Depth Chart Analysis: Seahawks Running Backs

Justin Forsett ended the 2009 campaign as the Seahawks top running back, ahead of Julius Jones.  With Pete Carroll coming in as the head coach, a shake-up closely followed in the draft day acquisitions of Lendale White and Leon Washington.

White, however, was not long for Seattle.  With a drug related four-game suspension looming he was released in a surprise move.  That likely saved Jones’ spot on the roster, but exactly how does the RB mix look now in Seattle?  Let’s break it down, back-by-back.

Leon Washington
He proved what he could do in New York, but that was before a broken fibula brought an early end to his 2009 campaign.  Thinking that it is a foregone conclusion that he rebounds to the player he once was would be a huge mistake.

It’s more likely that he fills a third-down/change-of-pace role for the Seahawks.  That’s the role the Jets used him in, having never had more then 151 carries in a season (and that was back in 2006).

He is a threat out of the backfield, but if he’s not going to get the carries he’s not likely to hold much fantasy value.  Unless he proves otherwise in training camp, he should be an afterthought on draft day.

Julius Jones
He averaged less then four yards per carry last season and is three years removed from his only 1,000-yard campaign.  He’s never scored more then 7 TD in a season and in fact has only been above 5 once (the past three seasons he’s scored 2 TD a piece on the ground).  He’s also never had more then 35 receptions in a year and has just 2 career receiving TD (both came last season).

Why exactly should we expect anything special from him this season?

The fact of the matter is, he’s just not a reliable option for fantasy owners.

Justin Forsett
He finally got a chance to carry the ball in 2009 and showed exactly what he was capable of.  While he got just 114 carries, he averaged nearly 5.5 yards per carry (619 yards), proving that he has the type of ability the Seahawks need from their backfield.

If the carries weren’t enough, he also proved to be a useful target in the passing game, with 41 receptions for 350 yards.  That certainly is an ability that should not be overlooked.

He scored just 4 TD on the ground (and one through the air), but those numbers could easily be improved upon with regular touches.  Keep in mind that the Seahawks were not all that dependent on the running game last year, scoring just 7 TD on the ground.

Conclusion
If I’m drafting a Seahawks running back, it’s surely going to be Forsett.  With their depth at the position I’m not going to draft him as one of my top two backs (he’s currently the 47th running back being drafted, according to Mock Draft Central vs. 29th in our Top 40 RB which you can view by clicking here), but as a potential FLEX/reserve option, he is well worth the risk.  He has the potential to be a huge sleeper on draft day and should pay dividends quickly.

What are your thoughts?  Which running back will get the bulk of the carries?  Is Forsett someone you want on your fantasy team?

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