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Seahawks defense rules fantasy ranks
NFL Media Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano shares which running backs fantasy owners should target after the top options are off the board
With the Seahawks final preseason game on Thursday night, the team combined Competition Wednesday and Turnover Thursday into one day, hopefully preparing themselves for later in the year when they play on Thursday night in the regular season.
Due to the shortened week, the team doubled up on a Tuesday practice of preseason week four with the themes of "Competition Wednesday" and "Turnover Thursday".
A player-by-player look at the 2015 Seattle Seahawks 75-man roster. The Seahawks must trim their roster to 53 players by 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, Sept. 5.
When it comes to defensive/special teams units in Fantasy Football, the Seattle Seahawks are widely regarded as the class of the field in 2013. It’s certainly no surprise, as the group is led by what many regard as the best secondary in football, and the front seven is aggressive against the pass and stingy against the run. The Seattle defense is arguably the most balanced unit in the NFL, and that opinion is clearly being reflected in Fantasy drafts to this point.
The Seahawks were the stingiest team in the NFL last year, allowing 231 points. Seattle recovered 13 fumbles, which put them seventh overall among Fantasy units. They ranked ninth with 18 interceptions. They had five defensive scores (ninth) and also added a return TD. The defensive attack was balanced, but could be very explosive, as the team made Fantasy history in Week 14 of 2012.
Fantasy defensive production is highly focused on turnovers and touchdowns, which can often be very unpredictable. But with their hard-hitting “Legion of Boom” in the secondary, the Seahawks will aggressively go after the football again this year and appear to be good bets to rank among team interception leaders while also keeping point totals down, also a key element for Fantasy units. The Seattle DBs hit hard to generate forced fumbles, and as we have already seen this preseason, turnovers returned for TDs by this team will be no surprise.
Standout CB Richard Sherman intercepted eight passes last year, and forced three fumbles. His fiery approach translates into not only shutting opposing WRs down, which contributes heavily to low defensive point totals, his knack for making plays in all facets of the game propels the Seahawks defense to its lofty Fantasy status. But he is far from a lone operator. CB Brandon Browner also forced three fumbles last year, and he and Earl Thomas combined for six interceptions.
You should also note the high tackle numbers of Wagner and Chancellor if you play in a league that incorporates Individual Defensive Players (IDP). In such formats, defenders are awarded points for tackles, sacks, interceptions and sometimes passes defensed. Wagner and Chancellor’s high tackle totals make them top-level players at the linebacker and defensive back positions. Sherman’s 24 passes defensed last year elevate his appeal in leagues that utilize that stat. OLB K.J. Wright is a viable Fantasy starter as well in IDP leagues, as he totaled 98 tackles last season.
Of course, it all begins up front for the Seahawks defense, where the very underrated Red Bryant generates havoc that simply cannot be measured on a stat sheet, yet greatly impacts the Fantasy production of the unit overall. The ultra-reliable Brandon Mebane has been a steady presence, and once newcomer Cliff Avril gets into form, the Seahawks defense should be able to better last year’s total of 36 sacks. Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse also add some TD return potential, as we have surely seen with the latter this preseason. Among kickers, Steven Hauschka is the 12th kicker off the board in NFL.com drafts, and is a solid option in most leagues.
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