The Rundown: Russell Wilson, Jaelen Strong, and Andre Ellington

Fantasy football news, covering Oakland’s running backs, Seattle’s passing game, Pittsburgh’s wide receivers, and more.

Trent Richardson

Another day, another negative report.

And more positive Roy Helu news.

Helu is technically Latavius Murray’s backup, but should also be Oakland’s first-team back on passing downs. We’re not entirely ruling out the possibility of Helu pushing Murray to start eventually.

A couple ways to play this.

If you’re a Trent Richardson believer, you could-

If your team is in need of running back help, Helu is potentially undervalued. If you have Helu but need help elsewhere, you may be able to flip him to someone that does need help at RB.

Russell Wilson

The fallout from Wilson’s1 signing was almost immediate. The Seahawks cut defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, one of the top-rated DTs in the league.

“It is a significant loss,” Carroll said, via comments distributed by the team. “Tony [McDaniel] has been a really good core player for us, and we really liked him and what he’s brought to our club. This decision sucks, but you know we had to do something…”

Earlier this offseason, Anthony Amico explained how a new contract could mean more passing for Wilson. Now, with still-alive Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett added to the receiving corps, Seattle’s defense loses a key contributor. More passes seems more and more likely.

Wilson has consistently outperformed his ADP; but that might be hard to do this year. He’s drafted as the third QB off the board, but we project him to finish seventh. On the other hand, he’s projected just 33 points behind our top QB, Aaron Rodgers, and is within 12 points of our number three QB, Tony Romo. A top-overall QB finish is within Wilson’s range of outcomes.

Markus Wheaton

Was singled out as the team’s second wide receiver by Ben Roethlisberger. It almost seems like Wheaton is a must-add, unless his ADP spikes significantly.

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We’ve been skeptical of Wheaton in the past, but if Roethlisberger’s statements about Wheaton starting outside in two WR sets and inside in three WR sets is true, then that suggests maybe he has more potential to gain targets this year than Bryant. Even if Bryant has the breakout many expect, Wheaton would be the likely beneficiary if Bryant were hurt.

Jaelen Strong

Made a favorable impression on beat writer John McClain.

Meanwhile, here’s Strong’s ADP since just before the NFL Draft.

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Strong’s competition includes once-promising, twice-brittle Cecil Shorts, and veteran Nate Washington. Whether or not he’s a good end-of-draft target in MFL10s is probably fodder for a full article, but it’s worth thinking about.

Jon Moore has suggested that Strong could ultimately be the best wide receiver in this class, so let’s check on his dynasty ADP.

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There as well his ADP seems to be falling. I’d be quicker to pounce on Strong in dynasty leagues. His long term upside is still solid, and he’s going after several running backs, who, even if they hit, may have shorter career windows.

David Cobb

Rotoworld notes that Cobb has earned very few practice reps so far, and has been working behind both Bishop Sankey and Antonio Allen. In MFL10s, Cobb is being drafted ahead of the aforementioned Roy Helu, as well as Javorius Allen and Dan Herron, both of whom we expect to outscore Cobb. Sankey is being drafted as RB39, but we project him as RB29.

Andre Ellington

Coach Bruce Arians weighed in on Ellington’s expected usage.

Last season Ellington earned…20.6 touches per game. So far the plan seems to be for Ellington to get a similar workload. Don’t write him off yet. We project him to finish as RB14, at an RB18 price tag.


  1. And Bobby Wagner’s.  (back)