The Seattle Seahawks made it clear that they were in rebuilding mode after trading away a franchise quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason.
The Wilson trade saw the Seahawks acquire multiple players and draft picks, which should help them down the line, but their performance this season doesn’t appear to be a priority with Gene Smith and Drew Lock fighting for the starting quarterback job.
Smith served as Wilson’s backup last season and is the current favorite to start, but he showed little upside while filling in as the starter last season, and Lock’s been extremely turnover prone throughout his career and is unlikely to make an impact even if he takes the job from Smith.
The offense as a whole is set to take a significant hit unless a veteran like that Jimmy Garoppolo gold Sam Darnold is acquired, but neither one is anywhere close to Wilson, making the Seahawks quarterback situation one to avoid even in superflex leagues.
The running game is set to be the focal point of the offense with the passing game in transition, and Rashaad Penny is set to take over as the starter after a strong stretch run last season with incumbent starter Chris Carson having retired due to a neck injury.
While Penny shone for fantasy managers when it mattered most, he’s been extremely injury prone throughout his career and will have to hold off promising rookie Kenneth Walker for the starting job.
Walker will likely start off as the complement to Penny, but he should see more carries as the year goes on and could take over as the workhorse if Penny goes down with DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer not being much of a threat for carries.
Walker is the only Seahawks skill player I’m targeting in drafts, as the receiving corps is set to take a major hit even though they’ve got a pair of Pro Bowl caliber wideouts in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Metcalf should still be fantasy relevant as far as being a consistent starter, but his current fourth round draft price is too high for my liking considering he was inconsistent last season even with Wilson.
Lockett’s numbers are also set to tumble in what will be his first season without Wilson, making him more a bench play for fantasy rather than a starter, with a second-year wideout Dee Eskridge potentially having some value if an injury would occur to one of the top two.
Noah Fant was acquired as part of the Wilson deal and could make for a solid tight end streaming option, but his upside will be capped in this run-first offense mysteriously paid backup tight end Will Disley a significant amount of money even though he offers little as a receiver.
The Seahawks defensively isn’t in as bad of shape as the offense but likely won’t be consistent enough for fantasy lineups, and kicker Jason Myers isn’t worth drafting since his opportunities will likely be limited on one of the league’s worst offenses.
Finishing last in the NFC West makes the Seahawks schedule a bit easier than their division rivals, but it’s still above average in difficulty, ranking 11th in the NFL with a .517 strength of schedule rating.
The Seahawks fantasy playoff stretch starts off rough in Week 15 against the 49ers, but it gets easier with matchups against the Chiefs in Week 16 and the Jets in Week 17.
TOP DRAFT DAY TARGET/AVOID/SLEEPER
Consensus ADP data from FantasyPros for PPR leagues
My top draft day target: RB Kenneth Walker (9.05 ADP, 97th overall)
My top draft day avoid: WR DK Metcalf (4.08 ADP, 44th overall)
My top draft day sleeper: None
PREVIEW SCHEDULE / LINKS
July 12: Buffalo Bills
July 13: Miami Dolphins
July 14: New England Patriots
July 15: New York Jets
July 19: Dallas Cowboys
July 20: New York Giants
July 21: Philadelphia Eagles
July 22: Washington Commanders
July 26: Denver Broncos
July 27: Kansas City Chiefs
July 28: Las Vegas Raiders
July 29: Los Angeles Chargers
August 2: Arizona Cardinals
August 3: Los Angeles Rams
August 4: San Francisco 49ers
August 5: Seattle Seahawks
August 9: Baltimore Ravens
August 10: Cincinnati Bengals
August 11: Cleveland Browns
August 12: Pittsburgh Steelers
August 16: Chicago Bears
August 17: Detroit Lions
August 18: Green Bay Packers
August 19: Minnesota Vikings
August 23: Houston Texans
August 24: Indianapolis Colts
August 25: Jacksonville Jaguars
August 26: Tennessee Titans
August 30: Atlanta Falcons
August 31: Carolina Panthers
September 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
September 2: New Orleans Saints
Spencer ‘the Guru’ Urquhart (@spencertheguru) has been a fantasy football analyst since 2014, founding a community of over 6,000 followers on Instagram