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Player Outlooks (2023)
QB Geno Smith: Smith having a 30-touchdown campaign on his way to winning NFL Comeback Player of the Year was one of the best stories of the 2022 season, as the 32-year-old proved he can play at a high level after several years as a backup. Pure ability as a thrower has never been in question for Smith, and getting a chance to start on an offense with two big-time wideouts (DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett) and two impressive rookies at offensive tackle (Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas) showed how crucial the right supporting cast is. Adding top rookie wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba to play the slot will only make the Seahawks tougher to defend through the air—so Smith has definite QB1 upside as a QB2 target.
RB Kenneth Walker III: The Seahawks drafting UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet as the No. 52 overall pick rightfully raised alarm bells about the workhorse potential for Walker, but he could now be a tremendous value based on the talent. While a full-blown committee could break out to make Walker a frustrating option, we’d still be willing to take him as a borderline RB1 option, and the offensive line should be further improved as the young group continues to gel.
RB Zach Charbonnet: At the same time, we loved Charbonnet coming out of UCLA, as he’s a throwback runner with underrated elusiveness and impressive receiving skills at his size. The best-case scenario would be Seattle getting back to having a dominant ground game, and two-headed backfields have worked in the past with pairings such as DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart or Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. When you factor in his handcuff value, Charbonnet is a strong value in the middle rounds.
RB DeeJay Dallas: We are also fans of Dallas, but he’s been limited to 102 carries through three seasons as more of a special teams contributor for Pete Carroll’s squad. There is a good chance of Seattle keeping four running backs on the roster as they’ve done in recent years (including times where they’ve had five backs), so the redraft outlook for Dallas will likely be suppressed barring an injury or two.
RB Kenny McIntosh: The Seahawks said McIntosh could have easily been drafted in the third round (which isn’t just talk; he had a second/third-round grade for us), and there is a scenario where the seventh-round rookie works into the primary receiving role in a three-man backfield. If so, McIntosh will be worth taking as a bench option in deeper PPR formats.
WR DK Metcalf: Metcalf was able to set career-highs in targets (141) and receptions (90) last season, but the offense was a bit more methodical under Geno Smith—resulting in career-lows in yards per reception (11.6), yards per target (7.4), and touchdowns (six). There were even some signs of frustration for Metcalf at times in 2022, and now the Seahawks will add impressive rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the mix as an option to soak up a bunch of targets out of the slot. However, the superhuman talent is undeniable, and Metcalf seeing an uptick in scores should allow him to surpass last year’s overall WR17 finish.
WR Tyler Lockett: With receiving lines of 57/965/10, 82/1,057/8, 100/1,054/10, 73/1,175/8, and 84/1,033/9 over the past five seasons (since he became a full-time starter), all Lockett has done is produce for Seattle, and that didn’t change with Smith at quarterback in 2022. One thing that will change this year is Smith-Njigba joining the offense to man the slot, which has been the primary alignment for Lockett—creating a bit of uncertainty regarding his fantasy outlook. So, we’d view him as more of a FLEX option (potentially a volatile one) than a WR2 target in fantasy drafts.
WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba: He might be “blocked” to begin his career on an offense with Metcalf and Lockett, but Smith-Njigba landed in an excellent long-term spot with Seattle—and he’s someone used to putting up numbers alongside headlining options as the most productive of Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and himself for Ohio State in 2021. There are flashes of Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson based on how JSN leverages defenders and runs routes, but will the production match the ability in Year 1?
WR Dee Eskridge: Eskridge is another young option that could push for playing time in 2023, as Geno Smith talked him up in the spring, and the two trained together in the offseason. Already entering his age-26 season, the 2021 second-round pick having a strong summer is crucial for him to carve out playing time for a loaded group at wide receiver.
WR Dareke Young: It’s difficult to imagine Young seeing enough snaps to hold redraft value with everyone healthy, but he made the team as a seventh-round rookie in 2022 and showed his potential with two receptions (on two targets) for 24 yards last year. At six-foot-two, Young has very impressive body control at his size.
TE Noah Fant: Fant was a key piece of the Russell Wilson trade last offseason, but his numbers dropped for a Seattle offense that has three capable options at tight end. The passing attack is even more crowded in 2023, so Fant—despite the talent and not turning 26 until November—will likely be an inconsistent TE2 option as he shares snaps with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson.
TE Will Dissly: The efficiency of Dissly throughout his career has been remarkable, as he’s averaged at least 8.7 yards per target in all five seasons—and last season caught 34-of-38 targets for 349 yards and three scores. He’ll remain a better real-life option than fantasy option, but Dissly has shown in the past that he can get hot scoring touchdowns.
TE Colby Parkinson: Parkinson was also productive last year with 25 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns, which could foreshadow the kind of split numbers we might see at all three skill positions for Seattle this season. Still just 24, the six-foot-seven Parkinson is a dynasty name to monitor as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.
Best IDP value: CB Devon Witherspoon
A six-interception season from the playmaking Riq Woolen will cause offensive coordinators and quarterbacks to often look elsewhere, but Witherspoon isn’t expected to be an easy mark on the other side of the field. Also a crushing hitter in addition to his cover talent, Witherspoon can rack up statistics in multiple categories and should be a top contender for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Stat to know (via draft guide)
Kenneth Walker III rushed 205 times for 904 yards (4.4 YPC) and eight touchdowns in 11 games following Rashaad Penny’s season-ending leg injury—giving him a 17-game pace of 317 carries, 1,397 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns.