With Seahawks camp just around the corner there are a number of outstanding questions for potential Seahawk fantasy owners.
Competition or no, if you want to draft a Seattle quarterback late in your fantasy draft who would it be? QB Matt Flynn is the obvious pick. Flynn has not been handed the reigns and he will have to earn them in camp. But QB Tarvaris Jackson is not your normal incumbent. Jackson has not had a stellar career and he played all year with an injury that probably would have stopped many from being able to play at all. But did he fail to impress because he couldn’t or because he won’t? Jackson is not expected by any to start at this point making Flynn a safe pick. Should Jackson beat him out in camp, then grab him off waivers. QB Russell Wilson would be a Hail Mary type of starter for Seattle. I think he is certain to make the team, but start out of the gate as a rookie? I just do not think it is possible unless Flynn is injured. Even if we knew Flynn would be the starter, where should he be picked in a fantasy draft? If you pick him at all then make sure it is in the final three rounds. Until he proves that he will start, that he is not a two-game wonder and that Seattle will let him throw for 300+ yards he is a big gamble. Note my comment on 300+ yard games. We really do not know if Coach Carroll will go with a pass heavy offense when the team is actually capable of it. The team only won last year when they finally dialed down the pass attempts and went with the ground game.
Speaking of the ground game, will RB Marshawn Lynch sit out one or more games due to his DUI? That is the big question for early fantasy drafts. Lynch may or may not carry the load like he did the end of last year, but if he could miss the first few games where should he be drafted? Not to mention that if he sits then 4th round pick RB Robert Turbin will have a real shot at his starting job. Stranger things have happened. Lynch would be a safe #2 running back pick without the DUI. I would still look at him as my second running back, but if you pick him up then be alert to what is happening with the DUI and get a #3 running back earlier in your fantasy draft than you might otherwise or pick up Turbin in the late rounds for insurance.
WR Mike Williams is gone and WR Sidney Rice is healthy for now. If Flynn can put up big numbers, then Rice will also. Seattle has depth here that most fantasy owners will not pay attention too. WR Doug Baldwin, WR Kris Durham and WR Ricardo Lockette all could emerge to make us forget what Big Mike did 2 years ago, if you haven’t already. This may also be WR Golden Tate’s last chance to show he can do something in the NFL. If Rice stays healthy and Flynn throws like he did those other two games, then one of these receivers will be a fantastic fantasy sleeper.
TE Kellen Winslow and TE Zach Miller lining up together sounds like a great fantasy situation … a couple of years ago … with different offenses and different quarterbacks. This has to be a wait and see now. Seattle is starting to look like where fantasy producing tight ends go to end their career. Again, if Flynn is something special then these two will get action with Miller likely to be on top. I would consider picking up Miller if he is still on the board in the last few rounds.
PK Steven Hauschka will be hard to predict. This is another area to wait and see. If Flynn produces, then Hauschka will be far better than anyone expects. If not, then he will be just below average just like last year.
Seattle will be betting the bank on their defense this year. The secondary is set with SS Kam Chancellor as a great IDP pick and FS Earl Thomas right behind him. CB Richard Sherman and CB Brandon Browner will only be better especially with former starter CB Walter Thurmond back from injury along with veteran CB Marcus Trufant.
LB Bobby Wagner looks to start in the middle as a rookie. He will need to be watched to see if he or LB KJ Wright gets the most tackles. The other areas of the defense have caught up to the linebackers which could make their fantasy totals less than what it used to be.
DE Bruce Irvin will very likely see a lot more action than most suspect and should have a much better fantasy value than most owners will anticipate. His value will directly impact DE Red Bryant who may see less reps. DE Chris Clemons is currently holding out. It is not likely that he will continue because this seems to be just posturing. Posturing that has cost him $1 million in base salary so far. This makes him a gamble as an IDP lineman.
All this means that Seattle may be putting the best defense on the field that it has in years. The team defense will still likely be undervalued in your fantasy draft so they can be picked up late like most of the ‘Hawks.