The Seahawks continue their quest for a third consecutive NFC championship in Week 17 in a marquee matchup with the division leader Cardinals in Arizona. While the Seahawks look to finalize their playoff seeding, many Fantasy owners of their top players will continue to celebrate league championships that were won in Week 16. Some others may need their best Seahawks to produce well for one more week if their league Super Bowls take place in Week 17.
For the greater percentage of seasonal Fantasy owners, though, it's now time to reflect on the season that was and start looking ahead to 2016. Seahawks fans who now have finished their campaigns can fully focus all of their passions and attention on another hoped run to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive season.
Russell Wilson was once again a key to many Fantasy championship seasons, as he placed third among all quarterbacks in total points with 315.18 points. He also finished third among Fantasy QBs on the site last year. His historic run of five games with 19 total TD passes with no interceptions from Weeks 11 to 15 led to 153.05 Fantasy points during the span and shot him back into the top scorers at his position again. After 16 weeks, he had outscored big-name producers such as Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees and was also ahead of a resurgent Carson Palmer.
Wilson emerged as an even more productive pure passer this year, and combined with his proven running skills, he has become the prototypical "hybrid" Fantasy passer in the game. He is a must-start option for those still playing in Week 17, as he may have to trade offensive punches with Palmer. Next season, he will be drafted among the Top 5 Fantasy QBs in many leagues. He also merits very strong keeper league consideration depending on the makeup of your roster. If you keep three players, and already have a top RB and WR to consider, for example, Wilson should very likely be your other hold-over player, as you will have strong "anchor" players at each key position. Wilson will also be widely owned in the NFL.com Playoff Challenge, as his production will be a big key to the Seahawks advancing from the Wild Card round to a hoped third straight NFC title game appearance.
In the best season of his career so far, Wilson's go-to guy, Doug Baldwin, exploded to finish as the seventh most productive Fantasy WR on NFL.com, with 186.30 Fantasy points. From Weeks 12 through 16, the most important stretch of the Fantasy schedule that includes the playoffs in most leagues, Baldwin caught an incredible 11 TD passes as he totaled 114.04 standard Fantasy points on NFL.com. That later-season run made him one of the most outstanding Fantasy waiver adds of 2015, and put him ahead of perennial top-level stars such as A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas on the NFL.com WR scoring ladder.
Baldwin caught seven passes for 134 yards and a TD in the first meeting with Arizona this season, so he is a must-start again this week for those still playing in Week 17. Now that he is part of a star-studded group of scorers at his position and is drawing comparisons to longtime Panthers and Ravens superstar Steve Smith, Baldwin figures to be drafted as a WR2 in many 2016 Fantasy leagues as owners hope he builds on his fantastic late flourish in 2016. He now will be seriously thought of as a very viable keeper prospect as well for the first time in his career. Baldwin will also be on many NFL.com Playoff Challenge rosters for the same reasons as Wilson, as many participants may look to roll out both as a duo.
Rookie Tyler Lockett caught two TD passes in Week 11, and had 104 receiving yards in Week 14 as he flashed the playmaking potential that will mark him as a very strong WR4 Fantasy draft candidate in 2016. Lockett may be hailed as one of the prime Fantasy WR breakout candidates for next season by a lot of analysts. Savvy Seahawks fans know that prime Fantasy time is coming for Jermaine Kearse in the NFL postseason. Lock Kearse in when the stakes are the highest, as he has four TD receptions in the past two seasons in the playoffs. He's a terrific option for the NFL.com Playoff Challenge.
Seahawks fans who participate in the NFL.com Playoff Challenge will also be looking forward to utilizing Marshawn Lynch, as he is regarded as the premier postseason RB in the game. He has four 100-yard games and six rushing TDs in the past two postseasons.
Jimmy Graham will also be in his second season as a Seahawk in 2016, and after getting acclimated to his new surroundings this past year, he could be a nice value selection next summer. Fantasy owners looking to make a nifty move that could pay off should take the shot on Graham when some others pass.
Rookie Thomas Rawls will be the most intriguing Fantasy option among the Seahawks' notable offensive players for 2016. Rawls burst onto the Fantasy scene with 22.90 standard Fantasy points on NFL.com in Week 5, then exploded for 37.50 in a history-making outing in Week 11. He totaled 30.40 points in Weeks 12 and 13, and had the look of a Fantasy RB1. If his projected role becomes a larger one by next summer, he could be considered an early-round pick.
With 123.00 Fantasy points, Steven Hauschka remained comfortably within the Top 10 NFL.com kickers for 2015. The Seahawks defense, drafted first in most Fantasy leagues this year, placed fifth on NFL.com after 16 weeks with 145.00 points. With the core group returning next season, expect them to be drafted among the elite units again, especially with Bobby Wagner and the front seven corralling the run and the secondary being formidable as always.
You can watch Scott Engel regularly on the Fantasy Sports Network (FNTSY), the first ever TV channel dedicated to Fantasy Sports, now available on AppleTV, Xbox One and Xbox 360.