Welcome to our first segment of #mancrushmonday! In this segment, we will talk about one player every week who we have high hopes for. In-season it will be for the upcoming week, but for now it’s for those of you who haven’t had your fantasy drafts yet and are looking for some potential studs.
If you haven’t checked your smartphone, I’d love to be the one to inform you that It’s Monday, and today I would like to express my adoration for the play of one Mr. Thomas Rawls of the Seattle Seahawks. If you haven’t heard, Rawls was just activated off of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
What I like about him:
-In 2015, Rawls was dubbed “Beast Mode Jr,” because the guy runs with the same tenacity that former Seahawk Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch ran with. He fights for that extra yard on every carry, and amongst all backs with over 100 carries last season, Rawls finished 2nd in yards-after-contact. (trailing only Le’Veon Bell)
-Rawls did get hurt at the end of last year, but before he went down he was sensational. In the 6 games that he got 16 or more carries, he averaged over 118 yards per game, at a staggering 5.65 yards per carry clip. To put that kind of success into perspective, If you project that 6-game average over the course of a full season, Rawls would have had about 1,899 yards.
-His name sounds like brawl, which accurately describes his running style
What concerns me:
-The style of running that Rawls embodies is one where he seeks out contact. This style can lead to backs ending up on the injury report more often than not. Nobody can predict injuries, but that kind of wear and tear on a player’s body can shorten careers. Luckily Rawls is only a sophomore running back at 23 years old.
-The Seahawks backfield may not be completely dominated by our #mancrushmonday candidate. Marshawn Lynch retired, seemingly leaving Rawls to be the heir to the throne. This was before the Seahawks drafted CJ Prosise and Alex Collins, two of the draft’s more highly touted backs. Prosise projects as more of a 3rd-down back because of his natural receiving abilities. (he is a converted WR) Only problem is that Prosise is less healthy than Rawls is at the moment. Prosise is dealing with a hamstring ailment which is keeping him out of training camp. This is relevant because the former Notre Dame standout is still learning the Seahawks playbook. This gives an edge to Rawls in terms of season preparation, which could ultimately translate into more touches. If Rawls is a true 3-down back, he has top-3 fantasy back potential, but I don’t envision that happening. When Prosise is healthy, I see him stealing a lot of 3rd-down work. I also believe that the Seahawks will pass a little more now that they completely trust Russell Wilson to do everything for this offense. Don’t sleep on Alex Collins either, most experts thought he would be drafted by round 4 of the NFL draft, and he fits the profile of a tough, downhill runner that the Seahawks like to employ.
Despite the off-season additions, I expect #ManCrushMonday Rawls to get the vast majority of the early-down and goal-line work this season. On a team like Seattle that runs the ball a lot and plays good defense, Rawls can be a valuable commodity. His value is capped for PPR leagues, but he should be a solid RB2 for standard leagues.
1200 Rushing Yards
100 Receiving yards
1300 Total Yards
9 Total Touchdowns
154 Standard Fantasy Points
172 PPR Fantasy Points
9.63 Standard Fantasy Points Per Game
10.75 PPR Fantasy Points Per Game