A Look Inside: 2021 Seattle Seahawks

Special Note: This article was written by guest author Hutchinson Brown!

Instead of your typical cookie-cutter, boring intro, I’ll instead introduce you to the guest author of this article. This summer, Club Fantasy has been honored to work with the newest, and probably youngest analyst in fantasy football, Hutchinson Brown. “Hutch”  is the host of The Young Fantasy Mind Football Podcast and has been great for this community. We look forward to seeing him grow. Enjoy his preview of the 2021 Seattle Seahawks and make sure you click his name above and hit follow on his Twitter page.

Note: You can follow the entire Look Inside series with this link and you can watch the full No Punt Intended episode on Youtube below with special guest Luke Sawhook, Social Media Manager for some of the biggest #FantasyFootball sites and host of Hooked on Fantasy!

Quarterbacks

The quarterback position started to look uncertain for the Seahawks when Russell Wilson decided he might want to leave Seattle earlier this offseason. However, it seems like those rumors have calmed down and that Wilson is going to be a Seahawk in 2021. Wilson was on an MVP tear in the first half of 2021. He had a 16-game pace of 5,042 passing yards and 56 passing touchdowns in his first eight games. That would have had him at 424.08 fantasy points over the full season and he would have been the QB1 by a massive lead if that pace kept up.

Unfortunately, it did not. In the last nine games, the pace dropped to 3342 yards and 24 touchdowns. That would’ve equaled 321.48 points, which would’ve been the QB10. He lost his MVP streak because he became less efficient and started to throw interceptions. The Seahawks decided to go back to their run-heavy scheme and that is when the offense fell apart. Defenses figured out how to stop them and Russell Wilson could not overcome the terrible play calling. He played poorly as a result.

The Seahawks have a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron. Waldron was with the Rams for three seasons and finished in the Top 10 of rushing offenses and passing offenses in each season. Pete Carroll has emphasized multiple times that he wants to run the ball more and focus on running the ball effectively in 2021. That emphasis in the run will make Russell Wilson a low-end top-10 quarterback for fantasy football in 2021. His rushing floor of his gives me confidence in a top-12 finish, even though I am lower on him than most.

You should avoid the Seattle passing game knowing they will run a lot. A run-heavy team will lead to inconsistent passing volume for Wilson and that will be a big struggle for fantasy. Remember, volume is king in fantasy football. He will have to be very efficient if he wants to hit a top-5 or top-6 level. It’s not like he’s a Lamar Jackson-level rusher that can save his value with his legs. According to FantasyPros ADP right now, he is being drafted as the QB8 and that is a little too high for me. Guys like Tom Brady and Joe Burrow, among others, are better valued at their prices.

All in all, staying away from Russell Wilson at his current price is the best thing to do in 2021. The only way you should be willing to take him is if he falls outside the top-10 quarterbacks drafted. That’s when he turns into a bit of a value, but with the name recognition he carries, that is highly unlikely for 2021.

Running Backs

Chris Carson was a great back for fantasy last year. He finished inside the top-15 in points per game and was a great weekly option. He finally got heavily involved in the passing game with 37 catches in only 12 games played. That’s a 17-game pace of 53 catches. The proposed focus on the running game is a great thing for Chris Carson. It shows the team’s confidence in him.

Carson is being drafted as RB20 right now in .5 PPR. He’s beaten that top-20 mark over the last three years, even with injuries. He has been Top 15 in PPG over the last three years as well. He’s a great pick at RB20 going behind a guy like Josh Jacobs, who should easily finish behind Chris Carson in 2021.

Note: Check out fellow writer’s Zach’s take on Josh Jacobs!

If Seattle decides to make Carson “the guy”, he will be outstanding but likely get hurt. However, that injury risk is baked into his price. If he were to stay healthy he would finish and be drafted as a top-15 back. I think the risk could be worth it. Always remember, injury-proneness can change over a career. Think about Frank Gore. He was a very injury-prone running back in the first few years of his career. He then became a workhorse running back and he is still playing today at 38 years of age. Circumstances can change very quickly.

Outside of Chris Carson, the Seattle running backs won’t be relevant themselves, without an injury to Carson. If there is a running back working in along with Carson, which is a possibility, that running back will be a solid handcuff. If I had to pick the one to handcuff with Carson in your drafts, it’d be Rashaad Penny. He’s shown some flashes before his injury and he’ll most likely be the next man up. Carlos Hyde is gone and I don’t think Seattle wants to make Deejay Dallas their guy. Especially after watching him struggle at 2.3 YPC in the one game where he saw a full workload in 2020.

All in all, Chris Carson is a solid pick for 2021. There is some injury risk but if you are willing to take it on, just make sure you have a solid backup plan. Also, if you were to pick a handcuff late in your draft, it would be Rashaad Penny.

Note: Check out Drew Metcalfe’s article on Penny from last season.

Wide Receivers

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett had an unbelievable start to 2020, just like Russell Wilson. In .5 PPR, DK Metcalf was at WR2 in the first eight games while Lockett was the WR11. Do keep in mind, in the first four games, Lockett was the WR2. Tyler Lockett’s cliff came a little sooner than DK Metcalf’s.

Let’s focus on Metcalf first. After that hot start, things slowed down. In Weeks 9 through 17, DK Metcalf was the WR17 in fantasy football. The Seahawks were using him so blandly and it was frustrating to watch. Defenses figured out how to stop him and this offense. Sure, he had some big games even in his bad stretch, but that is because he was used as a deep threat. Since he’s a 6’4” 229-pound monster, he’s going to have some big plays and some big games.

He’s an unbelievable NFL talent and is being drafted as the WR5 right now according to FantasyPros. That’s higher than he finished last year and, given that they’ll be run-heavy in 2021, he’s tough to trust as a locked-in WR1 every week. He is being massively overvalued right now. For now, just stay away from DK Metcalf at his current price. He will only start to become a reasonable pick at the WR9-12 range which is very unlikely for him to fall there.

Now, let’s shift to Tyler Lockett. After Week 4, Lockett was the WR17 in fantasy football. Not too bad but he had only five games over 15 fantasy points throughout the entire year. He also had 10 games under 10 points. He was mostly a disappointment but you had to keep playing him for his upside. Tyler Lockett’s finish and the way fantasy managers felt while playing him did not line up in 2020. He was a desperate hope for a big play after Week 4.

He is now being drafted as the WR24 and that’s somewhere where it’d be ok drafting Lockett. At that point in the draft, you’re normally looking for your WR3, maybe even WR4. Just like DK Metcalf, Lockett will be inconsistent. I don’t expect to see what he did in his bad stretch for 2021. I expect him to be better than that, but also a little boom or bust because of the volume.

If you are ok dealing with the bust games, go ahead and pick him. You should be more willing to pick him if your first two receivers are safer, more consistent guys. Always remember, consistency is not a consistent metric. There are plenty of boom or bust guys one year that turn into consistent guys the next year, and vice versa. Since Lockett is the number two target, I expect a lower WR2/high WR3 finish from him in 2021, which is right around his ADP.

Keep in mind, D’Wayne Eskridge, the second-round pick out of Western Michigan, is a slot type of guy. Does that mean Lockett moves to the outside? Who knows? If he does, that might be a reason to stay away from Lockett. Lockett is a slot guy who wouldn’t be as successful outside since he is a very small receiver. If Lockett moves to the outside in 2021, staying away might be the best option.

As for the other receivers on this team, just avoid them given that the team will be run-heavy. It is unlikely that there will be enough passing volume for a third guy to be relevant for fantasy football. With that said, if one of the Seattle receivers, especially Tyler Lockett, gets hurt, D’Wayne Eskridge could be relevant as the number 2 in this offense. If they pass a little bit more than I expect them to he could be relevant even as the number 3 option. Look at the few big games David Moore had last season. Just keep an eye out for Eskridge, who will most likely be on your waiver wire in 2021. He has the second-round draft capital and he seems to be a solid prospect. The other receivers on this team are essentially practice squad guys.

Tight Ends

Tight end was not a fun position for Seattle last year and there weren’t many games where you were happy with a Seattle tight end in your fantasy lineup. There were a lot of injuries and a lot of backups playing for Seattle. Can you trust any of them this year?

Gerald Everett is the new guy in town and while I don’t like too much of this Seattle passing game, I am heavily targeting Gerald Everett for 2021. This is an overall good offense, which means more scoring opportunities. To be a good TE for fantasy, you have to score touchdowns. In this Seahawks’ offense, Gerald Everett can do just that.

The Seahawks threw to the tight end 22% of the time from 2016-2020. Last season, they attempted 32 passes per game, which means about seven targets a game will likely go to the tight end. As mentioned before, Seattle will run a bit more, but there will still be enough to make Everett a solid tight end for fantasy. There are no backups of significance now that Jacob Hollister and Greg Olsen are gone. Everett will soak pretty much all of those TE targets and he can definitely be a top-10 tight end in 2021.

He could have a Mark Andrews type of breakout this season in this offense. Pete Carroll already called him a breakout candidate during mini-camps. Gerald Everett does not have the upside of a 15+ PPG tight end, but he could finish right inside the Top 8 with about 10+ PPG. Right now, he is being drafted just outside the Top 15. That’s around guys like Zach Ertz, and Hayden Hurst. Ertz is clearly D-U-N done and doesn’t even have job security. Hurst isn’t the #1 tight end on his own team. Everett is a clear diamond in the rough right now and, as long as people keep sleeping on him, he will be a great pick.

The other tight ends on this team–just don’t touch any of them. That’s it. Ignore them. A Gerald Everett injury could make them relevant, but none of those guys on the team have shown anything significant yet in their careers. So, it’s highly unlikely that starts now.