HOW THEY RUN
The Seahawks were in the bottom third (19th) in rushing last year, but that is bound to change under new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, whose teams in Atlanta (2004-06) and Oakland ('07-08) ran to five straight top 10 rushing seasons. Julius Jones shoulders a majority of the load between the 20s. But short-yardage specialist T.J. Duckett—who scored eight times in both '04 and '05 (coincidentally, for Knapp) and eight times again last year—will be more valuable. The one constant from Knapp's last six years will again be fullback Justin Griffith, who has no fantasy value but is a road grader as a blocker.
HOW THEY PASS
Knapp met extensively during the spring with Matt Hasselbeck, a fellow student of the West Coast offense, to rewrite the offensive playbook. Hasselbeck is coming off a painful '08 (a back injury, 19 sacks, 10 interceptions and nine missed games) but is confident that his myriad physical woes are behind him, which allows him to again be a second-tier fantasy starter. Injuries also ravaged the wide receiver corps, which welcomes back deep threat Nate Burleson, who participated in minicamp and is on schedule to return from a torn left ACL. Off-season signee T.J. Houshmandzadeh has more catches than anyone in the NFL over the last four years and will challenge the team record for catches (94 in '07, by Bobby Engram).
Penn State's alltime receptions leader, rookie Deon Butler, usually exceeds expectations and should be drafted, but leave the fragile, aging Deion Branch for someone else to worry about. Don't forget John Carlson, who was Seattle's top receiver in '08 and remains just one step below the elite fantasy tight ends.