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2013 Fantasy Impact: Reggie Bush Becomes a Lion

By: — March 13, 2013 @ 10:40 pm
Reggie Bush

Bush’s PPR value is on the rise.

With the free agent market at running back lacking quality, the Detroit Lions moved quickly to address their need at the position, agreeing to terms with former Dolphin Reggie Bush.

Reports indicate that Bush will sign a four-year deal worth $16 million.

Detroit’s interest in Bush comes as no surprise to league observers, as the team had shown plenty of signs that it had given up on former second-round pick Jahvid Best due to his history of concussions and their need to add playmaking ability at the running back position.

Arguably the most talented running back available in free agency, Bush will assume the starter’s role in Detroit ahead of Mikel Leshoure, who had a disappointing sophomore campaign after missing all of his rookie season due to an Achilles tendon tear.

After five largely disappointing and injury-plagued seasons in New Orleans, Bush joined Miami prior to the 2011 season and topped 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career. In 2012, he played in all 16 games for the first time since 2006, finishing just shy of consecutive 1000-yard seasons with 986 rushing yards.

Fantasy Impact

In Miami, Bush finished 2011 as the 12th-ranked fantasy running back, dropping a couple of notches to 14th this past season as he clearly established himself as a quality lead runner for the first time in his career. Those were impressive feats given his previous production in New Orleans coupled with the lack of playmakers and questionable quarterback play in Miami.

The Lions clearly don’t have the offensive issues that Bush had to deal with in Miami. With Calvin Johnson lining up out wide and strong-armed Matthew Stafford at quarterback, opposing defenses will have to pick their poison, and it is safe to assume they will choose to double cover Johnson rather than Bush.

That should translate into Bush facing fewer eight-man fronts, as well as having plenty of open space in the passing game. It should be noted that he hasn’t topped 45 receptions since the 2009 season and failed to reach 300 receiving yards in each of the last three years.

Expect those trends to change in 2013 given the Lions reliance on their running backs in the passing game. Bush should approach 1,000 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards provided he remains healthy. Throw in seven or eight touchdowns and he would rate as a low-end RB1 or high-end RB2 in 2013.

If you’re looking for red flags, there are a couple. First off, Leshoure is a solid short-yardage back and Joique Bell isn’t a slouch in that area either. Their presence will cut down on Bush’s looks inside the 5-yard line. Secondly, Bush’s injury history can’t be ignored (20 missed games during his tenure in New Orleans), although he did miss just one game during his two-year stay with Miami.

Given Bush’s solid upside and recent run of good health, fantasy owners should feel comfortable drafting him as an upper tier RB2 in 2013.

Free Agent Frenzy – Day 1

By: — @ 10:11 am

Whew. It was quite a day as the NFL kicked off the calendar year with over 50 players changing teams. Here’s a quick recap of the fantasy highlights…


After a very public phone conversation between Buffalo GM Buddy Nix and Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik, in which Nix was heard longing for a franchise QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick got cut… Hmmm. Expect the Bills to go after a QB early in the draft. They have pick No. 8.

Chase Daniel, backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans, signed in KC. He’ll backup Alex Smith as the trade between the 49ers and Chiefs will be filed with the league today.

Running Backs

All was quiet on the RB front on Tuesday. We’ll be watching Steven Jackson and Reggie Bush closely today. As we speak, Bush is paying a visit to Detroit while it appears the Packers may have cooled on Jackson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers tendered offers Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman allowing them to match any offers they receive in free agency. Dwyer and Redman will likely share duties at running back for the Steelers in 2013 unless the Steelers pursue a free agent running back or address the position in the draft. This is a fantasy situation will have more clarity by the time training camp comes around in late July.

The Giants re-signed Ryan Torain. He’ll provide depth behind David Wilson and Andre Brown.

Wide Receivers

Mike Wallace

Wallace to Miami. The biggest move of the day was expected.

The Dolphins got their man for 5 years, $60 million with $30 million guaranteed. Mike Wallace will provide a much-needed lift to Miami’s offense but his fantasy value may have taken a hit into the low-end WR2 territory.

Surprisingly, Jerome Simpson was re-signed by the Vikings. They currently have the worst wide receiving corps in the league after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle.

Darrius Heyward-Bey got the axe in Oakland while the Jets retained Santonio Holmes. Holmes battled foot problems last season and didn’t play a snap past Week 4. His guarantee for 2013 ($7.5 million) forced the Jets to keep his services. On a team in rebuilding mode, Holmes will be a very risky WR3 in fantasy drafts this summer.

Tight Ends

Some interesting moves in this category. Jared Cook landed in St. Louis and judging by the contract he got (5 years, $31 million, $19 million guaranteed) he should be a focal point of the offense. His fantasy stock is on the rise.

Martellus Bennett left the Giants for Chicago and gives Cutler a legitimate receiving threat at the position.

Anthony Fasano was signed by Kansas City. He will be paired with the oft-inured Tony Moeaki. While Andy Reid likes to use the tight end position, neither will have much fantasy value unless one is thrust into a clear starting role.

The Titans lost Cook but gained Delanie Walker from San Francisco (4 years, $17.5 million, $8.6 guaranteed). He hasn’t had a chance to be a primary target at his position and is better known for his blocking ability. He’ll likely share time with Taylor Thompson.

Day 2

Guys we’re keeping our eye on include Reggie Bush, Steven Jackson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Danny Amendola. The frenzy is under way.

Top Five Fantasy Free Agents: Wide Receivers

By: — February 26, 2013 @ 9:21 am
Filed under: Free Agents
Mike Wallace

Wallace’s contract issues may have affected his play last season.

1. Mike Wallace (PIT) – Wallace is a proven deep threat with world-class speed, and he’s best when paired with a steady possession receiver. Last season, he struggled to get in sync within the Steelers offense after a lengthy preseason holdout. He contributed a few big plays, but for the most part was a major fantasy disappointment. So far, negotiations with the Steelers have been frosty at best, and the early word is that the Dolphins have made Wallace (who would command roughly $10-12 million per season in a long-term deal) their top priority this offseason. Wallace would be a low-end WR1 or top WR2 if signed by the Dolphins.

The Best Fit: Dolphins, Bengals, Chiefs

2. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – Like Wallace, Bowe totes some baggage when it comes to work ethic and character, though his athletic ability is nearly unparalleled, even among the league’s elite receivers. At his best, Bowe is a premier red zone threat, but the past few signal callers in Kansas City have been highly dubious options without the chops to take full advantage of his skills. Ideally, Bowe would sign a short-term deal for a team with a Top 15 quarterback, allowing fantasy owners to capitalize on his upside.

The Best Fit: Chiefs, Vikings, Chargers

3. Greg Jennings (GB) – Jennings could have commanded a huge payday this offseason had his previous two seasons not been marred by nagging injuries that forced him to miss 11 games. He’s 30 years old and won’t get the $14 million per year he’s reportedly demanding, but there are teams that will throw him a multi-year deal—the Vikings being one of them. Jennings could once again be a Top 10 fantasy WR, but that all hinges on his staying healthy and clicking with whatever new offense he ends up in.

The Best Fit: Vikings, Broncos, Bengals

4. Wes Welker (NE) – Welker’s racked up 672 catches for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns in his last six seasons with the Patriots, and he turned down a two-year, $16 million offer from New England last offseason. While the Pats aren’t planning on slapping the franchise tag on Welker, there’s still a chance he could get signed before he leaves for free agency and a potentially monster contract with the Bears, Chargers or Broncos—the three teams most mentioned in conjunction with the veteran slot receiver. Welker will be 32 on May 1 and still has plenty of productive seasons left, but NFL GMs—as well as fantasy owners—should be concerned that his standout numbers were partly a product of his amazing rapport with Tom Brady.

The Best Fit: Bears, Chargers, Patriots

5. Danny Amendola (STL) – If you thought Jennings had a hard time staying healthy, then I humbly offer up the sad tale of Danny Amendola, who’s missed 20 games over the past two seasons. Amendola is a PPR maven and solid possession receiver who’s right at home in St. Louis despite a rough road. The Rams will likely scoop him up for the hometown rate on a multi-year deal, but if he hits the open market, there’s a good possibility a team will spring for a large one-year contract. If Welker escapes New England, Amendola makes sense as a replacement.

The Best Fit: Rams, Patriots, Broncos

Top Five Fantasy Free Agents: Running Backs

By: — February 21, 2013 @ 12:50 pm
Filed under: Free Agents
Steven Jackson

Jackson will void the final year of his contract and test the market.

1. Steven Jackson (STL) – Jackson has a player option for 2013 but has said he wants to test the free agent waters. The St. Louis brass claim they want him back in uniform, but the $7 million they owe him for next season might be better spent to relieve cap space before the NFL Draft. Jackson has a lot of mileage on his 29-year-old body, and he’s one of the more battle-tested free agents available (Cedric Benson and Brandon Jacobs are two more who didn’t quite make this list). It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Jackson comes back to the Rams, but whatever happens, it’s hard to see him reversing his statistical descent. He’s best avoided in fantasy drafts until the younger, more dynamic backs are off the board.

The Best Fit: Broncos, Falcons, Rams

2. Reggie Bush (MIA) – While Bush isn’t a workhorse back, he brings a healthy dose of experience and explosiveness as a free agent addition to just about any team. As a pass catcher, Bush is nearly unrivaled, and he’s still capable of spectacular touchdown scampers. The team that corrals Bush will likely have to throw big money at the veteran scatback. There’s a good chance Miami just bites the bullet and does it themselves, but the Lions make sense for obvious reasons—Jahvid Best is done and the team, in desperation, tried out several journeymen at feature back in 2012. Bush is still a solid No. 2 fantasy RB if he lands in the right situation.

The Best Fit: Lions, Packers, Jets

3. Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) – The Giants recently cut Bradshaw to clear $2.75 million in cap space, signifying their confidence in 2012 draft pick David Wilson, who showed glimpses of brilliance last season but struggled with ball protection. Bradshaw has his own baggage, including a pair of brittle ankles that could always turn into multiple spans of unavailability. The 26-year-old veteran is still a solid playmaker with plenty of upside, but the pass-first team that takes a shot on him probably won’t be using him for much more than 12–15 touches per game, limiting his fantasy value.

The Best Fit: Packers, Falcons, Cards

4. Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) – Mendenhall found himself in the Steelers doghouse last season after spending the first few weeks on the PUP list recovering from a 2011 ACL tear. His first game back (Week 5 against Philly) was a nice little revelation (13 carries for 68 yards and 3-33-1 receiving), but he quickly lost luster after battling with coaches and eventually not showing up for a game. There are a handful of teams that could use a punishing back like Mendenhall, but don’t except a long-term deal until the 25-year-old, former 1000-yard rusher proves he can still handle a full season of touches.

The Best Fit: Bengals, Rams, Chargers

5. Shonn Greene (NYJ) – The much-embattled Greene will probably be moving on from the Jets, who haven’t been happy with his performance and will look to a committee spearheaded by Bilal Powell and change-of-pace back Joe McKnight. In 2011, Greene ran for 1,054 yards and six touchdowns (4.2 YPC), but he’s been a disappointment as a workhorse back. He’s still a capable fantasy option because he’s a grinder and makes perfect sense as a goal-line back—he just doesn’t break off too many big runs. In a perfect world, he’d find himself as the short-yardage back to complement Jamaal Charles in Kansas City or with another organization that could use a sturdy plodder.

The Best Fit: Chiefs, Bengals, Raiders

Top Five Fantasy Free Agent Tight Ends

By: — February 15, 2013 @ 4:04 pm
Filed under: Free Agents
Jared Cook

Do the Titans value Cook? We’ll know by March 4th as he’s a candidate for the franchise tag.

1. Jared Cook (TEN) – Aside from the turmoil he encountered in Tennessee when he believed he wasn’t being used enough, there’s not much to dissuade GMs from taking a shot at this athletic physical specimen. Cook has excellent hands and speed and a knack for stretching the field. He’s also a solid red zone target with capable blocking skills. He could easily be a 60-850-10 sort of tight end and a Top 5 fantasy TE in the right system. There are several potential landing spots for Cook, but I think his days in Nashville are done. And if certain teams are willing to spend the money, Cook could be in line for a monster 2013.

The Best Fit: Seahawks, Rams, Raiders

2. Fred Davis (WAS) – Not too long ago, there was a lot to get excited about concerning Davis, a rising star with oodles of upside. But after getting hit with the franchise tag in 2012 and then tearing his left Achilles in October, it looked like his future in Washington was over. Still, there are rumors that signing Davis, one of the top targets of 2013, is still on the Redskins to-do list. It’s rare for a player coming off a major injury to land a multi-year deal, but if anybody is going to take a long-term risk with Davis, it’s probably Dan Snyder. If not, Davis will get looks from a host of other teams but probably not anything in the way of a three- or four-year deal. If he’s back with the ‘Skins in 2013 and healthy to start the season, he’s a mid-round steal in redraft leagues.

The Best Fit: Redskins, Giants, Jets

3. Dustin Keller (NYJ) – Keller barely saw the field last year after struggling with a myriad of injuries and failing to establish a rapport with Mark Sanchez once he was healthy enough to play. The veteran isn’t quite as old as his body, and he’s never reached his full potential as a steady target or meaningful red zone contributor. I doubt he’ll get a huge payday, but the gradually increasing numbers over the first few seasons of his career (improvement that was stymied in 2012) could be a huge selling point for his agent. When he’s not battling nagging ankle and hamstring injuries, Keller is an every-down tight end with plenty of upside, and in a perfect world, he’d be a Top 10 fantasy TE. But a robust tight end market could mean he gets lost in the shuffle and ends up on a squad without a viable quarterback or plan to effectively insert him in the offense.

The Best Fit: Browns, Rams, Bears

4. Martellus Bennett (NYG) – Like Davis, Bennett has a good chance of re-signing with his current team, as he flourished in the Giants offense after years of toiling away in relative obscurity behind Jason Witten in Dallas. Bennett’s gotten some flak for dropping passes in the past, but he made sense as a tall, lanky red zone threat for Big Blue in 2012, hauling in 55-626-5 despite little preseason fanfare. Plenty of teams will be in the market for Bennett, who emerged as a viable fantasy TE and could be in line for a big payday after the one-year, 2.5 million contract he signed with the Giants last season. For many GMs, that kind of production for such a modest contract will pique their interest.

The Best Fit: Giants, Bucs, Cards

5. Brandon Myers (OAK) – Myers was one of the lone bright spots for the Raiders in 2013, catching 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll be a highly coveted free agent despite limited abilities and being taken in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft. Some of Myers’ emergence has been attributed to the work that former Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders put in with him, readying the young tight end for a feature role in Greg Knapp’s offense. Because the grass is always greener for the Raiders organization, there’s not much of a chance they bite the bullet and pay out Myers in 2013, even if that’s the best move. Myers will likely get a multi-year deal from one of several suitors, and he’ll be hard-pressed to repeat his numbers from last season.

The Best Fit: Falcons, Giants, Bucs

Top Five Fantasy Free Agent Quarterbacks

By: — February 12, 2013 @ 10:47 am
Filed under: Free Agents

It’s slim pickins on the free agent quarterback front…

Joe Flacco

The Ravens won’t let Flacco leave.

1. Joe Flacco (BAL) – The only big-name franchise quarterback who’s now a free agent per se is Flacco, and he’s coming off an impressive Super Bowl win that silenced many of his critics. There’s not much of a chance the Ravens let him walk after he led them to the Promised Land, but stranger things have happened. Contract negotiations might get a little testy, as the 27-year-old signal caller is rumored to be seeking $20 million per year. The Ravens are probably willing to cough up about $16–17M a season. Flacco’s recent success (and subsequent confidence boost) should spike his fantasy value, especially if he remains in Baltimore, but a desperate organization could still swoop in and provide a monster offer.

The Best Fit: Ravens, Chiefs, Browns

2. Matt Moore (MIA) – What a difference a year makes. Before the 2012 Draft, the good money was on Moore forging a career path in Miami, where he’d played moderately well under center (his best year was 2011,when he threw for 2,497-16-9) and showed he belonged as an NFL quarterback. Now, the future in South Beach is Ryan Tannehill, who had mixed results as a rookie but appears to be developing in line with the Dolphins’ expectations. Moore has good size (6-3, 216) and can make just about all the throws, but with teams having so much success in the draft, he probably won’t get a starting gig and won’t get a huge payday. Fantasywise, he’s nothing more than a late-round lottery pick in super-deep dynasty leagues.

The Best Fit: Cards, Raiders, Jets

3. Jason Campbell (CHI) – Campbell will likely end up carrying a clipboard to start the 2013 season, but he’s not without upside. For a few years, the strong-armed quarterback toiled away in Washington but never emerged as a significant contributor on the NFL stage or in the annals of fantasy. Fortunately for Campbell, he’s only 31 years old and still commands respect from NFL scouts intrigued by his prototypical body and measurable abilities. For teams seeking a quality backup with the wherewithal to stand in for their starter, the former Redskin, Raider and Bear will be an attractive option.

The Best Fit: Texans, Vikings, Jets

4. Tarvaris Jackson (BUF) – Jackson hasn’t been a fantasy superstar, but he’s won a few games in his career and is capable of handling the rigors of the NFL pace. With teams looking for Kaepernick-like diamonds in the rough they can polish and insert should their starting quarterbacks not work out, Jackson will get extended looks and could find a scheme in which he flourishes. Like Vick, Jackson doesn’t have the elite chops to manage a game with incisive audible protection, but his mobility within the pocket and relatively conservative approach serves him well. If he can shake some of his old habits of taking too many sacks and not getting the ball downfield enough, there’s an outside chance he could have a fantasy impact in 2013 and beyond.

The Best Fit: Jets, Cards, Chiefs

5. David Garrard (MIA) – While there’s some chatter about Drew Stanton following Bruce Arians to Arizona, Garrard could be a solid veteran presence on a Cards team that desperately needs some. After beginning the 2012 preseason as the front-runner for the starting gig in Miami, Garrard injured his knee but now remains an eye-catching option for several organizations dealing with quarterback woes. Garrard won’t be a 30-touchdown stud, but there’s definitely some upside should he land a spot atop somebody’s depth chart in 2013. The Jets will probably add another quarterback to the crowded, confused mix they already own, and it’s a fair assumption that a non-threatening but capable veteran with the athleticism and smarts of Garrard could push Mark Sanchez and be a positive influence.

The Best Fit: Cards, Jets, Chiefs

Honorable Mention: Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson

Good Depth or Bad Business? Bears Land Bush, but Alienate Forte

By: — March 23, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

In a somewhat surprising move, the Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a four-year, $14 million contract with Michael Bush.

Forte is none too happy with the signing of Bush.

From a personnel standpoint, it is hard to blame the Bears for making a move to protect themselves in negotiations with Matt Forte, who has been seeking a long-term deal for some time. In his short time as the GM, Phil Emery has executed two bold moves, trading for Brandon Marshall shortly after the start of the new league year and signing Bush. From a business prospective, though, Chicago has made it clear it has no intentions to reward a player who has done as much in a short time and with as much class as Forte has.

However, the surprising parts to this signing are that: 1) Bush would sign anywhere that he didn’t have a clear path to the starting job after his rather impressive performance over the second half of the 2011 season, 2) Chicago would sign the best free-agent running back in the class, understanding they already had Kahlil Bell as a capable reserve and 3) knowing that acquiring a back in his prime like Bush would not only undermine and upset the offense’s centerpiece, but also force him to share touches if/when he returns from a likely holdout.

At the start of free agency, two destinations seemed to make the most sense for Bush – Cincinnati and Cleveland (assuming the Bengals were going to part with Cedric Benson and the Browns would let Peyton Hillis walk, both of which seemed likely). Both teams execute a version of the West Coast Offense that will not hesitate to lean on the running game when necessary. The WCO has also long rewarded running backs who possess the receiving skills Bush does. And let’s not overlook the small detail that Bush was born, raised and went to college at Louisville, which is not a long drive from the two Ohio teams, particularly Cincinnati.

In case you haven’t been keeping count, Forte has been in the league for four years and has been forced to deal with high-profile backups (Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor and Marion Barber) every season. Granted, Jones didn’t help much during his injury-plagued stay in Chicago, which allowed Forte to post a 1,715-total yard, eight-touchdown debut in 2008 and 1,616-yard, nine-score follow-up effort in 2009. Now, Forte has to deal with the 27-year-old Bush, who is easily the best back of the four players Chicago has brought in over the years to “compete” with Forte and will now command most of the goal line touches and a sizable chunk of the passing game work.

Fantasy Impact

Even though Chicago will run the ball earlier in the season and with more conviction than it ever did under former OC Mike Martz, it is hard to like this signing from a number of perspectives.

The most obvious reason to dislike Bush in Chicago from a fantasy standpoint is because he is a poor bet to ever become the feature back. In Cincinnati or Cleveland, Bush would have been a strong bet for 325-350 touches with injury-prone second-stringers like Bernard Scott and Montario Hardesty picking up the rest of the work. There was little doubt in my mind the Bengals would have been the best fit for Bush, but they opted for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

On the other hand, Forte played in 60 consecutive games to begin his NFL career before the knee injury he suffered in Week 13 knocked him out for the remainder of the season. Forte’s running style is not one that exposes him to injury on a regular basis, meaning a repeat of 2011 is unlikely.

Assuming both players are healthy (and/or not holding out) all season long, neither back is a likely candidate for 300 touches now. Certainly, sharing the load is not uncommon in today’s NFL, but in Forte and Bush, the Bears have two players who are certainly more than capable of being feature backs. When both are healthy, expect the same kind of workload split that Bush had with Darren McFadden, albeit in a much less dynamic offensive scheme under new OC Mike Tice.

In summary, it’s hard to believe any of the running backs involved benefits fantasy-wise from this transaction. It’s hard to imagine Forte being anything more than a low-end RB1 with 5-6 TD upside or Bush receiving enough opportunity to be anything more than an inconsistent RB3 due to Forte’s durability. What little fantasy value Bell had entering the 2012 season as Forte’s handcuff is gone as well.

Déjà-Vu – Seahawks Land another Former Packer, Matt Flynn Joins Seattle

By: — March 20, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

With a hole at the quarterback position since the departure of Matt Hasselbeck, the Seattle Seahawks have acquired former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn.

Has Seattle finally found it's Quarterback?

Flynn joins Seattle after having served as a backup with the Packers for four years, following essentially the same path to a starting position that Hasselbeck did before leading Seattle for several years. The only difference is that the Seahawks had to trade for Hasselebeck whereas Flynn has joined the team as an unrestricted free agent.

Reports indicate that Flynn will sign a three-year, $26-million with $10-million in guarantees.

It was expected that Flynn would be a hot commodity as a free agent but the market for his services never really materialized. Flynn ended up choosing Seattle over Miami, where he would have joined former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, entering his first season as the Dolphins head coach.

Seattle is taking the chance that Flynn’s impressive performances in his two career starts will translate into solid production leading the Seahawks offense. The Flynn-led Packers nearly upset the Patriots in 2010 and he broke the Packers record for passing yards in a game during his Week 17 480-yard, six-touchdown performance against Detroit this season.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll stated that Flynn would compete with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting quarterback position but it is expected that Flynn will lead the Seahawks offense in 2012.

Fantasy Impact

Will the Seahawks once again strike gold with a former Packers backup? Or will Flynn flop much like Kevin Kolb did in Arizona last season?

While Kolb was a checkdown king in his first year as a starter, Flynn has shown a willingness to throw the deep ball so it isn’t likely that defenses will be able to clamp down on him they were they were able to with Kolb at the controls of the Arizona offense.

That being said, Flynn doesn’t possess an outstanding skill set. He has shown solid decision-making skills and accuracy but he lacks arm strength on deep passes.

In Green Bay, he looked good playing with the league’s most feared group of pass catching wide receivers and tight ends that the league has to offer.

In Seattle, he will play with injury-prone wide receiver Sidney Rice, 2011 free agent tight end bust Zach Miller and whoever wins out at the wide receiver position opposite Rice. That’s not just a step down in offensive weaponry; it’s a flight or two stairs going in the wrong direction.

Of course, Rice could revert back to his 2009 form, when he topped 1,300 receiving yards while scoring eight touchdowns. Likewise, Miller could become the receiving threat he was in Oakland and again top 60 receptions. And Mike Williams could rebound from his poor showing last season and youngsters such as Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Deon Butler could step to the forefront and become consistent playmakers.

The key theme there is “could”, not “should”.

Seattle’s solid rushing attack, led by Marshawn Lynch, figures to relieve some of the pressure Flynn will be under during his first year as a starting quarterback. Carroll has shown a propensity for running the ball and there is a strong likelihood that he will feature Lynch, the team’s top offensive threat last season, once again in 2012.

With so much uncertainty in his supporting cast and his lack of natural athletic ability, Flynn needs to morph into Drew Brees to become a fantasy starter in 2012. Consider him a low-end fantasy backup.

Move Rice into the WR2 category, albeit at the low end, and Lynch’s status as a top 10 fantasy running back remains unchanged.

As for the Seahawks other offensive weapons, monitor their production in training camp and act accordingly.

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