While the 2020 season dimmed the lights on some players’ NFL dreams, no one saw their spotlight grow more than BYU QB Zach Wilson. After an incredible rise in value due to phenomenal play, Zach Wilson is assuredly a high pick in both NFL and dynasty fantasy football drafts.
Zach Wilson dynasty value for 2021
The case of Zach Wilson in dynasty is fascinating. There is no middle ground in the fantasy football community or the NFL Draft community, either. You are on the one side that believes he is the next great QB who has every trait — or — you are on the opposite end and think he is overrated with only one year of production.
There is no gray area, but I guess that is life in a way anymore. The only vocal people are the ones on the extremes. Those somewhere in between get drowned out and just sit back and eat popcorn while watching the arguing take place 280 characters at a time.
This back and forth finds its way into dynasty leagues as well. I have seen Wilson as everything from QB5 to now apparently a debate if he is better than Trevor Lawrence.
In dynasty, we play the long game with a minimum of two years in mind. Having an established QB or one that is young and full of promise is a massive boost to your team. We have all been in that spot where we are cycling between a QB on his last year and then wondering what we will do next.
Zach Wilson can alleviate this concern, and his arm talent alone makes him a massive dynasty value heading into rookie drafts. Whether he goes No. 2 overall to the New York Jets or down at No. 12 to the San Francisco 49ers, Wilson will have appeal. He is already being viewed inside the top 18 QBs in dynasty startups without putting on a jersey.
Zach Wilson took a monumental leap in 2020, as did his dynasty value
I talk about this point with Trey Lance, as these players saw almost directly opposite effects from the shortened season. Lance ended the 2019 season as the QB of the class behind Lawrence. Due to a questionable decision in the showcase game and missed season, he had fallen out of the conversation with one incredible year under his belt.
Then, you have Zach Wilson from BYU. A QB who was nowhere near a draft board entering 2020, but thanks to an otherworldly performance, is now in the conversation to go as the QB2.
In his 2018 and 2019 seasons, Zach Wilson was not an NFL-caliber quarterback or someone to target in dynasty. Wilson played in nine games during his freshman season, completing 120 of his 182 attempts (66%) for 1,578 yards with 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He added 221 yards on the ground from his 75 attempts with 2 other scores.
In 2019, Wilson did show some signs of progression. Yet, still, he was far away from anything you could call polished. He threw for 2,382 yards on 119 of 319 passing (62%) with only 11 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. On the tape, you see a QB who struggled with reads and an inaccurate arm. Yes, the strength was there. However, he would skip in balls on far-hash outs or comebacks and be all over the place on deep routes.
Zach Wilson might be the highest riser of the 2021 dynasty and NFL Draft class
I don’t know what switch flipped in the offseason, but the Zach Wilson we saw on the field in Provo was a different player altogether.
Wilson shredded defenses in his 12 games, completing 247 of 336 attempts (74%) for 3,692 yards along with 33 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. He also got it done on the ground. Wilson rushed 70 times for 154 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He became this utterly different quarterback. When you watch the film, it’s hard not to walk away impressed. His compact delivery and foot drive make the ball soar out of his hands. When he is moving, he can somehow find absurd velocity with his shoulders facing the defense.
BYU receivers were not always open because, well, it’s BYU. That didn’t matter to Wilson. Everything from a deep ball to crossing route, he was throwing guys open when a defender was in their hip pocket. While he is not a Justin Fields or Trey Lance-style rusher, he is more than capable of extending a play or getting upfield if he has daylight.
Zach Wilson is that guy you want as your QB. Think of the Baker Mayfield attitude minus the frat mentality. No one knows what “it” is, but Wilson has it. And whatever that is from Zach Wilson, you want it on your dynasty team.
Where should you draft Wilson in dynasty rookie mock drafts?
Zach Wilson will be a starting quarterback in the NFL — that much is certain. What I don’t know is how soon. With the 2021 NFL Draft still a while away, we are left to postulate the potential outcomes. The New York Jets at No. 2 are an option. The same goes for Atlanta Falcons at four, Philadelphia Eagles at six, Detroit Lions at seven, and the Carolina Panthers at pick eight.
That is not even mentioning a team like the San Francisco 49ers trading up to land him. Wilson could sit a season behind their current starter or until the postseason is out of reach. At that point, they throw him in for the experience and reps.
That is why drafting a QB without a landing spot of scheme is complicated. Talent-wise, Zach Wilson could go off the board as soon as the 1.02 in Superflex dynasty leagues. His floor would be around the 1.06 range. In 1QB, where QB values are diminished, Zach Wilson is a mid-to-late second-round to early third-round pick.
Walking out out any draft with one of the top four quarterbacks has your team on a great trajectory. Just use some patience if they have a rough start. There is a reason these teams have early picks, and rarely are they only a QB away from competing.
It’s common for a rookie signal-caller to have struggles in Year 1. Of the 34 quarterbacks taken in the first round since 2010, only five have had top-12 fantasy finishes in Year 1. Including those five, only 15 ended the season inside the top 24.
Zach Wilson has the talent to buck the trend and watch his dynasty value skyrocket going into 2021 and beyond.
Want more fantasy football analysis and news?
Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay current with all things around the NFL and the upcoming 2021 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.