By Nick Jarin
Special to 710Sports.com
Which Seahawks do you want on your fantasy team?
Running back Marshawn Lynch is a no-brainer. Despite the presence of second-year backup Robert Turbin and rookie Christine Michael, Beast Mode will still be called on to the go Beast Mode this season, probably to the tune of something close to last year’s 1,590 yards, the largest single-season output of his career. It’s easy to forget that Lynch is still just 27 years old because he is an import to Seattle. He’ll be a top five back this year.
The only other piece of the team I would call a fantasy football no-brainer is the defense/special teams. Both units are elite and a threat to score touchdowns and create multiple turnovers on any given week. The defense allowed the fewest points last year. Coach Pete Carroll plays his best athletes on special teams, including Earl Thomas III and the others in the Legion of Boom. Seattle could be the best fantasy D/ST this year.
Quarterback Russell Wilson is going too high in the draft due to some misleading stats about how good he was last year. Don’t get me wrong, Wilson is an efficient quarterback, but he is still handcuffed to a conservative offense built on the running game. There is more value in other places. If you play in a deep league, then go ahead and draft him, but if not, well, picking your favorite players is an easy way to lose your league.
Receiver Golden Tate is my third-favorite fantasy player on the offense. His game is finally coming together and I think he is poised to build on what he started last year. Given his improved route running and trust with the quarterback in addition to his general good health, I expect Tate to get the most catches for the Seahawks and make the most of those touches. In a standard league, Tate is a solid third receiver and an acceptable second.
As for the rest of the offense, this is a surprisingly good year to take a chance on some of your Seahawks and not look like a crazy homer. Michael could take over as the lead back if Lynch goes down (and don’t rule that out – Lynch has a history of back problems and just passed 300 carries in a single season for the first time last year). Receiver Sidney Rice should be available late in drafts due to his health question marks.
Turbin will still get touches despite the crowded backfield, but avoid him unless something happens to Lynch. Also avoid Zach Miller, any of the tight ends not named Zach Miller, and the rest of the receivers. There’s better value out there. That’s not to say that these guys won’t have big games, but it will be hard to predict when they’ll happen. Use your roster spots for more reliable production.
Fantasy football is for fun, but it’s also about bragging rights. Don’t risk a big win just so you can have Percy Harvin on your team weeks before he is ready to take the field.