Russell Wilson Fantasy Impact 2022
Let’s be honest, the Russell Wilson trade has fantasy football impacts that are going to be felt throughout the fantasy football landscape in the 2022 NFL season.
Fortunately for the Denver Broncos, this will be a positive cataclysmic shift in fantasy fortunes for every offensive position.
Check out Gridiron Experts Fantasy Rankings for 2022
- Draft Rankings (Top 250)
- Quarterback Rankings
- Running Back Rankings
- Wide Receiver Rankings
- Tight End Rankings
You aren’t drafting an offensive line position, but you are drafting a quarterback who was under pressure on 37% of his dropbacks last season.
Now he will play behind an offensive line that only allowed 165 total pressures which was 15th best in NFL per Pro Football Focus.
What helps Wilson, helps his wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs, causing a positive impact throughout the Rocky Mountain landscape and beyond.
When talking about wide receivers and fantasy impact the first name most think of is Jeudy. Perhaps rightly so, Jeudy the 15th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft is the youngest of the (no disrespect to KJ Hamler)
of the potential breakout receiving candidates in Denver.
Last season Jeudy injured his ankle during training camp and missed six games. He still demonstrated his potential.
In the 10 games he ranked in the 96th percentile in separation.
His stats for the 2021 season:
10 games, 56 targets, 38 rec, 467 yards, 12.3 yards per reception
Although his current ADP ranks below Jeudy’s (8.05 to 7.10 respectively), Sutton’s skill set may best mirror Wilson’s talents. Don’t get twisted, Wilson has demonstrated he can lift more than one wide receiver to fantasy relevance. Per ProFootballMania, over the last four seasons, Wilson has supported five top 24 finishes in fantasy per points per game at the wide receiver position. Now that his pool of reliable pass catchers has expanded to five (or more), the question is which one will lead.
according to Next Gen Stats, since 2016, ranks first in passes of 20+ air yards.
Sutton’s stats for the 2021 season:
16 games, 98 targets, 58 rec, 776 yards, 13.4 yards per reception
The forgotten man in all the wide receiver talk is Patrick. Patrick’s current ADP is 164, that’s too low, for a man who has outproduced Jeudy in fantasy points the last two years. Patrick has also been consistently targeted in the red zone.
His 2021 stats:
16 games, 85 targets, 53 receptions, 734 yards, 13.8 yards per receptions
SIDE-BY-SIDE WIDE RECEIVER COMPARISONS
RUSSELL WILSON PASS ATTEMPT RATES PER PFF
DEEP BALL (20+ YARDS)
INTERMEDIATE PASS ATTEMPTS (10-19 YARDS)
Wilson excels at getting the ball deep. Last season Wilson lead the league in air yards per pass attempt (10.1) ad ranked fifth in deep passes attempted (77). He finished with a deep ball completion percentage 36.4% and a red zone completion percentage of 53.1%.
2021 WIDE RECEIVERS’ PERCENTAGE OF TARGETS BASED ON PASS DEPTH PER PFF
SHARES/OPPORTUNITIES PER PLAYER PROFILER
|AVERAGE DEPTH OF TARGETS||10.5||11.8||15.7|
|# DEEP TARGETS||6||18||29|
|# RED ZONE TARGETS||3||11||11|
2021 QB COMPARISON PER PLAYER PROFILER (What they had and what they are getting)
|NAME||PASS ATTEMPTS||DEEP BALL||DEEP BALL COMPLETION %||RED ZONE||RED ZONE COMPLETION %||AIR YARDS PER ATTEMPT|
The Denver’s wide receivers are getting an upgrade in quarterback. It is an upgrade that will reflect positively in your fantasy line-ups if you choose wisely.
Okwuegbunam was in a ‘time share’ with Noah Fant last season. Fant amassed 90 targets, 15 red zone targets while playing on 86.5% of the offensive snaps.
Okwuegbunam played in 45.9% of the offensive snaps and hauled in 40 targets, 33 receptions for two touchdowns. In the one game that Fant missed, Okwuegbunam played in 81% of the offensive snaps.
There are three reasons for optimism regarding Okwuegbunam and one reason to proceed with caution.
- Wilson has averaged 21% of his passes to the tight end position and averages 27% of his passes to tight ends in the red zone.
- The departure of Fant has left a potential of 90 targets and Okwuegbunam tied for the third-highest target rate per route run in the NFL last season (23%).
- And filtering for “coach speak” new head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Okwuegbunam, “He’s going to be one of those move tight ends. He’s going to be more of a receiver right now.”
Proceed with Caution
Reports from Broncos camp indicate there may be a stiff competition for the starting position. Rookie Greg Dulcich has impressed in a limited amount of time and Okwuegbunam has had issues with blocking which can potentially keep him off the field.
However, the addition of Wilson increases Okwuegbunam’s fantasy relevance as a target in the red zone with a quarterback who is capable of effectively getting him the ball.
There were to seismic shifts in the running back room. The acquisition of Wilson and the return of Melvin Gordon.
As succinctly stated in the Denver Post, Hackett and the Denver front office did not make the move to acquire Wilson to watch him hand off.
We have an idea of how the usage of Williams and Gordon will be utilized. Hackett’s use of dual running backs in Green Bay is a glimpse and we also know how both were utilized last season.
When both were on the field last season:
|Rushing attempts||Rushing yards||Average Yards per rushing attempt||Rushing touchdowns|
RUSHING ATTEMPTS INSIDE THE 20-YARD LINE
|Red Zone rushing attempts||Red zone touchdowns|
RUSHING ATTEMPTS INSIDE THE 5-YARD LINE
|Red Zone rushing attempts||Red zone touchdowns|
Although the acquisition of Gordon deflated those who wanted a true three-down running back, there was plenty of fantasy points to go around.
The upgrade in the quarterback position means defenses will not be able to tune-up on the running backs.
The true test will be with the usage of the running backs in the passing game. Both running backs are effective blockers. Last season Gordon played on 296 pass plays and Williams 294.
Both backs are capable in the passing game.
|Targets||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns||aDOT||Yards/Target||Drops|
Wilson’s positive impact on fantasy football is for the fantasy managers who draft a Broncos’ position player.
Who you draft will depend on the format you are playing and yes, Wilson’s positive impact crosses all the formats.
Gladys is obsessive about fantasy football, Pittsburgh Steelers, dogs/cats, pop culture movies and television shows, and Ben & Jerry’s 7 Layer Vegan Ice Cream (although not necessarily in that order). A writer about NFL, college ball, and fantasy football for more than 10 years, she attempts to combine her degree in statistical variance (BS Policy Analysis) with player knowledge and game script. Though her concentration is on IDP, redraft, and PPR leagues, all fantasy formats are fair game. Reach out whenever you can find me on Twitter @gladysLtyler. And remember, don’t suck and tip your bartenders well.