his finger? QB13. He’s getting a two-spot bump in the rankings for everything about his situation improving. And because of that, Wilson is a QB that I like at his draft price. There’s really no reason to not like him, the AFC West is going to be a bloodbath thanks to all the offenses, he has weapons at his disposal, and a coach who isn’t afraid to let it rip.
The only thing that hinders Wilson at this point is that he doesn’t have top-six upside any longer. He turns 34 this season and sneakily stopped running last year, averaging just 13.1 rush yards per game after averaging over 28 rush yards per game in the four seasons prior. Wilson is essentially a lock for 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns, which will put him firmly in the top-eight at the position, but the upside to be a league winner doesn’t seem to exist. He’s a solid fallback option in this range, who you won’t regret taking due to his narrow range of outcomes.
Best Case Scenario:
The Broncos Let Russ Cook and he goes for 4,500 passing yards and 45 touchdowns.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Broncos Let Russ Cook and he opens a chain of fast-casual restaurants in the greater Denver Area called “Broncos Country.” He finds his true love: creating the perfect hamburger. Somehow, through all of this, he’s somehow still weird about when he and Ciara have sex.
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