2012 Fantasy Football: Seattle Seahawks Outlook
The Seattle Seahawks made a heroic march into the playoffs in 2010 and somehow lit up the New Orleans Saints for an unlikely wild card win. They somewhat came down to earth in 2011, but their young and active defense still made them worth talking about.
In 2012, hopefully, their offense could finally be worth talking about, as well. We can’t be sure just how much yet, but there is optimism in Seattle these days. Let’s take a look at their offense from a fantasy perspective, as we go over the top options worth monitoring heading into the 2012 season:
QB Matt Flynn
I’m a Flynn fan. He won’t pick up where he left off in last year’s season finale for Green Bay (480 yards and 6 TDs), but I think he can be a quality quarterback in a familiar system. He just needs to win this three-headed quarterback race and have his weapons stay healthy. If he can do that, he’ll be a QB2 with some reasonable upside.
QB Tarvaris Jackson
T-Jax maxed out in 2011. He was okay, but as most of us sane folks expected, nothing special. He’ll keep your offense in the game most weeks, but he simply is never going to be an elite, consistent passer. Because of that, he won’t win the starting job in Seattle, and will probably be cut.
QB Russell Wilson
I really like Wilson. From his mechanics to his athleticism, to his leadership and accuracy, the guy appears to be the total package. The only problem at all is that package is pretty darn short (5’10″). But I don’t think it kills his NFL career like some suspect. It might keep him from winning the starting job as a rookie, though, so don’t go drafting him just yet.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Lynch put up career highs in yardage and touchdowns in a contract year in 2011. Now he’s paid and suddenly in trouble with the law (DUI). All of that worries me. He’s a stout RB2 with potential for more if he keeps his mind right and finds himself in “beast mode” again, but I find it very hard to trust him. I’ll shy away from him in most drafts.
RB Robert Turbin
Turbin should only have real value if Lynch gets suspended or hurt, but I love his game. He’s a natural runner with a nice blend of speed and power, and is really the perfect backup to Lynch. If he’s forced into a big role, I have no doubt he’ll produce. He’s a suggested handcuff if you draft Lynch this year.
RB Leon Washington
Washington is basically just a third down guy at this point in his career, but adds value in leagues that reward you for return yards and scores. No matter what, his ceiling maxes out as a Flex option. He isn’t draftable in standard leagues.
WR Sidney Rice
It’s hard not to drool over Rice’s talent and his awesome 2009 season that feels a decade old by now. Unfortunately, we have to wipe the drool up and use logic, because the guy has missed 17 games over the past two years and still isn’t quite 100%. Seattle is nursing him like a baby entering 2012, so he’s a risk now more than ever. Still, he has incredible talent and is just 25, so he’s a red flag I don’t mind taking a chance on for the right price. If you can land him as a WR3, you could be getting gold. Just make sure you have a backup plan or three.
WR Doug Baldwin
Baldwin put up 788 yards as a rookie. That tells you the learning curve is probably gone, and with a likely upgrade at QB (Flynn), Baldwin’s value should only rise. If Rice struggles to stay healthy, he’s an immediate sleeper for WR2 status. As he stands, however, he has a shot at WR3 value, but is probably closer to a WR4 to start the year.
WR Terrell Owens
I may be in the minority, but I think the guy has something left. He scored nine touchdowns with the Bengals in 2010, and was only out of football in 2011 because of a knee injury. Well, I’d like to think. But he’s back now and he has a chip on his shoulder. I’ll need to see more out of him in preseason, but he’s worth a late-round flier as a potential WR3 with serious upside.
WR Golden Tate
Tate ended 2011 in decent enough fashion, but he hasn’t impressed me through two years in the league. The fact that the Hawks brought in veterans Antonio Bryant and Braylon Edwards tells me he hasn’t impressed the front office, either. I’m just not sold on him taking the next step with so many bodies around. I won’t touch him in drafts, even as a flier.
WR Ben Obomanu
Obomanu isn’t the worst talent in the world, but he’s bordering on average and he needs injuries to have a clear, reliable role. I think he makes the final roster again, but he doesn’t start the year with much fantasy value.
WR Deon Butler
I like Butler’s potential a little more than Obomanu’s, but they’re really in the same boat. They’re behind Rice, Tate and Baldwin, and they’re going to have a tough time fending off Bryant and Edwards. Butler needs an injury to happen to be relevant.
WR Antonio Bryant
Bryant is a former burner who would make for a terrific comeback story, but it’s safe to say the odds are against him. At 31, he’s attempting a return after being out of football for the past two years. Last time I checked, he wasn’t even in shape. He’s unlikely to make the final roster, but is worth monitoring.
WR Braylon Edwards
Edwards was signed about a week after Bryant, but I think he has better odds of latching on for 2012. He’s younger and probably more explosive, even though he had a knee issue last year that bled into the off-season. He once delivered a monstrous fantasy season, so he’s at least worth keeping an eye on through preseason.
WR Ricardo Lockette
Lockette has been drawing rave reviews from the coaching staff due to explosiveness and raw ability. Those comments will keep coming, but Lockette doesn’t have any kind of role to look forward to. It’s worth noting that he registered 105 yards and a touchdown off of just two receptions in 2011, however.
TE Kellen Winslow
I would prefer Zach Miller of two years ago, but at the moment Winslow appears to be the better fantasy asset. His play-making ability is sapped by a bad knee, but he’s still a solid possession tight end. If all goes well, he could carry decent TE2 value into 2012.
TE Zach Miller
What happened to this guy? I’m not sure if it was the quarterback play, nagging injuries, or if Miller’s career just ran into a brick wall. We should find out this year, although even if he’s still got it his value might be sapped by Winslow’s presence. He’s not draftable until we know his role better.
K Steven Hauschka
Hauschka was solid in his first full season as a starting kicker in 2011. Going 50% on long range (2/4 from 50+) and 83% overall on field goals, you could have done a lot worse than him. I’d like a more consistent offense to roll with when I pick my kicker, though. He isn’t in my plans when I take a kicker in the final round of fantasy drafts this year.
Seattle has a young, stingy defense. With youth, though, comes flashes of horrible play at times. I think they’re growing and will continue to get better, however, so they’ll stick inside the top-10 and could easily be a top-5 unit.
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Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin