Most people are probably pegging Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin as potential breakout candidate this season due to Golden Tate‘s departure. That’s a reasonable assumption; he’s moving up the totem pole in the depth chart, right? Actually, he’s not. Baldwin is still stuck at the WR2 slot for the defending Super Bowl champions. That’s because Percy Harvin was on the back-burner for most of the season as well as the playoffs. Now he’s healthy and moves up in the depth chart, keeping Baldwin exactly where he was last season.
However, that’s not a bad thing. He’s a viable fantasy option, ranking 37th among receivers last season. Saying he’s stuck in the depth chart isn’t to say he can’t move up the chain a little more this season — he was already a borderline FLEX option last season. But that will have less to do with his talent than the rest of the receivers he’ll be competing with in fantasy. Some players will decrease in value from last season, and by way of elimination, his season ranking could improve.
But it’s not his season total that’s Baldwin’s best trait as a fantasy player; it’s his consistency. He’s not a player who will post 20 points for you on a consistent basis. Direct me to any WR2 who can do that. But six times last season, he was able to produce at least nine points or more. Though this might sound negative, it’s actually not in his case: He never scored two touchdowns in a game.
Why is that a good thing? It shows that he’s not just a flash-in-the-pan player. He’ll be getting you double digit totals without inflating his season total by having one or two remarkable games like Tavon Austin. He’s a consistent workhorse who will go above or below his projected weekly total by a few digits, never completely missing it.
One of the reasons why he’s so consistent and will follow suit this year is his QB Russell Wilson has proven to be one of the most consistent signal-callers in the game. In each of Wilson’s last two seasons, he’s thrown for 26 TDs, 6.4 Yards Net Per Pass, a difference of 14 pass attempts total, 9 INTs last season and 10 in his first season and the list goes on. All of his stats are nearly identical, and that consistency has translated to targeting his receivers in the same manner, maintaining their consistency and value as well.
Though I don’t see Baldwin improving this season by very much, he’ll still post over 100 points and provide consistent WR3 numbers for you. If you don’t have your backups filled already by the last round, he should still be available for you and will be the safest pick on the board.