Championship Round team fantasy preview: Seahawks
Here is a breakdown of the Seahawks from a fantasy perspective heading into their NFC Championship matchup with the 49ers.
Will there be a Percy Harvin sighting this Sunday, or not? It's impossible to tell if the Seahawks' most dynamic playmaker will be available for this weekend's NFC Championship game until after he goes through the league-mandated concussion protocol. Harvin just can't seem to avoid the big hit. After missing most of the season, he returned last Saturday only to take two blows to the head and left the game with a concussion. Signing Harvin this offseason was supposed to propel the Seahawks to the next level, but they may have to take that step without him. Pete Carroll said it best: "Poor kid, can't catch a break."
After Harvin, we delve into pass-receiving mediocrity. While it might be a result of playing with a lead most of the season, there were no 1000-yard receivers for Seattle again this year (not a big surprise considering their last 1000-yard receiver was Bobby Engram in 2007). Golden Tate (64-898-5) and Doug Baldwin (50-778-5) were held to a combined three receptions in the win over New Orleans, and the 49ers are better at stopping receivers than the Saints. Baldwin and Tate combined for just 11 catches in the previous two matchups against the 49ers this year. That's less than three grabs each per game. Occasionally one of them will go off, but neither wide out is what you would call "hot" right now. These guys simply can't be trusted to put up numbers, and if the Hawks take an early lead, there won't be enough targets for either of them to achieve much.
The only other receiving threat is tight end Zach Miller. "Threat" may not be the right word. Perhaps "unlikely receiving option" is more apt. I'm being a bit hard on the veteran Miller, whose season stats (33-387-5) are in line with his career average, but he simply does not get the necessary targets to be a consistent problem for defenses. Outside of the Patriots, who don't even roster a healthy pass catching tight end, the Seahawks have the least reliable receiving tight end left in the playoffs in Miller.
After inspiring the fans to stomp and cheer loud enough to literally cause a seismic event, Marshawn Lynch has once again cemented himself as the backbone of the Seahawks offense. His 140-yard, 2-touchdown performance decimated the normally solid Saints run defense. Yes, the 49ers defense allows fewer points to running backs, but Lynch plays them well, particularly at home. In his last four games against San Francisco, Lynch has averaged 96 yards per game on the ground and has six total touchdowns in those games.
Robert Turbin typically spells Lynch to the tune of about five carries a game, and Christine Michael occasionally makes an appearance, but quarterback Russell Wilson is the only other true running threat for the Seahawks. The 49ers did a good job limiting Wilson's impact in the running game this year, with 35 total rushing yards in the two games. If you're relying on Wilson's ground game for points, this will be a tough week.