Never one to shy away from bold statements, former Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson is predicting greatness for New York Jets second-year quarterback Zach Wilson – going so far as to compare him to former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Should fantasy managers take notice?
Johnson knows a thing or two about NFL quarterbacks making a big leap in their second season. After a so-so rookie campaign in 2004, former Bengals signal caller Carson Palmer led the league with 32 TD passes a year later. Still a few years before he changed his name to Ochocinco, Johnson was a big factor in Palmer’s success. That year, Johnson had a league-best 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and nine TDs.
“Zach is extremely good,” Johnson said in an interview with Sports Illustrated last week. “He has the ‘it’ factor – very Patrick Mahomes-ish. I’m not saying he’s Patrick Mahomes, but you watch his mechanics, his throwing motion, the way he moves, he’s very Patrick Mahomes-ish. So I became a fan. … Zach Wilson is gonna flourish; he’s gonna flourish in New York. It’s all about (Jets head coach Robert) Saleh … getting the right pieces around him. He and Elijah Moore, this year, they gonna create magic.”
Moore, who was also a rookie in 2021, caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns.
Wilson passed for 2,334 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie last season. He threw 11 interceptions in his first eight starts but none in his last five, indicating positive development. In addition to Moore and A.J. Brown, it doesn’t hurt that the Jets added Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson with the 10th pick of the 2022 draft. Wilson has looked very good early in training camp.
“I say this all the time when it comes to young quarterbacks,” said Johnson, “the better the supporting cast, the easier their job becomes, where the onus isn’t just on him to get the job done.”
Wilson is currently the 25th quarterback off the board in National Fantasy Football Championship drafts with an average draft position of 177, so you can draft him as your backup QB and get him in the 13th round or later. And if he plays half as good as Johnson predicts, you’ll have a steal.
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