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With the regular season almost upon us and the fact that Field Gulls is going to be doing a righteous fantasy football league sponsored by and through Yahoo Sports, I figured I would give my take on the Seahawks best and worst fantasy players.
FIrst off, let's take a look at players that could have good seasons and are bound to be drafted relatively high.
WR Sidney Rice -- Rice is coming off an injury-shortened season but still has value because he's got a nose for the endzone, is good deep, and catches everything thrown his way. I wouldn't recommend Seahawks receivers over many other teams for the simple fact that the quarterback position is a very big question mark. Rice has the talent and ability but based on the Seahawks passing attack from last year, he could underwhelm. My guess is that because of this, he'll be available later and could be a good value pick up.
WR Mike Williams -- Worth taking a look at in PPR leagues, my guess is that Williams will be the Seahawks prototypical possession receiver in 2011. As with Rice, you have to take a look at who is throwing him the ball, but the talent is there. I think he'll be improved over last year when he had 65 receptions for 751 yards. He averaged nearly 5 receptions per game he played in (including one game against the Saints in which he left very early), and should find the endzone more than twice in 2011.
TE Zach Miller -- Miller is worth a look in leagues that feature the tight end position, but really, he's even worth picking up in leagues that offer W/TE flex options. He's a catching machine so if you're in a PPR league definitely look for him to excel. He's a quarterback's best friend, having top-tier seasons every year in the league, and a Pro-Bowl appearance in 2010 as a TE catching passes from middling QBs Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski. You have to hope that he can continue this dominance in Seattle catching passes from a middling QB in Tarvaris Jackson.
RB Marshawn Lynch -- After the investment the Seahawks have put into the offensive line, you have to hope that Lynch can produce big numbers. He's likely to be the featured back (though I doubt there will be a true "feature back" on this squad) and will likely get goal-line duties. However, the offensive line in front of him is young, inexperienced and will be a big question mark. Lynch will likely be available a little later and could be a good gamble pick as a 2nd or 3rd running back. If the Seahawks commit to the run as much as they claim they will, he could have a big jump in fantasy production this season.
The following players can be worth a look in the deeper, 12+ team leagues and leagues with broader scoring rules (like kickoff return yards etc):
RB Leon Washington -- I'm on the Leon Washington getting more touches bandwagon. I think if he earns more touches he'll really surprise some people. He's explosive, shifty, and very dangerous in the pass game. He's worth a look in PPR leagues because he'll catch a lot of balls out of the backfield. He also figures to be involved in the return game a lot so that's something to watch.
WR Golden Tate -- Tate is similar to Washington in that if he can earn some touches, he could really do some damage. He's fast, tough to bring down, has sure hands, and will be involved in the punt return game most likely. If he can get on the same page as Tarvaris Jackson, you can expect good things. If he's used in the Percy Harvin role in Darrell Bevell's offense, Tate will factor into fantasy football quite a bit -- rushing, receiving, returning. He's got triple threat potential.
QB Tarvaris Jackson -- yes, I said it. If you're running in a 12+ team league that starts 2 or more QBs, Jackson could be a steal in the later rounds. Why? Well, just look at his weapons. Rice, Williams, Tate, Miller, Carlson, and even Durham, Morrah, McCoy, Obomanu, and maybe Deon Bulter could be involved. With that many weapons and an ability to run, expect Jackson to surprise some people in the fantasy football world.
TE John Carlson -- I think that if the Seahawks hang on to Carlson, he could become a pretty potent weapon for the offense. We say this every year of course, but the fact is that Carlson is a very good route-runner, has decent hands, and has a knack for finding the soft spot in the zone. He's a huge target, and used in conjunction with Miller in the redzone could provide some matchup nightmares for opposing defenses.
Here are a list of guys I would avoid:
RB Justin Forsett -- I love Forsett and think he's a very good running back, but I think he'll get lost in the shuffle a bit with Lynch and Washington leading the way. I think Washington is more dynamic and dangerous in the pass game so Forsett will lose snaps to him. Lynch is most likely going to be the goal-line and 1st, 2nd down back so that doesn't leave a lot of scoring opportunities for Forsett. He may surprise me, but I wouldn't bank on Forsett in fanstasy football.
WR Ben Obomanu -- Another guy that I see getting lost in the receiver shuffle. Between Rice, Williams, Tate, and Durham, I'm not sure how many looks he'll get. Compound this with the idea or fear that Tarvaris Jackson will have trouble getting his weapons the ball and Obomanu's stock in fantasy leagues in in the tank.
TE Cameron Morrah -- You guessed it, he'll get lost in the shuffle. In the case of injuries at TE I'd give him a look, but until that happens, avoid Morrah.
QB Charlie Whitehurst -- Even if he was starting, I'd take just about any other starting QB over Whitehurst in fantasy football. Until he proves me otherwise, I wouldn't expect a ton of passing yardage, touchdowns, or rushing yards from the Hawks' backup QB. If you're desperate and Jackson gets hurt, I guess he might be worth a look, just based on the weapons he'll have available to him.
Tell me where I'm wrong. Let's discuss.