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I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how 2017 started...what we were feeling, what seemed important, how did the initial reads of the situation turn out when you look back at them the following year. I'm re-reading all my Week 1 recaps from 2017 just to study what happened out of the gates and where it all went from there to start projecting 2018 Week 1/early seasons scenarios for our annual 'Faux' Computer Simulation of the upcoming season that we do every May/June.
With little football to chew on in May, here's a snack...reheated goodness from Week 1 last season, and we'll re-post all the Week 1 games from 2017 every day throughout May -- posted as-is/as-was...
For some reason, the main headline of this game became Seattle losing cornerback Jeremy Lane early on to a flagrant foul issue. Funny, I didn't realize Jeremy Lane played both ways…I didn't realize he was the reason why Seattle can't score a touchdown against the defense everyone was mocking as a great matchup for Russell Wilson all week. I didn't see Minnesota go into free fall when they lost their top cornerback on Monday Night Football…but Seattle lost their sketchy #2 corner and the world stopped spinning.
A diversion away from the truth.
The truth I've been trying to communicate for the last year plus – Seattle is secretly one of the worst coach football teams in the NFL. Only, we're constantly reminded that Pete Carroll is the greatest by the football minds. The GM is the one who is really great in this management team. Pete Carroll had his ass saved by Russell Wilson from an early dismissal with Carroll wanting to run with Matt Flynn, Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson – quarterbacks Pete Carroll and his awful O-C desperately wanted and paid huge for.
Now, the team is coached so poorly that even Russell Wilson and the defensive talent cannot save it. A locker room that has been coming apart for two years at least, and it's getting worse. An unexpected series of losses ahead, after this 0-1 start, could really bring this organization to its knees.
I've recounted the signs of trouble for over a year – Marshawn Lynch retiring was not because he didn't love football, but because he couldn't stand the Seattle offensive coordinator. He came back to the NFL to not be with Seattle. Doug Baldwin the flipping the offensive coordinator the bird in a game caught on TV last season. The Richard Sherman negative comments. I know a few other things I'm not at liberty to speak of. This team split down the middle behind the scenes – offense versus defense. You think I'm kidding? What happened right before halftime of this game? The defense left the field with about a minute left to go until halftime. A silent protest against the offense's failures and the offensive coordinator. Remember all the fighting on the sidelines last year? The coach has no control over the situation. Which would be fine if he had any type of winning a game plan on the field to offer – but as you saw in Week 1, he's got nothing but looking young for his age and acting younger than his age. Great.
Green Bay pretty well embarrassed Seattle on both sides of the ball. Seattle put up a good fight with their defense…but eventually, the Packers wore them down. The Green Bay defense made the Seattle offense looks silly.
Seattle is lucky it has the 49ers this week and the Colts in Week 4 or this thing could have come apart at the seams early. If Seattle somehow loses to the 49ers this week, it will start to become unglued.
Fantasy player notes…
-- Why wasn't Chris Carson (6-29-0, 1-10-0/1) on our waiver wire 'get' top 5 list? Well, he wasn't a top-five name to get…nor was he really not one for the sleeper to get ahead of the curve list. Everyone's fully aware of him and interested. I'm really not that interested.
I'm pro-Chris Carson, don't get me wrong, but why would I want to take a running back who is in a cluster with 2-3 other running backs…and running behind one of the worst O-Lines in football? I mean, if you tell me Eddie Lacy is hurt and Thomas Rawls isn't coming back…then I have some interest in a Carson/Prosise split. Am I supposed to believe the reports that Chris Carson is going to be taking over as the Seattle main running back? Why?
Wasn't it just last year at this time every fantasy analyst was telling you Christine Michael was where it's at? A few weeks into the season, Christine was being heralded as the future and Thomas Rawls needed to move aside. What happened the second Rawls was able to go? Michael got cut. In a span of five weeks, Christine Michael went from supposedly RB1 to released without any off-field incident pushing it. The same people that brought you that load of crap now bring you Chris Carson speculation. I love it because it will help attract attention away from Tarik Cohen in free agency for Fantasy.
Again, I am pro-Chris Carson as a talent. I'm not pro-Chris Carson when Thomas Rawls is healthy or when C.J. Prosise is healthy. There are 10 other running backs on the waiver wire who are part of a trio of RBs looking for touches – why would I bet Carson is going to win this race now? Not to mention the presence of Eddie Lacy, who is terrible, but Seattle's coaches are going to show you how smart they are and how smart they were for signing Lacy by continuing to push him as well. There are too many mouths to feed in Seattle to burn a waiver priority in a standard 12 team, 15/16 deep roster league. It's just not time yet. There are other priorities. I'm not against you taking a gamble, but I'm not advocating it with any fervor.
-- What I am more passionate about – Jimmy Graham (3-8-0/7) is probably dead for Fantasy 2017. I have never seen a football player play with such a little passion in my entire life since the Jimmy Graham of the second half of last season. He obviously doesn't want to be there. The team is not using him as a weapon. He doesn't even look like he has a spark in his step. I think he's just going through the motions collecting a check until free agency hits.
This is not a new development – we saw this, and pointed it out last season. It's a continuation. It's not something new I'm dreaming up. Go look at his targets the second half of last year…TE3-worthy output. Because I love Jimmy Graham (circa the Saints) and because it's Jimmy Graham, I'm willing to gamble at a certain point that maybe he's going to have an uptick in usage…but was always worried the same exact coaches would do the same exact thing with the same exact quarterback – and that's just what happened in Week 1. It's just an extension of what happened over and over again the second half of last year.
If you have Jimmy Graham, you have a TE2 hoping he gets a TD in a given week to become a TE1. Consistently, he's going to be a TE2. He's the Todd Gurley of tight ends all the sudden – being a guy we all marvel at, and keep excusing all of the lower performance numbers and hoping that next week is the week…and it never really is. Not to what we expect or could find anywhere from other players/options. We don't have time to wait around. You need to make another plan at tight end. You want to hold Jimmy Graham and add another tight end and see what happens…fine. I would advocate that Graham always has a sucker like me who's interested in buying low – and if you can mix a Graham into a multiplayer deal to a team that didn't have a great performance at tight end last week you might strike gold. Trading Graham straight up is hard, but mixing him into a stew can be tempting for other people.
-- Paul Richardson (4-59-0/7) out targeted Doug Baldwin in this game for reasons I do not understand. It's not like Green Bay has shut down corners. The offensive plan was just awful. I like Doug Baldwin and I assume he will come around, but for some reason I never trust Seattle…and I'm becoming less trusting by the day. Richardson is a WR3-4 who will leave you mad trying to figure out which weeks he gets enough targets.
I'm losing fantasy faith in Russell Wilson (14-27 for 158 yards, 2-40-0). The loss of his left tackle and the bad O-Line, in general, is mounting problems on top of the terrible offensive coordinator. Unless Seattle starts going down in flames and turns it all over to Wilson to save them, like he did his fantasy gold season second half of 2015, then you're looking at another QB2-3 for far too long to start the season. If you're relying on Russell Wilson, you better start coming up with a Plan B. Or hope to God that he runs a lot.
-- Randall Cobb (9-85-0/13) look back to his old self in this game. I saw Davante Adams (3-47-0/7) getting pretty good attention from the secondary…much respect. Adams had a couple deeper balls thrown his way but couldn't connect. I'm not concerned about Adams. I am more pleased with seeing Randall Cobb return the form and I think Rodgers can make three wide receivers work well in fantasy because the running game is just so-so.
-- Do you want to know how bad the Seattle offensive line is? Green Bay's defense had nine tackles for loss in this game. Usually, you see between 0-3 of them. It's not like Green Bay is known for its killer defense. Seattle's got a lot of problems.
-- Frank Clark (1 tackles, 0.5 sacks) played OK despite his wrist issue. He didn't seem to be too thrown off his pass rush or playing skills because of it. He'll probably skip out on some pile-on tackles, but he seems to be rushing the passer OK. His IDP stock should be down a tick because of that wrist.