10 Players You Should Be Targeting in Fantasy Football Drafts
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Forecasting volume in fantasy football can be tough for some players. For Doug Baldwin, it's been a cakewalk over the last four years.
Baldwin's seen between 20.90% and 22.05% of Seattle's targets in each of the last four seasons. His target totals have mildly fluctuated because the Seahawks have gone from 454 pass attempts in 2014 to 489 in 2015, 567 in 2016, and then to 555 last year. As the Seahawks have become more pass-happy, it's benefited Baldwin.
But then there's this quote -- among similar ones this offseason -- from head coach Pete Carroll about the team's urge to become more balanced:
Our formula of the running game being an integral part of it is really the focus. We’ve got to get that done. Without that, then we’re still kind of in a mode where we don’t feel as comfortable as we want to be. So it’s hugely important.
Seattle brought in Brian Schottenheimer to be the team's offensive coordinator this year, and his offenses have historically been run-heavy. During his last offensive coordinator gig in the NFL -- he was with the OC for the Rams from 2012 through 2014 -- Schottenheimer's offenses ranked 17th, 30th, and 23rd in pass-to-rush ratio in neutral game situations. He's the type of coordinator hire to make if you're looking to focus on the running game.
The Seahawks also picked a running back in the first round of the draft, despite plenty of holes across the team. Yet again, it's more evidence that they do indeed want to pound the rock.
If they become more of a running team, then Baldwin's 21% to 22% target share becomes less meaningful. He'd be getting the same chunk of the pie, but that pie would be smaller.
Well, here's the thing. Seattle's now without Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, who combined for more than 31% of the Seahawks' targets last season. And the team did very little to fill those voids, as they were apparently too busy drafting a running back in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Seattle also may not be able to be as run-heavy as they want. The offensive line is still a bottom-tiered one in the league, and the Seahawks aren't favored in many games this year. With the chance for negative game scripts, they won't have the luxury to do what they want on the ground.
So not only could Baldwin see a bump in target share -- we should actually assume he does -- but Seattle still may be as much of a passing team as they've been over the last couple of years. That means Baldwin could be a target machine.