The best part about the NFL preseason, in my opinion, is that it means the return of fantasy football – in particular, the return of fantasy drafts. There's nothing more satisfying than feeling like you've built the perfect roster and then spending the ensuing days admiring the list of names you've put together.
Because in that moment, you're invincible. Your entire team is healthy and poised for a monster season (that is of course unless you're spending anxious moments hoping Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott show up for Week 1).
I've won several fantasy leagues over the years – sick brag, I know – but even coming out on top in the championship game doesn't compare to the excitement of the draft. Because if you're doing it right, the draft is done in person with all of your friends or coworkers. There's constant banter and trash talk towards those who make a bad pick, or, worse, try to take a player who'd been selected three rounds prior. There's the relief of landing a player where you sweated it out, hoping he'd fall back to you or the gratification of hearing someone else bemoan the fact that you just stole their guy – those are the emotions that make fantasy drafts so enjoyable.
If you share any of these sentiments, then you're probably also someone who enjoys studying up before draft day. Allow this article to assist you in your preparations. Below is a comprehensive overview of which Seahawks players you should target and who you should avoid.
Here's the snapshot.
Who I'm targeting (in order of priority)
RB Chris Carson
WR DK Metcalf
Who I'm avoiding (in no particular order)
WR David Moore
Any Seahawks tight end
Now let's dive into my thought process on each. I'll compare my opinions to each player's Rotoworld ranking to help give you some perspective. (Note: I'm going to use Rotoworld's PPR rankings because most leagues nowadays are at least .5 point per reception.)
Who I'm targeting
Chris Carson – Rotoworld RB ranking: 23
Early rounds are all about avoiding risk, and I don't think you're going to find many safer running backs than Carson. He's the clear No. 1 running back in Seattle, and I think it will be less of a timeshare with Penny than Pete Carroll might suggest. Carson quietly had the fifth-most rushing yards in 2018 (1,151), and I think 1,200 yards and double-digit rushing touchdowns are reasonable expectations. The plan to double Carson's targets in the passing game only raises his already high floor.
I think Rotoworld is a little too low on Carson. I prefer Carson to Phillip Lindsay (22), Derrick Henry (16), Leonard Fournette (13) and Melvin Gordon (12). I'd also pass on Le'Veon Bell (6) and Todd Gurley (8) in favor of a wide receiver in Round 1 and then scoop up Carson in the third or even fourth round if you're lucky.
Tyler Lockett – Rotoworld WR ranking: 21
I'm buying into the narrative that Lockett is poised for a monster year following Doug Baldwin's retirement. The Seahawks will remain a run-first team, but Wilson's pass attempts have to go to somebody, and Lockett is the only proven receiver on the roster. He put up a line of 57-965-10 in 2018 with Baldwin still on the roster. Lockett's chemistry with Wilson is also notable, given that Wilson had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating when targeting Lockett last year. That's unheard of.
Lockett had three catches for 27 yards on four targets in just two drives last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He should easily surpass the 70 targets he saw last season. He's already shown to be one of the most efficient players in fantasy, and now he'll have the volume, too.
So, yeah, I'm in on Lockett, especially given his price tag. I'd take him above D.J. Moore (20) and could make a case for him to be taken above Kenny Golladay (18) and Robert Woods (17). He's also worth snagging ahead of Cooper Kupp (22), A.J. Green (23), Jarvis Landry (24) and Robby Anderson (25). It's very possible this is the last time you'll be able to draft Lockett without the price tag of a WR1.
DK Metcalf – Rotoworld WR ranking: 53
Metcalf getting knee surgery isn't ideal, but I'm still taking a flier on the rookie wideout. My belief is that the Seahawks expect Metcalf to be great, and they expect him to be great immediately. Wilson hasn't been shy about throwing to Metcalf in practice, and the rookie should be one of the Seahawks top red zone targets. A receiver other than Lockett will get targets this season, and I'd rather put my money on Metcalf than Moore or Jaron Brown.
He has a low floor, but he's also a worthwhile lottery ticket given his skill set and price tag. Selecting Metcalf really comes down to your approach to risk. You can find safer plays at that price point, but probably not many who share as high of a ceiling so late in the draft. I'd take him ahead of Michael Gallup (52), Golden Tate (50), Kenny Stills (48) and DeSean Jackson (45).
Russell Wilson – Rotoworld QB ranking: 8
OK so hear me out, I'd love to have Wilson on my roster. But I'm also not going out of my way to make sure I draft him, either. There are simply too many quarterbacks poised for big seasons. Wilson will never have the passing volume of other QBs, and while his rushing numbers help offset that concern, he's a little too touchdown dependent for my taste. Wilson threw a touchdown every 12.2 pass attempts in 2018, which is why some regression seems inevitable.
What makes Wilson so great is that he's steady and has a high floor. If he's on the board, and there's nobody else there you're dying to select, go ahead and grab him. I'll probably opt to wait for guys like Kyler Murray (10), Carson Wentz (11), Jameis Winston (12), Lamar Jackson (16) and a number of other players ranked behind Wilson. The position is so deep this year that I think you could stream QBs from week to week and have success.
Who I'm avoiding
Rashaad Penny – Rotoworld RB ranking: 36
Over the course of August, I've become more and more averse to drafting Penny. I believe Carson will be more of a workhorse than the head of a committee. Penny will enter the season as a boom or bust flex play, and it's probably going to take an injury to Carson for Penny to enter the RB2 conversation.
He's going to have a role. Penny may even see 8-12 touches a game. But for me, he's a handcuff option to Carson at this point. I'd much rather pay up for Miles Sanders (29) or Tevin Coleman (31). Waiting on Peyton Barber (41), Kalen Ballage (46) or Duke Johnson (49) would also be a better move in my opinion.
David Moore – Rotoworld WR ranking: Not ranked
I'm not rostering Moore in any league, even if Metcalf misses a few games to open the year. Moore showed he's a capable NFL receiver as a rookie in 2018, but I don't see him getting the volume to make him relevant in fantasy. From Weeks 13-17, Moore caught just four passes and never eclipsed 16 yards in a game. He doesn't have the physical tools nor the ceiling like Metcalf to take a flier on. There are too many options out there with more upside.
Seahawks DST – Rotoworld ranking: 20
I'm a believer in streaming defenses and gone are the days where Seattle's group is a must-start every week. Use your last two picks to take a defense and a kicker, and spend the rest of the draft building depth throughout your roster. That said, if the Seahawks are still on the board in the final two rounds, scoop them up and take advantage of a tasty Week 1 home matchup against the A.J. Green-less Cincinnati Bengals.
Any Seahawks tight end
I like Will Dissly, and I even think Jacob Hollister has a chance to contribute, but I don't see either guy (or Nick Vannett for that matter) seeing nearly enough volume to spend a draft pick on. Put Dissly on your watch list following the draft, and keep tabs on him just in case he recreates his early-season magic from a year ago.
Fantasy Focused: Which Seahawks should you own in 2019? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest