Even Chris Carson could not have imagined how his rookie year would unfold. Drafted in the 7th round to a team with, by most accounts, zero spots at the RB position available on the roster. Not only did Carson manage to find a roster spot, but it only took him two games to secure the starting spot. He was beginning to emerge as a fantasy football cornerstone until one bad pile-up lead to a severely broken ankle and a season-ending trip to the IR. So what do fantasy owners do now?
We are left with uncertainty at the ‘Hawks depth chart as Pete Carroll and his staff have been very tight-lipped about their in-house assessments. Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Eddie Lacy, and now J.D. McKissic all have fantasy value in varying degrees at this point. Here at the SFFS we will try and give you a quick run-down of each and every possibility and how things will most likely shake out in the Seattle backfield.
Thomas Rawls has the most fantasy value at this point. His skill sets are closest aligned to those of Chris Carson’s. He has the ability to break tackles and enough speed to break off big plays. Since entering the league as an UDFA in 2015, Rawls has always played with an underdog mentality and that will suit him well as he competes again to be Seattle’s man in backfield. In 2015 Rawls was given the opportunity to replace an injured Marshawn Lynch and he didn’t disappoint. Thomas became the first rookie in NFL history to gain 250 yards from scrimmage and have a rushing and a receiving touchdown in the same game. Things were looking good for him until he suffered essentially the same injury as Chris Carson did last week. Since then he has had a hard time remaining healthy. Coach Carroll has stated that Rawls is as healthy now as he has been since the 2015 campaign and now his opportunity is just as big as it was in 2015.
Buyer Beware: Thomas Rawls has not played a full season without being injured since high school.
Week 5 Projections:
Rawls is going to be given every opportunity to seize the position he once held all to himself. He will take it and not look back against a Rams’ run defense that has been less than stellar to this point.
Projected Fantasy Points for Week Five: 14.5
Since Eddie Lacy came in to the league, he has been a bit of an enigma. Coaches and fans alike have always been intrigued by his athletic ability and ability to push the pile as a big running back. Not many men his size can do what he can do. But like everything in life, that blessing can also carry a curse. Eddie Lacy’s lack of weight management ultimately cost him a job in Green Bay. Ironically enough it’s not his weight that is keeping him off the field in Seattle but his inability to break tackles behind the line of scrimmage. If Lacy is able to get a head of steam, he’s nearly impossible to bring down. Unfortunately for him, with Seattle’s poor offensive line play, often times Eddie is faced with opposition before he is able to get to full speed. His lack of quick twitch and elusiveness will find him behind Thomas Rawls on the depth chart and will probably relegate him to getting snaps only in short yardage and goal line situations. Goal line touches can be valuable but Seattle only has one rushing touchdown by a running back all season. Plus we all know Seattle doesn’t run it when they’re near the goal line :).
Eddie Lacy’s value is largely tethered to Seattle’s offensive line. There should be improvement in the unit as the season wears on but they will probably never become dominant this year. Lacy’s weight has not been a problem thus far, but could come in to play as the season grinds on.
Week 5 projections:
Look for Thomas Rawls to steal most of the carries and opportunities. But that doesn’t mean Lacy won’t be given some early chances to pick up where he left off last week. (11 carries 52 yards.)
Projected Fantasy Points for Week Five: 5.5
C.J. Prosise been an un-fulfilled dream littered with promise since crashing onto the fantasy scene in 2016 against the New England Patriots. In that game the converted wide receiver from Notre Dame rushed 17 times for 66 yards. He was also targeted seven times, finishing with seven receptions for 87 yards. Coaches raved about his physical traits and his to contribute in both the run and pass game . Unfortunately the Seahawks have found out the hard way that the most important ability for a player like Prosise is availability. In 2016 C.J. missed seven games with hip, hamstring and shoulder injuries. So far this year he has missed two preseason games with a groin injury and the most recent tilt against the Indianapolis Colts with an ankle injury.
Injuries could once again make Prosise nothing more than a good first date.
Week 5 Projections:
As of now no official word has been given as to Prosise’s availability. He is listed as questionable and if he sees action it will most likely be behind mckissick.
Projected Fantasy Points for Week Five (if healthy and playing): 3.0
Similar to Chris Carson, nobody during the 2017 preseason thought J.D. McKissic would make the Seahawks roster as a running back. That’s primarily because up until the end of the 3rd preseason game, the second-year return-specialist was playing wide receiver. Pete Carroll and staff then decided to experiment with McKissic in the fourth week of the preseason, moving him to running back, where he looked explosive and dynamic. But of course preseason is just preseason and it can be hard to draw conclusions from this limited window. It wasn’t until this past Sunday when McKissic took a 30-yard run and a 27-yard catch into the end zone that people began to take notice. Hopefully C.J. Prosise took notice because McKissic looks primed to take his spot as the Seahawks’ third-down back. His durability remains to be seen, as injuries can be a factor for an undersized (5’10 195lbs) running back. But so far, he seems to have that “me against the world” mentality that seems to be so lacking in Prosise.
Third-down / receiving-back is still technically C.J. Prosise’s spot. McKissic is going to have every opportunity to take it, but it’s up to him. One of the factors that could prevent this is his lack of experience at the running back position and if he has the understanding of blitz-pickups and pass-protection down.
Week 5 Projections:
Mckissic is going to get 5+ targets and maybe a few carries as well. He is a good short-term bench spot on your fantasy team and a very low end flex position in PPR leagues only.
Projected Fantasy Points for Week Five: 6.5
Overall the Seahawks’ backfield is a mess. One could justify carrying any one of their four backs, or none of them. The most likely scenario going forward is Rawls will be the main guy but also labeled as an injury risk. Lacy would be Rawls backup while stealing some short yardage and goal line carries. For now Prosise is the third-down back with the PPR-scoring ability. Mckissic will be good to roster this week but if he doesn’t show to be more dynamic than a healthy Prosise, he will have little value moving forward.