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NFC West

Seahawks: Pre-Season Review

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by Jordan Skolrud

First off, Tyler Lockett is something special. I was at the game against Denver where he had a return touchdown and saw it again on replay at home – he looks faster that Percy Harvin did when he returned one in the Super Bowl a few years back. Then Lockett did it again in San Diego. One fan even did a mashup of the clip with Mario Kart sound effects. In all honesty, most of his value this early in the season will come as a kick/punt returner. He will probably come on stronger in the offense from week seven and beyond. If you are in a 10-12 team league, I think he is worth stashing on your roster until he becomes a bigger part of the offense.

Seattle’s defensive line is beginning to show the talent and versatility that it did during the Super Bowl run a couple years ago. Of course, it helps when you get Brandon Mebane, Jordan Hill, and Cassius Marsh back from injury. However, the biggest reasons are that Bruce Irvin is 20lbs bigger and still as fast, Frank Clark is impressing at tackle and end, and Cassius Marsh is healthy this year so it’s like having him as a rookie. Clark’s ability to play inside could prove very helpful in a “nascar package” (4 pass rusher set). One could have Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril on the ends and Clark and Michael Bennett at Tackle… Look out quarterbacks.

Kam Chancellor‘s hold out is reaching past the 30-day mark. This means that unless it ends in the next couple days, and there is no indication that it will, he will not be in game shape by the opening game in St. Louis. Although I absolutely love Kam Chancellor and all the things he does for a defense in setting the tone and being an enforcer that terrifies anyone coming over the middle, his gamble is backfiring. DeShawn Shead and Dion Bailey have been impressing coaches. Dion Bailey has been getting most of the 1st team reps while Kam Chancellor has been in regular contact with him and the other safeties in camp. Bailey played LB in college and is looking to try and fill the hitting aspects of Chancellor’s shoes. Shead is also getting looks at strong safety but is also on the depth chart at corner, so he could get plays on passing situations. With all this in mind, the Seahawks should be fine in the secondary even though they would prefer to have Chancellor back.

Russell Wilson has struggled all preseason with accuracy. Everyone wants to point out that he hasn’t got great chemistry with Jimmy Graham yet, but he doesn’t really have great chemistry with any of his receivers. Wilson hasn’t thrown a TD pass yet in the preseason. However, he has also been under near constant pressure. Seattle’s offense typically gets off to a rough start in the first 6 weeks of the season so don’t bail on Wilson or Graham too early. They will be dialed in at least in time for the playoff push.

The Seahawks have STRUGGLED with the offensive line, and have even tried bringing in a couple of veteran lineman without clinching any deals. Now they are looking to mix things up on the offensive line to be more productive with mixed, but SLOWLY improving results. The new lineup looks like this: LT- Russell Okung, LG- Justin Britt (played RT last season), C- Drew Nowak (a rookie replacing Pro-Bowler Max Unger), RG- JR Sweezy, RT- Garry Gilliam (the one who caught the fake FG/Touchdown pass from last year’s NFC Championship game). Russell Wilson was under a lot of pressure last season and it figures to be the same story this year as O-Line Coach Tom Cable tends to favor lineman that are better in the running game for starting spots.

For the most part, the Seahawks have avoided injuries during the preseason. They had several players injured coming into camp, but haven’t lost any starters to what seems like the never ending announcements about ACL and achilles injuries across the NFL. The one borderline significant injury in regards to fantasy football came up last week against San Diego when running back Robert Turbin suffered a “significant” high ankle sprain. Due to the injury the Seahawks have reportedly brought in Fred Jackson, who was recently cut. If they are able to sign him, they gain an experienced back who has great hands and would be worth the hand-cuff pick if you have Marshawn Lynch, who played with Jackson for four years in Buffalo.

Lastly, I know kickers don’t really make or break a fantasy football team, but if you have a chance to pick him up, Steven Hauschka did hit a 60yd field goal this last week, and he is currently 9th all-time in field goal accuracy at 85.43%. He is definitely a top-5 kicker.

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