Fantasy Football: What to make of the Seahawks backfield?

Thomas Rawls

The Seattle Seahawks backfield has been something that had very few questions since 2010 aside from how high should Marshawn Lynch be ranked. With Lynch seeming at the end of his road last season fantasy owners tried to figure out who may be inline for work. Robert Turbin and Christine Michael seemed to be the obvious contenders. However before the season could really get going, Turbin was traded to the Cleveland Browns and Michael was sent to Dallas. These moves vaulted undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls up the depth chart and boy did he take advantage of his opportunities.

In his first start Rawls ran the ball 16 times for 104 yards against the Chicago Bears. He followed that up with a less than impressive performance against the Lions but rebounded with a massive game against the Bengals. He ran for 169 yards and a score in that game. Lynch returned following this performance though it would not be the end of the Rawls show. He had a 3 game run starting against San Francisco in November where he ran for 391 yards and had 4 total touchdowns.

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So why would there be a discussion about who the lead back in Seattle would be? Rawls suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments in a mid December game against the Baltimore Ravens. There is some concern around Rawls and his availability heading into OTA’s and training camp. Pete Carroll said “We anticipate that he’ll be fully recovered and ready to go at least by the time the season starts and hopefully by camp.” while speaking at the NFL Annual Meeting in late March. If you own Rawls in keeper/dynasty leagues or are looking to get a piece of this offense who could fill his role?

prosise

C.J. Prosise

C.J. Prosise was taken in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft, number 90 overall. While his skills are best seen in the passing game, Prosise has everything an NFL team would want in a three down running back. He started his Notre Dame career as a wide receiver before transitioning to running back. He had 1,032 yards and 11 touchdowns in his only full season as a running back.

Prosise has the explosiveness required to excel at the NFL Level. He will need to develop as a runner especially in speeding up his decision making. His pass blocking ability will also need to be worked on but that is very coachable. He has the explosiveness to produce early. However Seattle drafted another running back that has the talent and ability to be the lead back.

(AP)

(AP)

Alex Collins

Alex Collins was a consistent producer during his time at the University of Arkansas. During his three years with the Razorbacks he only produced more as his carries went up. He had three straight 1,000 yard season including 1,577 yards in his final season He averaged over 5 yards per carry during his three seasons as well. His touchdown totals increased over the three season scoring 20 rushing touchdowns last season.

Collins fits the physical runner mold that has been in the Seahawks backfield since Marshawn Lynch entered the picture. He is the perfect first and second down back for this system with Prosise getting the change of pace and third down role. The two could easily become a formidable duo much like Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard in Cincinnati.

Seahawks Christine Michael

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Christine Michael

Christine Michael is back in the picture for the Seahawks this season too. After leaving via trade he found his way back after being cut by the Cowboys. He looked like an improved runner when he rejoined the Seahawks at the end of the 2015 season. He started the Week 17 game against the Arizona Cardinals rushing for 102 yards on 17 carries. He has knowledge of the offense and the coaching staff which should help especially early in the season.

The Seahawks will be one of the training camps I will be monitoring closest. If Rawls is slow to get back and the opportunity presented itself fantasy value will be available to be had. If I’m taking my shot on a player not named Rawls, Alex Collins would be my guy. I have him in multiple places and am very happy about that.

For more Fantasy Football content check out Fake Pigskin’s Angle of Pursuit podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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