Fantasy football: Russell Wilson's arrival will boost Broncos' value

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Normally seismic moves include a dramatic shift of some sort — think Russell Wilson on the verge of being traded from Seattle to Denver. Others seismic moves don’t require movement at all — a la Aaron Rodgers staying in Green Bay.

Both have deep fantasy impacts. And not all of them good.

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It should come as no surprise the bad ramifications will occur in Seattle, where an offense that wasn’t great with Wilson last season now has Drew Lock or a quarterback to be determined later — via free agency or the draft or another trade, etc. Simply put, the long-term plan surely isn’t for Lock to be locked in as the starter.

He does get to keep Broncos teammate Noah Fant — the tight end was part of the trade. But Fant wasn’t great with Lock in Denver. And now, the Seahawks have a bona fide No. 1 wide receiver in DK Metcalf, an elite-level talent the Broncos lacked. That could disrupt any presumed reliance or familiar affinity Lock has for Fant.

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But as good as Metcalf is, he was a disappointment last season, and that was with Wilson. Expect his ceiling to be something similar, and consider him reaching that ceiling as unlikely.

It won’t help Tyler Lockett either, but he is a boom-or-bust type, so he will still feast on some sporadic long touchdowns over the course of the season, just expect his famines in between to be deeper and longer.

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Meanwhile, Wilson will inherit Lock’s old WRs — Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton & Co. None of the Denver options are as uniquely talented as Metcalf, but Jeudy likely hasn’t even approached his full potential — due primarily to poor QB play, and Sutton will have his best opportunity to recreate his breakout 2019 Pro Bowl season.

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Russell Wilson joins a Broncos team with a strong running game and receivers eager to prove themselves.

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Bear in mind, Wilson had one of his worst seasons last year, so perhaps there should be a curb on some of the unfettered enthusiasm. But there is also this: Wilson has always been best when supported by a strong running game. The Broncos have a young game-breaker at running back in Javonte Williams. The Seahawks had (and have) nothing to rival that. This is good news for Wilson (and more bad news for the Seahawks’ offense).

So just like we expect Metcalf’s ceiling to be capped by what has thus far been his floor, we expect last season’s floor to be just as unlikely for Wilson. The Madman thinks it is much more likely he rebounds to the Russell we have known in years prior — likely not peak Russ, but closer to the peak than 2021’s valley.

What does that mean for his fantasy production? Though he is expected to boost the production of those around him, his personal fantasy value might not shift too dramatically. Consider these factors:

1. The Broncos have a better defense than the Seahawks. This means Wilson won’t have to score as much to keep his team in the game.

2. Remember the earlier Javonte point? Well, that means Denver shouldn’t have to rely as much on the passing game as Seattle has recently.

3. Less playing from behind and more reliance on the running game routinely translates into fewer passing attempts/production. This drop in volume could offset an expected spike in efficiency.

So, yeah, members of the Broncos’ offense in general will get a nice boost in our projected fantasy value, but Wilson won’t get as big of a boost.

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Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers.

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Which brings us to the Packers. This is the easy one, since there isn’t any significant movement. Rodgers stays in Green Bay, and he keeps his favorite target in Davante Adams, who got the franchise tag. The Packers will still have a strong two-headed backfield with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. We’ll wait for other offseason moves before evaluating the rest of the offense, but this small collection is really the only way the Packers make an audible ping on our fantasy radar — at this point anyway.

One thing we do know for certain: All the offseason QB movement we have seen in recent years sure makes fantasy a lot more fun.

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