2020 Fantasy Preview: Seattle Seahawks

Ryan Kruse continues the 2020 Team Preview series with a fantasy-focused look at the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks

 

The Seahawks had an impressive 11-5 regular season and made it to the NFC Divisional Round, where they lost to the Packers by only five points. Over the offseason, Seattle has been making moves like a team that believes they are a contender this year. They spent most of the 2020 offseason adding crucial pieces they believe can help get them to the Super Bowl. Players such as Jamal Adams, Carlos Hyde, Greg Olsen, Phillip Dorsett, and Quinton Dunbar were acquired to fill areas of weakness, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how well these guys pan out. In 2020, the Seahawks will need to make their mark quickly in a tough division that’s getting more talented by the year.

 

Quarterback

 

Russell Wilson

ADP: 57, QB3

While everyone was freaking out about Lamar Jackson in 2019, Russell Wilson quietly had himself another great year as the overall QB3. Wilson was also top three in passing touchdowns and threw the fewest interceptions among qualified passers in 2019. He protected the ball quite well, sporting a league-best average of only 0.6 interceptable passes per game, per FantasyData.

When it comes to his run game, it could be said that Russell has taken plenty of chances over the years. In fairness, those runs were usually (and still are) necessary because the Seahawks’ offensive line tends to fold like a cheap suit. The Huddle gave Seattle the second-worst offensive line ranking in the league heading into 2020, even with the three new starters taken into account.

At 31-years-old, Russ isn’t getting any younger. The Seahawks may be trying to ensure that he doesn’t run himself into the ground before he’s 35. Wilson’s run game has helped him in some of his best seasons, but Russ ran for the second-fewest yards of his career in 2019 and the third-fewest in 2018. He had the fewest rushing attempts of his career in 2018 and the third-fewest attempts in 2019.

Be that as it may, Russell has been one of the most consistent NFL players over the past eight years. Wilson has not missed a game since September 2012 and is currently seventh on the all-time consecutive starts list. He’s a safe pick at a fantasy position that can be tough to pin down from year to year.

 

Best Case Scenario

Wilson plays another 16 games and has another top-three fantasy quarterback finish, something he’s accomplished four times in his first eight seasons.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Fewer rushing attempts finally begin to affect Wilson’s overall fantasy points. Though, in fairness, he still finished 2019 as the QB3 with the third-fewest rushing attempts of his career. Even Wilson’s worst case scenario is solid, barring injury.

 

2020 Projection: 530 attempts, 355 completions, 4200 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions;  65 rushes, 300 yards, 1 rushing touchdown

 

Running Back

 

Chris Carson

ADP: 31.2, RB17

Over the past two years, Chris Carson has been a pretty sturdy back. Admittedly, he suffered a season-ending hip fracture last year, but it was in Week 16. Carson finished 2019 as the overall RB12, outperforming his ADP by two slots. He’s not much of a PPR guy, but his targets and receptions have been slowly trending upward during his first couple seasons. From PPR to standard scoring, Carson gets a pretty significant jump from RB21 up to RB14, but those ADP’s should even out before the season begins. Still, for a guy who finished PPR RB12 in 2019, Carson’s ADP makes him an enticing pick.

Carson is capable of putting up a dud here and there, but I’m a big Chris believer in all fantasy formats. He averaged 15.5 PPR fantasy points per game in 2019, and anything similar in 2020 would be a welcome return given his current ADP. If he looks fully recovered from his hip injury, Carson will be a value for those that missed out on the early running back wave. We know that Seattle wants to run the ball often, and Carson is the best bet to lead the way.

 

Best Case Scenario

Chris plays 16 games and puts up another 1200+ yard season. His hip injury is a thing of the past and he looks to be at full speed. Penny is delayed to start the season, Hyde is an afterthought, and Carson dominates one of the heaviest volume rushing attacks in the league.

 

Worst Case Scenario

This becomes a crowded backfield, and Carson loses some work. He takes time getting back from his hip injury, allowing an opportunity that Hyde seizes. Penny returns from his own injury, and we have a three-headed backfield that vultures from each other’s ceilings.

 

2020 Projection: 280 carries, 1200 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns; 55 targets, 42 receptions, 280 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

 

Rashaad Penny

ADP: 253, RB89

Rashaad Penny hasn’t been a fantasy difference-maker thus far in his career. If everyone stays healthy in the Seahawks’ backfield, he typically only has two or three respectable fantasy weeks throughout the year. But Penny has proven to be a pretty reliable handcuff/backup if you’re the type of fantasy player that likes insurance on their running backs.

Last year Rashaad tore his ACL in Week 14 and required further surgery to “clean up” the affected area (whatever that means). Long story short, the consensus is that Penny should be returning from ACL rehab just before the season and could even miss some time during the preseason.

I’m usually pretty high on this backfield and love when I can lock it down at a low cost. Seattle has been top three in rushing attempts per game over the past two years, and Carson and Penny have proven they are an efficient one-two punch. It’s a safe bet that if one back goes down, the next man up will get plenty of work. Unfortunately, the timing of Penny’s recovery paired with Carlos Hyde’s presence could make it difficult to secure the Seahawks’ backfield in fantasy drafts. It’s still August though, so things could change quite a bit in a few weeks. 

 

Best Case Scenario

Penny rehabs and recovers in time to retain his position as the RB2 in this backfield. He strings together more consistency and steals more work from Carson than he had in the past. Penny is a flex option, with blowup potential in the event of a Carson injury.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Rehabilitation setbacks push Rashaad into the RB3 role in Seattle. He looks like he’s lost a step, and the reliable veteran Hyde allows Seattle to play it safe with Penny, leaving him with limited touches for much of the season.

 

2020 Projection: 90 carries, 450 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns; 17 targets, 11 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

 

Carlos Hyde

ADP: 150.7, RB58

After Penny went down last year, the Seahawks were in a bit of a bind with their running backs. They eventually had to bring Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to shore up some depth. Carlos Hyde is Seattle’s running back depth insurance for 2020 so they can avoid scrambling for a running back if the worst-case scenario happens again. Granted, Hyde’s injury history is pretty extensive. Fortunately, the Seahawks don’t need Hyde to be a three-down bell-cow back.

As far as insurance plans go, Seattle could do much worse than the 29-year-old veteran. Hyde started in 14 games for Houston last year and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. Carlos played well enough that he could even compete for Penny’s job if the latter isn’t back to 100% by the time the 2020 season begins. Penny could miss the preseason as well, so Hyde may have a chance to earn the RB2 spot in Seattle.

 

Best Case Scenario

Hyde impresses enough during his first training camp as a Seahawk that he earns the RB2 spot and gets some snaps from week to week, similar to Penny last year.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Carlos is nothing more than an insurance plan for the Seahawks and rides the bench most of the year.

 

2020 Projection: 65 carries, 350 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns; 10 targets, 6 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns

 

Wide Receiver

 

DK Metcalf

ADP: 45.7, WR19

DK Metcalf had a stellar rookie season last year, and I can’t wait to see what the guy is capable of accomplishing in year two. At 6’4” and 230 pounds, he came into the league “NFL ready” and looks like a fantastic deep threat if you go back and watch his rookie highlights. He did have eight drops last year, but that’s to be expected from a rookie wide receiver getting so much work.

In all honesty, it’s tough to find things I don’t like about DK, he’s a great all-around receiver. I would, however, like to see some improvement in his footwork near the sidelines. Also, his route tree is a bit shallow. Most of his receptions last year were from fly routes and inside slants. Still, I’m expecting a great year from Metcalf and a big step forward. Although Seattle projects to be a low-volume passing offense, there is very little competition outside of Lockett for the passing game work, so Metcalf should be fed targets from the start. An injury to Lockett, or a more pass-heavy Seattle offense, could lead to a massive year for Metcalf in 2020.

Best Case Scenario

Metcalf steps up in his sophomore year and becomes the most important receiver in Seattle. Lockett struggles again with injuries, Seattle passes more than they did in 2019, and Metcalf is a WR1 for fantasy purposes in just his second year.

 

Worst Case Scenario

DK puts up similar or worse numbers compared to his 2019 season, as Lockett steps up and stays healthy. Seattle is able to stick with the run, and Metcalf is a boom-bust option for your fantasy team.

 

2020 Projection: 135 targets, 85 receptions, 1050 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns

 

Tyler Lockett

ADP: 53.5, WR22

Tyler Lockett finished the 2019 season as the overall WR13. The points were welcome, but Lockett’s main issue last year was inconsistent fantasy production from week to week. Tyler had six weeks where he scored somewhere between zero and 9.1 fantasy points in 2019. But it’s not like every week was a dud. Lockett’s best weeks saw him score 40.2, 32.4, and 26 points. Although he may not be very predictable from week to week, Lockett has proven to be consistent from a season-long perspective over the past two years, scoring more than 222 fantasy points each season.

There’s a bit of a discrepancy between Tyler’s 2020 ADP and his 2019 finish. One could argue Lockett is a bit undervalued, but I think it’s pretty fair considering we don’t yet know how essential Dorsett will be to this offense. If Dorsett is firmly in the mix and DK gets more work, the targets are likely to shrink somewhere. However, if Lockett and Metcalf remain the primary targets, Lockett could have an even better 2020 season if he can stay on the field and healthy.

 

Best Case Scenario

Lockett is still an essential part of Seattle’s offense and has more consistent fantasy production from week to week. He stays healthy and holds on to the WR1 role in Seattle, giving us that breakout season that we have always hoped for from Lockett.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Lockett’s target share shrinks and his fantasy relevance takes a hit. Metcalf is the real deal, leaving Lockett as the WR2. When he hits a big play or scores a touchdown he is relevant, but otherwise disappears too often to pay off his ADP.

 

2020 Projection: 100 targets, 75 receptions, 990 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns

 

Phillip Dorsett II

ADP: 197, WR84

It’s going to be tough to pin down Phillip Dorsett’s production in his first year with Seattle. For a guy who is consistently called a “deep threat” in the league, Phillip has never topped more than 528 yards in an entire season. Over the past three years with the Patriots, Dorsett averaged 71.6 PPR fantasy points per season. My first thought was that Dorsett could be another WR3 on this team, but I think the Seahawks may have bigger plans for him.

PFF recently ranked Russell Wilson as the best deep-ball QB in the league, and I imagine the Seahawks fully intend to use Dorsett’s speed. If Phillip can connect with Wilson early and often, I could see Dorsett having the best statistical season of his career. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see the Seahawks going deep with Metcalf and Dorsett running fly routes out wide. This abnormal offseason makes me want to slightly downgrade Dorsett. It could take a few weeks for Phillip to get on the same page with his new QB. But I’m intrigued by his upside this late in the draft, as Wilson may be good enough to bring out a career year.

 

Best Case Scenario

Dorsett quickly becomes a trusted deep threat in Seattle’s offense and puts up the best statistical season of his career. Lockett comes down with an injury, and suddenly Dorsett is the WR2 in a Wilson-led offense.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Dorsett doesn’t do enough to earn a meaningful target share in 2020 and is trapped behind Metcalf, Lockett, and the running game fighting for scraps.

 

2020 Projection: 65 targets, 40 receptions, 600 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns

 

Tight End

 

Greg Olsen

ADP: 273, TE21

One could make the argument that Wilson will be the best quarterback to ever throw the ball to Greg Olsen, but I would be much more excited about the latter’s move to Seattle if this was five years ago. Now Olsen is 35-years-old and doesn’t exactly have history on his side.

Since the 1970 merger, only six tight ends aged 35 or older have reached 100 PPR points. For reference, 100 PPR points would have ranked TE22 in 2019 (behind Jimmy Graham). In fairness, Greg racked up 123 fantasy points last year, but does anybody truly believe Olsen still has what it takes to be an elite tight end in 2020? Greg had a five-year stretch where he didn’t miss a game, but at this point, he hasn’t played a full season since 2016. He may come into Seattle looking like a new man, but I’m having trouble getting excited about this move.

 

Best Case Scenario

Olsen becomes the seventh tight end 35 years or older (in the modern era) to accrue more than 100 PPR fantasy points and returns to his elite TE status.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Greg can’t stay healthy for yet another season and the Seahawks realize they gave him way too much money.

 

2020 Projection: 80 targets, 60 receptions, 615 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns

 

Will Dissly

ADP: 411, TE49

Will Dissly was on his way to an impressive 2019 campaign when he suffered a grade 3 Pedal Achilles tear in Week 6. He would have been the PPR TE6 in 2019 if you extrapolate his six games over an entire 16-game season. That would have put him just behind Mark Andrews with 196.8 fantasy points. I realize that’s quite a bit of time to extrapolate upon, but it at least serves to explain why Seahawks fans have such high expectations for Dissly. I imagine most fans are keeping faith in Dissly’s potential while tempering expectations for Olsen’s production.

On the injury front, Will isn’t perfect either, and I suspect that’s why the Seahawks chose to shore up the position with a proven vet. Seattle may try to give both Olsen and Dissly a similar workload throughout the season in an effort to keep both healthy. Plus, both of these guys on the field for two-tight-end sets could be a deadly combo.

 

Best Case Scenario

Even with Olsen in the mix, Dissly puts up respectable fantasy numbers and plays the entire season. He’s fully recovered from his injury, and finishes the season as a back-end TE1 or weekly streaming option.

 

Worst Case Scenario

Will gets left behind on the depth chart as Olsen shows he has plenty left in the tank and returns to elite form. Dissly never looks the same coming back from injury and is an afterthought in fantasy leagues.

 

2020 Projection: 55 targets, 47 receptions, 525 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns

 

 

Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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