Russell Wilson’s fantasy outlook and projection for 2021

One of the NFL's elite quarterbacks on a talent-packed offense, should you draft Russell Wilson with his fantasy outlook and ADP in 2021?

After finally being allowed to stretch his legs — or arm — in this case, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson could have one of the highest fantasy outlooks for the 2021 season should the team allow him to dictate their offense. But will this happen? Can the Seahawks move away from their “run-first” mentality and showcase Wilson, and should fantasy football managers consider him at his current ADP when on the clock in upcoming drafts?

Russell Wilson’s fantasy outlook for 2021

Watching the Seahawks play every Sunday can be one of the most maddening things a fantasy manager can do to themselves. I love Chris Carson as much as anyone, but when you have a perennial MVP candidate at QB, how are you not using him more?

I guess that is a question only Pete Carroll can answer. While we have never seen it for an entire season, we did get a taste of “unlimited Russ.”

From Weeks 1-9, Wilson was the QB3 in fantasy football. Over that span (eight games), Wilson averaged 317.6 passing yards, 3.5 passing touchdowns, and 26.9 fantasy points per game (second). Furthermore, he led the league with 28 touchdowns.

The Seahawks were sixth in the NFL in passing frequency at 62%, with a 6-3 record (1-1 in NFC West), and everyone else was finding success. Well, except the defense that was allowing 393 yards and 29.5 points per game.

Then, the proverbial anchor was tossed overboard.

From Week 10 on, Wilson was the QB12 overall as the Seahawks slowed their passing rate to 57% (22nd in the NFL). Wilson regressed in every category, averaging 208.9 yards, 1.5 TDs, and 17.1 ppg (16th). 

The problem is, this was nothing new. If anything, it was a mirror of the 2019 season. Up until Week 9, Wilson was the QB1 overall and QB2 in points per game (25.0). From Week 10 on, he was QB21 in fantasy and 27th in ppg at 15.4. 

Will we have a hat trick in 2021?

All that we need is for the Seahawks to let Wilson, well, be Wilson for an entire year. There is no reason to believe this cannot happen. They brought in a new offensive coordinator and have apparently listened to Wilson and what he wants to see in an offense. 

We know just as well as they do how talented he is. Any single week Wilson can be the QB1 overall in fantasy. Still, the looming question of the scheme and willingness to stick with it for an entire season lowers Wilson’s fantasy outlook and ADP heading into the season to that of a mid-level QB1.

Fantasy projection

A critical key to deciphering Wilson’s projection — and the Seahawks, in general — will be the changes new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron brings. As the former passing game coordinator for the Rams, one would surmise we see a potential overall boost to the passing game. 

If we look back at Waldron’s time in Los Angeles (2018 to 2020), the Rams’ offense ranked second in overall plays per game (67), sixth in rushes per game (27), and 15th in passes per game (40).

If you tell me Wilson will sling the rock 40 times a game, I want shares of this offense. But we also need to remember that this is not Waldron with Sean McVay. Waldron is working in conjunction with Carroll, who has already stated that Seattle needs to run the ball more. 

It’s more likely we see a blend of the two. A steady dose of the rushing attack, with newly extended Chris Carson, combined with opportunistic passing attempts from Wilson to both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, one of the NFL’s best duos.

While I do project Wilson to see an increase in attempts, he’s still nowhere near the league lead. Current projections have Wilson slated for around 580 to 590 attempts for approximately 4,400 to 4,500 yards, with 35 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. He also projects to add around 420 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing.

Russell Wilson’s ADP

According to Sleeper, Wilson is currently the QB5 with an ADP of 63.1 in half PPR formats. In superflex formats, where QBs see a boost in value, he rises to 19.2. However, on Fleaflicker, he is going as the QB7 at an ADP of 48. Similarly, in the high-stakes NFC format, Wilson is the QB6 but with a lower ADP of 62.7.

Should you draft Wilson in 2021 for fantasy?

Whether or not you want to draft Wilson in 2021 comes down to how you like to construct your fantasy rosters. If you like to select QBs early in drafts or in the middle rounds, Wilson is an excellent option. He is a safe QB with a weekly elite ceiling. But if history has taught us anything, that rug could be pulled out from under us at any moment. However, I am less concerned now that Brian Schottenheimer is no longer running the offense.

Wilson is also a tier break in QB rankings, usually going after Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, and Dak Prescott. For those who draft by tiers, which I advise in most cases, Wilson would be the likely target as the cheapest at his ADP for a similar level of return.

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