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Fantasy Football: Over/Under on Marshawn Lynch's carries this year

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Marshawn Lynch has ended his brief Training Camp holdout and was in attendance at Seahawks practice today, which means we can all stop worrying about whether or not he'll play and instead focus on how much the Seahawks will use him. As it pertains to Fantasy Football, the question of whether Lynch continues to be the bellcow back for Seattle or used as part of a more balanced running-back-by-committee approach comes to mind.

No running back has more carries or touchdowns than Marshawn Lynch over the past three seasons and only the Niners have run the ball more times the the Seahawks in that time period (by six attempts). Last year -- among running backs -- only Jamaal Charles scored more touchdowns than Lynch (14), so the combination of all these factors points to Lynch being a big time fantasy producer in 2014.

That said, Lynch is now 28 years old and sits ahead of two talented backs in Christine Michael and Robert Turbin, so it's likely the Seahawks will look to get those two involved more to keep Lynch healthy and fresh into the (hopefully) postseason. Additionally, as part of Lynch's reworked contract, his performance escalator that would've paid out $500,000 when he hit 1,500 yards is now guaranteed money, so this may help Lynch's state of mind if the Hawks start spelling him during games (In other words, he's not going to feel like the team is trying to screw him out of money if he doesn't get 25 carries a game).

So, how will carries be divvied up? Darrell Bevell did say, explicitly, that the Hawks would be a running-back-by-committee, and while he backtracked on that when Lynch started holding out, I wouldn't doubt it's still their plan.

Seahawk running backs ran the ball about 400 times last year, and Lynch averaged about 18 carries per game last year (high of 28, low of 8). Russell Wilson added about 100 more rushes  - both designed runs and scrambles.

My guess -- and it's just a guess -- is that Wilson's carries will decrease in an effort to protect him, so we may see Seattle's stable of backs carry the ball about 425-450 times or so. You have to factor in Percy Harvin as well on the fly-sweep style of things, but as a liberal guess, this comes out, on the high end, to about 28 carries a game for the running backs. How do the Seahawks divide these?

Here's an early guess at how things could get split up:

Marshawn Lynch: 14 carries
Christine Michael: 10 carries
Robert Turbin: 4 carries

This would break out, on the season, to:

Marshawn Lynch: 224 carries
Christine Michael: 160 carries
Robert Turbin: 64 carries

So, what do you think? How far off base am I? Does Robert Turbin really get carries before Christine Michael? Do the Seahawks really start taking Marshawn off the field throughout the season? Give me your take.

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