The 2023 fantasy football season is back and better than ever as drafts fire off across the nation, meaning now is the time to dive into New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson’s 2023 fantasy projections to determine whether or not managers are receiving a value on draft day. Can Wilson jump into the top 10 with a Hall of Famer under center, and should he be a player you draft this year?
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Garrett Wilson’s 2023 Fantasy Projection
While it was debated who was the top-ranked of the incoming rookie class between Wilson and Drake London of the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson had the better start by far.
Accounting for 24.92% of the targets and 31.6% of the air yards in New York, Wilson caught 83 of 147 targets for 1,096 yards and four touchdowns to finish as the WR21 overall and WR31 in points per game at 12.7 PPR. But there’s far more to it than this.
The only thing that held back Wilson was the quarterback play, primarily when Zach Wilson was under center. Paired together, Garrett Wilson averaged only 8.8 PPR/game, which would have tied him with former Colts and current Giants WR Parris Campbell for 60th. Wilson also posted just a 56.5% catch rate with a 10.7 aDOT with the former BYU signal-caller.
However, when Joe Flacco or Mike White was in at quarterback, Wilson was a low-end WR1 for those weeks averaging 17.3 PPR/game.
Those are elite WR1 numbers. Not rookie numbers with two average QBs. That has set the stage for a massive breakout opportunity that fantasy managers are primed to capitalize on this fall.
Wilson Could See a Metroic Rise in Efficiency Following a Blockbuster Trade
No longer is Wilson held back by subpar QB play as the Jets finalized what felt like the longest soap opera episode ever when they traded with the Green Bay Packers for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
Is he still the same quarterback he was five or more years ago? No, but he’s still one of the best out there and will take Wilson’s upside and crank it to 11.
After finishing with the sixth-most unrealized air yards in 2023, Wilson is staring down a top-10 finish in 2023. For the concern New York would be run-heavy, it was the opposite in 2022, passing at the seventh-highest rate at 64%, which was still even under expectation by -2.6%.
With Rodgers in this same level of volume plus a substantial increase in his per-target efficiency (86th in points per target at 1.47), Wilson is a low-end WR1 in my initial fantasy football projections, with a median stat line of 80-85 receptions on 135+ targets for 1,100-1,200 yards with seven to eight touchdowns.
While the Jets did bring in Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb this offseason, the WR1 of 2023 was already on the roster, and that will show up this season with Wilson smashing expectations.
Should You Draft Garrett Wilson This Year?
Finding value in players before breaking out is one of the biggest keys to success in fantasy football. If you get it right, especially with high-upside receivers, just as we’ve seen in years past, that could help lead you to a championship.
However, there’s more risk involved when a player is already being priced as if the breakout has happened or is deemed inevitable despite no certainties in the NFL. That’s the case with Wilson, who is currently being drafted as roughly the WR10 as a top-20 pick based on early ADP.
While I’m bullish on Wilson, he’s being priced as if he’s already gone through a season with Rodgers and looked like a 90% version of Davante Adams. He has far more room to disappoint than significantly rise in value if we’re being rational about this.
That said, it’s a fair price at the end of the day, and fantasy football is about collecting as many great players on your roster as possible whenever that opportunity comes.
It correlates with what I think Wilson will put up this year based on my initial projections, and the player we saw in the field paired with Rodgers for a 17-game season should be sensational and worth the drastic increase in value.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re sitting here having the same conversation next year with Wilson, likely as a first-round draft pick for fantasy football leagues.