Undoubtedly, the biggest football question for the Seahawks is can they bounce back from ‘the play’? This remains to be seen.
The biggest fantasy question, however, is how will the acquisition of Jimmy Graham affect Beast Mode’s touches in the redzone? I believe that the sum will be greater than its parts, and this team has great parts – Lynch, Wilson, the LOB; just to name a few. Defenses will have to decide who they don’t want to be crushed by. Do they place another guy in the box to stop Lynch? Or will they double Graham? Or do they keep Wilson from rolling out on bootlegs? None of those are good options.
A great side effect of the Jimmy Graham trade is that the Seahawks now have a true No.1 receiver, a move that gives national credibility to the receiving core. The Seahawks once again did not draft a big-bodied receiver, but Chris Matthews may meet that need if he can continue what he did in the Super Bowl. That said, unless you have a 10+ team league, I would stay away from Seahawks receivers. They are all boom or bust guys who won’t put up consistently big enough numbers – even though they are playing some of the weaker defenses, they still play in the NFC West. Of the receivers, Doug Baldwin is the most reliable in terms of fantasy, and if you’re looking for a sleeper, don’t ignore Tyler Lockett. He will be the team’s return man and he is great at double-move routes. The Seahawks’ season will progressively get easier; with 5 of 8 games at home in the second half, Lockett could be a great waiver-wire pick-up for deeper leagues, especially when injuries are bound to thin out your roster.
In terms of running backs, it looks like Christine Michael may get leap-frogged by undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls. Pete Carroll is high on the prospect and he is taking reps away from what should have been Michael’s chance to prove himself, with Turbin injured and Lynch being saved for the season. I wouldn’t put it past Carrol/Schnieder to cut ties with Michael, as they have a reputation to go younger and take the guy who “always competes.”
The Legion of Boom looks to be the first defense off the board for the 3rd straight season. Many people are worried as to whether or not they (the secondary) will all be healthy at the beginning of the season. To them, I say the secondary will be fine once Jeremy Lane gets back to be the nickel corner; Tharold Simon proved he still has room to grow. Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Richard Sherman will all be ready at the start of the season. My concern is with the possible holdout of Michael Bennett. The Seahawks’ defensive line was not very deep last year at DE, and when Avril left the Super Bowl with a concussion, the pass rush became nonexistent. If Bennett holds out, he will be hurting his ability to be ready when/if he and the Seahawks come to terms, and no defense backfield can cover receivers forever. There needs to be a pass rush and although they have added a lot of bodies on the defensive line, they are largely unproven.
All this said, it will be interesting to see how the rest of this pre-season plays out.