Seattle Seahawks Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Pete Carroll began coaching the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, and it took a couple of seasons to turn the team into his winning organization. 2010 and 2011 both ended in 7-9 seasons. In 2012 HC Carroll drafted Russell Wilson with the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since the selection, the Seahawks have had no less than 10 wins for the past 4 years.
2016 Team Outlook – The Arizona Cardinals, led by HC Bruce Arians, ended the Seattle Seahawks 2 year domination of the NFC West Division. In 2015, Arizona had a 13-3 record vs the Seahawks 10-6 record. Arizona and Seattle share their division with the L.A. Rams and the SF 49ers. The Rams and 49ers are rebuilding, and don’t even have starting quarterbacks on their rosters, so it’s likely only a 2 team battle for the division in 2016.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook –
QB– In the 2012 NFL Draft, 5 quarterbacks were selected before Seattle grabbed Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. The most egregious was Cleveland’s selection of Brandon Weeden in Round One. Seattle has been rewarded for their savvy pick, with a franchise quarterback who has never had a losing season, 4 straight post-season appearances and one Super Bowl victory. Wilson was a top 5 quarterback in 2014 and 2015. Wilson is an excellent fantasy football QB that fantasy leaguers can wait to get in Rounds 4 and 5.
RB– On February 7, 2016, the day of Super Bowl 50, Lynch announced his retirement. Lynch battled injuries throughout the 2015 NFL season, and only played in 7 games last season. Prior to 2015, Lynch had 4 straight seasons with 1200+ rushing yards and 11+ touchdown runs. The Lynch-era in Seattle is over, and the Thomas Rawls-era as the full-time #1 RB in Seattle begins. HC Carroll has stated that RB Rawls will have to win the job in 2016, but only an injury is going to prevent Rawls from being the starter. In 2015 while filling in for RB Lynch, Rawls had 906 total yards and 5 touchdowns, making him the #26 running back in the NFL.
WRs– On March 10, 2015, N.O. TE Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seahawks. If you were a Seattle wideout, you probably thought that your upcoming 2015 player stats….just got cut in half. What’s worst, is that this was already a run-first team to begin with. So if you had told WR Doug Baldwin on March 11th, 2015 that he was going to have the best year of his career, and that he’d end up with over 1000 yards receiving and 14 touchdown receptions….he probably would have started laughing at you. Rookie Tyler Lockett is proving to be a steal from the 2015 NFL Draft, drafted by the Seahawks in the third round. He ended 2015 as the #42 WR in the NFL and he is a premier kick returner. In his first NFL appearance, Lockett had a 103-yard kick return touchdown against the Broncos in Seattle’s preseason opener. WR Jermaine Kearse also had the best season of his career in 2015, with 685 yards and 5 TDs. Kearse is a free agent and intends to test the open market. UPDATE: Jermaine Kearse re-signed a 3-year, $13.5M deal with SEA.
TEs– It needs to be noted that even before newly-acquired TE Jimmy Graham tore his right patellar tendon in the Seahawks’ Week 12 win over the Steelers, there seemed to be little chemistry between him and QB Russell Wilson. Graham had zero touchdown receptions from Week 3 – Week 12 and had only one game with over 100 yards receiving in 2015. It’s doubtful that Graham will be healthy enough to start the 2016 season in Week 1. Seattle has 2 other competent tight ends in Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet.
K– Steven Hauschka joins NE Stephen Gostowski as one of the most accurate and dependable place kickers in the NFL. Hauschka’s 93.5% for field goal completions in 2015 was only bested by NYG K Josh Brown, who was successful in 93.8% of his attempts.
DEF– Teams with good defenses go to the post-season. Teams with the top 2 defenses go to the Super Bowl. These statements may not be true every year, but they were in 2015. Denver, Carolina, Arizona and Seattle were the top 4 defenses in the NFL last year. Seattle was 3rd vs the pass, 3rd vs the run and only Denver allowed fewer points to opposing offenses last season.
2015 Seattle Fantasy Surprises – RB Marshawn Lynch was drafted by the Bills in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft, so 9 years as an NFL running back will take a toll on any man. Its no surprise that he finally wore down, and has ultimately decided to retire. WR Doug Baldwin and undrafted RB Thomas Rawls were the fantasy surprises for this team last season. Both are Utter-Fantasy recommendations as early adds in fantasy football drafts this September.
2016 Free Agents that Seattle Needs to Address – WR Jermaine Kearse, RB Christine Michael (RFA), RB Fred Jackson, RB Bryce Brown, QB Tarvaris Jackson, OG J.R. Sweezy, DT Ahtyba Rubin, C Patrick Lewis (RFA), P Jon Ryan, DT Demarcus Dobbs, T/G Alvin Bailey (RFA), LT Russell Okung, OLB Bruce Irvin, NT Brandon Mebane, CB Jeremy Lane
2016 NFL Draft– QB Russell Wilson was pressured a lot in 2015, and sacked a career high 45 times. Seattle needs immediate help on their offensive line to protect Wilson and reestablish the team as a run-first offense again. WR J Kearse departure will leave Seattle needing another wideout. Free agency could wipe out all of RB Rawl’s current back-ups, so Seattle needs help there. The Seahawks also needs a more dependable corner opposite LCB Richard Sherman. – SEATTLE’S 2015 DRAFT
Did You Know – RB Thomas Rawls was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He played college football at Michigan and Central Michigan. Rawls currently holds the record for the most single game rushing yards by a rookie running back for the Seattle Seahawks (209), as well as the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in his first 6 games (711).
Team Home Page: www.seahawks.com
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS