As we enter the second half of the 2012 NFL preseason, some guys are emerging as possible fantasy stars. It happens every year as rosters change and some guys just begin to “click,” whether they are rookies or veterans with a change of scenery.
First in mind is rookie RB David Wilson of the New York Giants. With veteran Ahmad Bradshaw not playing, Wilson got the start and showed his prowess early. If memory serves, he had three consecutive plays that went for first downs and more – 2 runs and one reception. The kid showed his speed and a great sense of balance that is going to serve him well. Running backs that go down after their first contact aren’t anything special. Wilson, at times, reminded me of a pinball the way he was being bumped and knocked after getting to the second level, but he wouldn’t go down without a solid tackler’s help. The talent is there as is apparently a good working knowledge of his offensive system. His ability to pass-protect should determine how much action he sees.
I’m looking for big things from him even if he does share carries with Bradshaw. Bradshaw has a history of being dinged up, so I’d draft Wilson and value him as a split-carry/3rd RB with moderate upside to a 2nd RB in fantasy leagues. He should see 10 touches when Bradshaw is healthy and around 20 when Bradshaw is on the bench with some minor nick that he seems to get every year. Wilson’s worth has gone up from a mid-round pick in standard leagues to perhaps as high as a 5th rounder. He’s currently ranked behind the likes of Donald Brown and Toby Gerhart and has shown his explosiveness on multiple plays…on one drive!
Another Wilson, Seattle Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson from Wisconsin, has officially won the job leading Pete Carroll’s offense. He’s made some good deep throws and has the ability to scramble with success as the blueprint for NFL QBs seems to be changing. Gone are the days that teams look for the 6-4, 230 lb. pocket-passer guy with the rocket arm and lead feet. They’re looking for more athletic QBs in the mold of Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III.
Wilson fits the (new) NFL QB profile, but in the body of an athletic Doug Flutie at only 5’10” tall. All that matters is what he can do on the field, and Wilson has out-played pricey free agent Matt Flynn. I’d stay away from drafting either guy, but if you have to, the rookie is the one with the upside. Don’t even draft Matt Flynn, and while Russell Wilson probably won’t be a huge fantasy stud this season, he has the potential to be one. I’d only draft him as a backup/bye week starter towards the end of the draft, but his athleticism and deep ball accuracy means he’s got some potential.