Seahawks backfield could be a fantasy headache

Julius Jones is the top fantasy RB option in Seattle. (Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)

Julius Jones is the top fantasy RB option in Seattle. (Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)

Remember the days of Seahawks RBs Curt Warner, Ricky Watters and Shaun Alexander, guys fantasy leaguers could lean on for production?

Those days are over.

New coordinator Gregg Knapp is installing a more run-heavy offense than the team saw under former coach Mike Holmgren, but it won’t include a back the caliber of Warner, Watters or Alexander.

Instead, it will feature the trio of Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett and Justin Forsett.

“I definitely prefer [using a rotation of backs],” Knapp told the team’s official website. “I think it’s important, because the game has gotten so physical. The defense has gotten so strong and so fast, it’s hard for one back to carry the load.

“So I’m a big believer in having two, if not three, backs involved as the season goes on.”

Jones is the current favorite to start and the most attractive option in fantasy play, but it’s hard to consider him as much more than a potential flex starter in leagues with 12-plus teams. While the Notre Dame product did have a 1,000-yard season in Dallas, he’s never been a tough runner and will lose short-yardage and goal-line work to Duckett.

A potential bargain in touchdown-only formats, Duckett will warrant late-round consideration and could become a viable handcuff for Jones in larger leagues.

The darkhorse in the backfield mix is Forsett, a small, elusive runner who is stating his case for more playing time after being limited to kickoff and punt return duties as a rookie.

New coach Jim Mora seems satisfied with his backfield, despite the lack of a big-name player.

“I believe in our running backs,” he said. “I believe in Julius Jones. I believe in T.J. Duckett. I believe in Justin Forsett. I believe in those guys. I think they’re good players.

“I believe in our offensive line and our tight ends and our receivers, and their ability to block. I think with a healthy Matt Hasselbeck and his ability to stretch the field – not only vertically, but horizontally – that that will open things up in the running game. So I believe we’ll be able to run the ball, and I’m pleased with our running backs.”

Mora might be happy with his backs, but chances are fantasy owners won’t be as excited.

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