Imagine this: A team with a losing record wins their division and hosts a playoff game in which they beat the defending Super Bowl Champions. Sounds crazy right? Well, that’s exactly what the Seattle Seahawks did last season.
Now despite that Marshawn Lynch 67 yard TD playoff run against the Saints in the playoffs, the Seattle running game was pretty non-existent. Lynch was the Seahawks leading rusher last year with 573 yards and 6 TDs in 12 games. Followed up by Justin Forsett with 523 yards and 2 TDs in 16 games. Leon Washington is a pretty decent Fantasy Football asset as a return man, last year he had 1,461 return yards and 3 TDs. Thinking about relying on him as a RB only? Naw. That’s why the Jets traded him.
Now that I’ve reviewed the stats, let me tell you about a few improvements the Seahawks have addressed so far this off-season. With the 25th overall pick of the 2011 draft, the Seahawks selected Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter. Carpenter cleared many openings for Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Coach Carroll has stated that Carpenter will start day 1 at right tackle. Carpenter will be a great compliment to the O line enhanced by last year’s pick of left tackle Russell Okung drafted with the #6th overall selection. Later in this year’s draft, (with the #75th overall pick) Wisconsin offensive guard John Moffitt was selected, probably to start at right guard. The Seahawks run game should improve greatly!
There is nothing special about the receiving core for the Seahawks. As a matter of fact, they had no receiver with over 4 TDs last season. PITIFUL!! They have no-name guys who could walk right by and not be noticed by anyone, even in Seattle. However, they do have Mike Williams, who was a standout at USC, coached by Pete Carroll. Williams had loads of potential, but he ate himself (literally) out of the league while in Detroit. When Carroll came to Seattle, he brought Williams with him, all fat and bloated. But, Williams showed committment, worked himself into football shape, and became a pleasant surprise for his coaches. Unfortunately, his Fantasy numbers still stunk! He had 65 catches for 751 yards and 2 TDs. SMH!! Ben Obomanu (WHO?) was the second leading receiver with 494 yards and 4 TDs. Throw in Golden Tate and Brandon Stokley (this guy KEEPS a job) and that rounds out the WR for the Hawks. Until Seattle gets its QB situation straight, don’t count on any of these guys for Fantasy Football. Though I do think Williams and Obomanu have some upside because they can stretch the field and will be targeted by the QB. On the TE front, you only need to know the name: John Carlson. Carlson is a big talented pass-catching TE who was used shamelessly last year as a blocker to protect whoever was taking snaps at the time. Again, because the Seahawks have no stability at QB, don’t draft him either. But he can be a nice pick up later in the Fantasy season if things change.
Matt Hasslebeck has been the injury plagued signal caller of the Seahawks for quite sometime in Seattle. As of this posting, Hasslebeck is a free agent. “Experts” (because who is really?) say that Hasslebeck could end up in Minnesota, Washington, Arizona, and the so on…basically any team without a rockstar QB is looking at Matt Hasslebeck apparently. Wherever he winds up (even if its back in Seattle), I believe he will be effective, but he won’t be ranked a Top 10 Fantasy Football QB. There are about 12 names I’d draft before him. On the flip side to that it’s rumored that Kevin Kolb is a QB that the Seahawks have been eyeing…but again the Seahawks and like 5 other teams are looking at Kolb…we’ll see.
The Seattle Defense/Special Teams had a few bright spots last year. Even though they ranked 27th overall, 21st against the run, 27th against the pass, and 25th in points allowed per game, they still put up decent fantasy numbers. They had 12 INTs, 2 returned for TD, 38 sacks, and 3 total Def TDs. DE Chris Clemons led the team with 11 sacks, and his DE partner Raheem Brock added 9 more. The Seattle secondary did get torched a lot last year but Safety Earl Thomas got 5 INTs. Corner Marcus Trufant is getting up in age but can still be serviceable. The rest of the secondary isn’t even worth mentioning. Seattle did add some much needed depth on the Defense by adding 3 DBs, 2 LBs, and a DE in this year’s draft. I look for them to be much improved this upcoming year especially since they addressed the holes in their secondary. Special Teams did help out also, due to Leon Washington returning kicks and punts. Washington had a 101 yard kickoff return for a TD. He finished the season with 3 KR TDs. He can also make a difference with punt returns. Anytime Washington gets his hands on the ball, he’s a threat to score. If you can’t draft a top tier Fantasy Def or you need a bye week replacement, Seattle wouldn’t be a bad choice.
If you are looking for a kicker to draft, STAY AWAY from Olindo Mare. He was 25 for 30 in field goals, which is 79.5%. You can definitely do much better. He’s way passed his prime.
Up next is the Cincy Bengals…