The second Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement via Twitter, I’m sure many fantasy football addicts were thinking about who the next man up in Seattle is going to be. Myself included.
On paper, most would probably expect Thomas Rawls to take on the workload that Marshawn Lynch is leaving behind. If it were that simple, Rawls would undoubtedly be a top-20 or even top 10-pick. However, I don’t think it’s that cut and dry just yet.
It goes without saying, Rawls was absolutely stunning in his rookie season with Seattle. Thanks to Lynch’s injuries, he was able to start quite a few games and certainly did the most with his opportunities.
In 13 games, Rawls had 147 carries for 830 yards and four touchdowns. Also, despite only having six games with over seven or more carries, Rawls still finished 16th in the NFL in rushing yards.
2015 performance alone, Rawls is worthy of a top-20 pick. The only thing that makes me concerned about Rawls is dependent upon what other running backs are on the roster come September. Christine Michael and Bryce Brown are free agents this offseason but both could return at a reasonable price
Though both Brown and Michael haven’t lived up to their immense potentials, they still have the talent to be impactful players in the NFL. Also, Michael looked pretty solid in a couple of games for the Seahawks towards the end of the season and against the Vikings in the playoffs.
Trust me, I love Thomas Rawls, but the way the running back position panned out in 2015, you need to have your doubts about almost every running back situation in the NFL.
As it stands, in the early part of February, I probably wouldn’t take Thomas Rawls in the top-10 but I’d take him towards the end of the second or early third. Honestly, come August or September, depending how things play out, Rawls could easily be sitting as a top 10 overall player for me.
For kicks, let’s just say that everything goes Rawls’ way this offseason, the Seahawks don’t sign any legitimate backups, his ankle is fine and he gets the starting job.
Looking at my very early 2016 top 10 running backs I did a month ago, I’d probably have Rawls somewhere in the top eight. I’d probably feel pretty comfortable taking him over LeSean McCoy, Doug Martin and maybe even Le’Veon Bell because I’m pretty close to done with drafting players coming off bad injuries. Also, Adrian Peterson‘s age is becoming a concern and he still doesn’t do much in the passing game.
If everything checks out, Rawls could be in for a season with over 300 touches, but don’t get carried away just yet. Fortunately, we have about six or seven months till we start drafting our fantasy teams.