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2010 Fantasy outlooks: Seattle Seahawks

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Seahawks have progressively declined since reaching the Super Bowl at the end of the 2005 season. They made the playoffs in 2006 and 2007 before falling apart the last two years.

Now it's up to Pete Carroll to get Seattle back on track. The coach who turned around Southern California is hoping to have the same success in his second stint in the NFL (he went 27-21 with two playoff appearances as New England's head coach from 1997-99), but he has a lot of work to do.

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Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is on his last legs, the Seahawks still have Julius Jones penciled in as the starting running back and T.J. Houshmandzadeh was a bust in his first year in Seattle in 2009. There's also a defense in dire need of being rebuilt, but Carroll is up to the challenge.

The good thing for Fantasy owners is there are still a few players for the Seahawks worth drafting in the majority of leagues. We love the potential for Justin Forsett this season, and Houshmandzadeh should have a bounce-back year. John Carlson could be a starting tight end in deep leagues, and Golden Tate has upside for the future.

As for the present, it could be a long year in Seattle, but maybe the Seahawks are on the verge of getting things back on track.

Sleeper ... Justin Forsett, RB

The Seahawks will open training camp with Julius Jones as the starting running back, but Forsett will eventually see the majority of carries. He has to if Seattle wants its best players on the field. Last year, Forsett had 114 carries for 619 yards (an impressive 5.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He also added 41 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown, and he's a candidate for 1,200 total yards and seven touchdowns. We consider Forsett the best offensive player in Seattle, and he should be drafted as a No. 3 Fantasy running back with a mid-round pick. But don't be surprised if Forsett is starting for you by the end of the season because he has potential to be a star.

Fantasy value chart
Player Draft Day value
Quarterbacks
Matt Hasselbeck
Charlie Whitehurst
Running Backs
Justin Forsett
Julius Jones
Leon Washington
Quinton Ganther
Wide Receivers
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Golden Tate
Deion Branch
Deon Butler
Tight Ends
John Carlson
Anthony McCoy
Kicker/DST
Olindo Mare
Seahawks DST

Bounce-back candidate ... T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR

Houshmandzadeh will look to improve in his second year with Seattle this season. Last year, Houshmandzadeh finished with 79 catches for 911 yards and three touchdowns, his lowest stat totals in each category since 2004. He said he played last year with broken ribs and had surgery this offseason to repair a hernia, so hopefully he's healthy. We expect Houshmandzadeh to play better this year, but he's no longer an elite Fantasy option. He'll have big weeks at times -- he had three games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2009 -- but those won't be the norm for Houshmandzadeh.

We view Housh as a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy option. He's still good enough to start in deeper leagues since he's the No. 1 target in Seattle, but this passing game has a lot to be desired. Take Houshmandzadeh with a mid-round pick after the top-tier wide receivers are off the board.

Keeper-league target ... Golden Tate, WR

Tate could end up being useful in seasonal leagues since the Seahawks need playmakers, and Tate was a star in college at Notre Dame. He'll likely end up starting this season opposite Houshmandzadeh once he outplays Deion Branch, but the passing game in Seattle has a lot to be desired. You're probably not going to draft Tate in the majority of formats, but he should be drafted with a mid-round pick in keeper leagues. He could end up being a solid contributor in the near future.

Schedule breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
SF @DEN SD @STL bye @CHI ARI @OAK NYG @ARI @NO KC CAR @SF ATL @TB STL

The Seahawks benefit from facing the AFC West, which means matchups against Oakland and Kansas City. They also play in a weak division, and if Seattle can start the season playing well with games against the 49ers, Broncos, Chargers and Rams before their bye in Week 5, Fantasy owners who take a chance on Forsett, Houshmandzadeh and Carlson will have confidence to use them as starters as the season goes on.

Training camp topics

Charlie Whitehurst could challenge Hasselbeck for the starting quarterback job, but we expect Hasselbeck to remain the starter for at least one more year. He still has value as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback.

We're hoping that Forsett can win the starting job over Jones, but the names on the depth chart are irrelevant here. Forsett is the Seattle running back to target on Draft Day in all leagues. It will also be interesting to see if Leon Washington (leg) can return to health in time to start the season, but his main role will be on special teams.

Seattle might have the least Fantasy-relevant players of any team in the NFL. But the players who do have a chance could end up playing well since there are little expectations for them to succeed.

Injury update

T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hernia; probable for the start of training camp) ... Deion Branch (knee; questionable for the start of training camp) ... Leon Washington (leg; probable for the start of training camp)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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Player News
Marcus Lattimore eager to start pro career
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2014) 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to start his proffesional career. After blowing out his knee in a gruesome injury in October of 2012 at South Carolina, Lattimore told The State on Sunday that his knee rehab is complete and that he's "ready to play."

Lattimore, who will attend the first day of the team's offseason workouts, will enter a crowded backfield with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James already backing up current starter Frank Gore. However, James has expressed his desire for a bigger role and could be dealt, opening the door for the No. 3 spot in the backfield.

"If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot," Lattimore said. "But I've just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I've got to show that."


Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jogging
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

 
 
 
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