This is a weekly presentation of our Fantasy Football Team Showcase, which is a breakdown of each NFL team’s top fantasy players by position. This analysis we will feature the Seattle Seahawks and their high powered defense. Check out our analysis on the Dallas Cowboys.
With these articles you will find a player from each key position to target in fantasy football. The lists will consist as to why they are chosen as the top player for their respective positions and teams, players poised to breakout or as sleepers, 2pt specialists and a new format based off of individual defensive players.
The Seattle Seahawks (12-4 record and first in the NFC West) were one offensive mistake away from beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. With one of the best defenses in the NFL last season, the Seahawks continued their reign on the NFC West. On offense, they were one of the best running teams in the league, with both Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. This offseason we saw the team make a blockbuster trade for All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham. The Seahawks also spent a lot of money resigning Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, and should help fortify the franchises success for the near future.
QB Russell Wilson: Arguably the best running quarterback in the NFL, Wilson brings fantasy value because of that. No other quarterback came close to Wilson’s 849 rushing yards, which helped him be the third ranked fantasy quarterback last season. I expect his rushing numbers to decrease, but with Graham in the mix, Wilson’s passing yards and touchdowns should increase. With the offseason addition of Jimmy Graham, I would consider Wilson to be a top five fantasy quarterback this season. (Week 1 Salary: $8,800)
TE Jimmy Graham: The All-Pro tight end was traded from the pass happy Saints to the run heavy Seahawks offense. As the third ranked tight end last season with 85 receptions on 125 targets, I expect those numbers to be 65 receptions on 100 targets. The only statistic I expect to be similar is for him to be around 10 touchdowns. Graham’s fantasy ranking should drop a few spots this season with the Seahawks. (Week 1 Salary: 8,000)
RB Marshawn Lynch: Over the past four seasons, Lynch has put together four straight 1,000 yard seasons. Lynch was the third ranked fantasy running back and the 16th overall offensive player. Now, after signing a big three year contract in the offseason, I would expect nothing but fantasy production from Lynch once again. Although adding Jimmy Graham should help open things up for Lynch and the run game, the only worry I have with Lynch this season is the loss of center Max Unger, who anchored the line last season. (Week 1 Salary: $9,200)
WR Doug Baldwin: The Seahawks have one of the worst receiving corps in the league, and do not have much value in terms of fantasy. Besides Jimmy Graham, Baldwin is the team’s number one outside option in the receiving game. I don’t expect any other receiver besides Tyler Lockett to be fantasy relevant, and that is only if Lockett earns a role within the offense. For Baldwin, he should be a valuable free agent wire pick up, but there is no need to draft him in your league. There are other receiving options that can provide more value than Baldwin, but he can be a solid player to stash on your bench. (Week 1 Salary: $6,100)
WR Tyler Lockett: Lockett made a splash in his first preseason game with his big kickoff return for a touchdown. Lockett will be the team’s primary return specialist, but I also think that he will earn a bigger role within the offense at some point down the road. Although he may not be a fantasy must have this season, Lockett should become a fantasy threat if he does earn that role within the offense. (Week 1 Salary: $4,100)
LB Bobby Wagner: Even though Wagner missed five games due to injury last season, the Seahawks still rewarded him with a huge contract. Wagner was the 38th ranked fantasy linebacker, even after missing five games. Wagner’s contract has now put him in the top tier of defensive players with his salary, and will now be expected to live up to his billing. I expect Wagner to be a top 10 fantasy linebacker this season, and should be a popular player in IDP formats. (Week 1 Salary: $7,600)
LB KJ Wright: Wright had his best season in the league, and that helped him be the 28th ranked fantasy linebacker. With just over 100 touchdowns and his three forced fumbles, Wright was a pleasant surprise to the Seahawks defense. As talented as Wright is, I expect him to drop some spots on the list, but for him to still be a top 50 fantasy linebacker. (Week 1 Salary: $5,300)
DB Earl Thomas: One of the best two or three safeties in the entire league, Thomas was the 24th ranked defensive back in fantasy. Leading one of the best defense in the league, Thomas is arguably the best defensive player on the team. Last season was a bit of a down year in terms of interceptions for Thomas, but he still managed to force three fumbles. When healthy, Thomas should be considered one of the best fantasy defensive backs in the NFL. (Week 1 Salary: $5,000)
LB Bruce Irvin: In his three NFL seasons, Irvin had his most productive. He produced six sacks, nine tackles for loss, but the biggest step he took was converting two of his turnovers into touchdowns. Irvin is in his contract season, and I expect him to earn that. Although rumors have swirled about Irvin saying he is going to Atlanta after this season to reunite with Dan Quinn, expect him to produce better overall statistics. (Week 1 Salary: $4,500)
K Steven Hauschka: Hauschka has been a highly productive kicker since he joined the Seahawks back in the 2011 as a free agent. Last season he ranked as the fifth best fantasy kicker, converting 31 of his 37 field goals and all 41 of his extra points. Hauschka should be one of your top kicking options for your fantasy team this season, and I expect him to continue to be a top six kicker. (Week 1 Salary: $5,100)
2Pt Specialist: With the extra point line being pushed back to the 15 yard line teams might consider going for two after touchdowns this coming season. Some of the key players to look for the Seahawks to rely on in these situations are tight end Jimmy Graham, running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson. Both Graham and Lynch are some of the best red zone weapons in the game, and now they are on the same team. Graham provides the leaping and rebounding ability with his basketball background. Lynch brings the inside power run game with his “Beast Mode” persona. Lastly, Russell Wilson, who is arguably the best running quarterback in the league. With the threat of Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, it opens up the zone read options for Wilson.
Rookie Impact: As rookies go, the Seahawks traded away their first round pick for Jimmy Graham. With the rest of the team’s 2015 draft picks, I only expect two of them to make an impact this season. To start, defensive end Frank Clark out of Michigan should eventually find a role on the defense this season. The only role I see Clark playing this season is as a situational pass rusher, but I don’t expect that to happen until later in the season. Lastly, third round receiver Tyler Lockett out of Kansas State. Lockett has already made an impact in the team’s first preseason game with his kick return for a touchdown. I expect Lockett to become a fixture in the offense, especially towards the end of the season. The biggest impact Lockett will have as a rookie will be his return ability.
The Seattle Seahawks look to continue their reign on the NFC West and the rest of the NFL. With arguably the best defense in the league, the Seahawks did not bring in much outside help on that side of the ball, but they did replace Byron Maxwell with Cary Williams. On the offensive side of the ball, the Seahawks made a splash by trading for star tight end Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. With the addition of Graham to the offense, Russell Wilson’s offensive production should increase. I fully expect the Seahawks to continue to be one of the best teams in the NFL, and to compete for a third stay Super Bowl berth.
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