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Seahawks wide receivers are deeper fantasy values

Posted Aug 16, 2013

RotoExperts.com looks at the fantasy value of the Seahawks wide receiver corps.

This was supposed to be the year when a Seahawks wide receiver could rank among the Fantasy elite at his position. The acquisition of Percy Harvin was supposed to add a new dimension to the Seahawks passing game. When healthy, Harvin had always ranked among the best WRs in Fantasy Football in the past.

But bad luck struck this preseason, as Harvin underwent hip surgery, and he may not be ready to make his debut with his new team until late in the 2013 regular season. Harvin, who was going to give the Seahawks a major downfield threat to complement the size of Sidney Rice and the other diverse talents of Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, may not be able to contribute at all during most Fantasy regular seasons in 2013. The hope is, though, is that he could be back in time as a bonus contributor for Fantasy  playoff runs this year for some teams. The Seahawks will certainly look forward to using him during the NFC playoffs, as they seem prepared to make a deep run this year.

So for now, Harvin is best left to be a possible free agent pickup later in the season. In the meantime, the Fantasy draft stock of Golden Tate is now rising. Officially, his overall Average Draft Position is 139.71, putting him in the 14th round. But that is a cumulative study of all drafts conducted so far this season, including those before the Harvin news. In more recent drafts, I have seen Tate go in rounds eight through 10, especially in 12-team leagues. NFL.com managed leagues are 10 teams, but in Custom Setups, many participants will choose larger league sizes, and you will see Tate go much earlier than Round 14 in such formats.

Tate started gaining notice as a playmaker in 2012, when he caught seven TD passes, including two on November 4 against the Vikings. In December, he caught six passes for 96 yards and a score against the Bears, and finished the regular season with a 105-yard outing against the Rams. His eight catch, 103-yard game with a TD against the Falcons in the playoffs truly stamped him as a Fantasy WR to watch for 2013.

Tate showed real flashes of promise last season as the Seahawks expected him to take the next step forward in his pro progression, and he did not disappoint. This year, savvy Fantasy types are expecting him to become even more consistent, and possibly make the move from WR4 to a guy that can possibly start in three WR fantasy leagues. Tate has an excellent on-field relationship with Russell Wilson, who trusts him greatly when he needs a key play. Tate started to show a knack for really wanting the ball in very important situations last year.

As the Seahawks wait for Harvin to mend, Tate is expected to evolve more as a pass-catcher, and should make more possession grabs this year. Wilson should play even more effectively from start to finish this season, boosting Tate’s overall production along the way. Fantasy players should draft Tate as early in Round 8 of 12-team leagues with confidence. You should be able to get him a bit later in NFL.com standard 10-teamers. Tate should have pretty good value in any scoring format because of his TD potential, and has a good shot to outperform his draft position.

Sidney Rice goes off the board before Tate in many drafts, as evidenced by his ADP of 128.99, putting him firmly in the 13th round of NFL.com drafts. You’ll see him go a round or two earlier in some 12-teamers. Rice underwent a recent knee procedure , but all indications are he should be good to go for the season, and while some Fantasy owners tend to worry about his health, keep in mind he played in every regular season game last year.

Like Tate, Rice caught seven TD passes in 2012. So at the very least, he is a top Fantasy reserve in leagues that use three starting wide receivers. Russell Wilson does spread the ball around effectively, and the Seahawks ran the ball a lot last year, so Rice caught only 50 balls. Yet he is capable of more receptions for sure this year as Wilson should be throwing more frequently over a full schedule in 2013. Rice can certainly be a solid starter as a WR3 this year if he plays all 16 games again. Keep in mind he now has a full year of working with Wilson under his belt now, so he does have some statistical upside to outdo last year’s numbers.

SEAHAWKS FANTASY HISTORY

Steve Largent had the best Seahawks Fantasy WR season ever in 1984, catching 74 passes for 1,164 yards and 12 TDs. But that was well before the internet age, during a time when hardcore and early Fantasy types kept score by hand. In the first few years of the Fantasy Football boom online, Joey Galloway was a big-play Fantasy favorite. His best year with the ‘Hawks was 1997, when he caught 72 passes for 1,049 yards and 12 TDs. He caught 65 passes for 1,047 yards and 10 TDs in 1998.

Those in deeper leagues cannot forget about Doug Baldwin, as he can certainly step up if needed should injuries become an issue. Wilson would certainly look to him frequently if Baldwin was needed to play even more. Baldwin did show a lot of Fantasy promise in his rookie season of 2011, and merits watching as a free agent pickup during the season. Rookie Chris Harper is a name to know for dynasty leaguers, as he could become a more prominent part of the passing game down the line.

Calvin Johnson is easily in a class by himself at the wide receiver position, and is the one wideout  truly worthy of a Top 10 overall selection in Fantasy Football this year. He led all NFL.com Fantasy WRs with 220.40 points last year and should score even more TDs this season. A.J. Green is my No. 2 ranked WR on RotoExperts.com right now. He is incredibly consistent for TD purposes. Brandon Marshall is ranked third by me, as he actually averaged more points per game (21.6) than Johnson (21.4) in PPR leagues last year and will continue to be a major source of targets and production.

NEXT WEEK: IS ZACH MILLER READY FOR A REVIVAL AT TIGHT END?

Take advantage of a special Fantasy Football deal for Seahawks fans! Get 10.00 off the RotoExperts.com Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football package, a full season ticket to fantasy dominance. Click here for more info.

Dez Bryant is the “sexy” pick among top WRs this year, as he sizzled down the stretch last year, catching 10 of his 12 TD passes from Week 10 on. Bryant is going as early as late first round in some drafts. Even if you do not get one of the “Big 4” this year, though, the position is deep. You can easily come away with a WR1 such as Demaryius Thomas, Victor Cruz or Larry Fitzgerald in the third round of many drafts. Julio Jones offers great upside and Roddy White is so consistent and dependable year after year.

Randall Cobb should bust out as a Fantasy WR1 this year, and Marques Colston and Reggie Wayne are safe selections, especially in PPR formats. Danny Amendola is set to become a top PPR target in New England, and a healthy Pierre Garcon should deliver more big plays this year. Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams is an underrated and solid TD producer, and the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton could be set for a big breakthrough year. Emmanuel Sanders has significant sleeper potential, and rookie DeAndre Hopkins could outperform some expectations as well. Also keep an eye on Buffalo’s Robert Woods as a go-to guy for rookie QB EJ Manuel.

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