Evaluating the New-Look Seahawks Offense
For instance, the "glory days" of Julius Jones? Long gone. Now, suddenly, it would appear that Seattle is an untouchable situation for fantasy rushing yards, what with Leon Washington, LenDale White, Jones (who will probably be traded or cut) and Justin Forsett all creating a very crowded backfield. Someone will likely emerge as a "leader" but probably not tot he point that they'll be considered anything more than a flex player in fantasy. Note too that Carroll probably won't be afraid to use all his guys in combination (see: Reggie Bush + LenDale at USC.)
The good news for the running back corps is that Russell Okung is the new road-grader in town, with the expected retirement of Walter Jones within the next week. And that would be good news for incumbent Matt Hasselbeck as well, except putting any sort of investment into the wonky-backed West Coast specialist is probably a poor idea.
'Beck is pr considered by a lot of people to be a "low-end QB2" at this point, but Carroll's actions over the past few weeks indicate that even if Hasselbeck starts the season, he might not finish it out. Trading a second-rounder for Charlie Whitehurst and making googly-eyes at Jimmy Clausen for most of the draft will do that to someone's stock.
The instability at quarterback should actually provide folks with some nice value at wide receiver coming out of Seattle: T.J. Houshmandzadeh can't be much worse than his 79 catch, 911-yard, three-TD season from last year ... okay, he wasn't much better than that in Cincy the season before that, but he's still a high-end WR3 or low-end WR2 for a dirt-cheap price.
Golden Tate -- as R.J. noted earlier today -- could be a fantastic rookie value regardless of who's throwing him the ball. He represents a much better downfield target than Housh (not to mention everyone else on that roster) and Carroll's already discussed the possibility/likelihood of Tate playing some Wildcat throughout the season. He's not an immediately startable WR, but it seems like he might be an early target for a bench spot, hoping that he can turn into an every-week WR3.
John Carlson's also a little tricky, in that he was a relative disappointment last year, posting only 574 yards in 16 games, albeit with seven touchdowns. A quick glance at Carroll's TE usage at USC would lend one to think that Carlson might need to be downgraded even more -- Anthony McCoy totaled just two touchdowns in the past two years.
However, three years ago, when USC lacked strong quarterback play (John David Booty was under center) and any prominent wideouts (having just lost Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett), Fred Davis blew up for 881 yards and eight touchdowns. Given the nature of the Seahawks roster (read: similar to USC's that season), it's not out of line to think that Carlson could provide tremendous value in 2010.
All of this is to say that, if we were banging out a pre-season preview and prepping you for your draft right now, you'd be wise to avoid using anything other than later-round, speculative picks on anyone from Seattle's roster.