The powerhouse that is the Seattle Seahawks is now on its last legs – with all of the young players having made names for themselves, especially on defense, where there’s all-star talent at virtually every position, it is coming to the point where serious roster restructuring will be necessary in order to stay within the salary cap limit. In the meanwhile, Seattle still has a lot to work with – every key ingredient remains in the mix from their 2015 roster, save for Skittles, “Beast Mode” RB Marshawn Lynch’s go-to candy snack – Lynch retired at the end of the 2015 NFL season. Even so, through Seattle’s front-office acumen, they’ve been able to both recruit yet another hard-nosed RB in Thomas Rawls, and still somehow found room to acquire the majestic TE/WR hybrid, Jimmy Graham. Though the 2015 Arizona Cardinals dominated the NFC West last year at 13-3, the 2016 Seahawks seek to reclaim the territory that was once theirs.
RB Thomas Rawls
Although there might’ve been nothing more menacing to defenses than a healthy Marshawn Lynch at RB, Seattle has since made peace with his retirement – however, incredibly, it seems the Seahawks’ rushing attack is even stronger than before behind the strength of undrafted rookie-sensation (a sophomore at the advent of this season) Thomas Rawls. Sure, there’s not much NFL tape on him, but simply put, there needn’t be – all fantasy football fans and Seahawks fans alike need know about Rawls is this: he’s currently 22 years of age, around 215 lbs. in weight, and in eight starts as an NFL player in his first season, Rawls tallied four rushing-yard efforts of 100+, including one for 200+ – he ended the season at 830 rushing yards, officially, but in those eight games where he was featured as the workhorse, he managed 754 rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs. From a performance perspective as an RB, there’s not really much more to tell. The Seahawks have remained one of the few NFL clubs to continue to implement the traditional single-back scheme; barring a serious injury or a drastic offensive game-plan overhaul, there are so many upsides to drafting a young Thomas Rawls in the first round of fantasy as a promising RB1, especially when it’s so hard to find consistently-productive RBs in a contemporary pass-dominant league.
QB Russell Wilson
Having finally secured the contract befitting of an elite quarterback who very nearly won back-to-back Super Bowls, Russell Wilson took quite some time to find his stride in 2015, but ended with convincing stats: 4,024 passing yards, 68.1% completion rate (fourth-highest of all QBs with 40+ attempts), 34 TDs (sixth-highest of all QBs), 8 INTs, 554 rushing yards (third-highest of all QBs), 1 rushing TD. Again, Wilson and the entire Seahawks team had a rough start, but after Week 9, Wilson proceeded to open the TD flood gates, throwing for 24 touchdowns and a single interception in the last seven games of the regular season. An absolute dual-threat in both the air and on the ground, Wilson is sure to head someone’s QB1 slot, as his scoring potential remains ever-high.
WR Doug Baldwin
In 2014, Seattle fans would be hard-pressed to have objectively told you was who the most-dependable receiver on the Seahawks’ roster, many would’ve likely named Doug Baldwin, as he led the team in both receiving yards and receptions, with only 66 receptions for 825 yards, respectively – in 2015, though, there’s almost assuredly more unanimity, as Baldwin has been the first wideout to have eclipsed the 1,000-receiving-yard mark (1,069) in Seattle since Bobby Engram (1,147) did it back in 2007. More importantly, though, during the 2015 Seahawks’ hot-streak, Baldwin had four consecutive multi-TD-reception games, catching an unprecedented 10 TDs in four games, and ending the 2015 NFL season with 14 touchdown receptions – it may have been a result of a great game-plan, great execution, and/or great fortune, but whatever the cause, it is clear that even though Baldwin hasn’t yet reached the pinnacle of talent that the pantheon of elite NFL receivers have, he has dramatically increased his utility in scoring distances, and consequently, his fantasy-football stock value.
Others of note:
- WR Tyler Lockett
- TE Jimmy Graham