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Seahawks Fantasy Primer

This is a look at five Seahawks that will be drafted in nearly every league and one that won't but should be. I've compared their ESPN and Yahoo rankings to what I foresee as their actual value and offer and opinion of if they're a good buy.

Matt Hasselbeck

Projected Round in a 12 team league: Y! 6-7, ESPN 5

Value: 7-9

I like Hasselbeck, but his stock suffers because of the depth of talent at QB. Though an improved running attack and improved offensive line will help his actual performance, those two factors should also ensure Seattle avoids abandoning the running game. He's not likely to push 4,000 yards again, nor is he likely to improve upon the 28 touchdowns he threw last season. With players like McNabb, Rivers, Cutler and Schaub falling into the mid to late rounds, it's probably not worth it to reach for Hasselbeck.

Julius Jones

Projected Round: Y! 6, ESPN 4

Value: 3-4

Advice: Jones takes a knock in league's that emphasize touchdowns over all other stats. It's hard to be sure Jones will get most of the looks in the end zone. Mike Holmgren is a traditionalist, and with a back like TJ Duckett in the mix, Jones might cede carries within the 10. Jones gets a boost in points per receptions leagues. Holmgren is enamored with his newfound ability to pass to his backs, and after last year's intimate look at his play card, we know he's wanted to "just call" screen passes.

Either way, despite some recent hype and ubiquitous "sleeper" status, Jones is a safe value in almost every league. Seattle's combination of strong D and a good projected record means the Hawks will find themselves protecting a lot of leads. Remember the golden rule: Winning teams produce good fantasy rushers.

Nate Burleson

Projected round: Y! 9 , ESPN 13

Value: 12

Nine touchdowns have a way of inflating a receiver's value. Funny, too, because two of those touchdowns occurred after most leagues had ended, week 17. That number won't carry over. Burleson is Seattle's best red zone wide receiver, but he's no longer Seattle's best red zone weapon. An improved running game, including the addition of a short yardage back, TJ Duckett, and the drafting of John Carlson should cut into the looks Burleson sees in the red zone. Burleson is overvalued.

Bobby Engram

Projected round: Y! 8, ESPN 9

Value: 13

 I'd tread lightly with Engram. The bait is that Engram is ranked well below he performed in 2007. The hook is that Engram is guaranteed to decline. Even if we assume perfect health, and even if we assume no other receiver cuts into his touches, and even if we assume the run game doesn't rebound, Engram's hybrid slot/#1 receiver shenanigans still will be countered by defensive scheme adjustments. If Seattle is running its #1 receiver through the slot, eventually teams will simply assign their #1 corner to the slot. Probably best to avoid Engram unless he falls.

Seattle Defense

Projected Round: Y! 13-14, ESPN 9-10

Value: Final 3 rounds

In Yahoo leagues, Seattle is worth jumping a few rounds to select. Its mix of great returners, weak division and defensive excellence should ensure it a top 5 finish. In ESPN leagues, steer clear unless Seattle's D falls to the final few rounds. There's just not enough stability in defensive performance to warrant taking any defense in anything but the late rounds.

John Carlson

Projected Round: Y! Undrafted, ESPN Undrafted

Value: 15

Carlson is a strong buy in every league. I don't foresee top 5 production, but among the second class of tight ends, he's as solid a buy as any. If you're looking to grab Seattle's defense early, Carlson is an easy final round steal. He will start, he will produce and he should see looks in the red zone.