Check email: Note from boss -- "Justin Forsett. Sleeper. Write it."
Note to self-- "Stop staying up till 4 a.m. watching Rescue Me episodes."
Carroll's response: "Leon's showed he can be an every down back but the comp is on."
Thanks, Pete. Clear as mud.
Back to bed. Need sleep.
Phone rings: the boss-- "where's that Forsett sleeper piece?"
Seattle has struggled with their run game since Shaun Alexander's explosive 2004 and 2005 seasons. After which he slipped into fantasy oblivion and the team cut him after the 2007 season. His final two years in the Pacific Northwest were fantasy forgettable. In fact, the Seahawks run game has been so sad, they haven't ended in the top half of the league in points scored since Alexander's 2005 campaign.
The Seahawks went out and grabbed Julius Jones from the Dallas Cowboys, and backed him with Edgerrin James. Neither did anything worthy of note. Jones has been a bigger disappointment for the Seasquabs than he was in Texas. He averaged 44th place fantasy finishes in his two seasons with the team. At this point he's still on the roster, but he could get cut before the 2010 season gets under way.
The team brought in Lendale White after the NFL draft this season but he barely warmed his feet before the team cut him.
That leaves the team with Jones, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington and Quinton Ganther.
Fantasy owners are chomping at the bit for any bit of useful information that will identify a sleeper among this group of running backs.
Forget Ganther and Jones.
Ganther was arrested over the 4th of July weekend on suspicion of DUI. This won't bode well with coach Carroll who had no qualms cutting his former player, White, for disciplinary reasons.
Jones, well, in many people's minds and on most draft boards is fantasy toast, and I can't disagree.
So who is the real sleeper? Washington or Forsett?
Leon Washington is perhaps the most intriguing of the team's backs. He is a quiet fantasy producer. His 2009 season was marred by a career threatening injury; he suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. But in 2008, he ranked 29th in fantasy points while Thomas Jones was putting up career numbers in front of him.
Like Lendale White, the Seahawks nabbed Washington at draft time to shake up it's woeful running game. Leon is ready to get back on the field. "I feel like I'm in better shape than I've ever been in, because I've been in a training mode since last October."
It doesn't hurt that Carroll is quite fond of Leon. "I love the way he plays the game," said Carroll. "I got to see him and thought he was a dynamic player—running, catching, returns. If he's able to add to our offense, I think that's a big plus for us."
Washington's current ADP is 55th RB taken in most drafts. Forsett is going at an ADP of 35. I currently have Forsett ranked at 30th.
Forsett is an NFL underdog. He's not big, but he's determined and committed. While he did not set the world on fire in 2009, his numbers were better overall than the team's starter (Jones). Many believe that given the starting nod in 2010, the 5-foot-8, 194-pound Forsett, could be a force. He did average 5.4 yards in 114 carries with four touchdowns, last season, and grabbed 41 balls out of the backfield.
In fact, this week, the fantasy world is a buzz with Forsett upside and sleeper chatter. Still, even as the team's number one back he's not likely to drastically outperform his 35th ADP selection.
And of course, Forsett's not built to be a starter. In fact, none of the Seahawk's RBs are prototype feature backs. Which leaves open yet another option-- the big trade. Well the Buffalo Bills remain adamant that they are hanging onto Marshawn Lynch, he could still become a Seahawk before all is said and done.
Likely the Seahawk's will simply operate with the dreaded running backs by committee approach in 2010.
"We played a lot of running backs the last nine years (at USC)," offered Carroll. "I have no problem with mixing guys and going with who's hot."
Between Washington and Forsett, the value pick is Washington as he's got the most opportunity to out perform his ADP. Regardless of Jones, Forsett, or a Lynch trade, Washington's unique skill set keeps his value the same.
I don't see myself carrying the ball 30 times a game," says Washington, "but give me 12 to 15 carries and eight or nine catches, and I can have the same production as a lead back."
And then there's that vague Carroll tweet this morning...
Email to boss: "Sleepless in Seattle. Sorry."