Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: DK Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Kenneth Walker III, and More

    Can Jaxon Smith-Njigba make a sophomore year leap? Will Tyler Lockett hold him back once again? Find out this and more in our Seattle Seahawks fantasy preview.

    In fantasy football, we want good players on good offenses. Last season, this offense wasn’t quite good enough to support all three of its fantasy-relevant receivers. Will we see a changing of the guard in 2024? Let’s see what our Seattle Seahawks fantasy preview has to say.

    Seattle Seahawks Fantasy Depth Chart

    QB
    Geno Smith, Sam Howell

    RB
    Kenneth Walker III, Zach Charbonnet, Kenny McIntosh

    WR1
    DK Metcalf, Jake Bobo, Laviska Shenault

    WR2
    Tyler Lockett, Dareke Young

    WR3
    Jaxon Smith-Nijgba, Dee Eskridge

    TE
    Noah Fant, Pharaoh Brown

    Geno Smith’s Fantasy Outlook

    Last season, Geno Smith was unable to follow up his surprising 2022 breakout with a similarly successful campaign. He went from 18.5 fantasy points per game two years ago to 15.7 points per game last year. So…what happened?

    Smith played in two fewer games, which slightly skews his total numbers. However, two games don’t explain the 5.1% drop in completion percentage, the 10 passing touchdown drop, and the 211-yard reduction on the ground.

    Simply put, Smith was less efficient across the board.

    Heading into this season, Smith’s weapons look exactly the same. He’s got his same three receivers and his same two running backs. The only major change is a new head coach.

    Could Smith respond well to new direction and bounce back? It’s possible. But with the wealth of talented fantasy QBs and potential QB1s, Smith isn’t someone fantasy managers need to prioritize drafting.

    Kenneth Walker III’s Fantasy Outlook

    I wanted no part of Kenneth Walker III last season. Between concerns about his efficiency and the drafting of Zach Charbonnet, Walker had too many red flags.

    Charbonnet turned out not to be a real threat to Walker’s workload. However, Walker still didn’t quite meet expectations.

    Walker only averaged 13.3 fantasy points per game, a 0.2-points per game decrease from his rookie year. His season was nearly identical.

    Walker played in exactly 15 games and scored nine touchdowns. He caught 29 passes as compared to 27 the year before. The only major change was Walker’s yards per carry dropped from 4.6 to 4.1

    Walker still made defenders miss. His 29% evaded tackles per touch rate was second in the NFL. But with just a 7.7% target share, he was incredibly touchdown dependent…and he didn’t score that often.

    MORE: Consensus Dynasty Rankings

    While we could see an increased role for Charbonnet, I expect this backfield to look mostly the same. That means a lot of Walker on early downs and near the goal line, but Charbonnet as the passing-down back.

    Walker projects as a middling RB2 without much in the way of upside. He’s a fine pick. He’s a safe pick. But there are better picks to make, specifically at other positions around Walker’s ADP.

    DK Metcalf’s Fantasy Outlook

    At what point do we stop expecting DK Metcalf to be a WR1? Are we there yet? It feels like we have to be.

    Metcalf broke out in 2020, totaling 1,303 yards and averaging 17.0 fantasy points per game. We attributed his down 2021 season to Russell Wilson. We blamed his poor 2022 on bad touchdown luck.

    But 2023 was another year of a solid, yet unspectacular 14.1 fantasy points per game. That’s now three straight seasons of between 13.3 and 14.4 points per game. Perhaps this is just who Metcalf is.

    A 22.9% target share is quite low for a team’s WR1. That’s what Metcalf saw last season. The only reason he was even as good as he was is because he averaged 16.9 yards per reception, sixth in the league. Otherwise, Metcalf was not treated like a true alpha, and he did not perform like one.

    There are other variables that could lead to Metcalf returning to the WR1 ranks. Tyler Lockett could just be done. Jaxon Smith-Njigba could fail to progress.

    If both of those things happen, odds are Smith will have to lean extra hard on Metcalf. So, the path exists. But between the target competition, mediocre QB play, and run-centric offense, Metcalf just isn’t as exciting as he once was.

    Tyler Lockett’s Fantasy Outlook

    The Seahawks restructured Lockett’s contract so he can remain with the team. They easily could have cut him, allowing JSN to step into the WR2 role. They chose to bring Lockett back.

    This could mean Lockett reprises his role as the team’s WR2. He also could take a step back and fall to third on the target hierarchy. After all, he will be 32 years old this season and showed obvious signs of decline in 2023.

    After averaging between 13.8 and 16.6 fantasy points per game for five consecutive seasons, Lockett’s production plummeted to 11.9 points per game last year. He finished as the overall WR37.

    With that said, Lockett still saw a sold 22.3% target share. That was only a 0.5% drop from the year before. The problem is his efficiency took a bit of a dive.

    Lockett averaged 2.07 yards per route run in 2022. That fell to 1.63 in 2023. His 11.3 yards per reception was also a full-yard decrease from the year before and a far cry from the 16.1 he averaged in 2021. Lockett also scored a mere five touchdowns. He had been at no fewer than eight every year since 2018.

    It’s difficult to get excited about Lockett for the upcoming season.

    Of course, his price is the lowest it’s ever been since his 2018 breakout. But between Smith not being able to support three fantasy-relevant receivers, Lockett’s age, and a potential JSN ascension, it’s hard to see much upside in Lockett this season.

    Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s Fantasy Outlook

    Fantasy managers should try to get away from the habit of making excuses for underperforming players, specifically young ones.

    Smith-Njigba was the first wide receiver selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. He caught 63 passes for 628 yards and four touchdowns. His 8.8 fantasy points per game were eighth among rookie wide receivers. Simply put, that’s not good enough.

    The excuse for Smith-Njigba’s underwhelming rookie year is obvious. He was playing behind Metcalf and Lockett, two established veteran stars. It was always going to be a challenge.

    And in the one game Metcalf missed, Smith-Njigba did play well. He caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. But ultimately, we didn’t get a full picture of what he can do.

    This year, there can be no excuses. Smith-Njigba has to overtake Lockett as this team’s WR2. If he isn’t second on the team in target share and fantasy points, we will be able to draw strong conclusions about Smith-Njigba’s long-term fantasy value, and they won’t be good.

    KEEP READING: Dynasty Rookie Rankings

    Ultimately, whether to draft JSN comes down to how you choose to view his rookie season. Is this a talented receiver who was held back by the nature of his offense and target competition? Or is this an overrated receiver who wasn’t good enough to earn targets?

    Historically, sophomore wide receivers who exceed 500 receiving yards as a rookie have been good bets. There’s certainly a chance JSN is destined for a career of WR3 mediocrity. But I lean more on the side of chasing the upside of a 22-year-old first-round pick.

    Seahawks Fantasy Sleepers

    There is only one sleeper of relevance on this team. That is Charbonnet, the sophomore running back.

    Based on what happened last season, we should expect Walker to be the RB1 and Charbonnet to be the RB2, operating as the primary passing down back.

    However, given the coaching change, there may not be the same allegiance to Walker as there was under Pete Carroll. It’s at least possible Charbonnet can play his way into an increased role, possibly returning low RB2 value.

    Additionally, Charbonnet also has injury contingency upside. We saw this play out last season.

    When Walker missed time, Charbonnet played 85%, 88%, and 61% of the snaps. Even if he’s inefficient, Charbonnet would be a volume-based RB2 as the Seahawks’ RB1. Whoever ends up being the RB3 behind Charbonnet would take far less work from Charbonnet than Charbonnet will take from Walker.

    Charbonnet isn’t exactly sneaking up on anyone, though. Fantasy managers are aware of his role on the team. Nevertheless, he’s the most likely player on the Seahawks to emerge as a fantasy starter who doesn’t project to be one out of the gate.

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