Dynasty Capsule: Seattle Seahawks

Eric Olinger

As part of the premium content package, we’re again unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL leading up to free agency and the NFL Draft. This year, we’re also going to do a follow-up on all the teams after all the free agency and NFL Draft movement to assess the impact of any players teams have gained or lost. Since these capsules are always done as a simple snapshot in time, we figured that was the best way to tackle the off-season and provide ultimate value for our subscribers. All in all, we’ll have close to 500 player profiles found in these capsules over the off-season.

We get closer to the end of our league-wide journey with the Seattle Seahawks.


Russell Wilson

russell_wilson2So much for the “he’s too short to succeed in the NFL” bit, at 5’11” and 204 pounds, Russell Wilson is plenty big enough to carry the Seahawks’ offense. After falling into the third round of last year’s draft simply because of his size, Wilson was selected by the team who had just signed their next quarterback in free agency. Lucky for him the Seahawks have a “best player plays” mantra and a coach who opens every spot to competition.

It did not take long for Wilson to win over teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans. It was apparent very early the rookie gave the team a much better chance to win than the newly signed Matt Flynn. Coach Carroll named Wilson the starter and Flynn found his same old seat in a new city.

The season started out somewhat modest from a fantasy perspective. Wilson was playing not to lose, instead of letting it fly, until fate intervened on the final play of regulation on a Monday night. As time expired, Wilson chucked a Hail Mary deep into the end zone and when the dust settled Golden Tate was holding the ball and the Green Bay Packers (and the replacement refs) were sent home as losers. The longer the season went, the more freedom he was given. By the end of the year, Wilson was a QB1 and a hot commodity in the dynasty community. Over the second half of the season, only Cam Newton averaged more points per game than Wilson.

At age 24, Wilson is locked in as a dynasty QB1 moving forward and nobody seems to worry about his height any more. With Marshawn Lynch running beast mode to keep defenses honest and the threat of Wilson himself taking off, there are going to be plenty of passing opportunities for him. It would be nice to see the team add a dynamic pass catcher to the fold either in free agency or the draft, but as Wilson showed, he just gets the job done by spreading the ball and not forcing it to one player.

Matt Flynn

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. After parlaying his 2011 week 17 game versus Detroit into what he thought was a starting job in Seattle, Flynn instead parlayed it into a $10 million dollar back-up job. Which if you think about it, it actually worked out better. He got paid big money and never even had to take a hit, so don’t feel bad for the guy.

Seattle has very little money wrapped up in the entire quarterback position, so keeping Flynn is an option even if there are rumors of him being traded or released. Bottom line, there were only two teams looking to sign Flynn last year and the other team, the Dolphins, coached by his former offensive coordinator in Green Bay, Joe Philbin, drafted their franchise quarterback last year. Teams aren’t going to be knocking down the Seahawks’ door for the soon to be 28-year old quarterback. I still think the most likely scenario for the Seahawks is to let Flynn play out the final year of his contract backing up Wilson. They’ve obviously seen enough in him to sign him last year and with the Seahawks having a legitimate Super Bowl caliber team, why not keep continuity and draft a player with a skill set similar to Wilson’s?

Running backs

Marshawn Lynch

At 26 years old, Lynch is one of the league’s truly elite running backs both in fantasy and the less important “real life.” Ever since his phoenix-like awakening against the Saints in that playoff game, Lynch has been on an Adrian Peterson-like tear. He has put up career years in back-to-back years now, topping his 1,200 yard, 12 touchdown season with a 1,590 yard, 11 touchdown campaign and finishing as the RB5 in fantasy in 2012.

Lynch is showing no signs of slowing down and has at least two more seasons of punishing defenses ahead of him as a bona fide RB1. With running mate Robert Turbin around to give the Skittles eating mad man a chance to “taste the rainbow” from time to time, Lynch is able to stay fresh and put up quality start after quality start.

Robert Turbin

Drafted out of Utah State in the fourth round last year, Turbin was most often compared to Lynch in the pre-draft process. As such, it only made sense that Seattle would protect themselves by doubling down and having two battering rams. At a cut-up 5’10” 222 pounds, Turbin was dubbed “Sea-Hulk” by teammates, which I think rivals Adrian Peterson’s “Purple Jesus” and Doug Martin’s “Muscle Hamster” as coolest nicknames for a running back. Well, since Najeh “Dookie” Davenport retired anyways (if you don’t know how he got that nickname, Google it).

Turbin flashed his potential at times throughout his rookie season as he averaged nearly 4.5 yards per carry and hauled in 19 catches for 181 yards in a limited role, but has yet to find the end zone. If Lynch were to go down, Turbin would immediately be a RB1 in fantasy leagues as Seattle would not have to change the game plan whatsoever with him in the lineup. He’ll be one of the more important “handcuffs” in fantasy leagues moving forward.

Leon Washington

Washington makes his money in the return game, not the running game. Seattle gives him a couple courtesy touches a game on offense, but he is so valuable as a return man that it’s not worth risking the injury.  Outside of leagues that reward return yards, Washington has no value with Lynch and Turbin ahead of him.

Wide Receivers

Sidney Rice

The good news, Sidney Rice finally played in all 16 games for just the second time of his career and the first since his magical 2009 season in Minnesota with Brett Favre at the helm. The bad news, all he was able to do was catch 50 balls for 748 yards and seven touchdowns. With Seattle’s very obvious run first (and run second) offensive game plan, Rice will not match or exceed his 2009 numbers when he caught 83 balls for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns anytime soon – this offense is simply not built for that. I think it’s fair to cap projections for Rice to be around 70 catches for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. He should be considered a strong WR3, but will be stretched as a dependable WR2.

Golden Tate

Tate’s claim to fame was the aforementioned game winning “who caught it?” touchdown against Green Bay on Monday Night Football in week three. Beyond that though, he has shown improvement in each of his first three seasons, ending 2012 with 45 catches for 688 yards and seven touchdowns. The most promising sign was when Wilson caught fire in the second half of the year making Tate a key contributor – he came in as the WR28 over that time, in between Anquan Boldin and Victor Cruz.

I’ve been a Golden Tate fan since his Notre Dame days, so I’ve been watching him make ridiculous catches for years. There is still room to grow and it’s not crazy to think Tate leapfrogs Rice as Wilson’s go to receiver in the future. The problem will always be trying to predict when the big games come between Rice and Tate. This spread the wealth offense can’t support one fantasy WR1 or two consistent WR3s.

Doug Baldwin

After flashing some PPR upside in 2011, Baldwin fell off the map in 2012. He has the skill set to have a long NFL career as a nice slot receiver, but there are higher upside guys to target in dynasty leagues.

Jermaine Kearse / Deon Butler

Butler is a less explosive Golden Tate and carries no fantasy value. Kearse at 6’2”, 205 adds some much needed size to the Seahawks, but there just aren’t enough balls to go around in Seattle.

Tight End

Zach Miller

Just when you accept the flat lining endless monotone of Zach Miller’s fantasy value, you hear it… a rhythmic beep. He’s alive! Miller fell off the map when he signed with Seattle, going from low TE1 to waiver wire material. This year really wasn’t any different, he only caught more than three balls once in the regular season.

Then, something happened, something familiar – the Seahawks made Miller the focal point against the Falcons in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and he erupted for eight catches for 142 yards and a score, nearly a third of his entire 2012 regular season production.

Miller isn’t going to revert back to his Oakland days of being a low end TE1, heck, he won’t even be a dependable TE2, but he’s back on the radar as a guy to monitor. And that’s better than he has been.

Anthony McCoy

McCoy is a big boy. At 6’5” and 259 pounds, he’s able to use his body like a basketball player to box out defenders. You’ll see him do it a few times a year as he’ll jump up in the end zone and shield a defender, but McCoy is a solid run blocker and as I’ve run this sentiment into the ground now, that’s what this team is about. They will run the ball down your throat, make enough passing plays to make you respect them, and play lights out defense.

eric olinger
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