The Seattle Seahawks had two distinct portions to their 2020 campaign. The Let Russ Cook Era until week nine, with the Letting the Dishes Soak From Russ Cooking Era finished up the year. In the Let Russ Cook Era, he passed the ball 37 times per game, for 318 yards per contest. After that point, Russell Wilson threw the ball 33 times per game, for just 209 yards per contest. Predictably, the passing game for the Seattle Seahawks collapsed around the Seattle Seahawks preferring takeout to Russ’s cooking. The Seattle Seahawks parted ways with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer following the season and added Dwayne Eskridge in the 2021 NFL Draft. Is more Chef Russell Wilson on the horizon for 2021? What can we expect out of the Seattle Seahawks’ sole fantasy football-eligible draftee, D’Wayne Eskridge, in 2021 fantasy football leagues?
FULL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS DRAFT RESULTS
(no I didn’t forget anyone)
|2||56||D’Wayne Eskridge||WR||Western Michigan|
Round 2, Pick 56 Overall: D’Wayne Eskridge, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan (5’9” 190 pounds)
WR1: D.K. Metcalf
WR2: Tyler Lockett
WR3: D’Wayne Eskridge
WR4: Freddy Swain
WR5: Penny Hart(?)
This is what I wrote about Eskridge pre-draft:
Eskridge is small and fast, but he has difficulties getting open. He has some decent speed when he gets the ball in his hands, but he also has trouble getting the ball into his hands. Eskridge doesn’t do much to get open on his own and gets chewed up and spit out by press coverage. He’s also 24 years old already, as he played as RS senior in 2020. He’s just a depth guy in the NFL, and likely has little-to-no fantasy football impact in his career. Eskridge is #25 of the 25 wide receivers I’ve watched.
But, there’s clearly something here that the Seattle Seahawks see that I don’t see. So, let’s do something a little different and try to figure out what the heck the Seattle Seahawks could see with Eskridge. Well, first and foremost, there’s this. His mockdraftable.com measurables aren’t much to write home about outside of his 40 yard dash and his 10-yard split on his 40. But, his comparisons are interesting: Jaylen Waddle, Kenny Stills, Mecole Hardman, and former Seattle Seahawks WR Golden Tate. That might be exactly what the Seahawks see in Eskridge: a deep threat to add to… their other deep threats? I suppose that signals a modification in team philosophy
There’s no way that Eskridge supplants either D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett for the 2021 season. So, his path to opportunity comes through three wide receiver sets. Seattle threw out of three-wide receiver sets about 71% of the time in 2020, which comes out to just about league average; they tied with Atlanta for the fifteenth-highest 3WR pass rate in 2020.
It’s entirely likely that the Eskridge draft pick signals that the Seahawks are done trying to find underneath guys to work with Lockett and Metcalf, and will instead let all three of their receivers fly deep to have the tight ends work underneath. If Eskridge gets 80 or so targets with an average depth of target 12 or more yards downfield, there might be something there. After all, the #3 wide receiver for the Seahawks averages 4.7 targets per game throughout Wilson’s tenure with the Seattle Seahawks; in a 17 game season that’s almost exactly 80 targets.
2021 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Without an injury to Lockett or Metcalf, I have trouble seeing where and how Eskridge gets the targets to compete for a week-in and week-out fantasy football role. It’s far more likely that the Seattle Seahawks’ rookie instead provides us with a matchup-based cheap DFS play. He is talented, I am just not sure how he can fare without manufactured touches and against stout defenses. I’m not interested in drafting him, but I will keep an eye on him this season. After all, he went in the second round.