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The Seahawks want to improve at running the ball in 2018. That isn't much of a secret. Nearly all of their moves this offseason indicate an effort to get back to being better on the ground.
Seattle spent a first-round pick in the NFL Draft on running back Rashaad Penny, signed right guard D.J. Fluker and let Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson leave via free agency. New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is also expected to be more dedicated to the run game than his predecessor, Darrell Bevell.
The only addition of note to the passing game -- unless you're big fans of Jaron Brown and Ed Dickson -- was Brandon Marshall, who was signed this week. Can Marshall do anything special this season to help the Seahawks and Fantasy owners?
It's doubtful that Marshall, 34, will make much of an impact. But this was a favorable landing spot for him given the lack of receiver depth in Seattle.
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Doug Baldwin is locked into the No. 1 receiver spot, and Tyler Lockett should play a prominent role. But Marshall could find himself third on the pecking order, and the Seahawks have to replace 101 catches for 1,223 yards and 16 touchdowns on 178 targets from last year with Graham and Richardson gone.
Marshall is coming off a lost season in 2017 with the Giants when he was limited to five games because of an ankle injury. However, he is just two years removed from a dominant season with the Jets in 2015 when he had 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.
It's best to view Marshall as a No. 4 Fantasy receiver in all formats with a late-round pick, and hopefully he has one last hurrah with the Seahawks and Russell Wilson. His best Fantasy asset could be his ability to find the end zone as Graham's replacement, and he has at least eight touchdowns in four of his past five seasons.
Should Marshall prove to be a successful signing -- he's playing on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million in incentives -- that will only enhance Wilson's Fantasy value. Despite the stripped-down receiving corps and re-dedication to the run, Wilson remains an elite Fantasy option.
And I wouldn't be surprised if Wilson challenges to be the No. 1 Fantasy quarterback again in 2018 after he finished in the top spot last year when he accounted for 37 of Seattle's 38 offensive touchdowns. While the Seahawks should improve their ground game -- they were No. 23 in rushing as a team in 2017 with a running back corps that featured Mike Davis, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise -- Wilson is still going to do plenty of heavy lifting.
Seattle's defense is in rebuild mode after losing Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, and Kam Chancellor (neck) might not be able to play. That could put the onus on Wilson to again carry the team.
In 2017, after Sherman and Chancellor went down with injuries in Week 10 at Arizona, Wilson averaged 24.2 Fantasy points in the final seven games of the season, including four games with at least 27 points over that span. So while Penny should get plenty of work and is worth drafting in Round 4 in the majority of leagues, don't shy away from Wilson as a top-three quarterback on Draft Day. I have him ranked No. 2 behind Aaron Rodgers and just ahead of Tom Brady.
The Seahawks want to be better on the ground, but maybe they realized that helping Wilson more in 2018 will enhance their offense, too. Now we'll have to wait to see if Marshall has anything left, which could be a good thing for Fantasy owners.
As for this week's mailbag, continue to submit your questions on Twitter @jameyeisenberg and on my Facebook page. All you have to do is use the hashtag #fantasymail, and I'll be answering your questions throughout the offseason
For this week, we're going to cover the following topics:
- Who is the best running back in Green Bay?
- Should you trade Joe Mixon for A.J. Green in a dynasty league?
- Where should Andrew Luck be ranked?
- Is it worth it to keep three players from the same team?
- What is Derrick Henry's keeper value?
- What is Jimmy Garoppolo's keeper value?
From Twitter ...
Jamaal Williams was my favorite Packers running back going into last year, and he remains my favorite this season. While I do expect him to win the lead role, I also anticipate this being a committee with Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery. Taking into account that Montgomery will likely be the third option and maybe limited to playing on passing downs, I'm just going to wait out this backfield and take the latter of the two guys left in Williams and Jones. The reason I say that is because in the drafts I've done so far this offseason, both guys have gone in different spots. For example, , Williams went in Round 5, which is too soon, while Jones fell to Round 12. Give me Jones all day in this scenario, and I'm disappointed that I didn't get him in Round 11 when he was available. In another draft I did for a different publication's magazine, Jones went in Round 6 in a PPR league, and I was able to get Williams in Round 8. Again, give me the better value, especially in this case where I expect Williams to be the better running back.
If you can turn Mixon into Green, make that trade because you'll be winning the deal. Mixon will be 22 in July and is going into his second season, but running backs don't have the career lifespan that receivers do, especially stars like Green. He's turning 30 in July and might start to decline over the next three seasons, but there's a better chance of him being a standout Fantasy option over that span than Mixon. While I love Mixon as a breakout candidate in seasonal leagues, I'd much rather have Green in a dynasty format.
I Matt Ryan, Jared Goff or Philip Rivers given the potential for all three quarterbacks -- and the concern over Luck. It's hard to justify drafting him as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback when there's no guarantee he'll be fine for Week 1 this year.about Luck, but I dropped him in my rankings because of the situation with his shoulder and that he's still not throwing as we head into June. His current ranking is with the hope he'll be fine by training camp, but I certainly understand Fantasy owners passing on him for
It would be fun to keep all three Saints given the upside for that trio, but you're not keeping Drew Brees here based on your other options. However, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are locks based on what they should be able to produce in 2018 after excellent performances last year. The third choice is a little tougher because I love the upside for Mixon, and we know what Josh Gordon is capable of when healthy and on the field. The same goes for Allen Robinson, but I would put him behind Mixon and Gordon in this scenario. Given the PPR format, I'm going to keep Gordon along with Kamara and Thomas. You will hopefully be able to draft Mixon with your first- or second-round pick depending on who is available, but I would love three keepers of Kamara, Thomas and Gordon going into this season.
In a non-PPR format, keeping Henry in the fourth-round is easy, and he should be a breakout candidate in 2018, even with Dion Lewis now on the roster. But Lewis should impact Henry in the passing game, which limits his upside in PPR. Still, I might lean toward keeping him in Round 4 anyway because I'm expecting him to have around 1,200 total yards and double digits in touchdowns if he can stay healthy, and he should be around 30-40 catches now that he's escaped DeMarco Murray's shadow. In the two PPR drafts that I referenced with the Packers running backs above, Henry was gone by No. 46 overall in both leagues.
From Facebook ...
All of your keeper options are intriguing given their value, although I would pass on Wentz since you can keep Garoppolo seven rounds later, which is just a better price for what could be similar production. I know you're concerned about Williams because of Jones, which we addressed above, but I would keep him in Round 10 over the quarterbacks and Graham. While Jones and Montgomery could limit his touches, Williams still showed in 2017 as a rookie that he can be productive. He had six games with at least 20 touches last season, and he scored at least eight Fantasy points in a non-PPR league in five of them, with four of at least 11 points. Graham would be my second choice because of the scarcity of good tight ends, but I would gamble on Williams with the hope he's the leader of this Packers backfield.