It’s the dawn of a new day in Seattle. The road to the NFC West title used to go straight through the Emerald City, but age has finally caught up to the Seahawks. The team is in rebuilding mode at this point and the fantasy production we used to see from the likes of Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander is ancient history.
Pete Carroll has arrived and will attempt to navigate the Seahawks back to the playoffs as they continue their “qwest” for their first Super Bowl title. Some may argue the Seahawk players actually make less money than USC players, but this is a different challenge regardless. Coach Carroll inherits a roster full of underperforming players on offense, but there is some very good dynasty fantasy football potential here. Fantasy owners certainly hope his enthusiasm and passion for the game translate into production on the field.
Let’s take a closer look at Seattle in this grande-sized edition of the dynasty capsule.
Players in their Prime
John Carlson TE
Carlson was a bright spot for Seattle last year when he posted 574 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns on 51 catches. The sky’s the limit for Carlson and he’s already getting heaps of praise from the coaching staff. Matt Hasselbeck has labeled him the most likely breakout player for this season as well.
Charlie Whitehurst QB
The Seahawks pulled the most surprising trade of the offseason when they acquired Whitehurst from the Chargers. Fact is, they’re really taking a leap of faith here. Whitehurst has some ability for sure, but he wasn’t even dominant when he played at Clemson. Regardless, Pete Carroll has a lot riding on him and he’s going to get his chance sooner, rather than later. He’s a great stash as a developmental quarterback in dynasty leagues.
Justin Forsett RB
Forsett was easily the most dynamic player for Seattle last season. His 5.4 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns actually led the Seahawks in 2009. Forsett is certainly no stranger to his new coach, after starring collegiately at the University of California. While the signing of LenDale White was a clear indication the Hawks don’t see him as an every down back, the releasing of White leaves him with a golden opportunity to change their minds. Fact is, he’s going to be awfully tough to keep off the field unless they bring another back into the fold.
Golden Tate WR
The Seahawks were desperate for receiving help and were likely ecstatic when Tate fell to them in April’s draft. There may have been no receiver drafted who had his stock rise as much as Tate’s. He showed some very impressive speed and an unquestioned work ethic since his last game at Notre Dame. He’s already turning heads at camp.
Players with Falling Values
Matt Hasselbeck QB
Injuries and age have finally caught up with Hasselbeck. He has enthusiasm and passion to rival his new coaching staff, but his body has simply broken down. Back injuries are awfully tough to navigate through and this is certainly Hasselbeck’s last hurrah in Seattle. If he struggles early, look for Whitehurst to be inserted.
TJ Houshmandzadeh WR
TJ openly questioned his decision to spurn the Vikings and sign with the Seahawks last year. That talk has quieted since the regime change, but Houshmandzdeh’s 911 yards and 79 catches were an epic disappointment. He’s on record saying 100 catches is the minimum for him in this offense. Time will tell for sure, and we at DLF actually believe that’s likely this year. Unfortunately, TJ is 32 years old and there likely aren’t enough seasons left in him for you to feel confident owning him as a your low-end No. 2 or high-end No. 3 wide receiver.
Julius Jones RB
He’s certainly going to be remembered as being one of the biggest dynasty disappointments of the last decade. After flaming out in Dallas, many owners believed his resurgence would happen in Seattle. His 663 rushing yards, 3.7 yards per carry average and two touchdowns prove that’s simply not going to happen.
Deion Branch WR
This former Super Bowl MVP has been dogged by a multitude of injuries during his time in Seattle. While he seems to be healthy right now, he’s lost most of his explosiveness and simply can’t be counted on at this point. He’s waiver wire fodder in shallow dynasty leagues.
Deon Butler WR
Butler gave the Hawks reason for optimism last year when caught 15 balls for 175 yards. While those may not be eye-popping numbers, those who follow the Seahawks know how explosive he looked and how much he’s seemingly developed in the offseason.
Louis Rankin RB
This local University of Washington product had a semi-productive stint in Oakland before landing in Seattle. The running back position is a major question mark right now and he’ll have an opportunity to make this coaches give him some thought with a productive preseason.
Mike Williams WR
Yep, we’re going to be the first ones to put it out there. Mike Williams actually has a chance to make this team. You probably remember him mostly as a bust from Detroit, or maybe your neighbor at a local buffet, but he’s in shape right now. Combine the fact that Pete Carroll was his coach at USC and the fact he’s been impressive so far and you have a player to at least monitor for now.
The NFC West is wide open with the loss of Kurt Warner in Arizona. The Cardinals, Rams, and 49ers all have question marks right now. The hope in Seattle is a change in offensive philosophy will help jump start this team. Fantasy owners of Seahawk players surely hope so as well. If it doesn’t work out, at least they still have caffeine.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK