I expect Pete Carroll to be successful with the Seahawks…eventually. They just don’t have the pieces in place for it to happen right away.


Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:   Difficult
The Seahawks take on the Niners in San Francisco in Week 14. Then they play the Falcons at home. They have a nice match-up against Tampa Bay in Week 16, but it’s on the road. Plus, how many Seahawks are you going to rely on in the fantasy championship.


Five Star Fantasy Options


Four Star Fantasy Options
John Carlson – Somebody has to catch the ball. Carlson has been effective despite the Seahawks struggles, averaging 53 catches for 600 yards and 6 TDs the past two seasons.


Three Star Fantasy Options


Two Star Fantasy Options
Justin Forsett – For now, Forsett is probably the best option. If Leon Washington is healthy or Marshawn Lynch is acquired, you can all but write Forsett off. Until then, he’s the best option they have in the running game. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield. Very quick and elusive.


T.J. Houshmandzadeh – Housh had a choice between the Seahawks and the Vikings last year. I wonder if he’d still go for the money if he could do it over again. He has good hands and size so he’ll have some moments. He’s just not in a good situation. He is playing with either an old or an inexperienced QB. There isn’t much of a running game to keep defenses honest. There aren’t a lot of other receivers to keep defenses from keying in on him.


Golden Tate – As long as he isn’t too tempted by late night snack runs, Tate should have some moments along the way, but consistency will be an issue.


Seahawks Defense/Special Teams – If Washington returns to form, the Seahawks will have a strong return game. Their defense should improve with rookie Earl Thomas’ arrival.


One Star Fantasy Options
Matt Hasselbeck – He’s old. He can’t stay healthy. He has very few options in the passing game. If you’re taking Hasselbeck as your QB2, you may be drafting the name.


Charlie Whitehurst – He’s going to get his snaps so Carroll can see what he has. It’s hard to gauge a QB that has never taken a snap at this level. When you have a bad line, non-existent running game, and limited options at WR, you can’t get too excited over his prospects.


Julius Jones & Leon Washington – Jones bores me to tears while Washington must prove his back from a horrific leg injury. Jones will have a few solid games if he gets 15-20 carries, but they will be few and far between. Forsett’s skill set is similar to Washington, which could limit his fantasy impact.


Deon Butler – Butler has good speed, but will likely be fighting for crumbs after Carlson, Housh, and Tate have been fed.


Half Star Fantasy Options
Louis Rankin & Quinton Ganther – Since the Seahawks’ RB situation is so cloudy, this duo should at least be mentioned. They could get meaningful carries at some point of the season. That said, You surely don’t need to draft them unless they ascend up the depth charts (unlikely) during Training Camp.


Deion Branch – Branch has had too many injuries to be a factor any more.


Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.


For those of you doing your fantasy drafts in the upcoming days, you may want to lower T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Matt Hasselbeck, John Carlson, and Julius Jones a few notches down.  Their Offensive Line, already without All-Pro Left Tackle Walter Jones, suffered another blow when starting Center Chris Spencer in the Seahawks preseason win against Denver. 

John Carlson could lose the most value if he has to increase his blocking duties, thus limiting his targets.  Julius Jones already has limited value because of TD vulture T.J. Duckett.  With inferior blocking, he could have a hard time finding running lanes.  Matt Hasselbeck takes a step back as he likely won’t have as much time to run all of his reads.  Housh could go either way.  They could lean on him more since they won’t have as much time to work the outside.  On the flip side, he could also fall prey to the additional QB pressure Hasselbeck could face.  Don’t avoid these players all together, but if you have are debating between a Seahawk and another player on the same tier, you may want to go with the alternative.

NFL Week 2 Fantasy Fill-ins

12 September 2008

Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury or tough matchups. 

Jason Campbell
- OK so you have…errr…had Tom Brady.  Even if you were able to snatch Cassel off the waiver wire, I think Campbell makes a better play if he’s available.  He plays the Saints and anybody should be able to produce against them.  He’s playing at home and can’t afford to fall to 0-2. 
Stat Line:  24 of 36 for 321 yards and TD

Julius Jones - Let’s see.  Seattle’s Wide Receivers are dropping like flies.  His competition, Maurice Morris, is also out.  They are playing at home vs. San Francisco.  They need a win bad.  Their best offensive weapon is Julius Jones and they will feed him early and often.  He makes a better play than a Fred Taylor, Chris Perry, Selvin Young type.
Stat Line:  26 carries for 127 yards, TD, 3 catches for 14 yards

Pierre Thomas -  With Colston out the Saints are going to have to rely on the run a little bit more.  You don’t think Reggie Bush is going to get all of those carries, do ya?  Deuce probably isn’t going to get in the mix this week so the extra touches should go to Thomas.  He’s a good option if you have McGahee and need someone to plug in.  Alternatively you can use him in a flex spot in deep leagues.
Stat Line:  6 carries for 8 yards, TD, 2 catches for 29 yards

David Patten/Devery Henderson -  Here’s another pair of Saints that should get a bump with Colston out.  Patten should be the possession guy picking up key first downs and Henderson is the Home Run threat.  If you can get your hands on either of them, they are viable plays in big leagues.  I like Patten more than Henderson personally.
Stat Line:  5 catches for 55 yards/2 catches for 6 yards 

Antonio Bryant -  With Griese in at QB the Bucs are probably are better threat to go down field.  That should be good news for both Galloway and Antonio Bryant.  When Galloway receives the Lion’s Share of the attention, Bryant could slip by the D for a score.
Stat Line:  Nada

Dante Rosario - Steve Smith will be out again so that is a bonus for Rosario.  They play the Bears, who were very aggressive vs. Indy last week.  Dante could end up being very busy as the hot read.  If you have Dallas Clark on  your team, you might want to plug in a Dante Rosario.
Stat Line:  1 catch for 6 yards

Matt Prater
-  Denver’s Matt Prater was quite busy last week hitting a pair of FGs along with 5 PATs.  I’ll bet the farm that he won’t kick that many PATs this week vs. San Diego, but I could see another multiple FG game.  If you drafted Shaun Suisham or Shayne Graham and are mad because their Offenses sucked in Week 1, Prater could be an option.
Stat Line:  1 FG (52 yards), 4 PATs

- On my post I picked Houston, but obviously that won’t work. Seattle will do vs. San Fran. They should get to the QB and force some bad passes. 2 Picks and 4 Sacks aren’t out of the question.
Stat Line:  8 Sacks, Fumble Recovery

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs, Second Tier RBs, and Third Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  We’re getting into #2 RBs if you have stacked your team elsewhere and/or your bench RBs.

LenDale White - LenDale silenced his critics last year by running for 1110 yards and 7 TDs.  He had either a TD or 100 yards in six games during a seven-game stretch last year.  Then he ran for 81 yards combined the next three weeks before four straight weeks of 95+ yards or a TD.  That middle stretch is what keeps him out of the third tier.

Reggie Bush- I think the best thing that can happen for Reggie Bush and New Orleans is for Deuce McAllister to return healthy.  The 1-2 punch was ideal for Bush and the Saints.  Bush doesn’t have to pound it between the tackles so frequently.  He is free to be able to get to the outside as well as become a bigger factor in the passing game. 

Thomas Jones – The Jets made some nice moves in the offseason, mainly to improve their Offensive Line.  The acquisitions of Alan Faneca and Damien Woody (along with FB Tony Richardson) should open the running lanes for Jones.  He had a decent amount of yards last year (1119 rushing, 1336 total), but needs to score more than 2 TDs.

Michael Turner – I hesitate to put him in a higher bracket because he doesn’t have a track record to prove he can hold up to a full load.  He’s also going to a team that will likely be behind in most games, and may have to abandon the run.  It’s also unclear if he was a product of the system (San Diego) or if he can bring his explosiveness to Atlanta.  Oh, and he was mainly used after LT wore the defenses down.  How is he going to do against a fresh defensive unit?  These are the questions I have, and the reason he lands in the 4th tier.  That said, he is worth taking a chance on as your 3rd RB.

Earnest Graham – Tampa’s Earnest Graham falls into the category of RBs I don’t quite trust.  He was a great story last year running for 898 yards (1222 total) and 10 TDs.  I’m just afraid the fluke factor is high for him.  Not to mention the acquisition of Warrick Dunn could cut into his digits.  If Cadillac Williams makes a successful return, Tampa’s backfield is further muddied.

Julius Jones – The Seahawks parted ways with Shaun Alexander and have tabbed JJ as their replacement.  He has the ability, but hasn’t really been a force since his shortened rookie season in 2004.  Since then he hasn’t been much of a TD threat.  We’ll see how he’s used in Seattle, who also has Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett. 

Previous Previews

2004 NFL Draft Re-mix

19 June 2008
Here’s a look back at the 2004 NFL Draft to see who the teams would take if they could do it over knowing what they know today.  This was a lot of fun making.  I hope you enjoy it. 

#1 San Diego Chargers – Larry Fitzgerald
So you keep Drew Brees and add a two-time Pro Bowl WR.  There is no QB controversy and you add a WR with a pair of 100 catch, 1400 yard, 10 TD seasons.

#2 Oakland Raiders – Ben Roethlisberger
To say Robert Gallery has been a disappoinment is a major understatement.  If they could do it over again they would add Big Ben, who has the arm and th moxie to lead Oakland out of the doldrums.

#3 Arizona Cardinals – Jared Allen
The Cardinals can’t let a high-energy pass rushing phenom get away.  They grab the 2007 NFL Sack leader here.  He has 230 Tackles and 43 Sacks in four seasons. 

#4 New York Giants – Eli Manning
We’ll avoid all of the nonsense that went on with this draft day trade and simply keep Eli Manning in New York, where he led them to a Super Bowl last year.  He has 11.385 yards and 77 TDs in four seasons.

#5 Washington Redskins – Sean Taylor
You can’t predict the tragedy that took Sean Taylor’s life.  I won’t disparage his memory by replacing him.

#6 Cleveland Browns – Vince Wilfork
Perhaps nobody clogs up the middle quite as well as Wilfork (listed at 6’2″, 325 lbs).  He’s racked up 195 Tackles and 5.5 Sacks in his career.  The game is won in the trenches, and Wilfork provides an immediate upgrade.

#7 Detroit Lions – Will Smith
Instead of drafting another Wide Receiver the Lions go with the Fresh Prince instead.  In four years he has 220 Tackles and 33.5 Sacks.  He’s never had less than 7 Sacks in a year. 

#8 Atlanta Falcons – Philip Rivers
DeAngelo Hall has skills, but he was such a pain that they shipped him out of town.  With Michael Vick a few years away from the cooler, the Falcons would be wise to grab Philip Rivers, who’s been pretty solid for San Diego.  The 2006 Pro Bowler has 6540 yards and 43 TDs (to only 24 INTs) the past two years.  He has a 86.6 career passer rating and a 60.8% completion percentage.

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars – Roy Williams
The Jags brought in Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson this year so you know their situation needs addressing.  They turn to Roy Williams who has 244 catches for 3650 Yards and 28 TDs in four years.

#10 Houston Texans – Steven Jackson
Action Jackson could have possibly gone sooner, but when you can address QB and defensive line needs, you do so.  Jackson has 4249 Rushing Yards, 1586 Receiving Yards, and 36 TDS (30 Rushing) in four years.  He has three straight 1000 yard seasons despite being hampered with an injury last year.

#11 Pittsburgh Steelers – Willie Parker
I guess this time they’ll have to draft two-time Pro Bowler Fast Willie.  He’s had three straight 1200+ yard seasons.  For his career he has 4198 Yards and 19 TDs.   

#12 New York Jets – Bob Sanders
Jonathan Vilma was a pretty good selection for the Jets, but considering they already chose to go in a different direction, I’ll pick Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders to bring some toughness to the Jets D.  He’s not big, but he packs a punch.  He has fought through injuries to rack up 251 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, and 4 INTs.  He’s earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2005 & 2007.

#13 Buffalo Bills – Lee Evans
Although he’s inconsistent, can you imagine the Bills without him?  They would be even more hurting at WR.  He has 233 Receptions for 3727 Yards, and 29 TDs.  If only I can convince him that month is December.

#14 Chicago Bears – Tommie Harris
Chicago  sticks with their pick and takes two-time All-Pro (3 Pro Bowls) DT Tommie Harris.  When healthy he’s one of the best in the game.  He has 141 Tackles and 19.5 Sacks to date.

#15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jonathan Vilma
Putting Vilma alongside Derrick Brooks would be a lot of fun.  Vilma has 441 Tackles, including 173 in 2005 earning him a Pro Bowl nod, and 6 INTs. 

#16 Philadelphia Eagles – Shawn Andrews
Anytime you draft a quality Offensive Lineman, you hold on to him if at all possible.  The Eagles are following that mantra by sticking with All-Pro (2 Pro Bowls) G Shawn Andrews.  He’s too important to their offense to pass up.

#17 Denver Broncos – Shaun Phillips
Not that D.J. Willimas hasn’t worked out for the Broncos, but Shaun Phillips is a little more dynamic.  He has 195 Tackles, 31 Sacks, and 3 INTs.

#18 New Orleans Saints – Kellen Winslow
The Saints go with Pro Bowl TE Kellen Winslow for another weapon in their passing attack.  He has back-to-back 80 reception seasons, including leading all TEs with 89 in 2006, as well as averaged 990 receiving yards the past two seasons. 

#19 Miami Dolphins – Jason Peters
Miami grabs All-Pro Tackle Jason Peters to improve their offensive line. 

#20 Minnesota Vikings – Chris Cooley
Short of weapons in the passing game, Minnesota turns to All-Pro TE Chris Cooley.  He has three straight 700+ yard seasons and 231 catches for 2608 Yards and 27 TDs. 

#21 New England Patriots – DeAngelo Hall
Hall is very talented and a pain in the butt.  The Patriots have enough veterans to keep him in line.  Plus, when he’s winning, he won’t have as much reason to grumble.  The two-time Pro Bowler has 203 Tackles and 17 INTs already.

#22 Buffalo Bills – D.J. Williams
The Bills bolster their LB corps with D.J. Williams, who has 388 Tackles in four years.  He’s coming off a 141 Tackle season.

#23 Seattle Seahawks – Darnell Dockett
The Seahawks correct their mistake of drafting DT Marcus Tubbs by selecting Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett.  He has 180 Tackles and 15 Sacks.  He had 9 Sacks last year to earn the Pro Bowl nod.

#24 St. Louis Rams – Julius Jones
With Steven Jackson long off the board, the Rams turn to Julius Jones to compliment Marshall Faulk.  He had 800+ rushing yards in his first three years in the league, and a total of 3484 with 18 TDs.  He’s also added 672 receiving yards.

#25 Green Bay Packers – Nathan Vasher
Pro Bowl CB Vasher represents and upgrade over Ahmad Carroll for the Packers.   He has 130 Tackles and 17 INTs.

#26 Cincinnati Bengals – Gibril Wilson
The Bengals turn to Safety Gibril Wilson, who has 365 Tackles, 6 Sacks, and 11 INTs.  He’s has averaged over 100 Tackles the past three years.

#27 Houston Texans – Matt Schaub
The Texans grab Matt Schaub since he’s their starting QB now.  He passed for 2241 Yards and 9 TDs in his first year starting, but was derailed by injuries.  He did have a Passer Rating of 87.2 and a 66.4% completion rate.

#28 Carolina Panthers – Chris Gamble
The Panthers stick with their selection of CB Chris Gamble.  He has 264 Tackles and 17 INTs.

#29 Atlanta Falcons – Dunta Robinson
Since they didn’t get DeAngelo Hall, the Falcons instead turn to Dunta Robinson, who had 80+ Tackles his first three years in the league.  He has 294 Tackles and 11 INTs. 

#30 Detroit Lions – Jerricho Cotchery
It wouldn’t be the Lions if they didn’t take a WR in the first round.  Cotchery has back-to-back 82 reception seasons and 2091 Yards over that two year span.  Considering Roy Williams has 2146 Yards, this isn’t that big of a downgrade.

#31 San Francisco 49ers – Stuart Schweigert
The 49ers bolster their secondary by adding Safety Schweigert.  He has 316 Tackles and 4 INTs. 

#32 New England Patriots – Madieu Williams
The Patriots make a second quality addition to their secondary with Safety Madieu Williams.  He has 290 Tackles, 4 Sacks, and 9 INTs.

Previous Re-Mixes
1998 Re-mix
1999 Re-mix
2000 Re-mix
2001 Re-mix
2002 Re-mix
2003 Re-mix

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties