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Fantasy eyes should focus on Seahawks preseason performances
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Many Fantasy owners have overlooked preseason performances in the past, categorizing exhibition game outings as irrelevant because the statistics do not count and some players don’t let loose fully until the regular season begins. Marshawn Lynch is one of those players who cannot be judged at all during the preseason, as he often sees limited reps, and you know you will get outstanding production from him when it counts most.
Yet experienced NFL watchers and successful Fantasy competitors know that the preseason is indeed very meaningful for many other players who are battling for playing time and looking to move up on depth charts. Seahawk fans can certainly spin tales of Russell Wilson’s preseason heroics in his rookie year as resounding proof of how exhibition game performances can truly matter. You also want to see how those possible sleepers and upside performers may fare. Those who play in keeper and dynasty leagues make sure they get a good look at their potential future stars and prospects. So if you want to keep up with the competition, you simply can’t wave off what happens in the preseason. Your Fantasy scouting should begin during Week 1 of exhibition play. If you have drafted or intend to target any Seahawks in your drafts, you should be watching with a keen eye when the Seahawks open their preseason schedule against the Broncos on Thursday night. Every preseason game is important to monitor as we gauge potential value Fantasy picks and possible rising stars.
Of course, we cannot forget about Robert Turbin, either, as he could step right in and start for the Seahawks if needed. Turbin is talented enough that you can believe he could top the RB depth chart for many other NFL teams. He is a perfect and natural fit in the Seahawks offense with his decisive, one-cut style. As you see more of Turbin this preseason, you’ll be convinced to tab him as the handcuff to Lynch in the later rounds. Michael offers significant upside, yet Turbin will serve you very well if he becomes a necessary piece at any point in yearly leagues.
There is going to be a lot to keep tabs on at wide receiver this preseason, especially as we see how a healthy Percy Harvin fits more into the mix on a regular basis. This year, you could see Harvin simply explode and boost your Fantasy team to victories in some weeks. It will be very interesting to see snippets of how the Seahawks intend to utilize him in various ways.
Harvin is also ready to contribute as a returner on special teams, further boosting the appeal of the already elite Fantasy defense/special teams unit. The Seahawks D/ST ADP is 50.43, putting it in the sixth round. In my last entry I discussed how you have to be well prepared to boldly draft the Seahawks D/ST. The presence of Harvin as a regular TD threat only makes them more highly coveted as the prime D/ST choice. If you also play in a league where your receivers receive points for return yardage, Harvin becomes even more appealing.
Elsewhere at receiver, the departure of Golden Tate is boosting the stock of Doug Baldwin and is marking Jermaine Kearse as a nifty sleeper candidate. Baldwin is no stranger to seizing an opportunity, and his current ADP of 148.49 may rise if he continues to shine as a key playmaker like he did in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl last season. Baldwin initially figures to be drafted as a WR4 in many Fantasy leagues, but he does have the ability to eventually merit even higher consideration.
Keeper and dynasty leaguers will also want to get a good look at rookie Paul Richardson, who could become another notable downfield threat for Wilson at some point. He has considerable potential as a big-play performer. The preseason will also give keeper and dynasty owners a chance to see how tight end Luke Willson is progressing as a pass-catcher. Willson showed last year that he can make an important reception when needed, and he looked like a guy who can make things happen after the catch. He may develop into a very solid Fantasy TE in the future.
So as the preseason opens for the Seahawks, there is much to observe if you are targeting players for your Fantasy usage this year or for future purposes. There are also other notable players around the league who deserve your attention in exhibition play.
Among wide receivers, DeSean Jackson and Cordarelle Patterson will stir a lot of interest this summer. Jackson is a top weapon on what promises to be a rejuvenated Redskins offense, and Patterson could take the next steps to becoming a Fantasy star. If he shows he has improved fundamentally this preseason, Patterson is going to be a hot Fantasy commodity as a WR2. Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins and Rueben Randle will be watched closely in exhibition play as potential breakthrough performers. Rookie Brandin Cooks will get the opportunities to build on a strong camp. The values and ADPs of players like Austin, Hopkins , Randle and Cooks could rise significantly if they play well in the preseason.
No quarterback may be in a brighter spotlight than Robert Griffin III this preseason. There’s a lot of hope that with a new head coach (Jay Gruden) and the addition of Jackson, he can regain his fine Fantasy form of 2012. Of course, the battle in Cleveland will be a major storyline, as Johnny Manziel has some QB2 potential in Fantasy leagues. Teddy Bridgewater may fare well as a Fantasy QB2 also if he can earn a starting job. At tight end, look for possible continued strides from Zach Ertz and Ladarius Green.
Scott Engel is an 18-year veteran of the Fantasy industry and was an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association’s Hall of Fame. For more in-depth Fantasy Football analysis from Scott and his team at RotoExperts.com, register now for the Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football package right here and take advantage of a very special discount offer for Seahawks fans! Read