Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com has more than 20 years of experience in the Fantasy industry and is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame. This is his seventh season providing Fantasy Football coverage and advice on Seahawks.com.
One of the biggest Fantasy mistakes you can make is to draft players because they are on your favorite team. Those who play winning Fantasy Football will say that you should always draft the best players to fit your needs at any time no matter what team they are on. That being said, it certainly seems to be double the fun when you can cheer for two reasons on one play. When a Seahawk scores, and he helps your Fantasy squad while scoring for your favorite team, you may actually feel twice as happy. So while you should have not selected a Seahawk at any time in your 2018 draft just because he is a Seahawk, if you landed one or two, it undoubtedly makes for an enjoyable coincidence when he scores quality Fantasy points.
As we approach Week 1 of the new Fantasy season, there is no better way to celebrate a new campaign than by looking back at some of those Seahawks who have provided us and others with our biggest Fantasy thrills. Here are the 12 Greatest Seahawks Fantasy players of All Time. Players are ranked for both overall production and the eras in which they played, as the real Fantasy Football boom can be traced back to the mid to late 1990s. So while certain players would seem to have obvious statistics that should rank them higher overall, they may rank slightly lower if they played in a less popular era of Fantasy Football.
12. TE Jimmy Graham
He came to Seattle with a reputation for being one of the best tight ends in Fantasy Football, and in 2016 he admirably recovered quicker than expected from a significant knee injury to post a 65-923-6 receiving line. In his final season with the Seahawks, he re-emerged as a red zone force with 10 TD catches. Graham remained a Top 5 Fantasy TE selection during his three seasons with the Seahawks.
11. RB Curt Warner
The “Land Crab,” with his nifty, ankle-breaking cutback moves, was the first Seahawks running back to be recognized as a real Fantasy difference-maker in a time when the game was not as widely played as it would be in the next decade. Warner’s 1,449 rushing yards and 13 TDs in his rookie campaign of 1983 made him an instant Fantasy standout. In 1986, he actually topped that groundbreaking campaign with 1,481 rushing yards and 13 TDs again. He had four 1,000 yard seasons and five with at least eight rushing TDs between 1983 and 1988.
10. WR Steve Largent
The pre mid-1990s guys get ranked slightly lower on this list, because during the “pen and pad” eras, Fantasy Football was more of a cult game. But let’s not dismiss those types fully, because legend has it the game was actually created in the early 1960s. With eight 1,050-plus receiving yard seasons and eight seasons of eight-plus TDs, Largent made, of course, a very significant Fantasy impact from 1977 to 1987 for the hardcores who sang his praises in those days.
9. RB Chris Warren
Just as many more people were starting to discover Fantasy Football for the first time in the ‘90s, Warren made his mark as a Fantasy star. In 1994, the rise of Fantasy Football to a major national phenomenon was just taking shape, and Warren was a standout performer for two memorable seasons. He rushed for 1,545 yards and 9 TDs in ‘94, while adding 323 receiving yards and a pair of scores. He was a key performer on many Fantasy championship teams that year. In 1995 he delivered an incredible 15 touchdowns with 1,346 rushing yards. The rushing TDs were second-most in the NFL and Warren once again was a prominent standout on many title-winning Fantasy teams.
8. WR Joey Galloway
One of the most exciting players to ever wear a Seahawks uniform, Galloway’s electric deep gears and tremendous separation speed translated into high-upside Fantasy production in his first four pro seasons. He was especially productive for Fantasy purposes in ’97 and ’98, when he went over 1,040 yards in each campaign and totaled 22 TD receptions, with 12 of them in the first of those two seasons. They proved to ultimately be two of the best three Fantasy seasons of Galloway’s career. Let’s also not forget his 1,039-yard, seven TD 1995 debut, which was pretty impressive for a rookie.
7. RB Ricky Watters
He was one of the best-all-around Fantasy running backs of the 1990s. Watters had three very productive Fantasy seasons for the Seahawks from 1998 to 2000, rushing for 1,200-plus yards in three consecutive campaigns and catching 50-plus passes in two of them. He had nine total TDs in 1998 and 2000. Watters was one of the safest RB2 picks in Fantasy Football during his Seahawks tenure.
6. WR Darrell Jackson
Always reliable for his QBs, Jackson often proved to be a steady and sometimes outstanding Fantasy performer, mainly from 2001 to 2006. He first made a true Fantasy impact with a 70-1,081-8 line in 2001, and then had a fine year in standard formats with 1,137 yards and nine TDs in 2003. In 2004, he had his best all-around Fantasy season with an 87-1,199-7 campaign. Then for an encore, he caught a career-high 10 TD passes in 2006.
5. WR Doug Baldwin
Over the past three seasons, Baldwin has emerged as a must-start player in Fantasy Football, and has received consistent WR1 consideration. He has caught 29 TD passes during that span, with a career-high 14 in 2015. He has caught 75 or more passes in each of the past three years while never totaling less than 990 yards in any of those seasons. His 78-1,069-14 line in 2015 put him sixth on the NFL.com scoring ladder that year, ahead of stars such as A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas. He’s now considered to be a firm fixture in such company.
4. Seahawks Defense/Special Teams
This unit first reappeared in recent seasons among the best in the game with 177 Fantasy points on NFL.com in 2012, fourth on the site that year. It became a consistent top selection among all defenses from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, it was the second-best defense in Fantasy Football with 195 points on the strength of 44 sacks, 28 interceptions and 225 points allowed. What also makes this unit so memorable is in one Fantasy playoff week in 2012, in a 58-0 Week 14 win over Arizona on Dec. 9, the Seahawks delivered one of the greatest defensive performances in Fantasy history. With a Richard Sherman interception return and a Malcolm Smith fumble return for a touchdown, three sacks, four fumble recoveries, four interceptions, and 154 yards allowed, the Seahawks defense scored in the 40-point range on most Fantasy sites. But even a decade earlier, the Seahawks defense outdid the 2012 squad Fantasy wise, in a Week 13 42-0 win over Philadelphia that produced six Philadelphia turnovers, including three for scores. The unit scored in the 42 point range on most sites. Lofa Tatupu returned an INT 38 yards for a TD in that game. The Seahawks defense led the NFL with 50 sacks that season.
3. QB Russell Wilson
He has been a Top 8 Fantasy quarterback in five of his six pro campaigns and Top 5 in three of his past four seasons. He is coming off a 2017 season in which he was the best QB in Fantasy Football with 347.92 points, and it was the only time a Seahawks passer has ranked atop the position. His 34 TD passes were a career high, and he has thrown for 3,980-plus yards in each of the past three seasons while rushing for 480-plus yards in five seasons. He ran for 849 yards and six TDs in 2014. He was an instant hot waiver add during his rookie year and has ascended to being one of the Top 3 QBs in Fantasy Football as we enter the 2018 season.
2. RB Marshawn Lynch
A regular first round Fantasy pick from 2012 to 2015, Lynch was Top 2 in NFL.com Fantasy RB points in four consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2014 as a Seahawk. His output improved every season, from 200.70 points in ’11, 225.10 in ’12, 239.30 in ’13 and a career-best 258.20 in ’14. He never scored less than 11 rushing TDs during that span and added 37 receptions for four TDs in ‘14, giving him a total of a career-high 17 TDs that season. He rushed for 1,590 yards in his first full year as a Seahawk in ’12 and was good for 1,200 plus yards in every season from ’11 to ‘14.
1. RB Shaun Alexander
From 2001 to 2005, Alexander put together a half decade run that made him one of the top Fantasy players of the decade, and at his peak, a No. 1 overall selection. He was one of two Seahawks players to ever be considered in such rarefied Fantasy air, along with Lynch. Touchdowns are the lifeblood of Fantasy Football, and Alexander never delivered less than 16 total scores from ’01 to ’05. He totaled 20 or more in the final two campaigns of that span. Alexander rushed for 1,300-plus yards in four of those five years. His 1,880, 27 TD rushing line to go along with another bonus receiving score in 2005 is the greatest Fantasy season in Seahawks history. In his prime, Alexander was regarded as a Top 3 Fantasy selection along other superstar RBs such as LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson. He was the most productive player in Fantasy Football in two consecutive seasons, 2004 and 2005. His combined 231 yards and five TDs in Week 4 of 2002 vs. Minnesota still ranks as one of the greatest Fantasy RB performances of the modern era.
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The 12 All-Time Greatest Fantasy Seahawks
As the 2018 NFL season gets underway, Scott Engel at RotoExperts.com takes a look back and ranks the best fantasy football Seahawks players of all-time.