|By Shawn Larabee, Wednesday, August 28, 2013|
QB Russell Wilson - Solid/Safe Pick
Seattle was cautious with their athletic rookie during the first half of last season, but opened up the playbook for him in the second half to devastating effect -- from weeks 13 to 17, Wilson was fantasy's top-scoring pivot. His impressive late-season progression points to a strong 2013 and makes Wilson a clear top-12 QB.
QB Brady Quinn - Not Draft Worthy
A surprise choice to play behind Russell Wilson, Quinn is a more stationary quarterback who's shown no ability to perform at the pro level. He was dreadful as the Chiefs' starter in 2012 and Seahawks fans will hope he's asked to do nothing more strenuous than hold a clipboard this season. Expect Tavaris Jackson to quickly overtake him for the backup job.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
RB Marshawn Lynch - Stud (low risk)
An elite talent who has been dominant the last two years, Lynch should be a no-brainer pick in the first round of fantasy drafts. The only possible wrinkle is the looming spectre of league discipline stemming from DUI charges last year. No trial date has yet been set and Lynch has filed a motion to have his case dismissed. Under the league's substance abuse policy, players are typically only fined for a first time DUI offense. However, Lynch has been suspended before. If he's found guilty this time, he could face a lengthy suspension as a repeat offender under the league's personal conduct policy.
RB Christine Michael - Gamble (high risk)
Michael's power and raw ability paint a bright picture of his NFL future; concerns about his character paint a much cloudier one. He'll need to grown up fast in Seattle and avoid the off-field issues that plagued him during college. If he can do that, he has the potential to push for regular playing time as early as this season (with the added prospect of earning a starting role further down the road).
RB Robert Turbin - Fantasy Handcuff
Turbin averaged 4.4 yards per carry his first season in the league and is set to return this year as Marshawn Lynch's backup. He could eventually face competition from rookie Christine Michael once the former Aggie gets comfortable with the playbook and improves his pass blocking.
WR Golden Tate - Solid/Safe Pick
Harvin's injury preserves Tate's spot in the starting lineup and makes him an intriguing, high-upside choice who could fly under the radar in upcoming fantasy drafts. Camp reviews suggest the lighbulb has turned on for Tate. He's been the most impressive player in camp after a mildly disappointing start to his pro career. Remember this is a kid who caught 93 balls and 15 TDs his junior year at Notre Dame. Tate has all of the big four going for him. Talent + Opportunity + Pedigree + Contract Year = Stars Aligned for Golden Tate to be a solid WR3 for your fantasy team this season.
WR Sidney Rice - Bye Week Fill-in
Rice stood to benefit from being re-united with former Vikings running mate Percy Harvin this year. A hip injury now puts Harvin's season in jeopardy and means Rice will continue to be the team's top downfield threat. He was a middling fantasy option last year. Without Harvin to help draw defensive attention away, there's no reason to expect significant improvement from Rice in 2013.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
WR Doug Baldwin - Deep-league Only
Though Baldwin sits third on Seattle's WR depth chart, he likely won't have much fantasy value unless Rice or Tate get injured.
WR Stephen Williams - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Standing at 6-foot-5, wide receiver Stephen Williams presents a tremendous combination of size and speed for the Seahawks offense. However, he'll have a lot to prove to earn his two year contract worth $1.2 million. Having previously played for the Cardinals, Williams started three games in 2010 when injuries struck other wide receivers. He then tore his achilles tendon in practice prior to the 2012 season. "Pulled it off the bone," Williams was quoted. If Williams can prove he can play special teams, he may earn an expanding role if injuries continue to plague the Seahawks' receiving corps. In the first preseason game he shined, making two receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. Important to note that the passes were thrown by backup QB Tarvaris Jackson. Insiders say the two have developed pretty good chemistry, but don't necesarily count on that same chemistry between Williams and Russell Wilson.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
WR Percy Harvin - Not Draft Worthy
The Seahawks paid a steep sum to acquire Percy Harvin's services, though it cost less than many expected. Harvin only appeared in nine games with the Vikings last season, during which he managed five touchdowns while racking up 1,347 all-purpose yards. The gamble appears to have blown up in Seattle's face as Harvin suffered a torn hip labrum in training camp. His recovery from the resulting surgery could keep him out of the lineup for most or all of this season.
TE Zach Miller - Bye Week Fill-in
Miller's role with the Seahawks has grown steadily since his 2011 arrival and he capped off last season with a career-best performance in Atlanta (eight catches, 142 yards and a TD). If he continues to step up his involvement he could be a mid-end TE2 for fantasy purposes.
TE Chris Harper - Deep-league Only
Harper's got some long-term appeal, but likely won't be a factor his rookie year. He'll be a player of interest in 2014 when Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin both become free agents.
PK Steven Hauschka - Solid/Safe Pick
Hauschka is accurate on short to medium range kicks, but has had trouble hitting from beyond half (4 for 10 in his career). Seattle's offensive efficiency limits his field goal kicking potential, but he did manage to tie for fifth in the league in extra points made last season.
Seattle Defense - Stud (low risk)
Seattle held opponents to a league-low 15.7 points per game last season and will field a 2013 squad buoyed by the additions of Cliff Avril and Antoine Winfield. Provided there are no more PED suspensions looming, the Seahawks D deserves top billing.