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Dynasty Capsule: Seattle Seahawks

As part of the premium content package, we’re unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL all Spring and Summer. This year, we also have a precursor to every team capsule, with more detail on one of our favorite pieces – the dynasty sleeper. We continue our alphabetical journey through the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.

Quarterbacks

Matt Flynn

Flynn  was the prize free agent quarterback this off-season and he eventually signed with Seattle after flirting with several teams. As the backup to Aaron Rodgers the past few years, Flynn has played sparingly, but played well when called upon. Over his four year career, he’s posted 1,015 passing yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s best known by the mainstream for his week seventeen performance against the Lions last year where he recorded 480 passing yards and six touchdowns against a lifeless Detroit defense.

In Seattle, he finds himself in an unexpected early battle to start with rookie Russell Wilson. While Flynn is fully expected to still win the job, his contract isn’t so exorbitant that he’ll be given an incredibly long leash. After all, his guaranteed money was only $10 million.

All that being said, Flynn is a good fit for Seattle’s offense. He’s not nearly as dynamic as Wilson, but he’s shown poise, maturity and a leadership ability thus far in camp. He should start out the year under center for Seattle and could have QB2 upside if he plays well.

Just don’t be surprised if he’s looking over his shoulder.

Russell Wilson

Just over Flynn’s shoulder (or maybe just under) stands young Russell Wilson, who has everything you’d want in a franchise quarterback other than height. Make no mistake, though, this kid can play football. Last year at Wisconsin, Wilson completed nearly 73% of his passes for 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns against just four interceptions. Combine that with another 338 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground and you had one of the most elite weapons we’ve seen in college football in recent years.

As we mentioned, the knock on Wilson is the fact he’s 5’11” tall. While that’s far from ideal for a quarterback, we need to mention two things.

First, Wilson’s offensive line in Wisconsin was bigger than Green Bay’s last year and by some accounts, estimated to have been the fourth biggest in the NFL had the Badgers played in the league – that didn’t stop Wilson from finding passing lanes and completing ridiculous amount of his passes.

Second, it’s not as if shorter quarterbacks haven’t had success in the NFL if they have special ability. Drew Brees is right at 6’ tall and he seems to be pretty decent.

The fact is, Wilson seems to have the “it” factor. He has a lot to learn and will likely sit this season behind Flynn as he learns the offense, but make no mistake, there will be a time when Wilson has a chance to start in the league and that makes him a very good stash on a dynasty league roster.

Tarvaris Jackson

With Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson in camp, it looks like Jackson is going to be either traded or released. While he could be picked up by a quarterback needy team (Arizona, perhaps), we’ve pretty much seen what we have in Jackson and it’s apparent he’s not much more than a desperation spot play in dynasty leagues, regardless of where he’s playing.

Josh Portis

Portis showed some ability at this time last year, but the addition of Wilson as the Seahawks young quarterback of the future doesn’t bode well for him. He doesn’t belong on a roster at this point.

Running Backs

Marshawn Lynch

Lynch went into beast mode last year en route to a career season featuring 1,204 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. In fact, he went on a tear at one point last season where he scored a touchdown in a ridiculous 11 games in a row. The Seahawks rewarded him with a four year deal worth $31 million dollars ($18 million guaranteed) in the off-season.

He promptly rewarded them by getting arrested on suspicion of a DUI making everyone wish he had just stuck with Skittles.

In short, Lynch is the definition of feast or famine when it comes to dynasty leagues. On one hand, he’s shown he can be a dominant force, posting borderline RB1 numbers. On the other, his off the field behavior leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s possible Lynch gets suspended at some point this year, but it’s also possible the legal system doesn’t get his case through before the end of the season. It’s also possible the league doesn’t suspend him at all since this is his first offense under the substance abuse policy and not the personal conduct policy. The Seahawks reportedly even have the ability to void his contract under some behavioral circumstances. There’s much confusion on this front, but one thing we know for sure – Lynch is a risky player to own.

There are two types of players in dynasty leagues – the ones that kill you when they’re on your roster and the ones that kill you when you trade them away and blow up the box score.

Lynch could be either.

Robert Turbin

The former Utah State product has been a hot rookie commodity ever since Lynch was arrested. After all, it seems he’d be next line for an offense that loves to run the ball. He’s been impressive thus far in camp and needs to watched closely all preseason as he attempts to carve out a role in the offense. He could be the third down back this year if Lynch plays, or even start if Lynch gets suspended. When you’re nicknamed the “Sea-Hulk,” anything can happen, right?

Leon Washington

Washington is one of the most explosive players in the game, but really only has value in leagues that reward return yardage. He’ll get some spot carries here and there, but never be the Darren Sproles-like piece to the Seahawks offense.  He has a lot of talent, just not a lot of fantasy value.

Tyrell Sutton

Sutton was on the radar years ago as he spent time in Green Bay and Carolina, but it’s hard to see him having much value in Seattle, regardless of what happens with Lynch.

Kregg Lumpkin

Lumpkin is another depth player for the Seahawks who holds no dynasty value. It would take a torn ACL pandemic episode for him to be relevant.

Wide Receivers 

Sidney Rice

What can you say about Rice that hasn’t been said already?

There’s no doubting his talent – it’s extreme. He showed that in his 2009 season with Brett Favre at the helm of the Vikings when he posted 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, while playing in all sixteen games. Unfortunately, the next two years has seen Rice record just 49 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns in 15 total games combined for the Vikings and Seahawks.

Rice is coming off a dreadful season that featured concussions and shoulder surgeries. While he claims he’s healthy, the Seahawks signing of both Terrell Owens and Braylon Edwards suggest there’s great concern over his ability to hold up. He’s back at practice now and is vowing to be ready for week one. We’ll see on that front.

Like Lynch, Rice is a high risk, high reward player, though for a much different reason. You have to hope he can get himself healthy, but it would be shocking to see him make it through the season unscathed – some players just have no luck and it seems Rice has really upset a leprechaun somewhere.

Terrell Owens

Get your popcorn ready! Ugh.

Owens has been plucked off the scrap heap by Seattle after he blew them away in a private workout, running a 40 in the mid 4.4s and catching everything thrown his way. Owens was out of the league last year as he rehabbed a torn ACL, but the 38 year old seems to still have something in the tank. Regardless of what you think of him, it’s a pretty impressive tank that has produced 1,078 catches, 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns over a 15 years career.

With the receiving corps in a state of flux, Owens has a legitimate chance to make this team and all reports thus far have been very positive. While it’s hard to really buy that his attitude has truly changed, perhaps a year away from the game and the stark realization that this is his true last chance in the league will temper his behavior.

Owens is worth a pickup if you’re a contending team since his on-field production has never been much of an issue. Of all players to be curious about watching during the preseason, Owens may be at the top of the list.

Golden Tate

Tate had seemingly turned a corner last year, but has been pretty underwhelming in his two years in the Emerald City. In a total of 27 career games, he’s posted only 56 catches for 609 yards and three touchdowns. Going into his third season, this year is going to be huge for Tate. The additions of Owens and Edwards show the coaching staff already doesn’t have an enormous amount of trust in him.

Owners of Tate have to hope he can impress enough in the preseason to persuade the Seahawks to dump their veterans and trust him to be a key contributor to the team. It’s not likely to happen, so Tate is teetering on roster worthiness at the moment.

Doug Baldwin

Baldwin came out of nowhere to be a savior for Seattle last year, as the rookie posted 51 catches for 788 yards and four touchdowns – that’s more than Golden Tate has produced in two seasons. Baldwin lacks prototypical size, but makes up for it by simply being solid in most areas. It looks like he’s likely slated for slot duties this year, which makes him a nice player in PPR leagues, but he could also surprise and take a job outside. After all, nothing in this receiving corps is set in stone.

Ben Obomanu

The addition of Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens in the offseason says a lot about what the Seahawks may think of Obomanu as well. He’s been very average in his four year career, posting 83 catches for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns in a total of 58 games. Unless the Seahawks make some drastic changes on the depth chart, Obomanu looks buried at the moment.

Kris Durham

There was some hype around Durham at this time last year, but it was quickly extinguished as he had season ending shoulder surgery. Like many of the Seahawks receivers, his roster fate is unknown.

Braylon Edwards

Hey, why not?

The Seahawks are suddenly a hotbed for underachieving or risky players as they signed Edwards to a deal this offseason. He has struggled mightily since his magical 2007 season when he had 80 catches for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the rest of his eight year career has produced 4,034 yards and 23 touchdowns combined with stops in Cleveland, with the Jets, and a partial year in San Francisco.

Edwards joins the Seattle receiving crew as a player who has an enormous amount of talent, but a major confidence and consistency problem.

Can he put together a solid Summer and make the team? If so, he’s intriguing.

Deon Butler

Again, much like many of the Seahawks receivers, Butler is fighting for his life in terms of making the team. He was once thought of as a key player in the organization, but his gruesome injury has put his career in Seattle in jeopardy.

Ricardo Lockette

We focused on Lockette in our sleeper spotlight for Seattle.

Tight Ends

Zach Miller

After coming over from the Raiders, Miller was a major disappointment last year. Some thought he’d be a sneaky good play as a TE2, then he rewarded his owners with a grand total of 25 catches for 233 yards and no touchdowns. Unfortunately, Miller spent most of his time acting as the sixth offensive lineman for a team who simply couldn’t block. With Kellen Winslow in tow, Miller’s dynasty appeal has hit rock bottom.

Kellen Winslow

Gone are the days where Winslow could be considered a TE1. Sadly, his injuries have sapped much of his explosiveness over the years and dynasty owners have to wonder how good he could have been had he never been in that ridiculous motorcycle accident years ago.

Winslow was decent last year for Tampa, posting 75 catches for 763 yards and two scores, but the Seahawks aren’t likely  to target him nearly enough for him to match those totals this season. At 29 years of age, we’ve seen the best of Winslow. He could still have some value as a TE2, but expecting a statistical renaissance would be a mistake.

We’ll continue our team capsules with the Tampa Bay Bucs up next.

Ken Kelly
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