Player Face Off: Kyler Murray vs. Russell Wilson

This offseason, the guys wanna bring you the most useful content to help you during your draft. The goal is a fantasy championship but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun along the way. In our player face off series we will debate the merits of two players that are similar in ADP at the time or are likely to be two players you choose between in your drafts this fall. We will flip a coin for the rights to that player and then build our case below. At the end we will give our final takes which are not limited to the player we initially got assigned. For even more fun head on over to YouTube and watch us debate these players right on the show.

Big Travy’s Case for Russell Wilson

If I am being asked to provide a case for the most consistent quarterback in all of fantasy football over the last decade, it is very difficult for me not to mention Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have been rewarded in major ways for drafting Wilson 8 years ago as the Seattle signal caller has played in all 128 of the possible games since then. Fantasy GM’s have been rewarded as well over the past 8 years as Wilson has been a top ten fantasy QB in 6 of his 8 seasons as a pro. On top of that, Wilson has been a top 5 QB in half of his time as a pro and finished 2019 as the QB4 overall in most formats.

As much as I could go on about Wilson’s consistency, some pundits in the industry believe that Wilson has been living off high efficiency and that he will inevitably regress to the mean. But here’s my thought - what if this is his mean? What if super consistent and efficient is Wilson’s modus operandi? In 5 out of 8 seasons in his career, Russ has had a completion percentage higher than 64%. Maybe if he hadn’t been so locked in over the last 3 seasons, I could give some credence to the argument that he is bound to fall off the highly efficient mountain top. But looking at the last 3 seasons, he has 31 or more touchdowns and averages 79 carries for 434 rushing yards. If you are going to say that Wilson is due to drop off, you should do so at your own peril this fall.

Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Case for Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray came into the league with a lot of hype. Did he live up to that? Well, that depends on who you ask. Kyler Murray finished as the QB9 in a 6pt per touchdown league. He threw for over 3700 yards, had 24 touchdowns and added 522 rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs. He did have 15 interceptions, but several of those came early in the year and he cleaned that up throughout the season, so I don't see that being a recurring issue. To me, I thought he would finish top 6, but for most they thought somewhere in the late teens. So I guess the true answer is somewhere in between.

Over the offseason the Arizona Cardinals added a major weapon in DeAndre Hopkins. They drafted a first round talent offensive line and they were able to sure up Drake for at least the 2020 season. So this offense is setting up, at least on paper, to be a whole lot better than it was last year. Kyler Murray only had a 3.7% TD rate in 2019, which is below average for an NFL QB. Bringing in D. Hopkins, a full season with Drake, and a second year in this offense suggests a big season is brewing for Kyler Murray. If you missed out on the Lamar Jackson ride, you don't want to miss out on this one.

Big Travy’s Final Word

I am probably going to lose a little bit of sleep over this face off. On one hand I can’t turn away from the mouth watering upside that Kyler Murray possesses, and on the other hand, as I said before maybe no other QB has been as consistent in fantasy football as Russell Wilson. Not to take an easy way out here, but I think this will depend on each team you draft this fall and how you construct your roster. If you find yourself taking some riskier players at the top of your draft and you feel you need to mitigate that risk by selecting Wilson, by all means I cannot fault you. That being said, Murray is not a joke this season and with the addition of the young wide receivers in last year’s draft and then trading for DeAndre Hopkins in this offseason, Kyler looks to have serious QB1 overall upside.

Johnny “Game Time” Hicks’ Final Word

I totally understand the narrative that most players like to rely on… Consistency. Look I get it, I’m a huge fan of that strategy as well. At other positions. Not at the QB position. You can take a bigger gamble on QBs because there are always streamers that are on the waiver. I want to draft the guy that has the upside to completely win me a league. That one thing that we have seen over the last 2 years at the position with Lamar and Patrick Mahomes. Kyler checks all of the boxes you are looking for when drafting a high upside QB, volume, weapons, and rushing. Don’t miss out on this year's Lamar Jackson.