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Fantasy Football 2013: Sleepers for the Seattle Seahawks


Looking for Fantasy Football Sleepers in the NFL season 2013? A diamond in the rough?

There, now that's a hell of a lede. Everyone loves finding a fantasy football needle in a haystack, super-undervalued-guy that comes onto the scene and just blows everyone away. Kenbrell Thompkins might be that guy with the Patriots. Maybe Lamar Miller with the Dolphins? Last year, it was this guy named Alfred Morris. What kind of person in their right mind is going to draft a guy named Alfred when they don't know anything about him? Only the people that studied hard, and they were rewarded handsomely for that research.

If you're looking for that guy this year though, the Seahawks might not be the team to depend on.

With incumbent starters seemingly entrenched at every skill position - tight end (Zach Miller), running back (Marshawn Lynch), wide receiver (Sidney Rice/Golden Tate), and quarterback (that short stubby guy) - your hopes of finding a 'sleeper' or diamond in the rough here is probably more dependent on injuries happening than a surprise talent emerging to get a bunch of targets or carries ahead of established players.

NOW. THAT SAID. There could be a few guys that just might surprise.

At receiver, there are two guys that I could see ending up stealing targets and touchdowns from the twosome of Rice and Tate, and I'm basing this on talent, not injury factors. First up:

Doug Baldwin:

Baldwin had a breakout season in 2011 as a rookie and led the team in receptions with 51 and yards with 788, adding four touchdowns. Baldwin struggled in 2012 with injuries, and fell out of the fantasy football discussion, but in 2013, Baldwin's place in the Seahawk offense as the Percy Harvin placeholder in the slot could mean he gets the targets the team had been planning for Percy.

Russell Wilson's two main goals for the season are to improve on 3rd down and improve in the redzone. These are two areas in which he targeted Baldwin toward the end of last year, and with a heightened focus on those areas, I could see Baldwin reap the benefits.

Now, I'm not going to oversell him. This is still a low volume passing attack and he's third on the totem poll in terms of likely targets, but he's a savvy, instinctual route runner that catches most of everything thrown in his direction.

Stephen Williams:

I'm including Williams solely for the the fact that he's excelled on deep passes in training camp and the preseason. The Seahawks seem dedicated to creating explosive plays, and if Williams can prove that he can get over the top of defenses in the regular season, make no mistake, Russell Wilson will throw him the ball.

I see Williams in a similar light to a Chris Givens from last season as a deep route running target. Givens averaged 16.6 yards per reception and had an absurd amount of 50+ yard catches from Sam Bradford on his way to 42 receptions for 698 yards and three touchdowns.

I'm not buying with Williams at this point - I don't think Williams will end up catching as many passes or put up that much production, but only suggesting he's a guy to monitor. If you're in a deeper 12 to 16 man league and need to grab a guy off the waiver wire, at least Williams is theoretically going to be getting the right types of targets. However, if Sidney Rice or Golden Tate miss time this year, he becomes more interesting.

Ultimately, if you want a sleeper on the Seahawks - look at the running backs group.

Robert Turbin:

First off. I think Turbo is more of a handcuff sleeper than a real threat to steal snaps from Lynch. But, still. Here you are.

Marshawn Lynch has had 300+ carries over the past two seasons. He's missed many practices with back spasms over that time and is seemingly permanently entrenched on the injury report. To be frank, it's optimistic to expect he'll play 16 games in 2013, particularly because Seattle's running backs coach Sherman Smith and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell seem content to keep running him 300+ times a year. That, combined with the fact that Lynch takes a beating with just about every carry - just in the style he runs - makes his overall health a concern. Enter Robert Turbin.

Despite the Seahawks' decision to draft Christine Michael in the 2nd round this season, all indications are that Robert Turbin would inherit the lion's share of Lynch's carries if the Beast were to miss time. Those indications are mostly inferred from quotes from Sherman Smith, who again reiterated recently that Christine Michael is going to have a hard time even being active on gamedays as he sits behind Lynch and Turbin on the depth chart.

Regardless, while Turbin is entrenched at the number two running back spot, if Lynch goes down, pick him up for your team immediately. The Seahawks' offense is centered around the run game and no team rushed the ball more than Seattle in 2012. Turbin is also a solid threat receiving the football, so in PPR leagues, that increases his value.

Want to know more? Our own Kenneth Arthur has you covered, and has broken down several divisions team-by-team, so make sure you check out his fantasy football previews. You can also use this as this week's fantasy football open thread. Go!


NFC West:

Seattle Seahawks fantasy football draft preview: Is this the real life? -
Is this just fantasy? It looks like the green-and-blue team from the Northwest has finally escaped from reality.

San Francisco 49ers fantasy football draft preview: Looking for somebody to catch on -
The 49ers are trying to piece things back together after some injuries and disappointments this offseason, so who's left to be had in your fantasy league? Plenty.

St. Louis Rams fantasy football draft preview: Not an oxymoron anymore? -
A decade of disappointment looks like it could finally be turning into a positive for the Rams, but will the offense catch up to the defense this year? And is there a single running back on this team worth drafting?

Arizona Cardinals fantasy football draft preview: Getting rid of Skelton's and Kolb webs from your closet -
Possibly the worst offense in the NFL, the Cards added a veteran QB, veteran RB, and elite guard prospect -- but is it enough?

AFC East:

Miami Dolphins fantasy football draft preview: Either surprise or disappointment awaits -
The Dolphins made perhaps the biggest move of the offseason by signing Mike Wallace, but did a failure to address the offensive line negate that positive acquisition? Here's a preview of the offense and some predictions on production.

New York Jets fantasy football draft preview: How long until the Jets are san Sanchez? -
The Jets offense finally went a year without being carried by the defense, and it was very noticeable. Can they turn it around with a new coaching staff around Rex Ryan, and can Mark Sanchez keep his job longer than a week?

Buffalo Bills Fantasy Football Preview: Spiller? I hardly know why not -
Embarking on another rebuild, can the guy that helped build the high-powered offense of the Saints do the same with the Bills? And will any of these guys besides Spiller be worth a fantasy nickelpiece in 2013?

New England Patriots Fantasy Football Preview: When things change and also stay the same -
The Patriots offense will have a lot of new names in skill positions in 2013, but will they be just as productive as ever or has the window of "Brady and Belichik" begun to close?

NFC North:

Minnesota Vikings fantasy football draft preview: Is anyone besides Adrian Peterson worth drafting? -
The focus on Minnesota is once again going to be Adrian Peterson, but the key to the entire offense is still going to go through the quarterback. Can Ponder finally find a receiver over yonder?

Chicago Bears fantasy football draft preview: A new look for an old NFL staple -
By hiring an offensive-minded coach for the first time since Mike Ditka in 1982, the Bears hope to revitalize the franchise. Will the new coaches help revitalize Jay Cutler and the offense?

Detroit Lions fantasy football draft preview: Better than they look? -
The Lions finished 4-12 last season, but were they underrated? What once seemed like a lost cause might turn into the league's most explosive offense. Here are the players you'll need to pay attention to.

Green Bay Packers fantasy football draft preview: How many more breakout stars do they have this season? -
The Packers rarely go unnoticed, but some new names at running back could change the dynamic of the offense. Not to mention, your fantasy team.

AFC South:

Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy football draft preview: A sleeper in the South? -
The Jaguars were a disaster last season, losing 14 games in the AFC and finishing near the bottom in offense. Could they surprise in 2013? I think so, but maybe not in the way fans normally expect.

Tennessee Titans fantasy football draft preview: Which receiver is going to catch on this year? -
The Titans gave up the most points in the NFL last season. Can their offense start to play like a team that's facing their own defense, or are the Titans doomed to "Chris Johnson" the joint up?

Houston Texans fantasy football draft preview: A real Schaub story -
A disappointing finish for the Texans last year, but Houston is still loaded with some of the most elite players in the game. Which ones should you be drafting in your league?

Indianapolis Colts fantasy football draft preview: Does the Luck run out this year? -
The Colts are going to need more than Luck this year to make it back into the playoffs. Can you make your fantasy playoffs with Luck and his (mostly) young cohorts? Find out here.

AFC North:

Cleveland Browns fantasy football draft preview: If a tree scores a touchdown in Cleveland... -
The Browns have posted double-digit losses in nine of the last ten seasons. Can a new head coach change that and will the new offensive regime produce any fantasy stars for your team?

Cincinnati Bengals fantasy football draft preview: High expectations put Cincy in unfamiliar territory -
With back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1982, the Bengals are expected to make a deep playoff run this year. Will they be able to live up to the hype and how many players can join AJ Green as fantasy stars?