I believe the Seattle Seahawks have hit absolute gold with third-round draft pick C.J. Prosise.
Marshawn Lynch’s retirement left big shoes to fill for Seattle’s rushing game, and Thomas Rawls just doesn’t have the feet to fill them.
In this article, I’ll break down why I believe Prosise has a better chance for Fantasy success than Rawls.
C.J. Prosise College Stats
Promise hasn’t been a running back for long. He wasn’t even scouted as a wide receiver out of high school, which was the position he ended up playing for the majority of his college career.
The 22-year old rookie was originally recruited by Notre Dame as a safety. In spite of his limited experience at running back, he became the unchallenged started for Notre Dame in 2015.
In his last season before changing positions, he led all receivers with a 17.8 YPR average in addition to leading the team with 11 special teams tackles. In his single season at running back, Prosise amassed 156 carries, 1,032 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdowns.
That included a 6.6 YPC average.
But Prosise really showed off his potential against Georgia Tech, rushing for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Many will claim that one of Prosise’s drawbacks is a lack of experience at the running back position.
I contend that his sheer athletic ability and adaptability will make up for the learning curve.
Promise continued to shine in the 2016 NFL Combine, putting up some impressive numbers considering his size.
C.J. Prosise Profile
|40 yard dash||4.48 sec|
|Vertical Jump||35.5 in|
|Broad Jump||121 in|
- Has the size to be an every down back
- He’s not afraid of contact
- He powers through tackling attempts
- His experience as a receiver makes him a powerful dual-threat back.
- Lack of experience at the running back position
- He can be indecisive,
- He needs to work on his footwork
- He has issues with protection the ball
That’s Prosise’s profile. Now, let’s take a look at his competition for 2016.
Rawls will be Prosise’s biggest road block for snaps. Rawls has a history of being hard to bring down, and he put up some decent numbers last season after Lynch was out of the lineup.
Rawls finished with 830 rushing yards on 147 carries.
However, Rawls is currently sidelined by an ankle injury he suffered in December. He has yet to participate in OTAs.
And nothing quite says “your job is in jeopardy” like fresh recruits. In fact, Seattle selected three running backs in the 2016 NFL Draft. To add insult to injury, one recruit (Alex Collins, a power back from Arkansas) is being compared to none other than Rawls himself.
It’s true that what Rawls did last year was impressive, but his performance from last year doesn’t automatically earn him a starting role in 2016. It doesn’t even mean he will be successful in 2016.
If you want an example, think back to last season with boom-to-bust running back C.J. Anderson. Anderson went nuts in 2014 after a series of injuries to his teammates thrust him into a starting role. Some were even saying before the 2015 season he would be a contender for the most value player in the league.
But as 2015 rolled around, so did the odometer on Anderson. He finished with fewer attempts, yards, and touchdowns than his short 2014 campaign.
Now back to Rawls…
The most damning factor for Rawls is the fact that he’s one dimensional. Last season, he recorded just nine receptions. While many people assume that the Seattle Seahawks will remain a run-first offense, the loss of Lynch and a weakened defense may force Russell Wilson to use his arm more often.
If this is the case (and I think it’s a strong case to be made), Rawls may find himself sitting out more plays, especially when Seattle needs to throw the ball.
C.J. Prosise 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Here’s where we get to the nuts and bolts of the article.
What kind of Fantasy production can we expect from Prosise? To get a better understanding of what we may be able to expect, I think we need to look at another running back on the Seahawks: Fred Jackson.
Fred Jackson?! Yes. Fred Jackson.
Last season the Seahawks picked up Jackson, a move that left some scratching their heads. Jackson didn’t start a single game, but he did manage to contribute as a receiver. Jackson finished with 32 receptions for 257 yards and two touchdowns, and he led all the other backs in Seattle in receiving stats by a wide margin.
My spin on this: The Seahawks brought Jackson in to add new element to the offense. Lynch had been efficient as a pass catcher, but he never excelled like Matt Forte.
Even if Rawls does well, the brass are obviously hedging their bets on the rushing attack in 2016. And for this season, they wanted to find a younger version of Jackson.
Drafting Prosise was a smart move.
Prosise has the size and power to compete against Rawls in the rushing game, and his years of experience as a successful wide receiver far eclipses any back on Seattle.
It’s ultimately likely that Rawls and Prosise will both see a good amount of field time for the Seahawks, but it will be Prosise who is the stronger Fantasy producer in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.
Keep an eye on him in standard leagues, and he has to be on your roster for PPR leagues.