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Fantasy fallout: Impact of Russell Wilson-Drew Lock trade

We go over the fantasy football implications of the blockbuster deal involving the Broncos and Seahawks at QB.

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before an NFL preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field on August 21, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon a blockbuster trade went down that will see Russell Wilson heading to the Denver Broncos. Denver will be sending back a flurry of draft picks as well as quarterback Drew Lock and tight end Noah Fant in the return to the Seattle Seahawks. This news comes on the heels of Aaron Rodgers signing an extension in Green Bay so the Broncos went out and found their franchise quarterback a different way.

Fantasy football analysis: Russell Wilson-Drew Lock trade

How trade impacts Wilson, Broncos

For Wilson, the trade still sees him as a top fantasy option for a quarterback. In Seattle, he leaves behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but he gains Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. The Broncos pass-catchers all get a notable uptick in expectations due to the significant upgrade under center. With Fant out of town, we will see how the Broncos plan to use Albert Okwuegbunam who heads into his third season with Denver.

Also, don’t be surprised if this helps to improve the fantasy outlook for running back Javonte Williams. Melvin Gordon is a free agent, so Williams could walk into lead-back territory as well as having the versatility of Wilson under center. The 2022 Broncos offense could be a must-watch.

How trade impacts Lock, Seahawks

On the flip side of things, Lock has some fantasy value on the Seahawks, that is, if they intend to use him as their starting quarterback. Lock is on a team-friendly rookie deal so there is still room for the Seahawks to go out and find a new quarterback either through the draft or upcoming free agency.

Metcalf and Lockett will see a decrease in expectations until the starting quarterback question comes into focus. Even with Lock under center, they will retain some value, but it won’t be the WR1 statuses we’re accustomed to seeing them in. One of the pieces headed back to Seattle in the deal is Noah Fant. Fant was a TE1 for the Broncos, but his value remains to be seen with who will be under center. The Seahawks have had seasons with relevant tight ends, but recently that has been the case.

Final thoughts

Wilson is going to remain stagnant in quarterback rankings given his talent and his ability to lift up those around him. You will see Jeudy and Sutton’s value skyrocket with the uptick in the quality of passes that will come their way. On the flip side, Metcalf and Lockett will drop but their talent alone gives them fantasy relevancy even if they had me under center.