2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper, Breakout & Bust: Seattle Seahawks

July and August are the best time of the year for fantasy football. We all start to formulate strategies, plant our flags, and decide who we will yell at on TV for the rest of the year. That’s right, it’s fantasy football draft season! One key to winning your leagues is zeroing in on the right talent who will outperform their draft stock. Avoiding busts is equally, if not more important. With that in mind, and as a quick hitter, we here at Football Absurdity would like to prime you with the players to target, and the players to avoid, in your fantasy football drafts, team-by-team. What’s the difference between a sleeper and a breakout, you ask? I don’t know, why don’t you tell me tough guy. You seem to have all the answers.

Sleeper – D.K. Metcalf, Wide Receiver (Expert Consensus Rank: WR59, 151 overall)

By this point, we’ve all seen the dang D.K. Metcalf shirtless pictures. We’ve even seen the one where Pete Carroll went shirtless to honor D.K. Metcalf. What I’m saying is we’ve already seen a lot of sexy things about the Metcalf/Seattle pairing, but could the sexiest part be yet to come?

Before we get into that, I want to ask: have you ever bought citrus trees online? We did, we bought a Meyer lemon tree a couple of years ago. What came looked like a stick in a pot. It was extremely underdeveloped and we’ve spent two years trying to get that bad boy up and running as a real tree. Anyway, pretend that Meyer lemon tree is D.K. Metcalf’s route tree. It’s extremely underdeveloped and mostly just a straight line and this point. That means there is one path to fantasy football relevance for D.K. Metcalf in 2019: the deep ball.

Luckily for D.K. Metcalf, he has the second-best deep ball quarterback of 2018 throwing him the ball this season.

This is going to be a match made in heaven for Metcalf and his 2019 fantasy football value. The Seahawks will not throw the ball a lot, as they prefer to ceaselessly Establish the Run. But, as the graphic shows, when they do throw the ball, it’s at the third-highest rate in the league. With Doug Baldwin no longer running around in Seattle, that leaves Tyler Lockett as the main receiver underneath, with Metcalf taking the top off the defense. He’s going as a team’s fifth wide receiver, so you can plop him on your bench and see what happens. Worst case scenario is that you cut him, and he finds out, and he comes to your house and rips his shirt off.

Breakout – Rashaad Penny, Running Back (Expert Consensus Rank: RB31, 75 overall)
Bust – Chris Carson, Running Back (Expert Consensus Rank: RB24, 51 overall)

This breakout and this bust sort of go together, like peanut butter and bananas, or chocolate and rutabagas. Even if a team wants to run the ball as much as the Seahawks do, sheer physics dictate that only one of them can run the ball at a time. For my money, that becomes Penny over Carson as the season progresses. Yes, Penny did not have the best rookie year. However, he has one thing in his back pocket that will win him his job, and maybe your fantasy football league: Pete Carroll’s ceaseless dedication to reminding his team that draft stock and contracts don’t matter. Ironically, this competition cost him the job last season.

Penny got off to a grinding start like someone had jammed his namesake into his gears. He had just 43 rushing yards on 20 carries in the first three games. After that, he churned out his next 65 rush attempts at a 5.78 yard per carry clip, with several large plays under his belt and a 100-yard rushing day thrown in for good measure. People want to act like Penny was bad last year, but in reality, he just didn’t get touches. To be fair to Chris Carson, he did not do anything to lose his job, churning out 100+ yard games in his last three weeks, including 116 yards and two touchdowns in the fantasy football finals. There’s nothing to speak of in Seattle to replace Mike Davis’s 112 carries… except for Rashaad Penny.

Why is Chris Carson a bust, you might ask? The Seahawks have repeatedly stated that they are going to go with the “hot hand” approach at running back, with the best player getting more touches. Rashaad Penny is the better player, and nearly everything bears that out on a per-touch basis. Once Penny can prove himself, the Seahawks will have no problem letting Carson cede way to Penny, and Penny will reap all the fantasy football points on your behalf.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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