The Seattle Seahawks finished the 2020 season first in the NFC West with a 12-4 record before losing a home Wild-Card game to their divisional rival Los Angeles Rams. Seattle deserves credit for winning a very tough NFC West division last year, ending the season strong with a four-game winning streak. The Seattle defense was a big reason the team found success down the stretch. In Seattle’s first 10 games they allowed 20 points or more in every game. The Seattle Defense only allowed one game of 20+ points over their last six games.
Seattle will bring back Ken Norton as the defensive coordinator for his fourth season with hopes the defense can finish in the top 10 in points against for the first time since the 2016 season. Seattle will deal with the departures of veterans K.J. Wright and Shaquill Griffin but have signed a few solid free agents that can help fill the void. The Seattle pass defense will surely have to be better in 2021 they led the NFL in attempts (674) and completions (450) allowed last season.
Carlos Dunlap is coming off one of his worst seasons. His 32 tackles were the lowest since 2011 and six sacks are his lowest since the 2012 season. The former Cincinnati Bengal had been very consistent for IDP managers from 2013-2019, with at least 46 tackles and 7.5 sacks in every season. Dunlap will turn 32 this season and recently signed a two-year deal to keep him in Seattle.
The Seahawks have only retained one player from last season who played more than 50% of the snaps along the defensive front four and Dunlap was not one of them. There’s always a risk as a dynasty manager trying to hold onto a former highly productive player as he gets towards the end of his career. The only thing you have going for you is the price is next to nothing and you can afford to take the risk. Hoping that Dunlap returns to form and has a 40+ tackle and 7+ sack season.
Benson Mayowa played a career-high in snaps (572) for the Seahawks last season. The Seattle pass rusher has managed to produce 13 sacks in his last two seasons. Mayowa is playing for his fourth team since 2017, he turns 30 this season, and is a rotational defensive lineman. There’s almost nothing to get excited about for him as a dynasty manager. He may offer value with spot starts during the season but is not a player that should be in your lineup regularly.
The Seattle Seahawks are a team that likes to rotate players along their defensive front. They had seven players play at least 27% of defensive snaps in 2020 and are clearly a team that depends on their depth to get after opposing quarterbacks. I decided to put together a buy, sell, hold exercise for these players from a dynasty perspective.
Kerry Hyder Jr. is coming off his best season as a pro with career highs in tackles (49), solo tackles (30), and sacks (8.5). Hyder played 70% of snaps for the San Francisco 49ers defense last year and while that’s unlikely he still can be effective. Hyder finished as the DL29 last year and played in all 16 games.
L.J. Collier, the 29th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, has disappointed dynasty managers. Collier saw his snap count jump up to 49% from just 14% as a rookie. He didn’t produce much, just 22 tackles and three sacks giving him almost no value in IDP dynasty leagues. Unfortunately, he is more of a cut than a sell in dynasty leagues.
Aldon Smith proved to be a great comeback story in 2020. The former double-digit sack artist found himself playing over 70% of snaps for the Dallas Cowboys last season. Smith will turn 32 this season and look to play a key role as part of the Seahawks’ rotating front. Last year was the time to sell on Aldon Smith but if an early-season breakout happens again you can find another opportunity to gain future draft capital or positional depth if you choose to sell.
Darrell Taylor was drafted in the second round last year but was unable to see the field for Seattle following a leg surgery in the off-season. Taylor should give dynasty managers the most hope for any of the young defensive linemen on the Seahawks. The former Tennessee Volunteer has been making waves in his first minicamp with the team. Taylor is coming off 16 sacks in his last 24 college games played. It’s possible the allure around Taylor is the fact we haven’t seen him play yet and that’s why he’s a hold for me at this time.
Bobby Wagner is coming off his second straight season with an LB8 overall finish. Wagner averaged 18.2 fantasy points per game while playing in all 16 games for his second straight season and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. You can define Wagner by one word ‘consistent’, he rarely lets you down. The 2015 season was the last time Bobby Wagner finished outside the top 20 linebackers, he was LB21 that season.
The future Seahawks Hall of Famer has at least 104 tackles in every season since he was drafted in 2012. As a dynasty manager, you just ride this production until the wheels fall off and continue to roster one of the most productive fantasy LBs we’ve ever seen. As a contender don’t be afraid to buy Wagner at his current price to help you make a championship run in 2021.
Jordyn Brooks enters his second season with the Seattle Seahawks, Brooks played 31.86% of defensive snaps and 19% of special teams snaps in 2020. Jordyn Brooks looks to be unleashed this year assuming Seattle doesn’t bring back free agent K.J. Wright had 228.7 fantasy points playing alongside Bobby Wagner last year.
The former Texas Tech LB only missed five tackles all season while compiling 57 tackles total including 35 solo tackles according to Pro-Football-Reference. If Brooks is in line to take the 86% of snaps that K.J. Wright played last season, I think we can expect a huge boost in dynasty value around this time next year. If there’s a chance to buy low now I would recommend it and hope you can get ahead of a potential breakout season before it happens.
The Rest of the Linebackers
I have very little hope for depth at the LB position for the Seahawks. Ben Burr-Kirven has played 14 total defensive snaps in two seasons and Cody Barton has spent the majority of his playing time on special teams. I don’t think either of these players is worthy of a dynasty stash in case of an injury to either Wagner or Brooks. There’s a very good chance you’ll find better options on the waiver wire.
Jamal Adams struggled with injuries, playing just 12 games in 2020, the lowest of his career. Adams was still able to finish as the DB7 overall with 250.9 fantasy points. The consensus Dynasty Nerds DB1 on the DynastyGM tool had his best year bringing down the quarterback with 9.5 sacks in 2020. Over his first four years, the former LSU safety has averaged 89 tackles per season. Adams also collected 21.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown.
Adams was a force to be reckoned with down the stretch for dynasty managers. From week 9 to week 16, Adams only had one week where he finished with less than 17 fantasy points. He also had 7.5 sacks during that stretch. The IDP dynasty community tends to remain undecided between Budda Baker and Jamal Adams as the top DB during startup drafts. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either, in this case, Adams is the much more effective box safety for me. His impact on the game leads to huge fantasy production on a weekly basis.
There are very few expectations from the remaining members of the Seattle secondary. I put together a few notes on each relevant player from a fantasy perspective for your reading pleasure.
Quandre Diggs played 93% of snaps last year. Finished as DB60 with 171.7 fantasy points. I expect Diggs to see time at slot CB and deep safety in 2021.
Ryan Neal had a small stretch of games early in the season where he averaged 20.5 fantasy points per game. Neal was filling in for an injured Jamal Adams. Neal is solid insurance if Adams were to miss time again but he’s likely not worth a roster spot early in the season.
The Rest of the Defensive Backs
The Seahawks will look very different at the cornerback position this season. Pierre Desir finished as the DB84 last season despite playing only five snaps total from week 10 on. Desir is a heavily targeted CB who could see fantasy production off his inconsistent coverage skills. Tre Flowers played over 50% of snaps last season. He will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Shaq Griffin in free agency. Ahkello Witherspoon is yet to have any value from a fantasy perspective. He is a fade for me even in CB-required leagues.
The Seattle Seahawks IDP landscape has everything you’re looking for in its stud performers. The lack of depth at LB and DB leaves a lot to be desired. It becomes a major guessing game at DL with four to six players in the rotation who can all finish between five to ten sacks on the season. Adams and Wagner remain the only two plug-and-play starters for Seattle but I have a feeling Brooks joins that group this year.
As always thanks for stopping by to check out the IDP spotlight on the Seattle Seahawks defense. The Dynasty Nerds team is focused on delivering the most up-to-date fantasy content for you to use at your disposal. Be sure to check out all of our rankings, mock draft tools, and video content to stay ahead of your league mates.
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