Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
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Russell Wilson has transformed over the past few years from a dual threat quarterback into a more orthodox quarterback who happens to be mobile and can pick up yardage on the ground if need be. Wilson has gone from the number one rushing quarterback in 2014, to number three in 2015 and was number nine in 2016. The decrease in rushing yards has thankfully translated into an increase in passing yards, as in the same span Wilson went from 15th, to 12th and this season was eighth. This transformation was needed to extend his career but has come with some bumps along the way. Despite a substantial increase in passing yards, Wilson’s touchdowns have reverted to 2014 levels after an impressive 2015 campaign. Wilson isn’t going anywhere, and 2016 was clearly a transitional year for the Seahawks. Look for Wilson to rebound next year while continuing to evolve.
Trevone Boykin has never been a threat to Wilson’s job but serves as a continuity of skills should Wilson ever need to miss extended time. Boykin only managed to throw 18 times in 2016 but his touchdowns per attempt (5.5%) was comparable to Wilson’s (3.8%) as was his Passer Rating (91.2 vs. 92.6, respectively). Boykin won’t create a quarterback controversy anytime soon but in 2QB leagues he is a great handcuff to grab if you own Wilson.
If 2015 could be called the season where everything went right for Thomas Rawls, then 2016 could be called the season that went wrong. Rawls dealt with injuries, statistical regression and doubts about his ability to assume a lions-share of Seattle’s rushing work. Through it all Rawls went out and clearly gave it his all every play, a lot can be said for that level of effort given the uncertain nature of the Seahawks’ backfield. He also appeared to come on when it counts posting 161 rushing yards against Detroit in the NFC Wild Card game, which may buy him at least a little more goodwill from the coaching staff.
However, year over year Rawls’ yards per carry went from 5.6 in 2015 to 3.2 in 2016 which is incredibly worrying from a fantasy perspective given the fact that Seattle drafted a rookie running back to compete with Rawls in the third round of last year’s draft and, if that wasn’t enough, they drafted another in the fifth. Luckily Rawls’ fantasy prospects haven’t dipped too significant due mainly to the fact that both rookies had similar issues with injuries and consistency. Rawls will need to step up this season as it is the last year on his contract and he can either impress Seattle enough to give him a new contract or pad his resume to impress a different team. Either way Rawls’ fantasy value is precarious at best right now, owners beware.
Admittedly, I was a huge Prosise fan when he entered the draft. I probably have more shares of him across all my leagues than 99% of dynasty owners out there. However, he didn’t do a whole lot to endear himself to the dynasty community his rookie season in Seattle. He was held out of all but six regular season games and of the six game in which he did play, he only had one game where he was able to amass more than five carries. It would be extremely tough for the Seahawks to throw Prosise the keys to the backfield this offseason after an abysmal rookie campaign. However, when Prosise was given his biggest opportunity, in week ten against New England, he demonstrated why Seattle invested a third-round pick on him. Prosise posted 66 rushing yards on 17 carries and tacked on another seven receptions for an additional 87 yards. Look for Prosise to attempt to spring back from his forgettable 2016 season and carve out a significant role for himself in 2017.
There just isn’t a whole lot to say about Collins because he saw so little from him in 2016. Collins was only given 31 rush attempts all season and pulled in another 11 receptions. What is worth noting though is that Collins caught every single pass in which he was targeted, and nearly caught as many passes as Thomas Rawls did in the entire season. Collins is likely to see his playing time increase if Rawls does decide to sign elsewhere at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Meanwhile, dynasty owners would be wise just to stash Collins and wait things out.
Doug Baldwin has managed to carve out greater and greater shares of Seattle’s offensive production since 2012. Each year since his second season Baldwin’s targets, receptions and receiving yards have grown year over year until this year he ranked 11th overall in receiving yards with 1,128 yards. This is a far cry from just five years ago, when he only managed to collect 366 receiving yards. Seattle obviously sees the value of keeping Baldwin in the mix, having signed him to four year, $46 million-dollar contract just last off-season. The investment has already shown the Seahawks front office to be quite wise given his 2016 output. A bit worrying though is that Baldwin only managed to post seven touchdowns in the 2016 season after accumulating double that in 2015. That being said, Baldwin was due for a slight regression and his numbers should stabilize and consistently float between each end of this spectrum going forward.
The hype train surrounding Tyler Lockett coming into the season was pretty significant but ultimately his 2016 season was quite similar, in terms of statistical output, to his 2015 season, with one important difference, touchdowns. Lockett’s touchdown total shrunk significantly in 2016, dropping from six touchdowns the prior season to only a single touchdown the following year. In Lockett’s defense, nearly every Seahawks player saw their touchdowns dip this year as their rushing game was far less effective this year, allowing opposing defenses to defend against the pass more while Seattle, for all intents and purposes, telegraphed their game plan before the first snap. Lockett might not fetch the same price tag that he did this time last season but his production should begin to tick upward next year as Seattle gets their offense back on track.
Often Seattle’s most overlooked receiving option, Jermaine Kearse went out this season and had a quietly fantasy fringe-startable season. Now, bear in mind, when I say fringe-startable, I’m talking in the deepest sense of the phrase. However, Kearse managed to post more receiving yards than Tavon Austin, Michael Floyd, Sammie Watkins, Corey Coleman and even newly minted fantasy darling, Hunter Henry. It would have been incredibly difficult to foresee that kind of performance coming into the 2016 season but, nonetheless, here we are. Now, Kearse is never going to be a guy you consistently feel safe about starting on any given week but the Seahawks seem to be banking on opponents thinking in a similar manner as Kearse nonchalantly averages roughly three receptions a game for 32 yards. That’s not going to win you many fantasy points, or games for that matter, but I know a few instances in which I’d take a consistent three for 30 than the bevy of options I’m presented with on the waiver wire. Nonetheless, roster Kearse only as a last resort and always be on the lookout for better options, but look for him on waivers if you’re dealing with some serious injury or bye issues next season.
For most of the season Paul Richardson was an afterthought, both in the NFL and fantasy games. Then, like most holiday miracles, something happened on Christmas Eve. In that game, Richardson had the best fantasy performance of his career with four receptions for 42 yards and his second career touchdown. Then, a little over a week later he had a similar performance, and a week after that, and the week after that too. In the final two regular season games and in Seattle’s two playoff games, Richardson accounted for 15 receptions, 213 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Those four games eclipsed total totals he posted for the rest of the entire season and were nearly greater than his best full season as a professional. Seattle appears to have liked what they saw in Richardson and, one figures, they would like to work him into their offense plans much more going forward. Richardson’s ADP value has risen roughly 20 spots from this time last season as the dynasty world is starting to factor in his recent performance. I’d say it’s a fair value at this point and I would be surprised if it moved much higher. If his value does increase in the off-season, then I wouldn’t feel comfortable obtaining him as he’s still a bit of a speculative play at this point.
It finally, and I do mean FINALLY, appears as if Jimmy Graham is beginning to fit into Seattle’s offense and is slowly reclaiming the lofty fantasy value he had before being traded to the Seahawks and suffering a torn patellar tendon, normally a catastrophic injury that has ruined careers in the past. Through the adversity, Graham has managed to claw back into fantasy prominence and finished as the fourth highest scoring tight end in 2016. He was also one of very few Seattle players who had a significantly better season in 2016 than they had a year prior. Wilson and Graham appeared to strike up a rapport this season which allowed him to post the most receiving yards he’s in a season since 2013, as well as the highest yards per reception total in his career. Those of you who have held onto Graham through his darkest days have been rewarded for your faith. Wouldn’t recommend cashing in just yet, continue to hold. I believe things will look even better for his fantasy value come this time next year.
If you’re even reading this blurb, then you’re in real trouble at the tight end position for are playing in a 32-team league. Suffice to say Luke Willson isn’t really fantasy relevant an any sense of the term. What’s worse is he just had his worst season as a professional with only 15 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns. We’ve seen Jason Witten post better reception and receiving statistics in one game than Willson could manage all year. I won’t pile on Willson any further, he just isn’t fantasy relevant no matter how you slice it and I wouldn’t recommend adding him to your roster if you can, at all, help it.