The Seattle Seahawks, by far, outperformed any and all expectations. Geno Smith had a superior season to Russell Wilson, and the Hawks looked no worse for wear. While the defense was miserable, the Hawks’ offense was top-ten in points and touchdowns. Smith looked like a franchise quarterback despite being forced to throw often due to a lackluster run game and an awful defense. Pete Carroll re-signed Smith and added more weapons around him to lift this offense to even higher heights. The Seattle Seahawks are filled with high-end player projections, but are they good long-term for your dynasty roster?
Smith had a shocking year last season when he outperformed every single expectation anyone had for him. He had a career season as he earned a contract extension and led the Seahawks to a shocking playoff berth after Wilson was traded. No one foresaw him throwing for over 4,000 yards or having 30 touchdowns. Yet, he did that. There’s zero reason not to expect a repeat performance for this year. He has a more experienced offensive line, better-pass-catching running backs, and a brand-new first-round wide receiver in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith should easily repeat last season.
Even though the Hawks are going to run the ball more, Smith should still be a high-end QB2. He’s worth a late first to a contender in superflex leagues. This is due to the fact he isn’t a great rusher, and his upside is likely capped at how he did last year. Still, getting a guy who can reliably put up QB2 numbers or week-winning numbers is a smart move to make. As for this year, I project him to average 21 PPG over 17 games after throwing for 4,239 yards, 30 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 350 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and a 70% completion rate.
Kenneth Walker III
To the shock of nearly everyone, the Seattle Seahawks drafted another premium running back in the 2023 NFL Draft. That means that this isn’t Walker’s backfield alone. It’s going to be a big committee that limits the RB1 upside he showcased last year. Due to his issues in the passing game, expect Walker to be highly involved with the rushing game. He’ll still put up decent RB2 numbers, but he certainly isn’t going to be putting up the RB1 numbers he had toward the end of last year. Walker is a hold right now until you know what Seattle does. If you can trade cheaply for him, do it. Otherwise, time is your friend. I wouldn’t sell if you have him.
As for this year, I project Walker to average 12.4 PPG after rushing the ball 239 times for 1,126 yards (4.71 ypc), nine touchdowns, and seeing 37 targets. He will catch 28 of them for 172 yards and have two fumbles. He has 16+ points potential weekly, but due to Charbs, it’s unlikely he hits consistently. Welcome to the new-age running back committees.
This was a tough spot to see Charbonnet land, as he has three-down potential. He’s a great built running back that is skilled in the receiving game. Unfortunately for dynasty owners, he’s set up to be sharing a backfield with Walker for the foreseeable future. This caps his upside, as unless an injury happens, he won’t get enough playing time to be more than a flex play. However, should Walker miss any time, Charbonnet is an automatic RB1. Vice versa is also true. Once again, be cautious in trading him, and it’s advisable to just hold him until we see what the snap shares are like.
One thing is for certain, Charbonnet will be the receiving back for the Seattle Seahawks. That’s why I project him to see 60 targets, catch 47 of them for 395 yards and three touchdowns, and run the ball 134 times for 562 yards and five more touchdowns. It’s a quality rookie season, but it could be far better. Regardless, his 11.2 PPG is still valuable for your dynasty team.
Metcalf had a somewhat muted season last year as he struggled to get in stride with Geno Smith. Plus, while he saw 42+% of the wide receiver targets, he didn’t do much with them as he only caught 63.8% of them. That should be roughly in line with this year as Geno gets another target to throw to in JSN. Expect Metcalf’s targets to go down slightly but for his yardage to go up slightly along with his touchdowns.
Metcalf is still a top-15 dynasty wide receiver. He’s worth buying if you’re able to get him for a first and second or so. If I’m rebuilding, I’m targeting Metcalf in trades as he will be a key long-term asset as the WR1 with Seattle and their future quarterback. This year? Metcalf will be a valuable WR2 capable of winning you weeks. I project Metcalf to see 136 targets (40+% target share), 86 receptions, 1,030 yards, and eight touchdowns. That’s good enough for 13.8 ppg. DK is still going to be a top threat in the NFL.
Lockett suddenly sees that his time in Seattle is numbered as the Seahawks drafted a wide receiver very similar to him. Despite that, the 31-year-old wideout will still put up good numbers this year. Last year, he had another 1,000+ yard season and was one of the most reliable fantasy wideouts. That’s going to continue, even though he might see a slight drop in targets due to JSN being there. Lockett is strictly a piece for a contending team. He isn’t worth more than a few seconds or a late first. His days are numbered, and I wouldn’t expect more than two more strong seasons.
Lockett will be featured by the Seattle Seahawks this year, but the future is murky. This year, you can pencil in 13.4 PPG on 112 targets, 79 receptions, 955 yards, and seven touchdowns. Quality numbers, but they aren’t for long as Smith-Njigba is looming. Buy Lockett to win now but beware that you might be stuck with him for the long run.
Smith-Njigba was definitely worth a first-round pick, but not many expected Seattle to land him. It’s clear that he’s the heir apparent to Lockett’s spot as the co-WR1 in Seattle. He will form a long-term dynamic partnership with Metcalf with his elite route running and ball-catching skills. JSN won’t take long to have an impact on the Seattle Seahawks’ passing game. He will force them to throw him the ball. This leads to all three main wideouts having lower-than-expected numbers until Carroll decides not to run the ball as much. Smith-Njigba is a prime target for rebuilders, as it will take a year until we see him fully break out.
This year, JSN is the clear WR3 on the roster. He will see the third-most targets on the roster, but competing with two guys who both clear 100 targets doesn’t leave many left. Still, he will put up a lot of yards and points on the targets he does see. Ultimately, his projection is for him to see 69 targets, 53 receptions, and 719 yards with five touchdowns. He might sprinkle in a few rushes but expect 9.1 PPG. That’s a quality start for the future dynasty WR1-tier wideout’s career. This year, he will put up WR3/flex numbers.
Seattle has too many tight ends to accurately know who is going to be the lead dog this year. However, Fant saw 63 targets last year and should be the leader for tight ends again. He’s a TE2 that relies on touchdowns for most of his fantasy production. Even in TEP leagues, he isn’t startable much. In this offense, he’ll be the fourth or fifth option depending on the play. You can’t drop him, but he’s a pure bye-week filler. I project him to see 65 targets, catch 51 of them for 471 yards and four touchdowns, and put up 7.2 PPG over 17 games.
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As always, May the Force be with You…