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Fantasy Football 2014: Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin shine in Percy Harvin's absence

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Michael B. Thomas

The real life outcome of this game was a lot less sweet than the fantasy fruits it produced appeared to be. The Seahawks coming off a tough loss at home to the Dallas Cowboys took their talents to St Louis in what would result in another brutal loss. After a couple good shower cries I brought myself to the keyboard to write this suicide note.

Dear die'ary...

[QB]

Russell Wilson - So it appears that Russell bounced back in a major way on Sunday and did it with his best fantasy performance of the season. On a day where he reached a season high of pass attempts (36), and rushed for over 100 yards for the second time this season, Russell showed exactly what his full array of weapons look like together. Even without the physically gifted and mentally fractured Percy Harvin around to give Russell a dynamic outlet, he was still incredibly dominant. Completing 23 of 36 passes for 313 yards through the air, Wilson found holes all over the St Louis secondary.

As impressive as Russell was through the air, it was his legs that really became the cherry on top of his fantasy outing Sunday. Rushing just 7 times for 106 yards and a score, Russell looked absolutely lethal on the ground.

Passing for 2 touchdowns on the day as usual, it didn't seem like the loss of Harvin caused Russell or the Seahawks to skip a beat offensively. I've stood behind Russell every game this year and this is exactly why I do. Despite not having notable names in his receiving corps, what Wilson can do with his arm and legs make his a nearly unbenchable QB1 week in and week out. After todays game Russell Wilson is averaging 27.17 points per game in fantasy football.

(106 Rush Yards, 1 Rush TD, 313 Pass Yards, 2 Pass TDs = Total Points 41.12)

[RB]

Marshawn Lynch - Truthfully, a pretty underwhelming performance from one of the most productive backs in the game. A slight reduction in pass game usage (2 targets) and a rough day at the office rushing left Lynch and owners with a sad face this afternoon. Lynch received the rock 18 times out of the backfield and converted it into only 53 yards (2.9 YPC).

Lynch fought his hardest, but the St Louis defensive front was absolutely vicious, and the bottom line is that they got the better of "Beast Mode" on this occasion. Some will chalk this performance up to the last minute scratch of the Seahawks starting fullback Derrick Coleman, as Robert Turbin assumed his role for the day. This is now back to back games where Marshawn has been held below double digits in fantasy points. Expect a bounce back performance next week vs a middling Carolina Panthers defense on the road. Lynch is still a definite RB1 heading into next weeks battle.

(53 Rush Yards, 2 Catches, 18 Rec Yards = Standard 7.1 Points/PPR 9.1 Points)

Robert Turbin -  He had 2 carries for 7 yards and assumed the role of fullback as Derrick Coleman had to sit out the game with a last minute injury. Surprisingly effective in the pass game today, Turbin reeled in 3 catches for 24 yards on 4 targets. Rarely relevant anyway, Turbin was strictly a role player today and made his money on the few passes he hauled in.

(7 Rush Yards, 3 Catches, 24 Rec Yards = Standard 3.1/PPR 6.1 Point)

Christine Michael - There was a Michael sighting Sunday, and if you blinked then you probably missed it. He saw 2 carries for 5 yards in a day that netted him limited work. His value at this point is either in an injury, or as an extremely strong dynasty hold. He is the future back to own in Seattle and if your league offers keepers then I think he's about as buy low as he will ever be right now. There is little fantasy relevance here for now, but closer towards the end of the season we may begin to see a transition from Lynch to Michael if he can stay healthy.

(5 Rush Yards = Standard/PPR Points .5)

[WR]

Doug Baldwin - For those of you who either jumped on Doug Baldwin after the Percy Harvin trade or those of you who owned him before, on Sunday he thanked you in a MAJOR way. He appeared to be Russell's clear cut #1 target going into the game versus the Rams, and when it was all said and done, that assumption was confirmed. Doug blew up today in a major way, seeing a team-high 11 targets, and went off for a ridiculous 7-123-1 line this afternoon.

Stepping up for Russell as his go-to option, Doug played hard nosed and physically as he ripped off big yards and made critical blocks downfield for his teammates. At this point with no Percy Harvin, and Russell Wilson showing he make plays out of nothing on a weekly basis, you have to put Baldwin into that mid/high end WR4 range right away. If he sees a consistent average of 7-9 targets per game then he will be an excellent option in all PPR formats. I expect Paul Richardson and Jermaine Kearse to eat into the targets to some extent, but, Baldwin has more or less always been the guy this season and without Percy around I think that role only continues to grow further.

(7 Catches, 123 Rec Yards, 1 TD = Standard 18.3/PPR = 24.3 Points)

Jermaine Kearse - Posting 3 catches for 50 yards on 7 targets, Jermaine was definitely a focal point of Sunday's pass game. His biggest play of the game was a 29 yard catch and run reception. Kearse has the potential for big play ability but similar to Doug in some sense attempting to judge when or if it will happen could be more difficult. Kearse for now is Wilson's #2 receiving option. He is in the WR4/WR5 conversation, albeit he could be harder to gauge from week to week than Baldwin from a usage standpoint. PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

(3 Catches, 50 Rec Yards = Standard 5 Points/PPR = 8 Points)

Paul Richardson - The 45th overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2014 draft. In light of recent news, some reports are that Richardson will serve as a replacement for Harvin sooner rather than later, which as of this last week has become apparent. Verse the Rams on Sunday Richardson put up a 4 catches for 33 yards on 5 targets. A speedy, undersized wideout, Richardson has the ability to soften the blow that the loss of Percy Harvin created. He's still very much off the redraft radar for the time being, but, he is a definite dynasty league hold.

(4 Catches, 33 Yards = Standard 3.3/PPR = 7.3 Points)

Kevin Norwood - For dynasty purposes, Kevin Norwood is an intriguing name to keep an eye on. An athletic, 6'-2"/200lb wide receiver on a team that isn't overly deep with sizeable players at that position. Norwood in limited playing time saw 1 target which he pulled in for 4 yards. He is no where near the fantasy radar or even the building that the radar is used inside of to locate these players. Consider him fantasy irellevant in any format but the deepest dynasty/keeper leagues.

(1 Catch,  4 Rec Yards = Standard .4/PPR 1.4 Points)

[TE]

Cooper Helfet - Ok, I'll bite. Mr. Helfet found a place in the Seattle pass game pie today as he produced a 3-61-1 day on 6 total targets. His touchdown was on a dime of a pass by Russell Wilson into the outside edge of the endzone as Cooper made an incredible grab to just barely keep his toes in bounds for the touchdown. He's made some serious flashes of talent over the past few weeks and is someone to keep an eye on in loom of the Seahawks aggressive trade efforts to net a tight end with Percy Harvin before he left for the Jets. Cooper is off the redraft radar, and borderline untouchable until he usage sustains, but he is someone to keep an eye on.

(3 Catches, 61 Rec Yards, 1 TD = Standard 12.1/PPR 15.1 Points)

[DST]

Seattle Seahawks - By fantasy standards this was a putrid effort by the Seattle DST. No sacks, no interceptions, no forced fumbles, no kick return yardage, no kick return touchdowns, and a bunch of points allowed.

It was singlehandedly the special teams that cost Seattle this win. On two separate tricks plays the Seahawks special teams looked absolutely ridiculous, like a wearing brown leather shoes with a pair of adidas track pants, maybe worse. Allowing a long punt return touchdown and worst of all a fake punt for a passing first down. Entering the 2014 season the Seattle DST was drafted unreasonably high in fantasy drafts and they just have not lived up to the expectation.\

In 6 games this season the Seattle DST has only scored double digit points just one time. Collectively one of the most gifted defensive groups in the game, but, for fantasy purposes they may be more of a match-up dependent choice now rather than an every week "must start".

(28 Points Allowed, 62 Return Yards = Standard/PPR = .55 Points)

[K]

Steven Hauschka - A modest kicking performance by Hauschka on Sunday. He always extremely accurate, but tonight was a mid level point production. Going 2 for 2 from field goal range and sinking 2 extra points Steven made the best of his opportunities.

(2 FG's, 2 XP's = 8 Total Points)