Fantasy Football: Arrow pointing up on Seahawks offense in 2017
Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham represented the Seattle offense in the 2017 Pro Bowl, but there's hope for more stars to put up stats and join them next year.
Neither one is anywhere close to satisfied with how the Seahawks' season ended.
"The bad thing about (winning a Super Bowl) is that feeling never leaves of wanting to feel that again," Baldwin told CBS Sports from the Pro Bowl. "It's like nothing satisfies my craving for winning the Super Bowl again, being the last one standing."
As a team, Seattle marched into the playoffs with a 10-5-1 record and an NFC West title but lost in the divisional round. Individually, Baldwin and Graham had strong enough campaigns to earn trips to the all-star game, but many questions are left unanswered about the future of the Seahawks offense.
Wondering about Wilson
Russell Wilson posted career-highs in pass attempts (546) and passing yards (4,219) but recorded a career-low 22 total touchdowns including just one rushing score. To call him a disappointment in Fantasy is an understatement.
"Everyone's like 'Hey, what happened [to you guys]?' and you're looking at (Wilson) out there limping around throughout the season," Graham said. "It really showed his resolve, showed who he is as a person. Most guys wouldn't be out there with the things that he had. ... It's just tough when you're a mobile quarterback who can't really be mobile."
Wilson sprained the MCL in his left knee and dealt with a high-ankle sprain on his right leg, basically immobilizing him behind a subpar offensive line from Week 3 until the end of the year. Not only did that crush his rushing stats but it also left several passing metrics, such as yards per pass attempt and yards per completion, at career-low levels.
Graham believes it won't take much for Wilson to bounce back.
"Going into next season, he's going to be healthy and we've just got to keep him dry," he said.
Keeping him dry would mean improving the pass protection up front. The Seahawks graded out dead last in pass blocking, according to Pro Football Focus, so that should be an area that gets addressed this offseason.
If it does, and if Wilson has an incident-free spring and summer, then there's a very good opportunity for him to have a bounce-back season in 2017. Wilson should be considered in the middle rounds as a top 10 Fantasy quarterback.
That offensive line was also a guilty party when it came to run blocking, again ranking dead last according to Pro Football Focus. As a result, the team ranked 25th in rush yards per game (99.4), failed to deliver a running back with even 500 rush yards and had its most productive running back on someone else's roster by the end of the season.
Looking forward, Thomas Rawls is the assumed starter but he has battled injuries for the past two seasons and has had sporadic success since breaking his fibula last season. Rookie C.J. Prosise also showed flashes and versatility but, like Rawls, dealt with a number of injuries.
With Rawls and Prosise still on rookie deals, don't be shocked if the Seahawks add another running back this offseason. Even with second-year bulldozer Alex Collins already on the roster, there's probably some concern among the coaches about the stability of the running back corps.
No Seahawks rusher should be trusted with an early-round Fantasy pick at this point.
As for Graham and Baldwin, the doubters are in short supply.
Graham told CBS Sports he feels "unstoppable" after coming back from a torn patella tendon. He plans on spending time this offseason with Wilson to build chemistry. He should end up being a must-start Fantasy tight end.
Baldwin has already proven to have instant chemistry with Wilson, as proven by back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. His goals include developing consistency, something he didn't have a lot of last season when he scored double-digit Fantasy points in just five games.
But truthfully, Baldwin has eyes on one prize, and it has nothing to do with stats.
"[The Pro Bowl] is fun, we enjoy this," he said, "but I'd much rather be playing next week."
Baldwin will certainly end up as a top 60 Fantasy pick while Graham will push his way into that group with a healthy offseason and solid training camp. Both, along with Wilson, should make Fantasy owners happy in 2017.
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