College Career/Draft Team
I feel like it's been wiped from history, but Russell Wilson actually started his career at NC State, starting his first three years there, racking up 8,545 passing yards and 109 touchdowns to only 30 interceptions. But his senior season, Tom O'Brien made the choice to go with Mike Glennon, opening the way for Wilson to transfer, which he did quite successfully to Wisconsin; winning the Big Ten Championship, playing in the Rose Bowl, and finishing 9th in the Heisman voting.
When entering the 2012 draft process, Wilson's results on the field spoke volumes, but there were a lot of questions about his size and ability to throw into NFL windows. I think we know how that turned out, but because of size and arm strength concerns, Wilson fell to the third round and was the 6th QB taken off the board to the Seattle Seahawks at pick 75.
Good? Yeah pretty good. Wilson has started all 9 seasons for the Seahawks, never winning less than 9 games. They have two division titles, two super bowl appearances, and a Super Bowl ring to show for it. Wilson has been to the Pro Bowl 7 times, and while he has never won the league MVP, he's been in the running on four separate occasions.
Wilson has an all-time 267 to 81 touchdown to interception ratio. He's had a QBR higher than 70 four times and has only dropped below 60 once. He's one of the most consistent QBs year over year and he's never missed a game of the 160 he's been eligible to play. In fantasy, there's not much more you can ask than consistent points and no games missed. Wilson has been a star.
2020 was one of Russel Wilson's best fantasy seasons to date. He put up a career-high forty touchdowns (and a career-high 13 picks but still a good ratio.) He also had nearly a career-high in passing yards with 4,212 and chipped in 513 rushing yards and two touchdowns on top of that. He finished 7th overall in fantasy points in PPR leagues, and 6th for the QB position, only a combined 28 points back of Watson, Mahomes, and Rodgers.
What the total numbers don't show is a tale of two halves of the season for Wilson. He's started off on fire, placing in the top 6 QBs six times out of the first seven weeks, but then cooled down considerably, managing zero such appearances in week 8 and after. The Seahawks took a much run heavier approach down the stretch, which seemed somewhat inadvisable when you have Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf on the outside, but that's why they pay Pete Carroll the big bucks and not me.
The off-season was pretty up and down for Wilson, who had some thoughts about the offense that mirrored my comment above. Still, Wilson is back for his 10th season with the Seahawks and offers one of the more reliable options at the fantasy quarterback position.
The offense looks relatively the same, always a plus when you are trying to correctly project out what a quarterback is going to do. The offensive line is… fine. Which actually is the best Wilson has had in his entire career. It ended the season ranked 14th in PFF's offensive line rankings and 16th as a pass-blocking unit, which, again, was the highest-ranking of an O-Line for pass blocking since Wilson has been in Seattle. The Seahawks return the same core, with the only real question mark at left guard. Expect this unit to once again be solid but unspectacular, which should be enough to keep Wilson firmly in the QB1 tier.
The skill positions remain a major strength. Chris Carson is back at running back after an injury-plagued 2020. He continues to develop his three-down game, and if he can stay healthy, should be one of the best in the league. The rest of the depth chart is just OK, and Carson's injury history gives some pause, but the running game should remain strong.
The real sexy part of this offense is the wide receiver position. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are quietly one of the best one-two punches in the league. Each can play multiple positions, run all the routes, and take the top off a defense. The Seahawks also added two of my favorite rookie wide receivers in D'Wayne Eskridge and Cade Johnson. I expect Eskridge to make an impact right away and further enhance the weapons at Wilsons' disposal.
All this to say, the Seahawks have the goods to be an elite passing and scoring offense next year. The main question is, will the coaching staff let it? Pete Carroll absolutely loves pounding the rock, in many cases, to his own offenses detriment. And he's already been quoted saying that the Seahawks need to run the ball more effectively in 2021. But new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron studied under Sean McVay who very much has a, "pass the ball to set up the run" mindset to his game. So where do we net out?
It's a cop-out but I'd say somewhere in the middle. I think the head coach's propensity to run the ball will win out on many occasions, capping Wilson's upside. However, there are too many good players, and a potential pass-first offensive coordinator, to let Wilson's value slide too much. That puts Wilson firmly in the QB1 conversation but not quite on the Mahomes/Allen tier. Call him QB6..
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