Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has named rookie Russell Wilson the starting quarterback of the Seahawks, and, as of this moment, he’s owned in only 22.1% of ESPN fantasy leagues and 24% of Yahoo! leagues. Sweet fancy Moses in a tuxedo suit, you need to go grab him right now if he’s available.
Wilson has flown under the radar for two reasons. 1) He was a backup until today. 2) He’s short. The 5-11 rookie beat out high-priced free agent Matt Flynn for the job, securing it after shredding Kansas City’s starting defense to the tune of 185 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and 58 carries on limited snaps. He’s mobile, accurate, has a strong arm, and is a good leader, and had it not been for the NFL’s weird hatred of short people, one scout says he could have easily been a top-10 pick (he went in the third round).
Is he a fantasy starter? Absolutely not; this is the preseason, after all, and if he performs poorly out of the gate, Carroll may go back to Flynn. But he’s been so impressive in his limited action (his passer rating of 119.4 was tops in the preseason) that he’s worth the flier, especially if you’re in a position similar to mine.
Here’s my deal in fantasy this year: I took a shot with Darren McFadden and Jimmy Graham as my first two picks, then loaded up on WRs and RBs. What that means is that I’m deep at those positions, but my 3-headed platoon of quarterback mediocrity (Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, and Jay Cutler, who may or may not be a cat) isn’t scaring anybody. I really wanted Bob Griffin The Third instead of Cutler, but, alas, he was stolen from me the pick before.
Enter Russell Wilson, who has a similar skill set to Griffin’s, and has had better preseason stats. Take a shot on him if you’re looking for a QB lotto ticket.