As the Seahawks move onto the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, most of their fans who play Fantasy Football have completed their 2016 campaigns. The majority of leagues end in Week 16, and hopefully you are still celebrating a Fantasy title as you read this. If your league is still ongoing in Week 17, you may want to consider revising your format. At least four teams who have clinched playoff spots and cannot significantly improve their seedings will rest key starters. When you have a Week 17 Fantasy Super Bowl, you may not get to use some of your top players for such reasons, and several other injured starters may sit out this week, too. A legitimate champion is often not determined with the uncertainties of the final week affecting it.
Your Fantasy season can extend if you register for the NFL.com Playoff Challenge, and Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and Thomas Rawls will all be prime picks. Jermaine Kearse is a notable sleeper because of his past postseason heroics. Otherwise, in most seasonal leagues, the thoughts now to turn on who to retain in keeper and dynasty formats, and early speculation on 2017 drafts.
Baldwin broke out as a Fantasy star in 2015, and this year, he proved his fine statistical performance was no illusion, as he finished 2016 as the eighth-highest scoring wide receiver on NFL.com with 156.20 points. He outscored the likes of Amari Cooper, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant. Now firmly established as a major weapon from the slot and a favorite target of Wilson's since his pro career started, Baldwin will be regarded as a very safe WR2 pick in 2017 drafts. His crisp route running, ability to make tough possession grabs or get loose downfield comprise a terrific all-around game. His tenacity, work ethic and toughness further boost his on-field production. If you are still playing in Week 17, he is a must-start against a very vulnerable 49ers secondary. He is also a solid keeper selection if your league allows three or more holdovers.
In his second season, Tyler Lockett came on strong late in the year, flashing the form that made him a Fantasy preseason darling. He scored over 19 Fantasy points twice in his final four games of the year. Lockett showed off his versatility with a 75-yard TD run against the Panthers. A healthy Lockett will offer a lot of big-play Fantasy upside for 2017. He should be drafted as a promising WR4. The expectation is that Lockett will be ready for training camp, so if another owner fails to retain him in your keeper league, he could be a value target in your 2017 draft.
Jimmy Graham delivered a terrific comeback season, regaining his rightful place among the best Fantasy points per game. He finished fourth overall at the position with 117.90 points, and he was especially valuable in Seahawks home games, as he caught all five of his TD passes at CenturyLink Field. We may not have not yet seen the best of Graham as a Seahawk. Next year he will be coming off a healthy offseason and will have an even more comfortable place in the offense. He should be picked as one of the Top 5 TEs off the board. Graham can be consisered as a keeper in leagues where you retain four or more players. He is a must-start if you are still playing Fantasy Football in Week 17.
Wilson was coming off a pair of Top 3 Fantasy finishes at the QB position entering this season, and had never placed below ninth (during his rookie season of 2012). This year, he finished 12th, still officially marking him as a QB1 for 12-team leagues. Wilson threw for seven TDs in Weeks 15 and 16, the most important ones of the Fantasy playoff schedule and the season overall. With his strong late push and history as a top Fantasy starter, he should be a value pick in 2017. Many Fantasy analysts preach to wait on QBs, and if you can grab Wilson later than the seventh round, you could be getting a steal. He is also a very good Week 17 starter who should throw at least two TD passes, and a great keeper league draft pick if another owner tosses him back into the player pool. Someone else's mistake could be your bonus if you grab Wilson in a keeper draft after you have filled out your starting RBs and WRs first.
Thomas Rawls is expected to play in Week 17 and should be a prime option against the league's worst run defense. Looking ahead now, he'll be a viable pick as a RB4 in Fantasy next year because of the heroics we have seen from him in the past and the potential to at least be productive as a RB1 or in a time share for the Seahawks. Fantasy leaguers will be very enticed by the upside of C.J. Prosise, who showed us tremendous glimpses of his Fantasy promise in 2016. A versatile playmaker who cab score from anywhere on the field, scored 29.40 standard Fantasy points on NFL.com in Weeks 10 and 11. He will be a very exciting RB3 pick in PPR formats next year and should be held as a fourth keeper if you can.
The 2016 Fantasy Football season may be over for you, but the work is just beginning for your 2017 leagues. Watch the playoffs, and monitor who may step up best in key situations and challenging matchups. In the most intense games of the year, the standout performers can confirm or point to future stardom in the Fantasy game.
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