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Russell Wilson a value among Top Fantasy quarterbacks in 2013
Russell Wilson did a lot more than just surprise the pro football world in 2013. He was one of the biggest sleepers in Fantasy Football, finishing 10th among quarterbacks on NFL.com with 275.62 fantasy points. Wilson's play was especially strong in the most important weeks of the Fantasy playoffs, as he totaled eight combined TDs in Weeks 15 and 16.
Wilson is no longer a secret among fantasy players heading into the 2013 season, but he is not quite being drafted among the elite passers in the game. Wilson's current Average Draft Position on NFL.com is 50.72, and his Average Round is the sixth. But he is going ahead of more established fantasy QBs such as Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford in many drafts. So while Wilson is not quite considered a top-shelf fantasy QB, he is certainly getting the deserved respect in most drafts so far.
Wilson is a very smart choice for a starting fantasy passer at his current ADP. Savvy fantasy owners know that the quarterback position has ideal depth this year when you are looking for a quality starter, and it is usually better to grab running backs and top wide receivers in the earlier rounds. The majority of fantasy leagues require one starting quarterback, while the top RBs disappear early in many drafts, especially when most leagues require two. When you also start two to three wide receivers in most leagues, it's important to build as much depth as possible at that position while waiting until the fourth to sixth rounds to draft your quarterback.
|SEAHAWKS FANTASY HISTORY|
Matt Hasselbeck had the best season ever in Seahawks passing annals in 2007, as he threw for 3,966 yards, 28 TD passes and 12 interceptions. Hasselbeck was certainly a respectable QB1 that year. Dave Krieg threw 32 TD passes in 1984, an era known as the "pen and pad" period, when fantasy players kept scores by hand.
So while others are taking Aaron Rodgers in the second round, or Peyton Manning in the third, as noted by the NFL.com ADPs, you can wait until the sixth to nab Wilson and you will be very happy. In many early mocks and real drafts, I have been able to lurk and land Wilson in the sixth round, and sometimes even the seventh. That's fantastic value for a fantasy QB who is going to be solid, and sometimes spectacular this year.
Wilson may not be a dominant fantasy passer like a Rodgers or Drew Brees, but he is the ideal fantasy starter to complement your top-tier RBs and WRs. You don't need the No. 1 or 2 player at the position to be a top contender. All you need is the likes of Wilson, who is set for another fine season, as he proves his 2012 emergence was no fluke.
I see no real reasons for regression from Wilson, who is a sound decision-maker and does a commendable job of taking what defenses give him. Some fantasy types may "lament" the absence of Percy Harvin, when in reality, Wilson vaulted high above expectations without Harvin last year. Wilson has not lost anything in terms of weaponry, and if Harvin can return late in the season for the fantasy playoffs, such a scenario can only boost Wilson's appeal a bit more during the fantasy postseason.
Wilson will take advantage of any weapons he has, as he demonstrated last season. He also is very judicious when electing to take off and run. His scrambling ability only can lead to more bonus rush yards and TDs in any given week. At No. 9 among Fantasy QBs via NFL.com ADPs, Wilson looks like a fine middle round selection who will not hurt your fantasy team, and sometimes can boost it to victories.
I also have Wilson ninth among quarterbacks in my rankings on RotoExperts.com. That means he is a definite starter in 10 and 12-team leagues, an impressive place to be after just one pro season. Of course, Rodgers and Brees lead the way in my ranks. Rodgers does get a slight edge because of his ability to add rushing numbers and his low interception totals. But neither is going to end up on most of my teams, because I simply refuse to spring for a QB early when I can wait and be very satisfied with a Russell Wilson.
Seahawks Fantasy Running Backs: Lynch still among the very best at running back.
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Peyton Manning is my No. 3 ranked QB, because I believe he is ready for a tremendous year with superb playmakers and a desire to get the Broncos back to the Super Bowl. He is going to be simply brilliant during the regular season again. He is followed in my ranks by Cam Newton, the best fantasy option among the "hybrid" QBs, and Matt Ryan. Tom Brady falls a bit because he has lost some top pass-catchers, and Robert Griffin III is on the rise as positive reports continue to spread regarding his health. I have the somewhat underappreciated Tony Romo just ahead of Wilson in my QB ranks. He's a very good fantasy starter every year.
Colin Kaepernick must prove he can continue to impress without Michael Crabtree. Josh Freeman and Ben Roethlisberger are top selections among fantasy backups. In case of injury, both can function as more than adequate starters. Watch for Ryan Tannehill to possibly rise in production in year two, and Carson Palmer can be better than serviceable if his pass protection holds up. Sam Bradford may need some time to gel with his supporting cast, and could see some bumps in the road early.