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Two offseasons ago, the Broncos traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and more for Russell Wilson. Last week, Denver permitted him to speak to other teams, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday night that Wilson plans to sign with the Steelers on a team-friendly deal, with the Broncos also owing him $38 million. It was a disastrous marriage between Wilson and the Broncos, and Pittsburgh will now hope Wilson has something left in the tank after an uninspiring past two seasons. Meanwhile, Denver’s offense is in disarray with a major question mark at the QB position. Let’s break this signing down from a fantasy perspective.



  • Wilson’s efficiency has plunged over the past two years after a decade of hyper-efficient play with the Seahawks. He ranked below average in yards per attempt for the first time in his career in 2023, and Pro Football Focus ranked him 21st out of 39 passers with at least 200 dropbacks last year — just two spots ahead of Kenny Pickett, who may be backing him up this upcoming season.
  • Wilson’s 80 carries marked his highest total since 2020, and his rushing volume likely would’ve matched his early-career numbers if he had played all 17 games, but his rushing efficiency has dipped dramatically as his age has become a bigger factor. At this point, Wilson is an alright runner but not someone whose legs will propel him to fantasy relevancy.
  • The Steelers became one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL after Matt Canada was fired, posting more games with a double-digit negative Pass Rate Over Expectation (four) than weeks with a positive PROE (one), and then they hired Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator. That displays a clear desire to run the football, so Wilson’s pass volume should be pretty low.
  • Diontae Johnson might not be on the team come September. If he’s gone, the only proven pass catchers on the Steelers’ roster right now would be George PickensPat Freiermuth, and the two running backs. While Pittsburgh will likely add more receiving weapons in free agency or the draft — especially since Wilson took a team-friendly deal — this will still probably be a below-average receiving room.
  • In best ball, you’re drafting Wilson because he’ll start games, not because you expect big numbers. The team also made only a small commitment to him, and it’s not completely out of the question that Pickett could play if Wilson totally falls off the rails.



  • This is an upgrade compared to Pickett and it’s better for the pass catchers than someone like Justin Fields. Wilson isn’t what he used to be, but he can still distribute the ball fairly efficiently. As mentioned above, we don’t know where Diontae Johnson will be playing in 2024, so Pickens is the pass catcher who will benefit most. The former second-round pick and contested-catch specialist proved himself as a respectable target earner in his second pro season, finishing with a 21.5% seasonal target share, including at least a 21.4% share in all four games Johnson missed. If Diontae is gone, Pickens has a clear path to triple-digit targets with an upgraded QB situation. Beyond Pickens and Freiermuth, we’ll see who the Steelers add to help Russ, as Calvin Austin is currently WR2 on the depth chart assuming Johnson is gone.
  • The Broncos also lapped the field with an absurd 32.1% of targets to running backs last season after ranking fourth in that category in 2022. Some of that 2023 number is the Sean Payton factor, but Najee Harris and especially Jaylen Warren could post gaudy target volume with Wilson under center.



  • We knew Wilson wouldn’t be back, so this doesn’t affect Denver guys as much. The Broncos’ QB situation is one to watch in the coming weeks, as they haven’t really been linked to Kirk CousinsJustin Fields, or any other free-agent quarterback. The Denver offense could be pretty brutal in 2024 if they don’t make an unexpected splash signing or trade. With Jerry Jeudy gone (we talked through the fantasy implications of that here), Sutton is in line for all of the targets he can handle and promising speedster Marvin Mims should have an expanded role, but the quality of targets for the Broncos will likely be poor.