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2011 Fantasy outlooks: Seattle Seahawks

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Seahawks surprised a lot of people in 2010. They surprised the NFC West by winning the division. They surprised the Saints by winning their playoff matchup. And they surprised plenty of Fantasy owners with some quality players.

You're not going to count Marshawn Lynch, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu as stars, but they definitely had their moments last year. And they should be better in 2011.

We consider Lynch as a potential starter this season in all leagues, Williams should improve on what he showed in spurts last year and Obomanu and Justin Forsett are worth drafting with late-round picks. We might also see flashes of good performance from Golden Tate or John Carlson, and the starting quarterback in Seattle might turn into a quality No. 2 Fantasy option.

First, we have to know who the starting quarterback will be, and the candidates include Matt Hasselbeck, who is a free agent, Charlie Whitehurst or a veteran to be signed later. We expect Hasselbeck to return, and since he plays in the NFC West and has some decent weapons around him, he could be used as a bye-week or injury replacement.

The Seahawks have the potential to surprise us all again. It could be another successful season for second-year coach Pete Carroll.

Sleeper ... Marshawn Lynch, RB

Fantasy Value Chart
Player Draft Day value
Quarterbacks
Matt Hasselbeck
Charlie Whitehurst
Running Backs
Marshawn Lynch
Justin Forsett
Leon Washington
Wide Receivers
Mike Williams
Ben Obomanu
Golden Tate
Deon Butler
Brandon Stokley
Kris Durham
Tight Ends
John Carlson
Anthony McCoy
Kicker/DST
Olindo Mare
Seahawks DST

Lynch landed with Seattle last season and seemingly resurrected his career. In 12 games with the Seahawks, Lynch had 165 carries for 573 yards and six touchdowns and 21 catches for 138 yards with three fumbles. In the playoffs, Lynch had 23 carries for 133 yards and one touchdown, but the majority of that production came in the first round against New Orleans (131 yards) when he had an incredible play on a 67-yard touchdown ramble. Lynch has plenty of potential as the starter for the Seahawks -- we know it because we've seen it from him from his days in Buffalo-- and so we consider him a No. 3 Fantasy running back with upside. He will share carries with Forsett, who is more of a third-down back, but Lynch has the ability to gain 1,300 total yards and nine touchdowns, which is something he did in 2008 with the Bills. It helps that Lynch is in a contract year, and he should run well again this season. Plan on drafting him with a mid-round pick, but don't be surprised when he out-produces his draft position.

Breakout … Mike Williams, WR

Fantasy owners will point toward Michael Vick and Peyton Hillis as the top veterans who came out of nowhere to be standout options in 2010, but Williams wasn't far behind. A former draft bust in Detroit, Williams resurrected his career with the Seahawks under Carroll, his former college coach at USC. Williams had 65 catches for 751 yards and two touchdowns and enters this year as the Seahawks' No. 1 receiver (he also added three touchdowns in the playoffs). Fantasy owners remain skeptical of Williams, and rightfully so given his NFL track record, but he is worth drafting as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy option. He led the Seahawks in receptions last year by 29 catches, and it's clear he's a focal point on offense. If Williams can find the end zone on a more regular basis he could become a Fantasy star. He is worth drafting with a mid- to late-round pick in standard formats, and his value is slightly higher in PPR leagues.

Late-round flier … Ben Obomanu, WR

Obomanu should be the starter opposite Williams, who remains the best wide receiver in Seattle. In 2010, Obomanu had 30 catches for 494 yards and tied Deon Butler for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with four. Obomanu has the potential to be a significant contributor for the Seahawks, and he showed that during a four-game stretch last season when he had 15 catches for 342 yards and three touchdowns. The Seahawks want to increase the workload for Tate, but he will likely be more of a slot receiver. If Obomanu picks up where last season ended he could make a significant impact for the Seahawks and Fantasy owners.

Schedule breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
@SF @PIT ARI ATL @NYG bye @CLE CIN @DAL BAL @STL WAS PHI STL @CHI SF @ARI

Seattle could have a hard time repeating last year's success with a tougher schedule this year, including games against 2010 division winners in Atlanta, Philadephia and Chicago, which is where the Seahawks' playoff run ended last season against the Bears. Along with that, Seattle has 1 p.m. ET starts at Pittsburgh in Week 2 and at the Giants in Week 5, and those games are never good for West Coast teams. The Seahawks should perform well in their division, but their schedule should be cause for consideration when drafting any players off Seattle's roster.

Training camp topics

2010 Touches Leaders
* includes postseason
Player Touches
Marshawn Lynch 209
Justin Forsett 164
Mike Williams 75
Deon Butler 38
Brandon Stokley 43
Ben Obomanu 41

The starting quarterback is the biggest decision the Seahawks will make, and Fantasy owners should stay tuned. Not only because the starter could be a useful No. 2 Fantasy quarterback, but you also want to see who is throwing the ball to Williams, Obomanu, Tate and Butler.

We also want to see the depth chart at wide receiver. Williams and Obomanu are expected to start, but we want to see how Tate and Butler are used. Brandon Stokley played well as the slot receiver for the Seahawks last season with 43 catches, but Tate could shine in that role and has the chance for 50-plus catches.

Lynch and Forsett are established in the backfield, but Leon Washington could also see more time on offense, which would impact Forsett. And hopefully we can see more from Carlson this season after he was a complete bust in 2010.

Injury update

Deon Butler (leg; questionable for the start of training camp) … Lofa Tatupu (knee; 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
Ravens TE Owen Daniels downgraded to did not practice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:34 pm ET) Ravens tight end Owen Daniels was downgraded to did not practice Thursday after being listed as a limited participant Wednesday. Daniels sat out Week 8 at Cincinnati after undergoing minor knee surgery.

The Ravens are preparing to play the Steelers in Week 9.


Buccaneers RB Doug Martin out of boot and out of practice
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:13 pm ET) Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has shed the walking boot, but remains absent from practice Thursday, per the Tampa Bay Times.

Martin has been dealing with a sprained left ankle.


Browns TE Jordan Cameron again sidelined Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:10 pm ET) The likelihood of Browns tight end Jordan Cameron playing in Week 9 against Tampa Bay took another hit Thursday when he was again absent from practice.

Cameron sustained his third concussion in just over two years Sunday against Oakland. He is going through league-mandated concussion protocol before he is allowed to return.


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by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:57 pm ET) The minor ankle injury that had Ravens featured back Justin Forsett sidelined Wednesday did not keep him out of practice Thursday.

Barring a setback, he appears set to play Sunday at Pittsburgh. He is on pace to rush for 1,142 yards and six touchdowns this season.


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by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:53 pm ET) Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who needs just one more sack to break his single-season record of 3 1/2, is sidelined from practice Thursday with a toe ailment.

There is no indication the issue is serious and he's expected to play Monday night against the host Giants.


Coach: Colts WR Wayne healthy enough to practice Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:41 pm ET) Chuck Pagano revealed that the absence of veteran wideout Reggie Wayne from Thursday practice was merely to provide rest and that he could have participated otherwise, per the Anderson Herald Bulletin.

Wayne missed the Wednesday session with an elbow ailment that prevented him from playing in Week 8 at Pittsburgh. Barring a setback, he should receive the green light for action on Monday night against the Giants.


Gruden: Redskins QB Griffin set to start Sunday if no setbacks
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:36 pm ET) Jay Gruden has confirmed that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will start Sunday at Minnesota if there are no setbacks heading into the game.

"Everything looks good so far," Gruden told ESPN.

Griffin has been deemed fully recovered from a dislocated ankle sustained in Week 2. Gruden added that he only needs to see that Griffin is decisive and has good footwork in practice before a final decision is made.


Bengals RB Giovani Bernard misses another practice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:11 pm ET) Bengals running back Giovani Bernard was absent from practice again Thursday, according to the team's official website. The NFL injury report only lists Bernard with a hip injury, but it was reported Wednesday he also has a shoulder injury.

The Bengals are preparing to face the Jaguars in Week 9. Jeremy Hill is expected to start if Bernard is unavailable.


Jets QB Geno Smith (shoulder) able to throw Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:01 pm ET) Jets quarterback Geno Smith (shoulder) resumed throwing Thursday after not doing so in practice Wednesday, according to ESPN. Though, it's still uncertain if Smith will be able to serve as the backup quarterback Week 9 against the Chiefs.

Reggie Wayne, Erik Walden sit out practice Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:48 pm ET) Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (elbow) and linebacker Erik Walden (hip) were absent from practice Thursday, according to The Indianapolis Star. The Colts will face the Giants Monday.

 
 
 
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