Russell Wilson threw 89 more passes in 2019 than the year before, and then told reporters at the Super Bowl he'd like to run a more up-tempo offense. If nothing changes for the Seahawks, Wilson's brilliance should continue to push this offense to a high level. If they actually give him more responsibility, the sky is the limit.
Record: 11 - 5 (7)
PPG: 25.3 (9)
YPG: 374.4 (8)
Pass YPG: 236.9 (14)
Rush YPG: 137.5 (4)
PAPG: 32.3 (23)
RAPG: 30.1 (3)
2019 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 31
Four times in the past five years, Russell Wilson has thrown at least 31 touchdowns. He's ranked no worse than third in the NFL in passing touchdowns each of the past three seasons. And he's done that despite finishing in the top 10 in pass attempts just once in those five seasons, and with frankly less talent than he now has given DK Metcalf's emergence alongside Tyler Lockett and Greg Olsen also joining a deep tight end room. If rumors Seattle might add Antonio Brown or Josh Gordon come to fruition, this pass-catching group will be loaded.
Wilson has also been a top-10 quarterback in terms of yards per attempt four times in the past five seasons, and while efficiency typically falls a bit with more volume, his typically high efficiency across the board speaks to plenty of passing upside if the Seahawks do throw a bit more this season. And even on the wrong side of 30, Wilson's still good to add at least 300 rushing yards and probably a couple of scores on the ground.
1. (27) Jordyn Brooks, LB
2. (48) Darrell Taylor, DE
3. (69) Damien Lewis, G
4. (133) Colby Parkinson, TE
4. (144) DeeJay Dallas, RB
5. (148) Alton Robinson, DE
6. (214) Freddie Swain, WR
7. (251) Stephen Sullivan, TE
35 RB carries, 12 RB targets, 62 WR targets, 6 TE targets
Rankings and Projections
|Heath Cummings' projections|
|QB||Russell Wilson||4,064 YD, 30 TD, 7 INT; 358 Rush YD, 2 TD|
|RB||Chris Carson||1,053 YD, 8 TD; 45 REC, 344 YD, 2 TD|
|RB||Carlos Hyde||393 YD, 3 TD; 8 REC, 67 YD, 1 TD|
|RB||DeeJay Dallas||206 YD, 2 TD; 7 REC, 53 YD, 0 TD|
|WR||Tyler Lockett||113 TAR, 83 REC, 1,115 YD, 8 TD|
|WR||D.K. Metcalf||108 TAR, 63 REC, 971 YD, 7 TD|
|TE||Greg Olsen||72 TAR, 45 REC, 491 YD, 5 TD|
Will Russell Wilson finally get unleashed?
It's been the big question in Seattle for years, but the tides may be turning now that Wilson himself has been vocal and seems fed up with Seattle's ball control offense. It frankly shouldn't be much of a surprise given Seattle's 2019 season, where 10 of their 11 wins came by a single score. In many of those games, Seattle's conservatism kept teams close, then they asked Wilson to win it late. Wilson has elite accuracy and has always been an efficient passer, so if the Seahawks do let him try to put teams away earlier in games, that volume spike would mean big things for this offense.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
It's hard to pinpoint a sleeper on a Seahawks team with tons of depth at RB and TE, and they might still add a WR like Gordon or Brown that would block someone like Phillip Dorsett from any shot at minor Fantasy relevance. But it might be fair to say people are sleeping on Lockett a little bit, particularly given Lockett is going nearly a round after teammate DK Metcalf in NFC ADP, which feels like a mistake.
Metcalf's upside is apparent, and I'll discuss his positives below, but there's some double-counting going on after a strong rookie season; that people are wondering how high a player with his obvious physical skills could rise with a quarterback like Wilson, which seems to ignore the degree to which at least some — and perhaps the majority — of his rookie production had more to do with playing alongside Wilson in the first place. Metcalf had some lapses in 2019, and per PlayerProfiler his true catch rate (on catchable passes only) ranked 66th of 68 wide receivers with at least 60 targets. Meanwhile, PlayerProfiler graded his target quality rating as seventh best in that same group.
In other words, Metcalf already got perhaps as much as he could have expected out of Wilson. The end result was Lockett seeing 10 more targets, catching 24 more passes, gaining 157 more yards and scoring one extra touchdown. I still expect Metcalf to take a step forward, but I suspect Lockett's status as Wilson's favorite target is not in question entering his age-28 season after several years maintaining high efficiency as one of the game's most prolific QB-WR combinations.
Well, this is confusing. After my negative comments above, it's hard to imagine having Metcalf as a breakout. Part of it is there isn't really another good breakout candidate on the Seahawks' roster, but part of it is the truth that there is room for Metcalf to grow, if expectations are kept reasonable.
As I noted above, Metcalf can't expect much better quarterback play than he already got last year, so if he's to take a step forward it'll need to be on him improving. But that wouldn't be surprising for a second-year receiver, and we know he'll keep getting high level play from his quarterback. Metcalf's size and athleticism make him a great bet to post a strong touchdown total if Wilson throws 30-plus scores again in 2020, and his downfield target profile give him a good shot to rack up yardage if he can haul a few more passes in. Be wary of getting carried away with his athleticism — physical profiles tend not to be predictive of future success for young wide receivers, and while Metcalf may look like Julio Jones, he doesn't have the displayed college production Jones did. Still, Metcalf isn't without talent, and he might be in the perfect situation to maximize that.
There's certainly a chance Carson makes this prediction look silly, and he's the perfect back for Seattle's system and they really like him as a player. But the Seahawks had started to rotate Carson with Penny for two games before Penny's ACL injury, and now Carson is rehabbing his own hip injury this offseason. Carson played at least 75% of the snaps for Seattle in seven of the season's first 10 games before falling to 51% and 52% in Weeks 12 and 13 just before Penny's injury. Because Penny went down, he jumped back over 75% for two more games before his own injury in Week 16.
With rookie DeeJay Dallas and veteran Carlos Hyde around for 2020, the concern is the Seahawks won't lean on the former seventh-round pick Carson nearly as heavily as they did in 2019. They won't need to. And without a big receiving role, Carson's somewhat dependent on the workhorse share of snaps to return value at his lofty ADP. Add in the risk of re-injury or another ailment altogether, and we're looking at a player who feels a lot more safe in offseason projections — which is driving up his ADP — than he will be in-season.
AFC East: Bills | Jets | Patriots | Dolphins
NFC East: Giants | Cowboys | Eagles | Redskins
AFC South: Colts | Texans | Jaguars | Titans
NFC South: Panthers | Bucs | Falcons | Saints
AFC North: Ravens | Steelers | Browns | Bengals
NFC North: Packers | Vikings | Bears | Lions
AFC West: Chiefs | Broncos | Raiders | Chargers
NFC West: Seahawks | 49ers | Rams | Cardinals
So which Fantasy football busts should you completely avoid? And which running back going off the board early should you fade? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that called Baker Mayfield's disappointing season, and find out.