Russell Wilson Will Bust in 2019

Contributed by: Jim Day
Last Updated: May 15, 2019 12:11 PM


Good, so the title made you look. That was the plan, but now that you're here you might as well read on.

The quarterback position is going to be loaded for Fantasy this year. Last year we had 12 QBs that threw for more than 4,000 yards, and with early projections for 2019, we have 16 hitting that mark. If you look at 2017 passing stats there were only eight QBs that hit that mark, so we are expecting it to double over that year.

There are a lot of good young QBs coming into the league, and this will really throw a wrench into QB rankings for 2019. We currently have five QBs in our projections that will hit the 4,000+ yard mark and still finish outside the top-12 for the year. Last year three QBs hit 4,000+ yards and still finished outside the top-12; Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Eli Manning, so having five do it this year is not a huge reach.

And yes, we know that Brady isn't all that mad about finishing outside the top-12 since he did win yet another Super Bowl and once again managed to piss off an awful lot of Patriot haters. He can't continue to play at this high level, can he? Well, this year we once again have Big Tom inside the top-12 and expect him to once again hit the 4,000-yard mark, even without Gronk by his side.

This article is about three QBs we expect to finish as QB2s but are still being drafted as QB1s according to Fantasy Pros' consensus ADP report.

Let's start with one of my favorite quarterbacks in the league; Russell Wilson. Depending on your scoring, Wilson finished 2018 at or near QB 10, but that is in danger this year. Losing Doug Baldwin will be more significant on this offense than most expect. Tyler Lockett had a great season, but it is hard to think that he can be that efficient again. They did add some exciting new pieces at wide receiver in the draft with DK Metcalf and Gary Jennings Jr., but both are lacking some skills that will make them very hit or miss for this season.

The big question is who will step up and be the true #1 receiver this team needs. Lockett has most of his success out of the slot, so there is a good chance Seattle opens the season with Metcalf and David Moore on the outside. Moore did reasonably well last year as a red-zone threat but didn't do much beyond that. Metcalf is a physical freak who is great at going up and getting contested balls and flat out flying, but his route tree is minimal.

I really don't expect Wilson to bust and he still has a chance to end up in the top-12, but he will need to get back over 500 passing attempts AND get back to rushing for 500 yards or more, but at this stage of his career, I doubt they ask him to run enough to get there.

The consensus has him at QB6, while we have him at QB13, it will be interesting to see which of us is right.

Next up for us is Carson Wentz. Wentz has missed eight total games in the last two seasons because of injury. He has been a very good QB when on the field, but he has yet to throw for more than 3,800 yards in a season.

If he can stay healthy, he may finally show that the Eagles made the right move in keeping him over Super Bowl hero Nick Foles. We think they made the right choice, but he needs to stay on the field to prove them right.

There is no doubt that he has some good weapons around him with Alshon Jeffery at WR and Zach Ertz at TE, but after that there are questions. They brought back deep threat DeSean Jackson since they haven't found anyone to fill that role since he left in 2014, but will he find any chemistry with Wentz is the question. Nelson Agholor is a decent slot receiver, but the team tried to bring in Golden Tate last year to take his spot, and even though that failed, they are still looking. Most think that recently drafted JJ Arcega-whiteside is most likely the next to try and take the spot, but he will need a little time to grow into the role at this level.

A player we would love to see step up more is TE Dallas Goedert. If he can take that next step and if the Eagles give him more opportunity, he could provide Wentz a nice bump, especially in the red zone.

For us, the questions outweigh the answers, enough so that we cannot advocate drafting Wentz in the top-12. The consensus currently has Wentz at 11, while we have him at 17. He makes an excellent value if you can draft him as a QB2 with QB1 upside.

The last one is Kirk Cousins who the consensus has at QB12. He finished 2018 as QB9, but we have him currently as QB16. It's not that we expect him to take a major dive in his numbers, but we expect more from some QBs who didn't crack the top-12 last year.

Currently, we have Tom Brady and Cam Newton to both get back into the top-12, but then we also have Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston finishing ahead of Cousins. Last year Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined would have finished as QB2, only behind Pat Mahomes. Not really much we have to add about Mayfield after the way he finished 2018 and with the addition of stud WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Cousins has two excellent receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, a good tight end in Kyle Rudolph, who may or may not be headed out of town, and a rookie TE Irv Smith Jr who is expected to take over the position at some point this year.

The problem we have is what they did in the second half of 2018.

In the first eight games of the season Cousins was the #2 QB behind Mahomes. He averaged 25.6 fantasy points per game (depending on your league scoring of course). He attempted 341 passes, completed 241 of them for 2,521 yards — all really solid numbers.

Unfortunately for Minnesota and Fantasy owners alike, the numbers took a dramatic decrease in the second half of the season.

From Weeks 9 to 17, Cousins attempted 76 and completed 57 fewer passes and totaled 744 fewer passing yards. He was QB19 in the second half of the season. Over this span, he only averaged 18.2 Fantasy points a game. Hopefully, this was just a fluke, but because of this, we find it hard to draft him in the top-12. He is a much better bet if you draft him as a QB2 and hope that the offense goes back to the air in 2019.

Follow Jim Day on Twitter: @@FantasyTaz

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