Jake Locker versus Russell Wilson
As we head closer to the first regular season game between the Cowboys and the Giants next Wednesday night, we here at Fantasy Knuckleheads have been getting bombarded with a lot of forum questions from our customers. Lineup questions. Draft questions. You name it, it’s been asked. One big question that seems to pop up at least once a day is Jake Locker versus Russell Wilson.
First lets cover Locker. While Locker has now solidified himself as the Week One starter, his preseason hasn’t exactly been all too pretty. So far, through 3 preseason games, Locker has thrown 44 passes, completed 22 of them and has 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. I worry about his accuracy, but the fact that he has only notched 1 interception gives me some confidence that he’s improving his decision making. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly get a ringing endorsement from head coach Mike Munchak. This past Tuesday, Munchak stated that Locker will keep the starting quarterback job “unless there’s a reason to make a change.” So it sounds like Munchak will have no hesitations regarding pulling Locker for the veteran Hasselbeck if he seems to be overwhelmed.
That right there is one of the biggest things keeping Locker from a possible low-end QB1 ranking. He has the tools to succeed (Arm strength, mobility, etc). And with Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook around him, he has enough weapons to make him a star. So while I don’t like him as a QB1, yet, I do believe he will make an excellent backup option. Especially if your QB1 doesn’t have a bye week until later in the season. By that time, Locker, hopefully, will have made major strides.
With Locker analyzed, lets take a look at Wilson.
When you see how Locker came into the league compared to Wilson, they are almost polar opposites. Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round in this past year’s draft and was expected to be nothing more than a No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart for the 2012 season behind Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson. Locker was drafted to start right out of the gate. As I mentioned above, Locker has quality options to throw to. Wilson is throwing to guys like Sidney Rice (injury prone) and Braylon Edwards (retread).
Some will automatically take this as Wilson not being worthy of even a QB3 spot. How wrong you are.
While Locker has barely held onto a 50% passing average, Wilson has a healthy 67.3 to go along with 5 touchdowns and just 1 interception. Wilson has shown he has tremendous arm strength (Some have compared him to Drew Brees), but has also shown scrambling ability with 150 yards and another score on the ground. This makes me think of a younger Michael Vick with better accuracy. Wilson doesn’t play with urgency in the pocket. And because of his willingness to run, he’s excelled on play-action fakes. Head coach Pete Carroll said he has no problems paying Matt Flynn to stay on the bench. So Wilson will have a long leash to start the season. No doubt about it. Wilson is the biggest surprise of this year’s dynasty class.
Now the question everyone has been waiting for. Which one do I like better?
Just like Rocky was the underdog against Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, I am going to go with the underdog in Wilson. Some may think this preseason is merely a fluke, but I really think this kid could do wonders for a fantasy team severely lacking in play-making quarterbacks. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m down on Locker. He himself should be a quality QB2, but it doesn’t help that Hasselbeck is right behind him and ready to take his job. The same could be said for Wilson and Flynn, but I believe Wilson will have more room to grow and take his lumps compared to Locker, who should be further along than he is in his development after playing in 2011. I might make it seem like Locker is garbage compared to Wilson, but both are still close in my eyes. So if both are sitting there and I have someone like Tom Brady or Matt Ryan locked up as my starter, I am definitely going to lean more towards Wilson’s upside. Just envisioning those rushing touchdowns are too much to pass up.