Zach Wilson Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2021
Zach Wilson had a historic season at BYU in 2020 to raise his draft stock all the way to #2 on the board. The only player left in front of him was the generational talent of Trevor Lawrence. The New York Jets did indeed select Zach Wilson at #2 as Robert Salah looks to rebuild this Jets team that he inherited. He feels Zach Wilson was the man for the job.
Zach Wilson will have a tall task helping Robert Salah turn this team around. However, there is already quite a bit of talent on the offensive side of the ball. This could be a surprisingly good offense, especially for fantasy. However, Zach Wilson will be the key to that fantasy explosion, and if he can rise to the task, then you might be able to secure a steal by drafting Wilson.
Zach Wilson was a fringe-NFL prospect up until his dominant performance in 2020. Through 12 games, Zach Wilson threw for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. Not to mention his ridiculous 73.5% completion percentage. Wilson also rushed for 254 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 12 games.
However, what was more impressive than the stats was the tape. Zach Wilson was able to pass the ball in a way that reminded many of Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. Zach Wilson often escaped pressure and was able to make something out of nothing with his cannon of an arm. However, this cannon is not like Josh Allen coming out of college; it is fine-tuned and accurate all over the field.
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I am ridiculously bullish on Zach Wilson and the entire Jets offense. However, there is a reason that Wilson was drafted #2 overall and that Chris Simms, one of the best draft analysts when it comes to QBs, ranked him ABOVE Lawrence on his board. Wilson is going to light up this league, and he actually has a pretty darn good offense to do it with. Not to mention that this defense will struggle to stop other teams, causing Mike LaFleur, Offensive Coordinator for the Jets, to pass the ball maybe a bit more than he wants to.
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Currently, nobody is paying attention to Zach Wilson, which means that he could be a steal for your draft. While I don’t advise going and reaching for him in most leagues, I think he is a must roster in 2QB leagues. You will be pleasantly surprised with what you get out of him. Wilson plays a decent Panthers defense in Week 1 of the season, but I would love to have him on my bench in redraft or keeper leagues to see what he does.
For dynasty rosters, I have him firmly ahead of Justin Fields and slightly above Trey Lance. I think that Zach Wilson is the rookie QB #2. For 2QB dynasty leagues, you need to go and get this young stud.
With Zach Wilson being a rookie quarterback, this gives him a pretty low floor. However, not enough people are talking about Zach Wilson’s rushing upside. While Lance and Fields did rush slightly more efficiently, Wilson did rush 70 times last year for 10 touchdowns. He will find the endzone a few times on the ground this year and will most likely see a decent amount of yards per carry. This gives Wilson a proper floor any given week. I also think that the lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball will provide Wilson too much opportunity for him to really crash.
The ceiling for Zach Wilson is Russell Wilson. Zach mimics Russ’s game in a lot of ways, including in his superb playmaking ability and deep passing ability. Zach Wilson could have that awesome rushing performance alongside a few hundred yards through the air and 2-3 touchdowns any given week. While this would need a lot of things to go right, it is plausible, and it is not that far out of the realm of possibility. While I do not think that Zach Wilson can be a top-3 QB, he could have a few QB3 weeks and finish around the QB5 or 6 on the season.
New York Jets Offense
When you think of the Jets, you think of terrible offenses, and it really is that simple. This is the same thing that the Browns had to overcome as they transitioned into becoming a good football team. The thing is, the Jets have a lot of young pieces in place to be good and good for a long time.
The left side of the line is already top-10, and it’s composed of a rookie and second-year player. Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton at LG and LT is a ridiculously great pairing. The receiving game has two young up-and-coming stars in Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore. However, you also have Jamison Crowder and Corey Davis in the mix. Also, let’s not forget that Herndon is a freak receiving talent at TE who simply hasn’t had a single viable QB yet in his career.
You take all this talent and add the former Running Game Coordinator for the 49ers, Mike LeFleur, as the Offensive Coordinator, and you have a recipe for success.
Strength of Schedule
The Jets are in the middle of the pack when it comes to the strength of schedule. They get to play the entire AFC South, which has to be the weakest division in football. The Jets also play the NFC South, which is really not that tough, especially when looking at the passing defenses. Not to mention that the 4th place schedule means that the Jets get extra games against the Bengals, Eagles, and Broncos. Two of those three, Bengals and Eagles, will be great matchups for QBs this year.
Zach Wilson has unreal talent, and the Jets’ offense is on its way up. It could be that with all the change and young players on offense, that it does not completely come together this year. However, Zach Wilson will have incredible games this year, and the question is just how often it will happen. In dynasty leagues target Zach Wilson, in 2QB leagues take a flyer on him, and in 1QB re-draft leagues keep an eye out for him as a great streamer early on in the season.
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