In the past segments of #ManCrushMonday, we have picked a lot of rookies and players who you might not have known. This Monday, we are going to do things a little differently. This is because there is a player that is going widely unrecognized as one of the best players at his position. On a Sunday where there was no shortage of storylines, there is one headline that may fly under the radar. Outside of the great northwest, people may be ignoring the play of our #MCM selection, Doug Baldwin.
Can Doug Get Some Love?
The truth is, Baldwin’s game on Sunday was just a continuation of the fantastic coming out party for Baldwin as one of the game’s top slot receivers. The party started halfway through 2015 and hasn’t slowed down at all.
There was a lot of shade being thrown Baldwin’s way during fantasy drafts this offseason, as he could often be found in the 4th round. The arguments were many. Consensus was that Baldwin was in for some major touchdown regression. 14 touchdowns? He can’t repeat that. There were murmurs that the Seahawks would not be as pass-happy as they were in the 2nd half of 2015. Whatever the reasons may have been, Baldwin has clearly put them to rest. Through 3 games, Baldwin has 20 catches, 276 yards, and 2 scores.
Crazy stat alert, brace yourself. If you add the stats of the last 8 games of 2015 and combine them with the first 3 games of this season, (or the last 11 regular season games Baldwin has played in) then extrapolate them over a full 16 game season, here are the statistics you would have: 97 catches on 131 targets, 1455 yards, and 20 touchdowns. Simply put, since halfway through 2015, Baldwin has been playing like an absolute madman.
Chances are, whoever drafted him in your fantasy league is not willing to give up the steal of a draft pick they got. If you can manage to pry him away in a trade, consider yourself lucky.
Baldwin’s Team Situation
The Seattle Seahawks have been inconsistent and at times underwhelming so far this season on the offensive side of the ball. Thomas Rawls and Russell Wilson have not been completely healthy, and it’s shown up on the stat sheet. Despite this fact, our man crush has flourished. This could be because, in the second half of last season, Seattle experienced similar difficulties. Rawls and Marshawn Lynch missed a bunch of time in 2015, (mostly in the 2nd half of the season) which is what spurred Wilson and Baldwin to form a two-man wrecking crew that helped Seattle finish 6-2 to close out the season.
Another recurring issue has been the poor offensive line play. It doesn’t figure to change anytime soon with the lack of quality starters on the team. Expect Wilson to have to continue to get the ball out quickly to the guy finding holes in opposing defenses, Doug Baldwin.