Fantasy Life NFL Preview: 2019 Seattle Seahawks – Should Russell Wilson be your fantasy QB?
The 2018 narrative for the Seahawks didn’t paint a particularly good picture for their regular season. It seemed as if most predictions had them as a .500 team at best, with a low of 4–12 (USA Today). Russell Wilson and the Seahawks would prove most wrong by making it to the post season with a 10–6 record, but falling to the Dallas Cowboys 24–22 in the Wild Card Round. Overall, given the negativity that analysts would apply to this team’s 2018 outlook, the entire fan base, coaching staff and players should be pleased with how the season progressed. The ultimate goal of a franchise is to win it all, but what was proven, was that if you have Wilson on your team, you always have a good chance to win.
What went right for the Seahawks in 2018 starts with Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Chris Carson. Wilson attained what most will call an unsustainable stat line in 2018 where he would see he touchdown rate increase roughly eight percent higher than his average since entering the league. He finished 2018 with 3,448 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Wagner finished 2018 only missing one tackle, making it his best year yet in the NFL. Carson would lead the Seattle backfield as its best rusher amassing 1,151 rushing yards. Ultimately, the fan base and franchise should be thrilled about their 2019 season outlook. The Seahawks will be a contender for the foreseeable future.
This team generated some noise this off-season largely due to departures and money. Most notably would be the team re-signing Wilson to a $140 million over four seasons with a $65 million signing bonus, making Wilson the highest paid quarterback. The franchise also saw their starting receiver, Doug Baldwin, hang up the towel and retire. Frank Clark was be traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2019 1st round pick, 2020 2nd round pick and a swap of third round picks in 2019. This was a move that seemingly fit both organizations as Seattle needed draft capitol and Clark was due for a large payday which the Chiefs gave him.
The Clark trade essentially resulted in Seattle landing Marquise Blair (Safety), DK Metcalf (receiver) and Ben Burr-Kirven after several draft day transactions. Sending the team’s best pass rusher away was not ideal but with the gigantic Wilson payday, this team has to get cheaper talent by necessity. Getting more draft capital and becoming younger is exactly what happened, as the Seahawks initially only had four draft picks that turned into 11. Several rookies taken in the 2019 will be getting used to help fill gaps, especially first round pick L.J. Collier. He will be filling the void left by Clark.
Overall the Seahawks free agency did not generate huge buzz. The addition of Ezekiel “Ziggy”Ansah to help out the pass rush was a bigger name signing but there are injury concerns. If he is healthy he will easily be the team’s best pass rusher. Re-signing K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks was crucial for the defense, but Kendricks is slated to be sentenced for insider trading on September 25. Despite the quieter free agency, the Seahawks did exactly what they needed to do for the off-season, and I believe even with key losses they can never be counted out with Wilson leading the charge.
Wilson was a high floor pickup last year and came through for owners weekly. Given that last year his stats were much higher than his career average it is fair to say he will regress a little. Wilson is always a safe pick to lead your team, but with a looming regression and depth at the quarterback position it would be smart to let someone else target Wilson early and wait to fill the quarterback roster spot on your team. However I wouldn’t feel terrible grabbing him if you find you don’t like any others ranked around him while on the clock.
The Seattle backfield has been full of its rumors all off-season. From Social Media to hopeful Rashaad Penny owners, it seemed early on in the off-season that hype surrounding Penny began to pick up steam. Penny has great dynasty appeal, but should probably remain a bench stash in re-draft formats. Eliminating risk, when you can, is the best way to win. Carson is the safe pick here for the starting running back. Carson quietly had the fifth most rushing yards, 1,151, with a majority of those coming after first contact. Recent reports have rumored Carson will be used more in the passing game, which only makes him more valuable. However at some point this off-season, the same was said about Penny. Don’t get cute in the early rounds. Make the safe pick if you see Carson in the beginning of your draft. I expect another great year for him.
Tyler Lockett seems the most likely to benefit from Baldwin’s departure. Lockett’s draft position, chemistry with Wilson, him being the most experienced receiver, early season injury concerns for DK Metcalf and David Moore, along with shallow depth all say to me he will be a steal if you draft him. Metcalf remains a great dynasty stash. He is an unreal physical freak but just lacks experience. If he is available in very late rounds I wouldn’t hate taking a gamble on him in redraft. Outside of these two receivers I don’t know I am taking any others on the Seahawks.
In regards to the tight ends, kicker and defense of the Seahawks, I say take the kicker or defense in your last rounds as this offense is capable which will benefit the kicker and the defense still has some play makers on the roster making them worthy to be on a roster. The tight ends are not anything you need to worry about drafting. If one blows up during the year maybe chase them, but the tight end position is not fantasy friendly when considering the Seahawks.
Last season it seemed as if everyone thought the Seahawks would fall to the NFC West basement, and they did not. Instead they made the playoffs at 10–6 and were three games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Rams. The battle for the NFC West basement seems destined to remain between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, making me think the Seahawks will ultimately need to worry about the Rams within the division. I see this team again being a top competitor for a wildcard spot finishing 10–6 even with a harder schedule than last year.
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