Scott Engel is in his 12th year as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 12-time nominee, including being a finalist for the 2020 FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award, which he won previously. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day.
Fantasy football is a year-round passion for many who play the game. In recent weeks, those who can't wait to draft in seasonal leagues, and players who participate in dynasty and keeper leagues, have been actively following all of the most impactful NFL player moves.
While the Seahawks did not sign any skill position players from other teams that made any fantasy headlines, giving Geno Smith a contract extension certainly was a notable fantasy move. He should remain a top fantasy QB2 in 2023. You can read my full and in-depth fantasy football insights on the Smith extension here.
During a busy free agency window, the Seahawks also did an admirable job of fortifying the defense. In the process, they brought back a franchise legend and top annual fantasy performer in Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues. Throughout his career, Bobby Wagner has been a highly-ranked fantasy football linebacker in such formats, which award points for tackles, sacks, interceptions, fumbles, and other significant defensive categories. In those leagues, you start individual defensive performers instead of a team defensive unit.
Last season with the Rams, Wagner finished as the No. 8 overall scorer as an IDP linebacker with 236.8 points, heavily on the strength of 140 tackles and a career-best six sacks. Fantasy players can at least expect Wagner to function as a solid IDP LB2 in 2023 in his return to Seattle. Last season, he still operated as a top-notch tackler and run defender, as Wagner earned his ninth All-Pro selection. Those who are looking for a new fantasy football challenge should consider joining an IDP league and can target Wagner as one of their prime LB picks.
New Seahawks safety Julian Love also finished No. 8 among defensive backs, with 182.3 points. He had a career-best 124 tackles for the Giants last season, and Love will certainly be busy enough to function as a quality No. 2 DB pick in IDP leagues next season.
For those who are here for the offensive analysis, though, we will be keeping a watch to see who may emerge as a No. 3 wide receiver for Smith this season. That is a role that may be addressed in the upcoming NFL Draft or from within the current Seahawks roster. For fantasy players in deeper leagues, the situation will certainly be one to monitor, and we will be staying on top of it here.
There was much other player movement news to analyze. What follows is a healthy rundown of highlighted players that recently changed teams with my fantasy takes on the selected transactions. Players are listed in order of most impactful fantasy moves for the 2023 season by position and analysis is based on Points Per Reception league (PPR) scoring). For this feature, I selected the players who were involved in the most important fantasy moves at each position. All players are listed in order of fantasy football potential for the 2023 season.
-Miles Sanders signed a four-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. He is coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-high 11 TDs, and he may re-emerge as a quality receiving RB in Carolina. The Panthers' offense is being revamped, but Sanders will play a major role in it and he should be drafted as a mid-range RB2 in seasonal PPR leagues.
-Damien Harris joined Buffalo as a backfield partner for James Cook. Harris becomes a true physical presence and promising TD finisher for one of the league's best offenses. I do like Harris as a possible value fantasy RB3 pick, while Cook's dual-threat ability can make him an upside flex play at times.
-Fantasy players and Seahawks fans will always fondly remember the 2021 late-season run of outstanding performances by Rashaad Penny, who signed with the Eagles. From Weeks 14 through 17 of the '21 season, Penny led all RBs with 85.2 points during Weeks 14 through 17. He still has the promise to at least be an exciting fantasy flex option in 2023.
-David Montgomery signed with Detroit, while D'Onta Foreman hooked on with his former team, the Bears. Both RBs should operate in time-share situations. Montgomery is a fantasy RB3 type who could become a frequent rushing TD option for the Lions, while Foreman can provide ample TD production from a fantasy RB4. Detroit's De'Andre Swift will likely be targeted as a top-25 fantasy RB, while Chicago's Khalil Herbert will also have some appeal as a versatile flex player.
-Jamaal Williams signed with New Orleans and will likely operate as a physical complement to Alvin Kamara. He will still be capable of scoring a respectable amount of rushing TDs for a high-end fantasy RB4. Alvin Kamara should be drafted as a high-end fantasy RB3.
-Samaje Perine may be an underrated RB4 fantasy pick heading into the 2023 season. He might play an important role in the Broncos' backfield as Javonte Williams works his way back into form. Perine averaged 28.6 points per game as a starter from Weeks 11 through 13 last year, and he has the potential to outperform expectations if he gets a significant workload early in the 2023 season.
-Ronald Jones signed with the Dallas Cowboys and he can be the primary fantasy insurance RB pick for those who will draft Tony Pollard.
-D.J. Moore was traded to Chicago, where he will fill a big need for Justin Fields as a No. 1 WR. Moore was a consistent 1,100-yard WR for Carolina despite some QB challenges, and now he should be a stable PPR WR2 in a busy role with the Bears. A top 5 fantasy QB outlook for Fields is further confirmed by the addition of Moore.
-We should be looking forward to the Brandin Cooks experience in Dallas after he was traded to the Cowboys. He will slide in as a certain No. 2 WR for Dak Prescott. Cooks is a proven 1,000-yard WR who should be targeted as a quality WR3 option in seasonal drafts. It would not be surprising to see Cooks play at a fantasy WR2 level in 2023.
-Elijah Moore displayed some exciting promise as a rookie in 2021, and he has the look of a good upside play working with Deshaun Watson after he was traded to the Browns. You will be able to draft Moore as a WR4, and he might give you a nice fantasy return as a dazzling WR3 type in 2023.
-Jakobi Meyers signed a three-year deal with Las Vegas, where he further deepens the receiving crew. He should compete to be the No. 2 WR with the Raiders and he is a quality WR4 target in 2023 PPR leagues.
-Mecole Hardman was an intriguing pickup by the Jets, who are in the process of retooling their offense. He at least has some fantasy promise as an occasional big-play guy, with the possibility of becoming a more well-rounded playmaker with New York. He will be an interesting fantasy target as a wild-card WR4.
-The Carolina Panthers added both D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen to upgrade their WR corps. Chark was a 1,000-yard WR in 2019 and he can be a top target for a rookie QB in Carolina. He will be a potential value pick as a fantasy WR4/5. Thielen is a good real-life signing who will be a trusted pass-catcher for a young QB.
-JuJu Smith-Schuster moved from Kansas City to New England. The Patriots may be able to frequently utilize Smith-Schuster as a high-percentage chain-mover. He could prove to be a respectable fantasy WR4 type for PPR purposes with New England.
-Parris Campbell joined the Giants, where he does have some sleeper potential. He has the ability to function as a needed field stretcher for New York.
Tight Ends And Quarterbacks
-Darren Waller was traded to the New York Giants in what was one of the bigger fantasy football moves of the offseason. Waller appears to be ticketed for a heavily featured pass-catching role, and he is in a situation where he has a good chance to recapture top 5 fantasy tight end form. Acquiring Waller was an investment to further support Daniel Jones, who can look to the former Raider as a new and busy target.
-The Texans brought in former Cowboy Dalton Schultz as they upgraded their pass-catching corps for a possible rookie QB starter in 2023. Schultz was a dependable guy in Dallas and he can still be a top-10 fantasy TE with Houston.
-Mike Gesicki signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. He is a big and athletic target who has some sleeper potential with a team that may utilize him more frequently in 2023.
-Derek Carr signed a four-year contract with the Saints and Jimmy Garoppolo signed a three-year deal with the Raiders. Both will be viable targets in two-QB and superflex leagues, where a QB can be started as a second flex player. Garoppolo could be a value play, as he will have a good WR crew with Davante Adams, Meyers, and Hunter Renfrow.
-Sam Darnold signed a one-year contract with the 49ers. He might be able to position himself for some starts, and Darnold is worthy of a flier as a sleeper type in two-QB and superflex leagues.
-Gardner Minshew signed with the Colts and Baker Mayfield joined the Buccaneers. Both experienced passers may have a shot at starting jobs in 2023 and should be on the radar in two-QB and superflex leagues.
For more fantasy sports analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day during the fantasy football offseason.
NFL Draft expert Rob Rang identifies quarterback prospects the Seahawks could target in the 2023 NFL Draft. Read more here.