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
None

 

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
None

 

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.

Seahawks Houshmandzadeh Football

Housh has a new home in Seattle.  He downgraded in QB from Carson Palmer to Matt Hasselbeck, but he’s still in a pretty good situation.  Hasselbeck has never had a reliable receiver like Housh so expect him to be targeted early and often.  Housh isn’t going to burn you deep, but he knows how to get open and pick up yards at around 11 yards per catch.  He will pick up a ton of first downs.  The key is whether or not he’ll be able to get in the end zone.  Housh had four TDs last year after averaging 9.3 he previous three years.  Of course Carson Palmer missed the bulk of last season so it’s not surprising he took a hit in that department.  Seattle had a miserable year as well, but in 2007 Hasselbeck threw for nearly 4000 yards and 28 TDs.  If he can stay healthy, there will be TDs to be had.
 
Housh is a decent WR2 in standard leagues, and an excellent WR2 in PPR leagues.  Housh is going in the late third/early fourth round in fantasy drafts.  He isn’t really a risky play because he showed last year he can still perform with marginal QB play.  Though Hasselbeck is a bigger injury risk than Palmer, I think Seneca Wallace is a more adequate backup than he worked with last year.  I expect another 90 reception season with 1000 yards and 6 TDs.

Carson Palmer throwing
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Carson Palmer is one of the more difficult players to predict this year.  He is coming of an elbow injury, his top WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh split for the riches in Seattle, and his obnoxious former top WR Chad Ochocinco basically admitted he phoned in the 2008 season.  However, when he’s healthy Palmer has as much talent as any QB in the league, Laveranues Coles should fill Housh’s void, Chris Henry should play a
full season, and if Ochocinco commits himself he can become a dynamic WR again.

He has a decent schedule with two games against the Browns, the Broncos, the Lions, and the Chiefs.  His fantasy playoff schedule works out so he doesn’t have to face either the Ravens or the Steelers.  He goes up against Minnesota, San Diego, and Kansas City, which doesn’t seem too bad.

Palmer averaged around 4000 yards and 28 TDs from 2005-2007 and has a career completion percentage of 63.7%.  The Bengals drafted TE Chase Coffman, who should help the passing game, and Andre Smith, who should bolster the line.  The talent is there.  It all hinges on #85 whether or not he’s going to be elite again.  I’m figuring him to be a top ten QB that finishes with 3800 yards and 25 TDs, which should be an excellent value in the 6th-8th round.

It didn’t take long for the Cincinnati Bengals to replace their classy possession receiver with another classy possession receiver.  The similarities don’t stop there.  They are just three months apart in age and have both made one Pro Bowl.  Plus, both Cincinnati and Seattle have used the nickname Queen City.

The Bengals signed Coles to a four-year, $28 million deal.  Houshmandzadeh’s deal with the Seahawks was five years at $40 million.  Coles hasn’t been as productive in recent years, but is consistent with 5-7 TDs in seven of his last eight seasons.  He doesn’t attract as much attention as Houshmandzadeh, which could play well with Chad Ocho Cinco. 

Coles is the second key Offensive players signed in the past two days.  Yesterday the Bengals signed Running Back Cedric Benson.  The combined contracts of Benson and Coles is $5 million less than the one inked by Housh.

Housh Your Seahawk

2 March 2009

The Seattle Seahawks won the T.J. Houshmandzadeh sweepstakes, signing the talented WR to a five-year deal worth $40 million, $15 million of which is guaranteed.  He also had offers to remain in Cincinnati and to join the Minnesota Vikings.

Housh has 507 career receptions for 5782 yards and 37 TDs.  He has averaged 1012 yards the past five years and has 294 receptions (94.7 average) in the last three.  He was the top free agent on the market and returns to the Northwest, where he attended Oregon State.  Housh will turn 32 in September.

He give Matt Hasselbeck a consistent target joining Deion Branch and Tight End John Carlson.  Housh’s fantasy value takes a hit.  Hasselbeck is no Carson Palmer.

In other news, Nate Washington signed with Tennessee.  He gives them another weapon joining Justin Gage and Tight End Bo Scaife.  They are primarily a running team, but the move helps bring them balance on Offense.  Washington’s fantasy value increase slightly.

J.D., a young Bleacher Report writer and creator of The Sports Report with J.D., contacted me to see if I wanted to post some of his articles on the site.  Always looking to encourage an aspiring writer, I agreed.   J.D. takes a look at where some of the biggest Free Agents will land.

Big NFL News: Featuring T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Could Ray Lewis Land In Denver?)
By Josh Dhani

Chris Canty
Have you heard of the Canty sweepstakes? A Lot of teams are betting on it, especially the Redskins. Well guess what Redskins fans? You aren’t going to get him.  After signing Albert Haynesworth to a massive $100 million deal, the Redskins have dropped out.

Why would they? Why not? These questions need to be answered.

First, you should get Canty. You want to know why? The Redskins’ pass rush would be much better! Then you’ve got Haynesworth and Canty sacking McNabb, Tony Romo, and Eli Manning left and right in their NFC East rivalry games.

Why not? The Redskins have already invested heavily in Haynesworth, DeAngelo Hal, and Derrick Dockery. So that is why the Redskins dropped out. Besides, a lot of other teams are betting on Canty, like the Titans, Seahawks, and the 49ers.

T.J. Houshmanzadeh
Hey Vikings fans! Are you ready to start drooling? I hope. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is deeply interested in the Vikings. This could help out big time.

What if the Vikes got T.J.? It would give T-Jack and/or newly acquired Sage  Rsenfels another target. Last year, Tarvaris Jackson only had three targets, Tight End Visanthe Sianco, possession receiver Bobby Wade and the speedy Bernard Berrian.

Are there other teams interested in T.J.? Of course. Don’t forget the Colts, Giants, Buccaneers, Eagles, Seahawks, and Titans. I just hope he lands with the Vikings, because he is needed there.

Derrick Ward
It looks to me that Ward has found some interest in some teams. Or is it the other way around?

According to Pro Football Talk, Ward could land deals in a very nice place to improve the team’s running game.

The Bengals, Lions, Broncos, Rams, and Buccaneers have expressed interest. The Bengals could use him because they have nothing really special. The Lions could use him to help out Kevin Smith in the backfield. The Broncos could use him to have another team of Earth, Wind, and Fire. The Rams could use him to help out Stephen Jackson and Travis Minor. The Buccaneers could use him to help out Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham. You have all of that?

Antonio Smith
Smith looks to make a decision soon. He is acting like he is ranking teams like in college football, making a list of all teams interested in him.

The teams are the Falcons, Texans, Giants, Eagles, and Buccaneers. The Falcons, Texans, Giants, and Eagles. They can use him to help out their pass rush, while the Buccaneers could use him now that Derrick Brooks is gone.

Antonio, you could be good with these teams. Sorry about your Super Bowl loss. I wanted those Cards to win. At least I put a picture of you doing the “safety” sign. Now how’s that?

Nate Washington
Now don’t get him confused with the 5′9″ Slam Dunk contest winner, Nate Robinson, who dunked over Dwight Howard. This here, my friends, is Super Bowl champion wide receiver Nate Washington.

The Vikings are interested in Washington because he is an alternative if they don’t T.J. Houshmandzadeh.The Titans could use him because their only good receivers are Justin Gage, Brandon Jones, and Tight End Bo Scaife. The Bucs could use him, because they have already released Warrick Dunn and Joey Galloway.

But guess who wants Washington the most? The Lions. The Lions lost Mike Furrey, and last year they traded Roy Williams. Nate can help out Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald to be a pretty good replacement for Furrey and Williams.

Now here is the biggest story: Will Ray Lewis stay with the Ravens or go with the Broncos?

I don’t know if the Ravens will retain Lewis, but there are a lot of teams expressing huge interest in arguably the best linebacker ever. He could sign with the Jets. Why? Because then you have Ray Lewis reuniting with Bart Scott and defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan. And best of all, it’s a 3-4 system.

How about those Dallas Cowboys? Of course they will try to get him. They are trying to get Michael Vick for Pete’s sake! He could help out the team with his pass rush and his ability to tackle you to the ground. The Cowboys also have a 3-4 system.

But the Cowboys can’t compete like the Broncos. They have been looking for a defensive guy. With newly added coach Josh McDaniels, who may be switching to a 3-4, Ray could help out Elvis Dumervil, Jarvis Moss, and the great linebackers that make up the Denver Broncos’ linebacking core. And don’t forget Champ Bailey and Dre Bly in the secondary.

Well, thank you for reading. Stay tuned where these guys land.

The Benglas are such a mess.  That’s what I said when I previewed them before last season, and nothing has changed.  Strike that, they are even more of a mess.  At least you figured they’d be fine on Offense last year.  Now they have a QB (Carson Palmer) coming off an injury, their rushing attack is a mess, and their WRs still don’t want to play for them.  Cedric Benson looked great down the stretch, but he’s an unrestricted free agent.  I’m not convinced he’s an RB you can depend on for a full season, especially in a losing environment.  Chris Perry is also a free agent, and he’s never really lived up to the hype.  I see little chance Houshmandzadeh sticks around.  Chad Ocho Cinco has been quiet (nice, huh?), but you know it’s only a mtatter of time before he gets his name in the papers.  Chris Henry has to avoid getting arrested in the offseason or he’ll sit out a whole year.  In case you’ve been under a rock, the Bungles are back.

John Thornton and Kyries Hebert are the biggest FA’s on D. 

The plan for the Bengals will be to figure out who’s running the ball and who’s catching the ball next year.  Good luck with that.

**UPDATE:  FB Daniel Coats re-signed.**
**UPDATE:  Shayne Graham was franchised**

KFFL Free Agent Tracker:

Pos Player Name FA Status Previous Team Current Team
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Cedric Benson UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB DeDe Dorsey RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Chris Perry RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
RB Quincy Wilson UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
FB Daniel Coats ERFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
PK Shayne Graham UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
DL John Thornton UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
DL Jimmy Verdon RFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
CB Brandon Williams UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
SS Kyries Hebert UFA Cincinnati Bengals Free Agent
SS Ethan Kilmer Signed Cincinnati Bengals Miami Dolphins

 

The Benglas are such a mess.  Chad Ocho Cinco wants to get paid and then he gets hurt.  Carson Palmer gets his nose broken for him.  Rudi Johnson can’t play and expects to be traded.  Housh has been slowed by a hamstring injury.  Marvin Lewis, a great defensive mind, can’t field a strong defensive unit.  He tried to rid the team of Chris Henry and his distractions, but was forced to welcome him back.  What a mess.

Offensively, if they can put together a healthy unit, they should be fine.  Carson Palmer is still a Top Ten QB in this league.  He’s big and strong and can make all of the throws.  They have a trio of capable backs in Chris Perry, Rudi Johnson, and Kenny Watson.  If Chad Johnson can deal with his partially torn labrum, he’s still one of the top receivers in the game.  T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a big-play threat and a TD machine. Chris Henry is a very talented receiver, but is far too often finding himself on the wrong side of the law.

Defensively, they are a mess.  They will miss Justin Smith and Madieu Williams, who have moved on to the 49ers and Vikings respectively.  Sure, Rookie LB Keith Rivers should help matters, but he can only do so much.  Landon Johnson and Dhani Jones will help at Linebacker.  Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph give them a pair of young, talented Cornerbacks.  Deltha O’Neal and Dexter Jackson provide some experience and leadership.  They just aren’t equipped to put pressure on the Quarterback, which makes life hard for everybody. 

So where do I see the Bengals finishing?  In a battle with Baltimore to avoid the basement of the AFC North.  Six maybe seven Wins.   Marvin Lewis will be shown the door after the season.  The roster blown up.  Yeah, it’s not going to be pretty.

Fantasy-wise the Bengals still have the goods.  Carson Palmer is a top-end starting QB.  Chad Ocho Cinco and Housh are top-end WRs.  Chris Henry will likely be a solid #3 or #4 WR when all is said and done (assuming he doesn’t get arrested).  Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry, and Kenny Watson are all capable of getting it done.  It’s just a matter of who will get the touches.  Ben Utecht is a sleeper candidate at Tight End.  Shayne Graham should be a solid Kicker.  I wouldn’t touch that Defense.

It’s time to take a look around the league and see what’s happening on the injury front.

Tom Brady – Yikes.  At least it’s not the same one that cost New England their Perfect Season.  It did cost him to miss a Preseason game.  Naturally, you’re not going to get much info for the Pats, but I think he’ll be fine.

Ronnie Brown - Now’s he’s dealing with a sprained thumb.  Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come for Ronnie.

Plaxico Burress - Don’t be alarmed when you see Plax missed tonight’s game.  He proved himself last year.

Glenn Dorsey - Kansas City’s prized rookie made his debut after being shelved with a sprained knee.

Marvin Harrison – Marvelous Marvin caught a pair of passes vs. Atlanta.  I don’t think he’ll have much of an issue getting on page with Manning when he returns.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh - A sore hamstring kept Housh out of a second preseason game.

Tarvaris Jackson – The Vikes QB lands on the Injury Report with a sprained MCL suffered in their game against Baltimore over the weekend.  He’ll miss the all-important third preseason game vs. Pittsburgh (where the starters typically play into the 3rd quarter), but should be able to go in a tune-up game against Dallas.  Ultimately they may decide to hold him out until the Season Opener.  Unless you’re in a DEEP league or a two-QB league, you won’t be using T-Jack Week 1 anyway, but he could start off a little rusty against a tough Packer D.

Chad Johnson – Ocho Cinco hurt his shoulder while attempting to make a catch vs. Detroit.  Ocho will likely take the next week off.  There’s no need to risk further injury in a meaningless game.

Larry Johnson - LJ got some more work in rushing for 61 yards on 14 carries.  That has to be a little relief for LJ owners (myself included). 

Rudi Johnson – This is a who’s who of Bengal players.  Rudi missed a second game as well with hamstring concerns.  My guess is the Bengals are being cautious so their season doesn’t unravel before it starts.

Peyton Manning - Manning is a couple of weeks away from returning to practice.  He’s never missed a start so I wouldn’t be too worried if I were a Manning owner.

Deuce McAllister – Deuce made his return Saturday vs. Houston.  He carried the ball 4 times for 16 yards and caught a pair of passes for another ten.  It was good sign for the Saints.

Hines Ward – He hurt his ankle against the Bills last week.  He’s tough.  He’ll be fine.


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