Should you buy into Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf?
With the departure of team legend Doug Baldwin, a lot of talk and speculation has circled around the Seattle Seahawks. Who will be their next guy? Can Tyler Lockett step up? Or will it be the second round pick D.K. Metcalf? In this article, we’ll dig into the Seahawks offensive trends to predict how Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf will perform during the 2019 season and their impact in fantasy football.
We’ll begin with Tyler Lockett, who most presume to become Russell Wilson’s new number one guy. Last season Lockett averaged 6.33 targets during each of the three games where Doug Baldwin did not take to the field. In games in which Doug Baldwin was on the field, Lockett received 3.9 targets per game.
Now, the Seahawks are a run first offense. During the hay-days of Marhsawn Lynch’s Probowl years in Seattle (‘12-’14) Wilson only averaged 417 passing attempts per season. In (‘15-’17), without a solidified run game, Wilson averaged 527 pass attempts per game during that stretch. In 2018, as the Seahawks returned to second in the league in rushing-attempts-per-game, Wilson threw the ball just 427 times.
With the expected break-out season for 2018 first round selection Rashaad Penny, combined with Chris Carson who was fifth in the league in 2018 in rushing yards, we’ll assume that the Seahawks are going to return to a team dependent on the run.
For the sake of this breakdown, we’ll use similar numbers to last year, but give Wilson 450 passing attempts, as he’ll have a better receiving core than a year ago. At 450 attempts, that’s just 23 more than a season ago, which equates to just about 1.5 more per game.
Prior to last year, Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks number one, received at least 103 targets over the 2015-2017 seasons. However, during those seasons, Wilson had 483, 546 and 553 attempts respectively. In the season where he threw the closest to 450 attempts (2014), Baldwin received 98 targets. At 98 targets, Baldwin averaged 6.16 targets per game, so Lockett receiving 6.33 is not out of the question. Additionally, at 98 targets, Baldwin received 22% of all Wilson passes.
Now Baldwin and Lockett are very similar receivers, both 5’10’’ and separated by just 10 pounds. Lockett is a bit quicker, but to say that Lockett has a similar game to Baldwin is not out of the question.
Last season, Lockett’s yards-per-catch skyrocketed to 16.9 yards, which won’t happen again. Career wise, he has an average yards-per-catch of 14.2. If we exclude his last year’s average, Lockett has a career average of 13.3 yards per reception.
So at 6.33 receptions per game, Lockett will receive 101 targets, or 22% of Wilson’s attempts, which would be near identical to the career average of Baldwin. Lockett has a career average of approximately 70% caught balls. That will give Lockett 70.7 receptions. At 13.3 yards per reception, that’s 940.31 yards.
On a similar note, as the WR2 in the Seahawks system for years, Lockett averaged approximately 15% of Wilson’s targets. At 450 attempts, that’s 67.5 targets. Let’s just say for this article that Metcalf hauls in 70% of his targets just like Lockett, that’s 47.25 receptions. Again, let’s use Lockett’s 13.3 yards per catch for Metcalf, giving him 628.43 yards.
Despite having a low amount of attempts last season, Wilson had a career year is passing touchdowns at 35. Let’s settle at 30 for this article. At 22% of passes, that 6.6 touchdowns for Lockett and at 15% of passes that puts Metcalf at 4.5 touchdowns.
With these numbers, we pin Tyler Lockett’s 2019 figures at 71 receptions, 940 yards and 7 touchdowns. We will predict D.K. Metcalf to have a season of 47 receptions, 628 yards and 5 tocuchdowns. We’ll add 60 rushing yards to Lockett as he rushed for 69 and 58 yards over the last two seasons respectively.
These numbers will give Lockett 142 standard points (WR19), 177.5 half point PPR points (WR18) and 213 full points PPR points (WR22). Metcalf would put up 92.8 standard points (WR50), 116.3 half point PPR points (WR49) and 139.8 full point PPR points (WR46).
These numbers are worse than Tyler Lockett did a season ago but if history shows anything, the Seahawks are going to focus on the run and Wilson will spread the wealth to each and everyone of his targets. Lockett’s current ADP is 58th and WR23. Metcalf’s ADP is 100th and WR42. So for their current values and ADP’s they’re both pretty spot on.