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Russell Wilson is as efficient as they come, but Seahawks aren't in same league as NFL's top offenses

Andy Behrens, Liz Loza and Scott Pianowski
·7-min read

The Yahoo Fantasy analysts will preview all 32 NFL teams between now and the eventual start of the 2020 draft season. Here, we’ll tackle pressing fantasy questions, #FantasyHotTaeks, and team win totals. Next up, the Seattle Seahawks.

Russell Wilson is as steady as they come. With DK Metcalf on the rise, efficient Tyler Lockett and now Greg Olsen at TE, what are the chances he finishes as fantasy's QB1?

Liz: It’s certainly in his range of possible outcomes. He is, after all, ranked the QB4 overall by the Yahoo FF crew. Not many signal-callers are as efficient via the air and explosive on the ground as Ciara’s husband. Last year, with Lockett and Metcalf in tow, Wilson managed 92 red zone passing attempts (QB2) and 75 carries (QB5). Obviously, those numbers could spike, but with younger talents like Mahomes, Jackson, and Prescott all vying for the top spot it’s hard not to give the advantage to the fresher options with higher upside.

Scott: I have Wilson ranked at QB3, which is a notable stance, I guess. It’s not intentional. I don’t hot taek for the sake of hot-taeking. I just love his efficiency and feels it makes up for modest volume he generally receives (it also explains part of that modest volume). No one would take Wilson over Mahomes or Jackson in the current landscape, and if you want to be more value-driven with your QB, that’s fine. I get it. But when’s the last time you regretted a Wilson pick? Ever? And now he has two ridiculous talents at wide receiver.

Andy: In a season like 2020, everybody has a shot at everything. Anyone who can remain healthy for 16 games will have a huge edge. That said, I don’t think there’s any question that Mahomes and Jackson simply have higher ceilings. Wilson is a phenomenal dual-threat quarterback, but Jackson is in a different class as a rushing threat. Still, it shouldn’t shock anyone if Wilson again throws his name in the MVP conversation; he’s thrown over 30 TD passes in four of the past five seasons. I’d say he’s a great bet for a top-5 finish, but I wouldn’t give him better than, say, a 10-15 percent chance to rank No. 1 overall.

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DK Metcalf is ranked 24th among wide receivers after an impressive rookie season. How big of a plausible leap could he take in 2020, or will this run-first offense hold his ceiling back?

Andy: During the Wilson-Carroll era, no Seattle receiver has seen more than 125 targets in any season (Baldwin, 2016). So it’s probably not realistic to consider Metcalf (or Lockett) a serious threat to finish as the overall WR1. But Metcalf has the benefit of playing with one of the game’s most efficient and accurate passers, plus he’s a burner with 4.3-speed and exceptional strength. It’s definitely reasonable to expect him to make a leap in his second year; draft him expecting 1,000 yards and 8-10 spikes.

Scott: If Metcalf merely keeps last year’s efficiency and adds a little more opportunity and route diversity, I think everyone is happy. Of course, I’m just as pleased to draft Tyler Lockett, too. Targets from Wilson are plated in gold. I love to draft wideouts who are young but with experience; in other words, go after an established wideout heading into his second or third year.

Liz: Seeing an increase in targets from Metcalf is less important to me than seeing a variety of targets from the speedster. As Andy points out above, the likelihood of Metcalf's volume blossoming is slim. However, growth to his route tree would indicate evolution of his skill set and increased versatility. A player who can do more than one thing will, obviously, remain more valuable to the franchise, and its elite QB… thus upping the value of said looks. From Weeks 8-17, Metcalf managed a snap share of nearly 94 percent. In that time he ran an average of 28 routes, hauled in 4.2 balls, and posted 56.7 yards per contest. Assuming he picks up where he left off, a 70-950-9 stat line is well within reason.

The Seahawks added Carlos Hyde — who had a resurgent 2019 — to their backfield. Do you still buy Chris Carson, coming off an injury, as the RB1, or is this a backfield to be wary of?

Scott: Hyde’s been a little underrated for years; when the fantasy community figured out he would never be truly great, it at times overlooked that he was still capable. Hyde looks like one of those understudy RB picks who could have just enough weekly work to carry standalone value. He’s not necessarily a proactive pick for me at the table, but I’ve become more Hyde-friendly in recent weeks. And like most featured backs, Carson is likely to miss time, perhaps multiple games. That’s just a fact of life for a running back in today’s NFL.

Liz: I’m not sure how many times Pete Carroll has to prove his allegiance to Carson, but maybe the third consecutive season is the charm. While it’s true that Carson’s 2019 campaign ended prematurely due to a hip injury, the Oklahoma State product is expected to be ready for Week 1. It’s being reported, however, that his backfield mate Rashad Penny - who sustained an ACL tear in December of last year - is likely to start the season on the PUP list.

The signing of Carlos Hyde - who underwent shoulder surgery in February - seems more like insurance for Penny than a legitimate threat to Carson’s role as the team’s RB1. Carson has been a beast over the past two seasons, averaging over 17 attempts and 4.5 YPC per game. He’s my RB16, which is, coincidentally exactly where he’s being drafted.

Andy: Well, the reason to be wary is that both Carson and Penny are coming off significant injuries. Hyde changed the trajectory of his career last season in Houston, but it’s pretty clear he wasn’t brought to Seattle to challenge for the lead role. Assuming Carson’s hip is in good shape at the start of the season, he’s at the top of this team’s backfield depth chart. He’s coming off a terrific 2019, having rushed for a career-high 1,230 yards (4.4 YPC) while hauling in 37 receptions and scoring nine TDs. He’s excellent. Hyde should be viewed as a rotational runner and understudy. In a year in which depth is key, there’s no question he was a smart addition to the roster.

[2020 Draft Rankings: Overall | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DST | Kickers]

Seattle Seahawks projected 2020 lineup.
Seattle Seahawks projected 2020 lineup.

#FantasyHotTaek

Andy: Let’s not ignore the addition of Greg Olsen, one of the best tight ends of his era. Obviously we’re about a half-decade past his peak, but the tight end position gets plenty of attention from Wilson. Last year, Hollister and Dissly combined for 18 red-zone targets (and nine inside the 10-yard line). If Olsen can remain healthy-ish, he can finish top-8 at his position.

OVER/UNDER on 9.5 Win Total from BetMGM

Scott: I hate betting against Wilson and Pete Carroll is also a pillar of stability. But the division looks nasty, perhaps home field will be negligible in 2020, and Seattle’s defense is held together by scotch tape. I dare these guys to win 10 games, no matter how much fun Wilson, Lockett, and Metcalf have. Punching the UNDER.

Follow Liz: @LizLoza_FF

Follow Scott: @scott_pianowski

Follow Andy: @AndyBehrens

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