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Offseason Primers: Seattle Seahawks

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Seahawks had only two starting Fantasy options on offense in 2012 with Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. This year, they'll have at least three.

The addition of Percy Harvin in a trade from the Vikings gives the Seahawks a bona-fide No. 1 receiver and another Fantasy star. Harvin should remain a No. 1 Fantasy option in Seattle, and his production can even go up.

2012 Touches Leaders
795 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Marshawn Lynch 338 (315 car., 23 rec.) 42.5%
Robert Turbin 99 (80 car., 19 rec.) 12.4%
Sidney Rice 52 (2 car., 50 rec.) 6.5%
Golden Tate 48 (3 car., 45 rec.) 6.0%
Zach Miller 38 rec. 4.7%
All Others 220 27.6%

With the Vikings, Harvin was a beast, especially the past two years. In 2012, his season was cut short in Week 9 with an ankle injury, and he finished the year with just 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns. If you project that over 16 games, Harvin would have finished with 100 catches for 1,203 yards and five touchdowns. If you were to add that to his rushing totals, Harvin would have finished the year as the No. 10 Fantasy receiver in 2012, giving him back-to-back Top 12 finishes.

We don't expect a drop-off going to the Seahawks, and coach Pete Carroll told me at the NFL owners meeting in March that the plan is to involve Harvin as much as possible. He should continue to see a hefty amount of targets in 2013.

"He's extraordinary with the ball in his hands," Carroll said. "The idea is to give him as many chances as possible to help us win."

Harvin's addition makes Wilson a better quarterback, but obviously he's going to take away production from Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. Rice goes from a No. 3 Fantasy receiver to a late-round flier, and Tate should not be drafted in the majority of leagues.

But the Seahawks got another weapon on offense to go with Wilson and Lynch, and Fantasy owners will benefit with Harvin getting an upgrade at quarterback and an offense that should continue to showcase his skills.

Marshawn Lynch -- Worth the price

2012 Target Leaders
405 pass attempts
Sidney Rice 82 20.2%
Golden Tate 67 16.5%
Zach Miller 53 13.0%
Doug Baldwin 50 12.3%
Marshawn Lynch 30 7.0%
All Others 123 30.3%

Lynch should be considered the No. 3 running back for Fantasy owners coming into the season behind Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster. He's that good. In 2012, Lynch had 315 carries for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns and 23 catches for 196 yards and one touchdown. He had double digits in Fantasy points in 11 games, including five in a row to close the season. And in two years as the starter for Seattle he has scored 25 total touchdowns with over 1,400 total yards in each season. If he can avoid a suspension from last year's DUI arrest in July -- the matter has yet to be resolved – then he should be a star. You can debate all you want about how good Ray Rice is, the potential of Doug Martin and Trent Richardson or the upside for guys like Jamaal Charles or C.J. Spiller, but Lynch has been unstoppable with the Seahawks. Lynch is definitely a Top 5 overall pick, and if he's guaranteed the chance to play all 16 games then draft him at No. 3 without hesitation.

Russell Wilson -- Breakout

As a rookie, Wilson was one of the best surprises in 2012 because he went from a guy who maybe had a chance to be the starter for the Seahawks to the No. 9 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues. He also helped the Seahawks to the Divisional round of the playoffs, and he was great for Fantasy owners down the stretch. Wilson closed the season with at least 19 Fantasy points in nine of his final 11 games, including at least 27 points in his final three outings. Overall, he finished the season completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and 94 carries for 489 yards and four touchdowns with three fumbles. He enters this season as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, especially with the addition of Harvin, and he's worth a mid-round pick. You'll want to pair Wilson with a quality No. 2 Fantasy quarterback (think anyone from Eli Manning to Ben Roethlisberger to Jay Cutler), but until he proves you wrong he should be considered a starter from Week 1.

Zach Miller -- Bounce-back candidate

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Russell Wilson 67-73 overall
Marshawn Lynch 3-7 overall
Robert Turbin 122-130 overall
Percy Harvin 36-44 overall
Sidney Rice 137-144 overall
Golden Tate Undrafted
Zach Miller Undrafted

Overall, Miller had another down year in Seattle in 2012. He finished the season with 38 catches for 396 yards and three touchdowns. But the way he closed the season could be something to build on, and we hope this year is a rebound year for Miller. His best game was the last of the season in the Divisional round playoff loss at Atlanta with eight catches for 142 yards and a touchdown, but he had three touchdowns in his final six games, including the playoffs. We still don't trust Miller as a No. 1 Fantasy tight end, especially with the addition of Harvin taking away targets, but he is someone to monitor. He might be used as an injury or bye-week replacement during the season if he picks up where last season left off.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Alfred Morris running into tough matchup
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:57 pm ET) For as good as Alfred Morris is, owning him in Fantasy can leave you disappointed at times, given the Redskins' sometimes-inconsistent usage of him. You might want to skip the headache in Week 5, with the Seahawks on the way Monday night.

Morris has been productive in each game so far, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yardage through four games. Unfortunately, he faces one of the toughest tests in the league this week. The Seahawks have yet to allow an opposing running back to score even six points this season, and their lone touchdown allowed came from little-used Packers fullback John Kuhn in Week 1. Morris has yet to face Seattle in his career, and they are unlikely to give him a very warm welcome.

Morris is nearly a must-start Fantasy option on a weekly basis, but this is one time you might want to avoid relying on him. The workload should be there, but Morris ranks outside of the top-30 for running backs in both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard's Week 5 rankings.   


Jets add LeQuan Lewis, subtract Brandon Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:55 pm ET) The Jets signed cornerback LeQuan Lewis to their practice squad and released corner Brandon Smith from the squad, reports the New York Daily News.

Panthers add Tauren Poole, Horace Miller to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) The Panthers signed running back Tauren Poole and linebacker Horace Miller to their practice squad.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins an interesting long-term prospect
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:48 pm ET) Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned from a foot injury and immediately served as a key part of the offense in Week 4. Does the rookie second-rounder have sleeper Fantasy potential moving forward?

Seferian-Jenkins was targeted on seven of quarterback Mike Glennon's 42 throws in Sunday's game, a number that left him third on the team. He brought in three of those passes, a decent number considering Glennon struggled with his accuracy all game. The fact that Glennon looked his way so often might be a good sign, since it was the pair's first game together.

After a collegiate career that saw him total 1,840 yards in three seasons, Seferian-Jenkins has a chance to become a big part of this Tampa Bay offense. However, he obviously has a lot to prove before you want to rely on him. Keep an eye on Seferian-Jenkins' play in Week 5 against the Saints, and consider adding him if he and Glennon show a good rapport. 


Lions put Montell Owens on IR
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:47 pm ET) The Lions put running back Montell Owens on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, ending his season.

LaMichael James signs with Dolphins
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:42 pm ET) Former 49ers running back LaMichael James signed with the Dolphins, reports Fox Sports. San Francisco released the oft-injured back following the season opener.

Luke Willson has a lot to prove with increased role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:35 pm ET) The Seahawks will turn to Luke Willson to start at tight end in the coming weeks, with Zach Miller sidelined by ankle surgery. Should Fantasy owners take notice?

Miller had logged 83.5 percent of the team's snaps through three games, so Willson should be in line for a much larger role as the starter. Of course, Miller was nearly a nonfactor in the passing game so far, having been targeted just seven times. Between he and Willson, quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted tight ends just eight times on 87 attempts, after 20.6 percent of his passes went their way a year ago.

Willson might be the better pass catcher of the Seahawks tight end tandem, but we don't have much to go on here. There are better tight end options worth targeting on waivers, at least until Willson proves himself. 


Christian Ponder preparing to start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took the first-team reps Monday and Tuesday while rookie Teddy Bridgewater watched with an ankle injury. "I'm preparing to play, but we're hoping the best for Teddy," Ponder told reporters.

"I've talked to Teddy. He's doing everything he can to prepare and be ready to play."

Ponder has started 35 games, but none with Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. He could be under center Thursday in Green Bay. "It's a very different style of offense than what we've ran the previous three years," Ponder said. "Without Adrian [Peterson], it's different. Defenses play us differently without Adrian. I'm comfortable and fit well in it."


Denard Robinson still a sleeper, but worth checking out
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) Jaguars running back Denard Robinson has not made much of an impact since being given a larger role in the offense, but he might be someone worth taking a flier on in Fantasy anyways.

The Jaguars have relied on Toby Gerhart less and less as the season has gone on, and for good reason. He is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry through four games, with a long run of just 10 yards. And, while Robinson has not been much better (3.3 yards per carry), the team appears willing to give him a bigger role, if only for a change of pace.

Robinson might have some extra value long term in PPR leagues, even if he ultimately never overtakes Gerhart for the starting job. Robinson has been targeted seven times in 70 offensive snaps, compared to seven targets for Gerhart in 133 snaps.

Clearly, the Jaguars are not thrilled with their investment in Gerhart this offseason, so Robinson is going to get more chances to cut into his playing time if he can show a pulse. At this point, Robinson is a long way from starting, but in deeper leagues, he might have some upside.


Luke Willson gets starting opportunity
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:11 pm ET) With Seahawks tight end Zach Miller recovering from ankle surgery, Luke Willson will start Monday's game in Washington, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The second-year pro caught 20 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown as a rookie.

"When you're the backup guy, you're kind of always prepared for it," Willson said. "I don't really feel like I'm really entering any new territory."

A fifth-round pick out of Rice, Willson started two games last year when Miller hurt his hamstring.


 
 
 
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