3. Russell Wilson
Wilson hasn’t been himself this year. If you own him in fantasy football, you know this. Not only has his sprained knee affected his rushing ability, it has also appeared to affect his accuracy at times. All of his numbers are down; not only his rushing, but his touchdowns, completion percentage, and yards per completion. He has thrown only five touchdowns, leading to a miserable TD percentage–2.2. Last year, Wilson’s TD percentage after throwing 34 TDs on the season was 7.0.
Wilson had one of the best QB passing stretches in pro football history last year, which bolstered his stats, of course, but we didn’t expect him to be stymied by his troublesome offensive line this much in 2016. His knee injury is keeping him from taking off with the ball. Last season, Wilson averaged 5.4 yards per carry, making him a legitimate threat to defenses trying to chase him down and cover all of his receivers at the same time.
This season, opposing defenses know that with Wilson’s bum knee slowing him down (to a terrible 1.8 yards per carry), they don’t need to worry about him taking off. Instead, they’re dropping back into coverage and treating him like any other pocket passer like Carson Palmer or Tom Brady. Defensive linemen can “pin their ears back” (where did that expression come from?) and come after Wilson with reckless abandon, rather than hesitating because of his devastating throws on the run and his rushing ability, making the already overtaxed offensive line’s lives even harder.
I was afraid for Russ when he took the field in Week Three against the 49ers because of his lingering ankle and knee injuries. He tore through San Francisco’s weak defense, but since then, other teams have figured him out. They can keep him contained in a rapidly-collapsing pocket on every passing play.
Next: What Now?