A Companion Post: Who Might Want Beastmode Besides Seattle?

One thing I failed to explore in the previous post is:  what’s the market look like for a guy like Marshawn Lynch?

Yes, the Franchise Tag is a good cost-cutting tool when trying to re-sign a player.  But, a complete and utter lack of teams desiring to sign an over-priced running back is probably the best thing the Seahawks could ask for.

Of course, on Lynch’s side, you’ve got the age-old adage:  it only takes one.

So, let’s just go around the league.  For starters, you can count out the NFC East.  Dallas has any number of quality young backs already locked in (including super-stud DeMarco Murray who is sure to be a fantasy god for years to come).  The Giants appear to be set with Bradshaw and whoever else behind him.  The Redskins have a nice little stable of young backs.  And the Eagles have Shady McCoy (and, I imagine, not a whole lot of cap room to boot).

In the NFC North, I’m banking my life-savings (and one of my fantasy keepers) on the fact that they will retain Matt Forte.  Minnesota obviously has one of the very best backs in the league.  The Detroit Lions, however, could be interesting.  All they’ve got on their roster right now is Jahvid Best, and he’s a fucking injury waiting to happen!  It’s certainly NOT a good sign that he ended his season with concussions last year.  And, you’d have to think that for a young team trying to cultivate this bad-ass attitude, a guy like Beastmode would slide right in nicely.  Even MORE interesting are the Green Bay Packers.  You’ve got a team with an all-world quarterback, with a shitload of receivers, and with absolutely no running game to speak of whatsoever.  Ryan Grant is a free agent who has played his last game with the green and gold; James Starks is good, but he’s no Beastmode.  I gotta think Lynch might be just the piece to put the right balance into that explosive offense.

The NFC South will be no competition.  Atlanta still has a lot of money tied up in Michael Turner.  New Orleans drafted the top running back last season (and they have other money tied up in three or four other guys); plus, theirs is not an offense that would make any sense for a guy like Lynch.  Carolina still has three running backs (including the guy who takes snaps from the center).  And Tampa is a young team that will never in a million years put in the money it would take to get Lynch.

As for the other teams in the NFC West:  San Francisco has Gore, St. Louis has Jackson, and Arizona has Wells.  They all seem pretty committed to their guys.

You know who scares me more than any other team in the NFL?  The New England Patriots.  Think about it, they were THIS close to winning it all this past season!  What were they missing?  What are they ALWAYS missing?  A balanced offensive attack!  Let’s face it, Tom Brady isn’t getting any younger.  Yes, I know the Patriots like to skimp on their running backs (just as they like to bank draft picks for future drafts), but at one point or another, they’re going to have to cash in before it’s too late.  That crack about Tom Brady not getting any younger:  the same can be said for him not getting any BETTER.  Tom Brady is as good as he’s ever going to be; it’s all downhill from here.  One of these seasons, his skills are going to erode.  He’s not going to see the open receiver soon enough, he’s going to force more and more balls into coverage, he’s going to take more and more hits from ferocious defenses looking to take out the guy while he’s on top.  The Pats could sure as shit use a guy like Lynch to take off some of the load.

And, don’t look now, but Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis are both free agents.  They’re not going to hand the ball off to Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen 30 times a game!  Why WOULDN’T they make a huge push to get Lynch and start dominating the Time of Possession in every game?  What’s the downside here?

Elsewhere in the AFC East, the Dolphins are tied up with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, the Jets seem pretty happy with Shonn Greene and whatever young buck they’re going to slide behind him.  And, of course, the Bills have Jackson and Spiller (plus, duh, they’re the team that traded Lynch in the first place).

In the AFC North, you know damn well Baltimore is re-signing Ray Rice, so forget about it.  The Steelers would be an AWESOME fit for a guy like Beastmode, but they’re still stuck with Mendenhall (plus, they NEVER fork over money on free agents).  Cincy won’t fork over the money it’ll take either.  And the Browns – in spite of his sub-par season – will most likely re-sign Hillis (plus, they’ve got a stable of young backs they could easily throw into the mix should Hillis go elsewhere).

The AFC South has three teams that are simply non-starters.  Houston has not one but TWO massively effective running backs (Foster, who’s a fantasy god; and Tate who – as a backup – nearly ran for 1,000 yards).  The Titans have Chris Johnson and his massively insane contract.  And the Jags have one of the better all-around guys in MJD.

The Indianapolis Colts, however, are a God damned wild card and I just don’t like it!  Now, for starters, if they opt to keep Peyton Manning, then you can just skip to the next paragraph right now, because they won’t have two cents to rub together.  But, let’s say they let him and his $28 million walk:  suddenly, they’re in play!  They will have a rookie quarterback starting from Game 1.  They don’t have a single running back worth a good God damn on their team.  And, the organization will have to do something for its fans to make up for the fact that they just let go of a Hall of Famer (especially if he goes to another team and starts kicking ass again).  I wouldn’t put it past the Colts to do something drastic; mark my words.

In the AFC West, we’re talking about teams who are all pretty much set.  The Chiefs will be looking for Jamaal Charles to bounce back from an early-season season-ending injury in 2011.  The Broncos still have Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno.  And the Raiders will still have McFadden; if they re-sign Michael Bush, then all the more reason for them to NOT sign Lynch.

So, aside from the Seahawks, we’re talking about four potential teams:  Detroit, Green Bay, New England, and Indianapolis.  All have ample reasons to sign a back like Lynch; all have ample reasons to not do a damn thing.  There will be other, cheaper options out there (Hillis, Bush, Mike Tolbert, Cedric Benson, Tashard Choice, Justin Forsett, Ryan Grant) for teams like New England and Detroit to snap up, if they so choose to go the tightwad route.  Really, it’s tough to know exactly WHICH of these four teams would be the most likely, considering I don’t know what their cap situations are like.  If I were Green Bay or New England, though, I’d think long and hard.  Both teams were DAMN close this past season.  Both teams had very similar, pass-first types of offenses.  And both teams lost to the same team (the Giants) which could have been avoided had they had a running game.

Something to think about as these Beastmode negotiations continue.

The Seahawks Are The Most Disappointing Fantasy Team In Football

Obviously, I’m not going to say they’re the WORST team.  Cincinnati, Washington, and Buffalo might prove to be worse (unless they develop some semblance of a running game while the Seahawks continue to spin their wheels).  But, certainly the Seahawks are a huge disappointment.

Of course, it all stems from the same fucking thing we’ve been talking about for the last month (GOD when are the games going to start already??), the quarterback and the offensive line.

Because, let’s face it, we’ve GOT skill players.  In any right-thinking fantasy football league, Sidney Rice would likely go anywhere in the early to mid rounds.  In my league, Sidney Rice fell to the first pick of the 14th round (in a 10-team league).  139 players went before Sidney Rice!  That’s insane!  There were only 15 rounds in our draft; he almost went straight to the Free Agency Dump Heap!

But, honestly though, can you blame us for letting him fall?  Who out there sees Sidney Rice – as talented as he is – being a starting-caliber wide receiver for your fantasy football team (unless you’re in some ridiculous league where you start 40 players and have 15 teams duking it out in an exercise in masturbation)?  Again, if you’re in a 10-team league that starts 2 wide outs & a flex, who’s going to start Rice unless it’s an absolute BYE-week emergency?  He used to be a stud; now he’s a Seahawk.

Marshawn Lynch is a starting running back for a professional football team.  He’s going to get the bulk of the carries for a team that has publicly dedicated itself to running the football.  In my league, Beastmode went #2 in the 13th round.  A whopping 121 players went before the guy who made the single-greatest play in Seahawks history last winter against New Orleans!  He’s going to get ALL the goalline carries (provided he’s healthy), so you’d think touchdowns would be a-comin’.

But, who among you has any confidence that Lynch will ever catch wind of a goalline?  Can this offense even get the ball NEAR the red zone enough to make Lynch a quality play?  This is a running back in the prime of his career!  And yet, guys like Thomas Jones, Michael Bush, Pierre Thomas, C.J. Spiller, Roy Helu, Rashad Jennings (before he went on IR), and Mike Tolbert all went before Marshawn Lynch.  Maybe some of those picks were far-fetched and short-sighted, but let me tell you this:  all but one of the people involved in this draft have grown up in the Pacific Northwest (with the other having lived here for the last decade) and all are intimately aware of the Seahawks.  Not even the homerest of homers found it in himself to pick up the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Zach Miller went undrafted.  This is a league where you HAVE to play a tight end and you even have the option to play a second.  A guy who made the Pro Bowl with the Raiders couldn’t get picked up.  12 tight ends were drafted, but there wasn’t any room for Zach.

I don’t even have to really get into this, but I will.  In a 10-team league (where we feature the 2-QB system), 28 starting quarterbacks are currently on rosters.  Those not on a team:  Rex Grossman, Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, and … Tarvaris Jackson.  That’s … that’s some elite company he’s holding.  YOUR Seahawks starting quarterback, everybody!  Even worse than Cam Newton!

I could go on.  Mike Williams wasn’t picked up, even though it’s a points per reception league.  Leon Washington never had a prayer even though it looks like he’ll get some 3rd down touches out of the backfield and in the passing game (plus the return yards we count).  The defense was left behind, even though it features some quality players who had big years last year.  That just boils down to nobody having faith in the offense, so why would you want to start an overworked defense that’s likely to get scored on at will?

Look, there’s talent on this team!  Under normal circumstances (with a more-experienced line, and a better QB), these players would be picked higher (or, in the case of some, picked period)!  We have more individual talent than a handful of other teams in the league (maybe even more than a handful); but as a team, nobody’s going to buy into these Seahawks until they prove on the field that they’re not as Gawd-awful as we all assume they’ll be.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of squandered fantasy talent out there.  Making this blog post Arian Foster’s favorite thing ever.