The Seattle Seahawks are going to be a good football team. That's not really news to anyone. However, the Seahawks are much better in real life than fantasy.
In fantasy, bad NFL teams can be great because their offenses are often chasing points, and junk time counts. The 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars are a prime example. TJ's beloved Detroit Lions are an ongoing example. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. They are a great real-life NFL team, but not real sexy for fantasy purposes.
True, over the last few years, the Seahawks have been a high-scoring fantasy defense. A few years ago, I was the No. 1 seed in a playoff matchup vs. the No. 8 seed. The Seahawks scored 50 points per our league settings, and I lost. The Seahawks defense single-handedly led the 8th seed to our church league championship. And I'm not at all bitter about it either.
True, Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin have each had stretches where they were top-flight fantasy options, but, on the whole, there's truly not a lot to get excited about with the Seahawks this year. Wilson is a stud, and will continue to be. TJ's Baldwin projection resulted in a Taco Tally bet - TJ says Balwin will finish out of the top 20, I say he'll finish in the top 19, and 20 is a push. I'm not as high on Rawls as the rest of the fantasy world seems to be, and Graham is a huge question mark, at best.
The Seahawks will once again be a championship caliber NLF team, but the fantasy pickens are slim. Here are TJ's 2016 fantasy football projections for the Seattle Seahawks:
Russell Wilson (QB) - 3900 yards, 29 TDs, 10 INTs, 550 yds, 3 TDs.
As I mentioned, Russell Wilson is a stud. Period. He's not likely to finish as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but he won't finish below 5th or 6th, either, barring injury. If the Seahawks open up the offense a little, the projection could be low. Wilson could easily top the 4000-yard mark, and he could easily score 5+ rushing TDs. It's hard to count on that, but it's certainly doable. Draft Wilson with confidence, but not if you have to take him before the third round.
Thomas Rawls (RB) - 1100 yards, 9 TDs, 25 catches, 225 yards.
Everyone in fantasy land assumes the Seahawks running back position is plug-and-play. I'm not so sure. Rawls had flashes of brilliance last year, but I'm not 100% sure he can sustain that over a full season. I could be wrong and, therefore, regret not drafting Rawls, but with an average draft position (ADP) of 29 as of today, Rawls probably won't be on any of my teams. He could be a steal, though, if he falls to the fourth round.
Doug Baldwin (WR) - 75 catches, 1000 yards, 7 TDs.
It's tempting to view Baldwin as a one-hit wonder. He's never put up numbers like he did in the second half of 2015, and the Seahawks are a running football team. I get all of that, but Baldwin is currently being drafted as the No. 21 receiver off the board late in fourth round. If he happens to fall to the fifth, and you draft him there, the pick could win you a championship. I'm not predicting a top-12 finish, but I think he's got that kind of potential.
Tyler Lockett (WR) - 65 catches, 900 yards, 7 TDs.
If the Seahawks are willing to find creative ways to get Lockett the ball, he's the perfect flex guy. He's still a boom-or-bust type of receiver, but the booms could be bigger and more frequent. As the 41st receiver off the board in the tenth round, he's an excellent flyer late in your draft.
C.J. Prosise/Alex Collins
Rawls has a bit of an injury history, so either Prosise or Collins could benefit from a banged-up Rawls. It's hard to know which, though. Prosise is a smaller back, probably a passing-downs back, so he could have more value initially. However, Collins is a bigger, bruiser-type back in the Beast-Mode mold, so he could become the early-downs back. One of these two could pop, but good luck picking which one.
I know how much it must have hurt TJ to list Graham as a bust because he was a Graham-lover for so long, but it's hard to argue with injuries. Who knows if Graham will ever be the Graham of old, but it probably won't happen this year. And the Seahawks' offense clicked without him, so it's hard to know how much work he'll get anyway.
The Seahawks are a great football team, and one would assume that greatness would translate into fantasy production, and it does but not consistently. Wilson is as can't-miss as it gets, and the defense is, too, to a lesser extent; but the rest of the team is somewhat hit or miss. If you draft correctly and hit, you'll be happy. If you miss, it will cost you a preciously high draft pick. Drafter, beware.