seahawks

Evan Silva’s Seahawks-centric 2020 fantasy football preview

seahawks

This week’s Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast featured a fun pivot to fantasy football with the great Evan Silva of Establish the Run as the guest. Silva looked at Seattle’s loaded crop of skill players and shared which ones you should look to draft this year.

Silva not only shared his ranking for each player, but he also explained who is ranked in the same region. You can listen to the full conversation below.

QB – Russell Wilson

Silva’s ranking: 5 (behind Deshaun Watson; ahead of Josh Allen and Kyler Murray)

Wilson is perennially one of the safest quarterbacks in fantasy. He offers a high floor with a ceiling that compares favorably to the top-ranked passers. He’s coming off of a career year in 2019 with 4,110 passing yards and 34 total touchdowns to just five interceptions. Wilson could be poised to top those numbers in 2020 if the Seahawks shift their offensive philosophy to a more aggressive approach early in games.

“He just doesn’t see the same pass volume that quarterbacks ranked in the same region as him do. But he still ranks in that region because of the way that he plays. He’s one of the most efficient quarterbacks of all-time. He can add scoring with his legs, which is really underrated. It raises your floor and your ceiling as a fantasy quarterback. Russell Wilson has played eight seasons. He’s been a top nine fantasy quarterback in seven of those eight. The only year he was not was when he played through that brutal ankle injury. Now he’s got probably the best 1-2 punch at wide receiver of his career. The Seahawks are loaded up on depth at tight end.”

 

RB – Chris Carson

Silva’s ranking: 16 (behind James Connor; ahead of Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon)

Carson’s fumble issue kept him from being an elite fantasy back in 2019, but he still posted fantastic numbers with 1,496 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns. His injured hip is back to full strength, and he’ll be good to go when the season begins on Sept. 13. However, there’s a more crowded backfield in Seattle this season that could keep Carson from maintaining his bell-cow role.

“Pete Carroll was telling us at every turn (last year) that Chris Carson was going to be he guy. A lot of people didn’t listen and got burnt badly by Rashaad Penny. Now Penny is going to open the season on PUP. You can argue that Carson has some durability issues, but it doesn’t seem the Seahawks are concerned about his current health situation. However, the Seahawks did bring in Carlos Hyde and DeeJay Dallas, which gives you some pause.”

WR – Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf

Silva’s ranking: Lockett 18 (behind Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown; ahead of Cooper Kupp) Metcalf 20 (behind Kupp; ahead of T.Y. Hilton, Robert Woods, D.J. Chark, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup and Keenan Allen)

Both Lockett and Metcalf benefit from Wilson’s willingness and ability to throw the ball down the field and into the end zone. Lockett gets a slight edge due to his added volume on the underneath stuff. However, Metcalf should see more red zone targets for a second-straight season. A stack of Wilson, Lockett and Metcalf could be a lot of fun in year-long fantasy.

“Our projections staff and I have discussed trying to move Metcalf up even further. We’re already ahead of ADP (average draft position) on both of them. I’ve been ranking Tyler Lockett way ahead of ADP. This will be the third-straight year. I have him as WR 18 where his ADP is WR 24. We’re right in line with ADP with Metcalf as WR 20. I want to get him ahead of ADP because of the possibility that the Seahawks might let Russ cook in Quarters 1-3 more often this year. Tyler Lockett, when he’s been healthy, he’s been a really dynamic player who plays a style in the scramble drill and with the off-script stuff where Russ is just looking for him. They’re so in-sync on the scramble drill. If you look at the production they’ve been able to put together the last two years, it’s really only behind Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams and Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in terms of quarterback-wide receiver combinations. I think that’s only grown by the year. I love being super high on Tyler Lockett.

“I think I’m going to move Metcalf ahead of Kupp so Lockett and Metcalf will be back-top-back.”

 

TE – Greg Olsen and Will Dissly

There’s a ton of depth at tight end this year, both on the Seahawks roster and in fantasy as a whole. That makes Olsen and Dissly relatively unowned fantasy assets. Silva said he’s drafted Olsen a few times but only in deeper leagues. Should either one get hurt, the other would potentially become an elite fantasy option.

“They are being drafted in like 20-round drafts, certainly Greg Olsen, and Will Dissly probably gets drafted in around 80% of drafts. Those are deep drafts, though. There are a lot of interesting late-round tight ends. Eric Ebron could score 10 touchdowns with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Blake Jarwin is an up-and-coming guy in Dallas, where, I think Dallas could lead the league in points. Dawson Knox is an interesting second-year player in Buffalo. Chris Herndon is my favorite late-round tight end this year. Mike Gesicki really, really came on in the second half of last season. There’s been a major influx of young talent at the tight end position throughout the league. When you look at the tight end rankings, that really shows up.”

Seahawks Defense

There aren’t many weekly must-start defenses in football. That’s why most fantasy owners stream defenses on a week-to-week basis. Seattle could certainly be a candidate to be in that rotation given the right matchup.

“I definitely like the back seven. The back seven might be a top five unit in the NFL. Quinton Dunbar was an absolute steal on the trade market. Quandre Diggs was another steal. I’ve been reading really positive things about Marquise Blair at slot corner, and then you’ve got Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and your first-round pick Jordyn Brooks as your linebackers. And obviously Shaquill Griffin. He’s a total stud. And they acquired Jamal Adams. They’ve got a lot of talent in their back seven. I look at their front four and wonder if they’re going to be able to manufacture pass rush out of those guys. They might have to blitz more. I know that’s not something they’ve historically done.

“If you look at teams that are built like this, sort of like the Ravens last year. The Ravens didn’t have an elite front, but they were really good in the back end, and they led the NFL in blitz rate. Having all that talent in the back end allowed them to be more aggressive up front. Blitzing hasn’t been a staple of the Seahawks in forever. Is that something they might do a little bit more of?”