If it wasn’t for the monster season that Lamar Jackson delivered,
there would’ve been a real case to be made for Seattle quarterback
Russell Wilson to win his first NFL MVP award in 2019. Wilson exceeded
4,000 passing yards for the third time in his professional career
while adding 31 touchdowns with only five interceptions. It was
Wilson’s third straight season of over 30 passing touchdowns
as the Seahawks bounced back to throwing the ball over 500 times
again after Wilson threw just 427 passes in 2018.
Still an “establish the run” offense under Brian Schottenheimer
despite having one of the great quarterbacks of this era, the Seahawks’
re-commitment to the passing game only brought them back up to 22nd
in the NFL in passing plays per game. Incredible career efficiency
has allowed Wilson to remain a fantasy stud despite significantly
lower passing volume than most other elite fantasy QBs and that
should tell us that we’re likely seeing closer to the fantasy
floor for Wilson rather than his ceiling.
Despite it long being an issue for the team, the Seahawks once again
made no significant investments in the offensive line this offseason.
In fact, the offensive line might be even worse, as they let guard
D.J. Fluker and center Justin Britt walk. They did draft LSU guard
Damien Lewis in the third round, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll
even see the field in 2020. Seattle did add a field stretcher in
and a reliable veteran tight end in Greg Olsen, but they really
made no hugely significant improvements to the offensive situation
as a whole.
A continued deterioration of the defense and the loss of two road-grading
offensive linemen could lead to Seattle actually finding themselves
needing to pass the ball more often in 2020 than ever before under
Wilson. That could mean a bit of a dip in efficiency if defenses
know the pass is coming, but an increase in volume would almost
certainly lead to a positive effect on Wilson’s fantasy production.
Wilson is still considered one of the more elusive quarterbacks
in the league and while he does still flash rushing ability from
time to time, the days of him running for an average of more than
30 yards per game are probably in the rear view mirror. Nevertheless,
he’s a player who can comfortably contribute around 20 rushing
yards per game, which remains an added value over most of the veteran
He’s one of only a few fantasy quarterbacks who have realistic
QB1 overall upside and while he may not be likely to reach quite
that level given the offense he’s in, Wilson does offer
an excellent floor along with a reasonable expectation to finish
in the top five at the position.
He’s not a real flashy pick, but Seattle running back Chris
Carson provided another solid fantasy season in 2019 as he rushed
for 1,230 yards and scored nine total touchdowns in his third NFL
season. Fantasy owners may remember that there was some hype that
he’d be used more in the passing game heading into 2019 and
while that ended up being true, Carson’s 17 additional receptions
on the season from what he had in 2018 resulted in just 103 more
receiving yards so the bump resulted in negligible fantasy improvement.
The real value with Carson is the heavy workload he’s been given
over the past two seasons. He’s carried the ball over 18 times per
game over the past two seasons – a number not often seen by backs
selected outside the first round of fantasy drafts. While the Seahawks
did bring in Carlos
Hyde seemingly to at least be Carson’s backup while Rashaad
Penny starts the season on the PUP list, it seems likely that Carson
will remain by far the carry leader on the roster. Hyde is a similar
back to Carson with average-at-best speed and a lack of historical
usage in the passing game. It’s good for Carson’s usage, however,
that Hyde was the only back of significance that the team added
in the offseason, as he doesn’t really do anything particularly
better than Carson and will likely be used sparingly.
Carson should again provide at least 250 carries as long as he
remains healthy. If he can continue to make improvements in the
passing game then his fantasy ceiling will become significantly
better, but he’s a solid high-floor RB2 with low-end RB1
upside in standard leagues, while remaining still a strong enough
contributor to be a quality RB2 even in PPR leagues.
Heading into his third season as a pro, running back Rashaad Penny
will almost certainly start the season on the PUP list after suffering
a gruesome ACL & meniscus tear in Week 14 of the 2019 season.
A former first round NFL Draft pick, Penny has been one of the few
backs with first round draft capital who has not produced at least
some sort of useful fantasy numbers two years into his professional
career. Penny has been banged up and stuck behind a surprisingly
effective Chris Carson on Seattle’s depth chart, but there’s
no question that he’s been a huge bust given the investment
that the Seahawks put into him.
Sadly, Penny might not even be the primary backup for Carson as
Carlos Hyde is now on the roster. Certainly Penny offers more upside
if he does end up being fully healthy, though, so there’s
still some hope that he may have some fantasy value. Penny was effective
when given an opportunity in 2019, as he scored a total of four
touchdowns while producing over 100 total yards per game in all
three games that he was given at least 10 touches.
It’s hard to argue that he’s not the most physically
talented back on the roster, but Seattle simply has not given
him the type of touches that he’d need to be a serious option
in normal fantasy leagues for now.
Penny is not worth drafting in standard fantasy leagues but his
value might never be lower in dynasty, so it’s worth shooting
an offer to the owner of Penny in your league to see if you can
get him as a throw-in in a trade. It’s also worth considering
that Penny might find himself on another roster in 2021, or even
potentially get traded in 2020 which would probably help his fantasy
A strong WR2 for fantasy, Tyler Lockett improved on his 2018 breakout
season by cracking 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his
career in 2019. His 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons are
also a clear indication that he’s not just a speedy field
stretching receiver anymore, but he’s a player who can produce
in all quadrants of the field.
Russell Wilson and Lockett have one of the strongest connections
in all of football, having finished in the top five in QB-to-WR
passer rating for two seasons in a row and that continues to give
us hope that Lockett’s production in 2018 and 2019 is not
just a fluke. He sees an exceptionally high catchable target rate
from Wilson and he converts those passes into big plays on a fairly
The Seattle passing game has become a true 1A/1B situation with
Lockett and Metcalf, but the targets are consolidated enough between
them given that there’s not another wide receiver of real
significance on the roster. Lockett does also have a more well-rounded
game at this point which makes him more difficult for defenses
to take away. While Metcalf is definitely the sexier play and
has seen his ADP begin to creep ahead of Lockett’s in many
fantasy services, Lockett is the safer option as we’ve seen
him have multiple years of success with Wilson. He probably doesn’t
have top-10 WR upside unless the Seahawks pass the ball quite
a bit more this season, but Lockett is a safe bet to return value
on his ADP.
Most would consider him a boom-or-bust type of player given his
athletic measurables but DK Metcalf was actually a shockingly
consistent fantasy contributor as a rookie. Metcalf was targeted
at least four times in all but two games and he had at least 50
receiving yards in 10 of his 16 games. On the flip side, he only
ever exceeded 90 yards once in the 2019 regular season. We know
that the ceiling is there as we saw him absolutely torch the Eagles
for seven receptions and 160 yards in the playoffs, so there’s
plenty of reason to believe that there will be more of those days
to come here in 2020.
An offensive system like Seattle’s would normally mean low
volume for pass catchers, but it might actually be just fine for
Metcalf as there’s a consolidation of targets among only
a few wide receivers, a tight end who’s nearing retirement
and a backfield of running backs who aren’t known for their
usage in the passing game. Metcalf commanded 100 targets as a
rookie and it seems likely that he’ll see even more passes
come his way here in 2020 as he becomes more acclimated to the
offense and gains more chemistry with Wilson.
Still likely the second option in the passing game, however, Metcalf
will need to be efficient again with his targets given that he’s
not likely to push for the 140-plus targets that some of the top
WRs see. Still, he could end up being one of the league’s
most-targeted end zone weapons as, similar to a player like Dez
Bryant, Metcalf’s massive frame is built to dominate in
contested catch situations.
One of the more under-the-radar tight end moves this offseason
happened when veteran Greg Olsen left the Panthers to join the Seahawks.
Perhaps it’s the Panthers just wanting to give the hyped-up
Ian Thomas a chance, but the way that Carolina moved on from one
of the best players in their franchise’s history seemed a
Olsen was stuck dealing with some truly awful quarterback play in
Carolina and he only played this past season, but Olsen still flashed
big game upside a few times throughout the season. He accumulated
six or more receptions in three of his 14 games. While he only scored
twice on the entire season, it does need to be considered that he
was dealing with some of the worst targets of any tight end in the
We don’t really know what Olsen has left in the tank, but
Russell Wilson does have a history of heavily targeting tight ends
in the end zone. Sure, he had the opportunity to work with Jimmy
Graham for a few years so the numbers might be a bit skewed historically,
but it’s even remained true when he’s had much less
talented players to work with. Most recently it was Will Dissly
who scored four touchdowns over the first six weeks of the 2019
season. Jacob Hollister would go on to add another three touchdowns
once Dissly hit the IR.
These other depth tight ends may still be involved in the offense
a bit which could cap his upside, but Olsen is being drafted outside
the top 16 tight ends in deep leagues and going completely undrafted
in most standard leagues. He’s a player who you don’t
have to invest much in, but he’s probably the odds-on leader
to finish third on the roster in targets if he’s able to
stay healthy. In an offense like Seattle’s, that type of
volume could prove to be quite valuable at the tight end position.