The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season, but for fantasy the only players who really make any noise are Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks’ defense. Russell Wilson is a steady performer at quarterback, but the offense revolves around the run game. That offensive philosophy puts a damper on the fantasy outlook for plenty of Seahawks, including a player like Doug Baldwin.
Baldwin will be taking over the “X” receiver spot in the Seahawks’ offense that was vacated by Golden Tate signing with the Detroit Lions. Add in the retirement of Sidney Rice, and Baldwin looks to be set up for a breakout season. But, even with the increased role, Baldwin doesn’t project much for fantasy purposes with how the Seahawks are currently situated.
Baldwin will not be running high percentage routes like his counterpart on the outside in Percy Harvin, who finally looks healthy and ready to contribute. He will also lose out once the Seahawks move into the red zone, as Jermaine Kearse is a jump ball specialist, and the heart and soul of the Seahawks’ offense is still the running game.
The only way that Baldwin will see a true boon in his stats this season is if Harvin is once again sidelined, something not out of the realm of possibilities; Harvin has only played in 10 games the last two seasons, so there is a real possibility that he misses time once again in 2014.
If that does happen, then Baldwin quickly moves into the WR4, possibly even WR3 territory. While the Seahawks obviously prefer to run the ball, they will have to mix in the pass and someone will have to catch the ball. Last season Baldwin caught 50 passes on 73 targets for 778 yards and five touchdowns. He will be lucky to reach those numbers, as Harvin will get a lion’s share of the targets as long as he is healthy.
As currently situated, Baldwin is at best the second or third option in the passing game depending on the situation. If you’re confident enough in the rest of your roster, picking him as a stash waiting for a Harvin injury could be worthwhile, but even then it would be hard to imagine him surpassing the stats Tate put up last season with only 64 receptions for 898 yards and five touchdowns. For a team that attempts as few passes as the Seahawks, only their division rival San Francisco 49ers attempted less, Baldwin isn’t worthy of a pick in fantasy drafts outside the very late rounds as a flier.