Zach Wilson Dynasty Value: Where to draft him in 2021 rookie fantasy drafts?

    The 2020 college football season saw Zach Wilson’s value take off, both in terms of the NFL and fantasy football, but what is his dynasty value in 2021? Let’s take a look at where Wilson could be selected in rookie drafts, and whether that presents a value for the fast-rising prospect out of BYU.

    Zach Wilson dynasty value for 2021

    The case of Wilson when it comes to dynasty leagues is fascinating. There is no middle ground in the fantasy football community or the NFL Draft community, either. You are either on the 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. 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 on Wilson finds its way into dynasty leagues as well. I have seen Wilson as everything from QB5 to 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.

    Wilson can alleviate this concern, and his arm talent alone makes him a massive dynasty value heading into rookie fantasy drafts. He is already being viewed inside the top 18 QBs in dynasty startups without putting on a jersey. Well, not officially as we have known where he was going for quite some time.

    Wilson officially selected by the New York Jets

    Let’s be honest; we all knew this was coming. Ever since Wilson’s Pro Day, every link and rumor has been made between these sides as the next star under the lights of the Big Apple. The Jets are not a great football team, and we all know that. As they attempt to pick up the pieces of the Adam Gase era, Willson along with Robert Salah will usher in a new era of, hopefully, competitive football. The Jets still need a lot of work, but the building blocks are in place where Wilson can succeed. At wide receiver Denzel Mims, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Jamison Crowder. Heck, you can even add in Chris Herndon. We knew this entire offseason was the landing spot, so his value does not change with this landing spot.

    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, 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 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 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.

    Wilson became an 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. 

    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 Wilson, you want it on your dynasty team when rookie fantasy mocks draw to a close.

    Where should you draft Wilson in dynasty rookie drafts?

    Wilson will be a starting quarterback in the NFL — that much is certain. The New York Jets traded away Sam Darnold and virtually rolled out the red carpet for Wilson to be the starter. Talent-wise, 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 assuming we see both Kyle Pitts and either Ja’Marr Chase or Najee Harris mixed in as well. In 1QB, where QB fantasy values are diminished, Wilson is a late second-round to early third-round pick and is my No. 25 overall prospect.

    Walking out of 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.

    Wilson has the talent to buck the trend and watch his dynasty value skyrocket going into 2021 and the fantasy seasons 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.

    Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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