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USATSI

The relationship between the Seahawks and Russell Wilson has reportedly been less-than-ideal for a while now, and it came to an end Tuesday with an agreed-to trade that will send Wilson to Denver along with a fourth-round pick in exchange for QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-rounder. That's a heck of a haul for Seattle, but it leaves the Seahawks with a ton of questions to sort through on this offense. And it might make them one of the less appealing teams in Fantasy unless they find some awfully good answers for those questions. 

To start with, Lock isn't the answer at QB for Seattle. He might end up having to be the answer for 2022, at least to start, if the Hawks can't find a better option. But nothing we've seen from him over three years in Denver suggests he's a starting-caliber NFL quarterback -- he has completed 59.3% of his passes for just a 3.5% touchdown rate with a 2.8% interception rate and just 6.7 yards per attempt. Sure, he'll have some pretty good weapons in Seattle, but he had talented receivers in Denver too, and most observers tend to believe he was holding them back, not the other way around. Lock has very little Fantasy appeal even if he is starting.

Especially because you have to think this offense isn't going to be more pass-heavy without Russell Wilson, right? The Seahawks were 22nd in pass rate in 2021 despite only occasionally having a running game they could trust. I'm expecting this offense to double down on that approach with a much worse quarterback, which means they might be one of the most run-heavy teams in the league this coming season.

That might be decent news for Chris Carson, or Rashaad Penny if they re-sign him, or whoever, but it's terrible news for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Metcalf and Lockett have managed to be viable Fantasy starters – and often much more than that – despite significantly less volume than many of their comparable peers at the position thanks to some great efficiency. Among 29 players with at least 300 targets over the past three seasons combined, Lockett ranks third in yards per target at 9.4, while Metcalf ranked ninth at 8.9. Metcalf, meanwhile, ranks second among that group in touchdown rate at 8.1%; Lockett is sixth at 7.4%. Even among the best of the best, that duo stood out for their efficiency. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that Wilson has been among the game's best deep ball passers in that stretch. From 2019 through 2021, Wilson ranks fourth in the league in passer rating on passes thrown at least 20 yards down the field while having the fourth-most such attempts; he ranks just 11th in total attempts in that same span. Lockett and Metcalf are dangerous deep threats in their own right, but Wilson no doubt helped elevate them, as well.

Hopefully for the sake of Lockett and Metcalf, the Seahawks won't settle for Lock as their starter, but this year's free agent crop doesn't inspire a ton of confidence. Neither does the crop of rookies, with no quarterbacks currently projected to be taken in the first five picks in CBS Sports NFL Draft mocks right now. The Seahawks may opt to use the No. 9 overall pick acquired from Denver to take a flier on someone like Malik Willis, the highest-ranked QB for most of our analysts, but it's hard to see him stepping in out of Liberty University and replicating what Wilson did for those two.

The one exception that might help Lockett and Metcalf retain some of their appeal would be the addition of someone like Jameis Winston in free agency. Winston has the arm and aggressive approach that could help make the most of Lockett and Metcalf, and might be enough to keep them in the high-upside WR3 range in drafts. 

However, as things stand right now, I'm not sure how you could view either as a top-30 WR, and I'm not sure either will be in my top-36 at the position unless they get a significant upgrade at QB. Winston is probably the only player who might qualify, because even someone like Jimmy Garoppolo or Marcus Mariota wouldn't inspire much confidence in what will likely remain a low-volume passing offense.

Fant might be worth targeting as a fringe top-12 tight end, because he remains one of the most physically gifted players at the tight end position, though his lack of progression over three NFL seasons has been frustrating. He's been held back by poor QB play in Denver, obviously, but he probably won't be in any better situation in Seattle, unfortunately. 

There probably isn't a player on the Seahawks as presently constructed I would want in my starting lineup for Fantasy. There's no shortage of talent among the pass-catching group, but the way they've run their offense in recent years combined with the expectation of below-average QB play makes it hard to get excited about anyone. This looks like it could be one of the worst teams in the league for 2022, as years of mismanaged assets and poor drafting are coming back to haunt them. 

The Seahawks have lost the best player in franchise history, and there's rarely a good replacement waiting when that happens for a team. In this instance, the Seahawks seem to have nothing but bad options ahead of them. It could get ugly.