When it comes to fantasy football, the Seattle Seahawks provide a few players each year that are always on the radar of every fantasy football manager. This year, there are five guys in Seattle that should be on everyone’s radar, some more obvious than others. Each of these players are either proven to be a viable commodity on any fantasy team, or they are likely to make a push for more fantasy relevance in 2018. To note, I will be making projections and basing my information upon PPR stats, as PPR has become the more popular format of fantasy football.
Russell Wilson - QB
To start, the most obvious fantasy asset from the Seattle Seahawks must be Russell Wilson. Wilson was the number one ranked fantasy quarterback at the end of the season, as he scored the most points at the position with 337. This amounted to 21.1 points per game, which is incredible numbers for any position. The reason why Russell Wilson must be considered to be one of the first quarterbacks taken off everyone’s board is that he literally carries his team. Wilson does it all up in Seattle and takes on a heavy load of work. Russell accounted for all but one touchdown last season for Seattle’s offense, and he was the most consistent rusher of the football throughout the season, as Seattle battled injuries and vast change at the running back position throughout the year. I certainly believe that Wilson will be taking on another big load this year, as he is going to have to perform better than ever to help his team get back to the playoffs, after a season where he missed the playoffs for the first time in his career. As a die-hard and devoted Seahawks fan, I simply think Russell Wilson is going to have a revenger-like season that will propel the Seattle offense to levels never seen before to help the Seahawks make a deep run in the playoffs against the odds and all the doubters. As a logical fantasy football manager, I have plenty of empirical evidence to prove to me that Russell is consistent and trustworthy to have at the quarterback position. Therefore, I think Wilson should be one of the top three quarterbacks drafted, especially as the Seattle offense drafted first round pick Rashaad Penny at running back, who has high hopes to fill the void of the missing rushing attack Seattle could not find last season. Overall, Russell Wilson is definitely the most valuable fantasy football player on the Seahawks roster, and he should not be overlooked in any league.
Doug Baldwin - WR
The next fantasy football player from the Seahawks that must be mentioned is Doug Baldwin. Last season, Baldwin was the 13thranked wide receiver at the end of the season, scoring 223 points over the course of the year. Baldwin had 75 receptions for 991 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, which are solid WR2 numbers in a lackluster offense. There is reason to believe that the Seahawks offense will be revitalized this upcoming year, as changes in personnel and the offense coordinator may provide a spark to the Seahawks offense that they so desperately needed after last season. This means that Baldwin should have the chance to put up better numbers than last season, which could lift him towards WR1 scoring. The hidden factor in Baldwin’s relevance is that Paul Richardson departed Seattle this offseason to join the Washington Redskins. Someone is going to have to make up for that lost production, so Baldwin will certainly eat up at least some of that opportunity. Of course, Seattle did recently acquire Brandon Marshall, but there are many question marks around him, as the seasoned veteran, who is also coming off a major injury, may not be the same force to be reckoned with as he used to be. If Marshall does make the roster by Week 1 of the NFL season, I still think he will not have as big of an impact as some may believe, so Baldwin will not be hurt by this move. Above all, Doug Baldwin has been extremely consistent in Seattle the past three or four seasons, so there is no reason to believe that he will have a dramatic downward shift in his fantasy production any time soon. I would predict Doug Baldwin to be an upper-level WR2, likely having borderline WR1 numbers at the end of the season.
Tyler Lockett - WR
The next Seahawks player that needs to be on fantasy owners’ radars is Tyler Lockett. Much like the situation with Doug Baldwin, the wide receivers up in Seattle will need to make up for lost production with the departure of Paul Richardson. Baldwin will not be able to do it all on his own, so Tyler Lockett would be next in line to step up and make a bigger impact for the Seahawks in 2018. With the acquisition of Rashaad Penny in the 1stround of the NFL draft, Tyler Lockett may no longer need to have any focus on the return game for Seattle, as Penny was a special teams force in college. This means that Tyler Lockett will be able to put more emphases and focus on his job at the wide receiver position, which could boost him to production well beyond what he has been apt to provide in the past. Last season, Tyler Lockett only had 45 receptions for 555 yards and 2 touchdowns, but those numbers will most certainly rise with the loss of Paul Richardson. And, for a guy that will most likely no longer be involved in the special teams game, Pete Carroll will ensure plenty of opportunities to get his speedster Lockett more involved in the passing game to make sure they are getting the most out of the extremely quick talent. Richardson also took on a lot of deep ball routes, so Tyler Lockett may certainly be the guy to really take over that role this upcoming season. Lockett will most likely not be anywhere close to WR2 numbers, but it is reasonable to believe he could be a potential WR3 or Flex option for the 2018 season. In 2017, Lockett was still the 37thranked WR, so his potential boost in production in 2018 could make him a sleeper with WR3 production out of nowhere. Tyler Lockett will at the very least need to be on at least someone’s roster in every league. For both Baldwin and Lockett, the loss of star tight end Jimmy Graham will have a significant impact. Jimmy Graham was essentially Russell Wilson’s number one red zone target last season, so Baldwin and Lockett will both have more looks to get in the end zone.
Rashaad Penny - RB
The fourth Seahawks players that needs to be noticed in 2018 Fantasy Football drafts is Rashaad Penny. Penny was absolutely an eye-opening pick in the first round of the draft in April, but we all know Pete Carroll and John Schneider would not be putting all their eggs in a running back’s basket if they did not see something special in this player. Penny led the FBS in rushing last year with 2248 yards on the ground and 23 touchdowns. Penny also added close to 500 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns through the air. These numbers are staggering and jaw dropping, so it would be very satisfactory as a Seahawks fan to see these kinds of numbers transferred to the NFL for our new running back. A solid running game has been gone up in the Pacific Northwest ever since Marshawn Lynch posted that picture of his cleats hanging up, and we have been searching for a consistent, fiery force to have in the backfield on a week to week basis ever since. Now, finally, there is some real hope for the Seahawks backfield this upcoming season, as Rashaad Penny seems to be the man for the starting running back role up in Seattle. Personally, I believe Rashaad Penny will be the answer to the rushing attack woes that have haunted Seattle the past couple seasons. Even if Penny only puts up modest rushing numbers per carry, he will get plenty of opportunities to make a name for himself. Since he can run and catch the football, he will also be very viable in a PPR format. Pete Carroll has said that he wants to reestablish the running game numerous times this offseason, so it looks like Penny is going to have a chance to really shine if ol’ Pete lives up to his word. Above all, it will definitely be risk to take Penny, as we have never seen him play at the professional level, and most of us were not even really aware of the guy before his name was called during the NFL draft. Regardless, if Seattle is able to develop a strong running game like once before when #24 was taking handoffs, I think Rashaad Penny would be an excellent fit to a reviving Seattle Seahawks offense.
Sebastian Janikowski – K
The final Seahawks players that seems notable in regard to fantasy relevance to me is Sebastian Janikowski. In past seasons, Janikowski has always been a decently reliable force as a kicker in fantasy football. His ability to kick 60+ yarders has allowed Janikowski to be a viable commodity at the kicker position, as 50+ yard field goals alone are the highest prize for any kicker in most league. Janikowski has made 80.4% of his kicks during his long career, with a 55% rate for kicks over 50 yards. Compared to Blair Walsh’s season last year, these are much better numbers than Walsh’s 72.4% accuracy overall. Also, Walsh only kicked one field goal over 50 yards last season, as the Seahawks coaching staff seemed to literally have zero confidence in the kicker. This prevented Walsh from getting very many opportunities throughout the season, resulting in only being the 19thranked kicker in fantasy football last season with standard scoring. In 2018, Seattle will definitely have much more confidence with Janikowski, as he actually presents some real power in his leg. As long as Janikowski remains at least as efficient as his career averages entail, then he should put up much better numbers than Walsh did last season. I know, it may seem silly to put a kicker in fantasy football consideration this early in the year, but a rejuvenated Seahawks offense, along with an increased number of opportunities for Seattle’s kicker, gives Janikowski the opportunity to really take advantage of the situation and become a top 5 fantasy kicker. And, by looking at the numbers, a top 5 fantasy kicker can result in equivalent fantasy scoring to players like Tevin Coleman, Jamison Crowder, Ted Ginn Jr., and Chris Thompson.
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