Sifting through the hashtags to bring you the hottest trending Twitter topics in the fantasy football industry.
Throughout the last week, the Russell Wilson buzz has made Marshawn Lynch’s Richter Scale Rumble feel like indigestion. Not since Tom Hanks was spooning a volleyball has a Wilson garnered this much middle-aged man-love.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24
Decades from now, we’ll be tucking our grandchildren in to the legend of a neon clad munchkin dismantling the Kansas City Chiefs with his bionic arm and piston legs. Perhaps it will even become a Michael Bay flick.
God I hope not.
Wilson finished Seattle’s third preseason game 13-of-19 for 185 yards and two scores, and he added a pair of rushes for another 58 yards. The third-round rookie’s totals through three games: 35-of-52 (67.3%) for 464 yards, five touchdowns, one interception, 150 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
The blockbuster performance spurred Yahoo! Sports’ Doug Farrar to joke, “After the game, Russell Wilson will take over the Seattle City Council and the Port of Seattle.” Catch phrases like “Russellmania,” and “Every Day I’m Russelling,” took hold, and Football Guy David Dodds invited us “all aboard the Russell Wilson train… it’s leaving the station, don’t miss out.” KFFL’s Ryan Bonini lamented, “Russell Wilson has looked fantastic again tonight… ticked I don’t have him on my dynasty team.” The Fake Football’s C.D. Carter added, “I’d happily draft him over Fitzpatrick, Freeman, Flacco, Dalton and Schaub… Hell, why not? Cutler too.”
Wilson’s height was really his only wart coming into the league, but as Peter King pointed out, “5’11” Russell Wilson had four passes batted at the line of scrimmage last year… Ryan Tannehill (6’4”) had 17.” Indeed, Wilson has shown an uncanny ability to manipulate the throwing lanes with his mobility. Sports Nation’s Tre Faaborg closed out the Friday fawning with, “Bottom line is that Russell Wilson is a pure football player. Instinctive, hints of schoolyard ball, does everything quick. Exciting.”
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25
It was a long night of drinking the Wilson Kool-Aid, but industry experts hit the ground running bright and early Saturday. The Rotoworld crew chimed in over morning coffee. First it was Frank DuPont, who snagged a piece of bacon, stroked his chin and opined, “Russell Wilson looks like a heady point guard that is always just a half-step ahead of everyone else on the court in processing info.” Evan Silva announced that he’d prefer Wilson to QB2’s Fitzpatrick, Freeman, Dalton, Smith, Bradford and Sanchez, to which Patrick Daugherty added, “Upside through the roof.” Football Guy Bob Henry weighed in with, “Russell Wilson looks to me like a mashup of Jeff Blake and Drew Brees. He’s passed every test so far—ADP out of control, and rightfully so.”
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26
It was only fitting that Pete Carroll waited until the Sabbath to anoint Wilson as Seattle’s savior. Faux John Madden kicked off the kudos with, “Russell Wilson may not be tall enough to ride a roller coaster, but he just became a starting quarterback in the NFL.” Alen Dumonjic of TheScore.com proclaimed, “If he was 6’2” he would have been a first round pick… 6’4”? Top five.” Ralph Mancini of The NFL Draft Bible said that Wilson “is the new Michael Vick, but unlike Vick, he’ll work his butt off and not live off his athletic ability alone.” JJ Zachariason of LateRoundQB.com added, “If you’re a QBBC fantasy player, Russell Wilson has to be intriguing.”
There were a couple guys pumping the brakes on the Wilson hype. Ryan Bonini commented, “Very intrigued, but he’s a rookie and will have growing pains. Low-end QB2.” CBSSports.com’s Nathan Zegura cautioned, “Wilson is a LATE QB2 sleeper… don’t get carried away.”
MONDAY, AUGUST 27
Less than 24 hours after Wilson became the starter, the Twitter account for Covers.com pointed out that, “Bettors like Russell Wilson, flipping the Seahawks from +2.5 to -2.5 for Week 1 vs. Arizona.” The AP’s Chris Jenkins relayed a quote from Bret Bielema that Wilson “has got that locker room wrapped around his finger right now.” C.D. Carter called Wilson a top-10 QB, and Frank DuPont cracked, “If the Russell Wilson hype train picks up any more speed, Denzel is going to make a movie about it that no one will see.”
TUESDAY, AUGUST 28
Football Guy Jeff Haseley jumped aboard, noting, “I think Wilson can produce numbers similar to Doug Flutie, who finished 7th in 1999 with Buffalo.” C.D. Carter continued to fan the flames, stating, “I don’t think any QB2 has more potential than Wilson. I’m afraid I might have an itchy trigger finger on draft day.” Conversely, DraftCountodown.com’s Shane P. Hallam emerged as a notable Wilson detractor, using words like “blah,” and “Colt McCoy.” Hallam was immediately tarred and feathered.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29
The all-knowing Sigmund Bloom joined the party Wednesday, and acknowledged that he thinks Wilson can approach QB1 numbers, noting that he “just nudged him up to QB17, next to Jake Locker.” ESPN.com’s Matt Williamson declared that Wilson “is going to be a star… STUD.” Andy Miley of FantasyAlarm.com pegged Wilson for 3,000 yards, 22 touchdowns, 350 rushing yards and 3-5 rushing touchdowns.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg (the skinny one) gave his two cents on Thursday, stating, “Something about Russell Wilson just gives me the feeling he’s going to be great.” Yahoo! Sports’ Scott Pianowski tweeted, “Going on Sirius XM now to talk about as much Russell Wilson as they’ll let me.” Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Wilson fever began to trickle down to his pass-catchers. Ralph Mancini advised, “if you want a piece of Russell Wilson in the later rounds, draft Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards and see who prospers. Legit sleepers.” On the other side of the field, Rotoworld’s Chris Wesseling noted that Sidney Rice is “Sailing up the ranks as a top 30-35 receiver.” James Brimacombe of 365FantasyFootball took it a step further, describing Rice as “fantasy gold” if he can stay healthy.
Note: Wilson played one quarter in Seattle’s final tune-up Thursday night, completing five-of-11 passes for 72 yards.
My Take: Chris Wesseling also tweeted Thursday that he has Wilson ranked QB22, and that he’s “intrigued, but most preseason numbers came against second and third teamers. Still a run-first offense, and a lot of questions at receiver.”
I cherry-picked Wesseling’s tweet because it hits on two of my main concerns—Seattle’s pass-catching group is well below average, and Marshawn Lynch will continue to be the engine of the offense. Now, these aren’t necessarily deal breakers for me, but they need to be taken into consideration. I mean, if we’re downgrading Josh Freeman due to a run-heavy scheme, shouldn’t Wilson get the same treatment? In my latest rankings (8/26) I slotted Wilson in at QB24, and while I’m willing to admit that I’m probably a few spots too low, I’m still having trouble getting on board with the QB1 talk.
I love Wilson. Everyone does. He’s a loveable guy. Just keep in mind that if you build all of his upside into his draft price, he’s no longer a value pick, and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
I’m covering the fantasy football Twitterscape 140 characters at a time, so be sure to check back next week!