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Summer Snapshot: Seattle Seahawks

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As the countdown continues to September NFL action, ESPN Fantasy takes a closer look at each franchise as it trains and goes camping. Here is what fantasy owners should be watching for during the summer. Join the conversation on Twitter: #FantasySnapshot

What’s changed? Instead of coming off a rousing Super Bowl victory, the Seahawks fell a yard short of repeating thanks to a rather interesting play call and a New England Patriots interception. Does that really change things entering the 2015 campaign? Probably not. The motivation remains, and, more importantly, much of the personnel will as well. In fact, the Seahawks traded for one of the best tight ends in the game in Jimmy Graham, drafted a wide receiver expected to instantly contribute in Tyler Lockett and remain defensively strong on the field and off, with Kris Richard replacing new Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn as the defensive coordinator. Only the offensive line is much of a concern. It should be another good season in Seattle.

Who’s motivated? Perhaps coming so close to another championship will help, but there’s only so long Seahawks management will be able to keep this crew together. Quarterback Russell Wilson, third in standard scoring last season for fantasy, awaits his monster contract, but doesn’t seem particularly worried, telling reporters, “it’ll all work out.” While analysts debate his place among his passing brethren, the answer for fantasy is he’s squarely in the second tier, a near-perfect amalgamation of throwing and running skills with little statistical dropoff expected, if any. Graham should have something to prove as well, not just for financial purposes, but because the New Orleans Saints dealt him away so surprisingly. Graham will be hard-pressed to match his Saints production on a run-first, defensively-proficient team. Finally, polarizing running back Marshawn Lynch always seems motivated, for however long his stay in Seattle lasts. Many thought he’d be elsewhere by now. At 29 and with heirs to his running back throne supposedly in place, Lynch is signed through 2017, and his production can’t be argued. Only two running backs outscored him in standard fantasy formats last season.

Whose stock could fluctuate? Lynch, Graham and Wilson appear relatively set for draft-day value, likely in that order overall, each among the top options at their position. What that means for overall placement is a different story, but still not likely to alter much this summer. For example, the case can be made Lynch is the No. 1 overall pick. In fact, colleague Christopher Harris has made the case. Or Lynch could go late in the first round. Wilson could go in round 3 or 8 depending on your league’s proclivity to select passers. Graham is the No. 2 tight end off the board, but like Wilson, it could be round 3 or considerably later. In terms of summer movement, barring injury or the organization announcing an unlikely major change in philosophy, it’s tough to find a sleeper, even at wide receiver. Veterans Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse are likely starters, but the rookie Lockett and 29-year-old Ricardo Lockette -- they are different players, for those of you in deep leagues! -- loom. Ultimately, it’s doubtful any wide receiver makes a major impact. Wilson and Lynch will run a lot and Graham will likely lead the way in targets, but dare to dream. The last 1,000-yard wide receiver for the Seahawks was Bobby Engram in 2007! Look for Graham to get a bit overrated on draft day and, when fantasy owners realize how many fewer passes Wilson attempted when compared to Saints leader Drew Brees, people will be more willing to wait at tight end.