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2023 Dynasty Fantasy Football Faller: Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson had his worst season in the NFL in 2022. After a blockbuster trade that featured quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, and defensive tackle Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick being sent back to Seattle, it was a surprisingly disastrous reason for the former Super Bowl champion.

The NFL and fantasy football community mostly believed Seattle's run-first, slow-paced offense was holding Wilson back, thus came the berth of the mantra -- "Let Russ Cook". Trading in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy didn't seem like too much of a downgrade at wideout, but it ultimately proved to be a huge step down.

Wilson is just 34 years old and has publicly stated he wants to play until age 45, so when he first arrived in Denver, his perceived value rose. Now, Wilson's dynasty value has taken a huge hit. Will Sean Payton and co. be able to revive his career or will we see more of the same in 2023? Let's review his 2022 season, examine his dynasty trade market, and look ahead to 2023.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


2022 Season In Review

In Week 1 against the Seahawks, Wilson posted 340 passing yards and one passing touchdown, but his Broncos' squad ultimately lost the "Russ revenge game" He finished as the QB14, but it there wasn't too much concern about his fantasy value just yet.

Week 2 would foreshadow how his season would go. Against the lowly Houston Texans, Wilson completed just 14 of his 31 attempts (45.2 percent) for one touchdown and one interception. The Broncos would score just 16 points, but their defense held Houston to nine points in the victory. The following week, San Francisco held Wilson to just 184 yards passing and zero touchdowns -- placing him 29th among quarterbacks in fantasy points.

The concern then began to grow, but he had his best fantasy day of the season in Week 4 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Wilson scored three total touchdowns and finished as the QB3 that week. However, he would come back down to earth starting in Week 5 and stay there until Week 14.

During the seven-game stretch from Week 5 to Week 13, Wilson ranked as the QB26 in total fantasy points (12.0 fantasy points per game), completing just 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,578 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions. This was arguably the worst stretch of his decade-long career and dramatically diminished his dynasty value.

Overall, in 15 games, Wilson completed 292 of his 483 passing attempts (60.5 percent) for 3,524 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He added 277 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Needless to say, his season was far from expectations as the Broncos finished with a 5-12 record.

He finished 13th in passing yards, 19th in passing touchdowns, 12th in average yards per attempt, and was tied for the most sacked QB (55) in 2023. As one of the MVP Darkhorses for 2022, it couldn't have gone much worst in his inaugural season in Denver.


Russell Wilson Dynasty Value/Market

KeepTradeCut.com dynasty rankings, which are determined by the users who read the site, currently has Wilson as just the QB23. KeepTradeCut is a good source for examining the overall market of a player, but all dynasty leagues value players differently to some degree.

He hit peak value as a Bronco in early September before the season started, where he was ranked closer to the QB12 spot. In superflex leagues, it took at least an early 2023 first-round pick to acquire him. However, his value has fallen closer to a late-first or early second-round pick in the 2023 rookie drafts.

Ultimately, it feels like this could be a buy-low opportunity, as his perceived value is likely a lot lower than his actual fantasy value and projected production. He is ranked below Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, Jordan Love, Kenny Pickett, and more. Will he really be surpassed by all those guys moving forward? There's certainly a risk he'll continue to underperform and eventually phase out of the NFL altogether, but this could also be his rock-bottom value.

However, fantasy managers with Wilson likely gave up a ton of assets to acquire him in superflex or two-QB leagues, so they might not be ready to sell him low. The sunk-cost fallacy in the dynasty trade market is prevalent in a big way, so managers might feel they're stuck with him since they can't get a solid return on their investment.


2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

While it's important not to automatically assume the Broncos' offense will be one of the top units under new head coach Sean Payton, it can't get any worse than it was in 2022 under Nathaniel Hackett. After the 51-14 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams led by Baker Mayfield on Christmas Day, Hackett was fired. In the two games without Hackett, the Broncos scored 24 and 31 points. In those final two games, Wilson threw for 505 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions, adding two rushing scores. He was the QB1 (24.4 FPPG) overall in that two-game span. Of course, that's too small of a sample to make it a huge factor in 2023 projections, but it was a promising finish to the year.

Denver will likely add wide receiver help after a subpar season from Courtland Sutton, and the tight end duo of Albert Okwuegbunam and Greg Dulcich has plenty of potential. Additionally, running back Javonte Williams (torn ACL) should provide a nice boost as a pass-catcher and explosive running back, while star left tackle Garrett Bowles (broken leg) will return after being knocked out of the season in Week 5. The team also agreed to terms with right tackle Mike McGlinchey. Denver should have a top tackle duo in the NFL.

Wilson could be a steal in 2023 fantasy drafts, as he's coming off the board as the QB16 in Underdog best ball drafts. Despite his career-worst season, we can't ignore everything he did during his career in Seattle. With a forward-thinking offense and much-needed help returning from last season's Injured Reserve list, a QB16 finish could be his fantasy floor.

As a general rule, it's never smart to outright fade a player. Instead, fade ADPs (average draft position). If Wilson falls to the QB16-20 range in redraft leagues, he's a solid sleeper who won't be expensive. If dynasty managers are looking to sell him, see if you can acquire him at a bargain. Even if Wilson is just an average starter for the rest of his career, Denver is paying him big money and does not have an opt-out in his contract until 2025.

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