Seattle Seahawks Fantasy Focus: The Tight Ends


After the Seattle Seahawks acquired Jimmy Graham on March 10th, general manager John Schneider said he believes he has the best group of tight ends, top to bottom, in the entire league. As far as sheer talent goes he may be right, but how will that equate to fantasy football value?

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In this case, potentially quite well.

Let’s take a look.

THE STUD: Jimmy Graham

Still pinching yourself over the fact Graham is a Seahawk?  So are fantasy owners.  Hard to imagine Graham will be MORE productive than he was as a Saint, but I wouldn’t count it out.  When a team goes out and acquires an elite player in his prime, and gives up a lot for him, to address the one glaring weakness on their team.

Well, you can bet he’s going to be a focal point of the offense.  In the Red Zone, it’s a smart bet that Seattle’s entire approach will be built around the threat of Graham.  Sometimes he may be just a decoy, but when you’re 6’7″ with a hoop background, you win on a lot of jump balls.  For the first time in, oh…. about forever, the Hawks have a guy in the passing game that allows them to say to other teams “We are on the 5 yard line, we are throwing it to THAT GUY, try and stop us.”  Graham is going to get a ton of chances to score TD’s, and I’m betting that he makes good on most of them.

The real question is how much action will he get between the 20’s.  One of my annual frustrations with this offense has been their apparent lack of interest in using the TE in the middle of the field, something I think Russell Wilson needs to do in order to consistently put together long drives, particularly when the running game is having trouble getting traction.  Zach Miller was under-utilized in this role.  Here’s hoping Graham gets more gimmes.

His average annual output is 77 catches, 950 yards, and 10 TD’s.

Sounds about right, don’t you think?

Draft him high.

THE WILD CARD:  Luke Willson

Willson tantalizes with his freakish athleticism and speed for the position (think at Arizona last year), but has had issues with drops.  He improved his blocking skills last year and appears to have all the makings of a very good two-way TE, which increases his chances of being on the field.

His first two years have looked similar (20-ish catches for 30-ish yards) but having Graham on the roster would seem to limit his ceiling and take away some chances. That may be true, but consider this:  The Seahawks have been trying to pair two strong TE’s ever since Schneider and Pete Carroll arrived, but injuries to John Carlson, Anthony McCoy and Miller always foiled those plans.

For those lamenting the team’s lack of big-time outside WR’s, rest easy. I believe Darrell Bevell and Co. have designs on an offense featuring two TE’s a LOT.  Willson may actually get more opportunities for big plays and TD’s than he did last year.  Couple this with the fact that Graham may likely be split outside as more of a WR anyway in some of those situations, and we could be looking at a 6 TD season for Luke.  Worthy of being a backup at least if you’re in a deep league.

THE REST:: Anthony McCoy, Cooper Helfet, RaShaun Allen

McCoy tries again to come back from major surgery.  He appeared to be developing into a significant player before the injuries, and is just 27 still, but Helfet was solid in his chances, and the team keeps saying how high they are on Allen.  Still, no major fantasy players among this group.


One elite, must-have fantasy stud, and one sneaky-good late round possibility.  How many teams can boast of that?  Maybe Schneider was right, even in fantasy terms.

Next: Seahawks Salary Cap Outlook: Defense

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