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Dynasty Building Blocks: Russell Wilson


In my last article, I talked about my first-round selection of Demaryius Thomas in the RotoViz Dynasty League draft. Today I’m jumping ahead to my fourth-round pick, Russell Wilson. I opted to draft Wilson as my franchise dynasty QB for several reasons. Here they are.

Draft related reasons, which may not apply to you:

  • Our league puts a premium on QB scoring. Always know your league scoring rules.
  • After a trade, I had no picks in rounds 5-7. I didn’t want to miss out on a premium QB.

Team related reasons, which should be part of your thought process:

  • Wilson is the man in Seattle. After surprising as a rookie, any semblance of QB competition ended when Matt Flynn was traded and Brady Quinn signed as Wilson’s clipboard holder primary backup.
  • Creative and forward-thinking franchise. Seattle, led by Pete Carroll, has demonstrated a willingness to use creative methods to win ballgames. I’ve no doubt they’ll try hard to maximize Wilson’s talents.
  • Personnel. Seattle didn’t acquire Percy Harvin in order to run the ball more. Harvin’s presence signals a desire to pass more.

Player related issues, which should comprise most of your thought process.

  • Pedigree. As we’ll see, Russell Wilson put up a truly impressive college season in 2011.
  • Youth. I don’t want to change QBs any time soon.
  • Running ability. Though not as prolific as RGIII, Wilson’s running ability helps his production.
  • Excellent NFL readiness.

To start with, I analyzed Wilson’s collegiate pedigree, using RotoViz’s College QB Stats Finder. I searched for all QB seasons from 2005-2012, for QBs with more than 100 attempts, playing against defenses rated 60 or higher. A defensive rating of 60 is somewhat arbitrary, but it indicates a better-than-average defense, so it seems like a reasonable cutoff to make. This search yielded 1315 total seasons. Out of these 1315 seasons, here’s how Russell Wilson’s 2011 campaign ranked.

Russell Wilson, 2011 SEASON, OUT OF 1315 Total Seasons:

AYA 99 5
COMP % 98 7 (TIE)
TD RATE 99 4
% YTG 99 5

The next table shows us how Wilson’s 2011 college season compares to the best college season of other young NFL QBs. Wilson wins or ties every category, except for a 2/10ths of a yard second-place finish in Adjusted Yards/Attempt.

2010 C.NEWTON 10.1 65 10 1.06
2011 R.WILSON 11.03 72 10 1.13
2011 A.LUCK 9.14 70 9 1.05
2011 R.GRIFFIN III 12.23 70 9 1.18
2007 M. RYAN 6.29 59 4 .75
2010 C.KAEPERNICK 7.59 64 4 .93
2010 A.DALTON 9.48 66 8 .98
2008 S.BRADFORD 11.33 68 10 1.12
2008 M.STAFFORD 8.38 62 6 .9

Next, I used the QB Similarity Scores app to compare Wilson to other likely QB1 candidates. Based on their 2012 seasons (not including playoffs), here are RotoViz’s Low, Median, and High projections for per-game PPR scoring.

R.WILSON 24 13.3 19.5 20.8
A.RODGERS 29 19.1 21.8 23.1
C.NEWTON 24 17.7 20.6 22.4
A.LUCK 23 12 15.2 19.3
R.GRIFFIN III 23 15.8 18.6 20.6
M.RYAN 28 17.5 19.6 21
C.KAEPERNICK 25 12 13.9 16.3
A.DALTON 25 13.5 15.6 17.1
S.BRADFORD 25 14.7 17.7 19.9
M.STAFFORD 25 12.3 18 20.1
T.BRADY 35 18 21.1 22
P.MANNING 37 19.2 20.8 22.2
T.ROMO 33 16.9 18.8 22.2
J.FLACCO 28 15.1 18.4 20.7
B.ROETHLISBERGER 31 18.5 20.5 21.8
AVERAGE 27.7 15.5 18.5 20.6

In our draft, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton went before Russell Wilson, so they weren’t options for me. Though I love them as players, Manning and Brady are just too old for me to consider as my QB1 in a new dynasty league. Others will disagree- that’s just my philosophy. Recently touted on RotoViz, I like Roethlisberger short term, but don’t think he has a good combination of age or wide receivers. The other QB I most strongly considered was Tony Romo. He has a great WR1, also offers some running/scrambling ability, which I like in my QBs, and has higher predicted scoring (but not higher median projected scoring). In the end though, I opted for Wilson’s youth. Of the others, none have a better ceiling – or fewer question marks – than Wilson.

Current Dynasty ADP has Wilson as the 8th QB taken. Don’t hesitate to take him there – or even earlier.

1 Aaron Rodgers
2 Drew Brees
3 Cam Newton
4 Andrew Luck
5 Colin Kaepernick
6 Tom Brady
7 Robert Griffin III
8 Russell Wilson
9 Matt Ryan
10 Matthew Stafford
11 Peyton Manning
12 Tony Romo
13 Ryan Tannehill

I’ve no objection with Aaron Rodgers being the first QB taken. But Wilson compares very favorably to the rest of the QBs on this list. Take him with confidence as a dynasty building block.

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