RB Marshawn Lynch, Free agent
HT: 5-10, WT: 223, Born: 4-22-1986, College: California, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 12
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Graham (8), D Thomas (9), Marshawn Lynch (10), D Bryant (11), A Green (12)
Position: M Forte (4-RB4), E Lacy (6-RB5), Marshawn Lynch (10 - RB6), D Murray (13-RB7), M Ball (14-RB8)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: G Bernard (15), M Ball (16), Marshawn Lynch (17), A Rodgers (18), J Nelson (19)
Position: G Bernard (15-RB7), M Ball (16-RB8), Marshawn Lynch (17 - RB9), L Bell (22-RB10), A Foster (23-RB11)
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Marshawn Lynch has been a top-five fantasy running back in each of the past three seasons. The former Buffalo Bill came into his own after being traded to the Seahawks. He's been the featured runner in a run-heavy offense, and his one-cut style of running is a perfect fit in Seattle. If he maintains the same workload in 2014, there's a good chance he'll maintain his fantasy value as well. The 28-year-old is reaching a stage in his career when many running backs begin to slow down, however, and Lynch has a couple of running backs behind him with strong potential. It's possible that he'll be spelled more often to keep him from wearing down over the course of the season; and if so, his fantasy production will suffer. Lynch will cost $9 million under the salary cap in 2015, so his role with the team beyond this season is uncertain. If the Seahawks are considering moving on from him after 2014, they may get Robert Turbin and Christine Michael significant playing time this year to help with their evaluation and with the possible transition.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Lynch had a lackluster day, as his offensive line really had their hands full with the Panthers defense. His inside runs were almost always for positive yardage, but he never saw an opening to burst through for anything more than a few yards. Given the ineffectiveness of the running game, Lynch ended up taking a backseat to the passing game, and even yielded a few carries to Robert Turbin (who didnít fare much better). It was a tough matchup, sure, and the fact that Seattle was playing from behind for most of the game, didnít help Lynchís case any. Very late in the game, we saw his trademark burst, as he ran for a 14 yard first down that put the game away. It was too late to help his stats, but it showed that the Seahawks (and fantasy owners) should have nothing to worry about.
Week 2 - A slow start ended well for Lynch as he nearly hit the century mark and finished with 3 TDs on the day. After a one hour weather delay, Lynch got down to the business of wearing down the SF defense. He took a handoff out of the shotgun, beating the blitz and then got outside quickly for a 14 yard gain. His first TD was another 14-yarder, again out of the shotgun and this time he found his way up a crowded middle, virtually untouched as he somehow found a running lane. Later, he found himself wide open for a 7 yard TD pass. And to cap things off, he finished with a short yardage score that looked like a no go, but he made a quick shift and found a lane. Make no mistake, Lynch was ON this game. He had a few big gains in which he looked downright elusive. Not necessarily what weíve come to expect from the hard-nosed runner. And as a receiver, not only did he add the score, but he looked completely at home hauling in a the ball when he found himself wide open on the weak side of the field, as Wilson reversed his vision and threw across to him for a big 35 yard gain.
Week 3 - Lynchís numbers clearly donít tell enough of the story here, because at times, he looked unstoppable. The passing game really shone in this matchup (5 passing TDís, one QB rushing TD), and because of the sizable lead, Lynch came out of the game with about five minutes to go in the third quarter. His blockers opened up tons of holes, sometimes making it look like a pick-your-lane game. Lynch was in top form and was just shy of two scoring runs himself. The first time, he was stopped at the one yard line, and the very next play was a play action call that led to a passing TD. And the next time, he also got to the one yard line, but was stuffed on the ensuing play, which led to a Seattle field goal.
Week 4 - Considering the fact that the Seahawks were playing from behind for almost the whole game, Lynchís numbers are more than respectable. Early in the game, he gained nearly half of his total yardage on one play. From inside the 5 yard lien, he somehow found a seam through the middle, broke free to the outside, and then made at least three defenders miss, for a 43 yard gain. He became a part of the passing game as well (and was actually the leading receiver for the Seahawks), as he showed the same burst and nimbleness when gaining yards after the catch. He did fumble once, after being stuffed and driven backwards by Brian Cushing. In the final frame, the Seahawks went back to the running game, and it was a good call. Even though they needed two scores, Lynch was clearly their best chance. He didnít disappoint, and scored on a surprise quick pitch that fooled the defense and had him across the goal line untouched.
Week 5 - Lynch had a big run on the first play from scrimmage, and followed it up with a couple more in the first quarter, while the Seahawks staked an early lead. He excelled when taking the ball up the middle. He read his blocks very well, starting inside and continued to find a seam to get him outside and into the open field. When the play was to the outside, he usually found resistance and made short gains only. Because the game plan is centered around Lynch, the combination of play action and option calls kept the defense on their toes enough for him to find room on most plays. He was his usual physical presence as well, very hard to take down. On one play, he almost comically, shook free from a tackler who was holding on tightly to his leg, and gained an extra five yards. If the Seahawks had maintained the lead in this game, Marshawn Lynch could have run away with it. Heís definitely hit his stride.
Week 6 - On a day when there were worries about Lynchís apparent hip injury, he came through in a big way, and didnít appear limited at all. When the going got tough, they went to Lynch. When the going was good, they went to Lynch. He really was the (um, bad pun alert) lynchpin of the Seahawks versatile offense. Not only did he score twice on the ground, he also was the teamís leading receiver. He didnít have any huge plays on the ground, but consistently broke the first tackle and often two, which led to a steady amount of yardage. His average carry is brought down by his short yardage use, but make no mistake, he was difficult to stop. Wilson also looked to Lynch a lot through the air. In the first half, there were no big gains, but in the second they connected for a big 55 yard play. Lynch wasnít even the first read; Wilson began to scramble, and went cross-field to Lynch, who had no one covering him. Lynch did the rest with his running ability. The two touchdowns were each from inside the five. On the first, he pounded through the defense, and on the second ran through untouched. One mistake Lynch made Ė to add to a game filled with them - happened early in the 4th Quarter, when he took a handoff at the six yard line and fumbled. It looked like it was going to go the other way for six, but a lucky bounce gave it right back to the quarterback.
Week 7 - After a big receiving game last week, Lynchís only reception was on a screen play early in the game, which was for a mere 3 yard gain. His ground game, though, more than made up for his lack of work as a receiver. Much credit to his offensive line, too, as there were numerous plays in which Lynch countered direction, and the whole defense was caught, leading to easy looking first downs. The Arizona defense actually was quite stout in short yardage situations, but the rest of the time, Lynch ran free and made a number of big gains. One in particular stood out. In the second half, running from inside the six yard line, Lynch in the space of six yards, ran around, over, and through defenders, landing at the goal line (it would eventually be overturned as a non-TD after review). With each defender, it looked like he was stopped, but Lynch just kept on moving. Later on, after an interception gave the Seahawks possession at the 1 yard line, Lynch had two chances and converted the second for a score. Lynch showed how much of a team player and warrior he is by fighting for every inch, even when killing the clock.
Week 8 - Lynch actually had a really nice 15 yard gain on a sweep, in which he made a couple of defenders miss with a nifty spin move; unfortunately, the play was called back on a penalty. Despite the low yardage total, Lynch himself didnít look bad. The problem two-fold: he always was dealing with multiple Rams instantly surrounding him whenever he touched the ball. And the Seahawks were constantly being put into passing situations, as the Rams defense put pressure on the QB all day.
Week 9 - On the opening drive, Lynch ran free, gaining around 10 yards on each carry, and without much trouble. He then left the game for a short while, appearing to be nursing an injury. He returned in the second quarter, but the Seattle offense wasnít on the field enough for him to make an impact. It is worth noting that his short-term replacement, Robert Turbin, did not enjoy the same success. Lynch was running aggressively and looked as good as weíve seen him this season. In the second half, he continued to toy with the Tampa Bay defense. At times, it looked like there might be a rule that he was not allowed to be tackled until after he passed the first down marker. With the team passing mode late in the game, Lynch caught a couple of balls (and dropped one), but not for any significant gains. Worth noting is the play action call at the 3-yard line that was intercepted. Why would the Seahawks not call Lynchís number in this situation, when he was completely dominant on the ground up to that point? In overtime, he got the call a number of times, and broke a long run (which set up the winning field goal) that was almost looking like a scoring play.
Week 10 - Lynch fought hard for each yard in the early stages of the game, but eventually he wore down a weak run defense. He was active in the passing game early on, pulling in three short receptions on the first drive. Bottom line, a big part of the game plan was clearly to get the ball in Lynchís hands, and even when the Falcons keyed on him, they couldnít stop him. In the second quarter, Lynch broke a big 37 yard play up the middle, showing off his speed and strength in the same play as it took three guys to haul him down. After that, he had several similar looking runs that took him easily past the first down marker, usually dragging a defender or two with him. Lynch just got stronger as the game went on, and the Seahawks kept feeding him the ball. Hes at the top of his game right now.
Week 11 - Lynchís yardage total was far from impressive, but he ran with power and made big plays when it counted. Oh, and yes, he scored three times. The Seahawks started things off with the power running game and looked good, but Lynch made an uncharacteristic fumble on second play of the game, and was very lucky not to lose possession. Still, the Seahawks were determined to feed him the ball, and the Vikings were determined to key on him, so something had to give. On the last play of the first quarter, he ended the stalemate with a beautiful cut that opened up the four yards between him and the goal line. On his next touch, he shredded the defense, for 24 yards, going untouched for about 19 and dragging the pile with him for an additional five yards. On the same drive, with the ball at the six, Lynch carried the ball three consecutive times, finishing with a gutsy one-yarder. Overall, his yardage total was tempered by the fact that he carried often in short yardage situations, combined with a tough run defense. He broke off a few longish runs, and made the highlight reel with his shovel-pass reception that he took in for the score.
Week 13 - Lynch ran with power up the middle, but on the day had no big gains. The Saints defense descended on him quickly not only when he had the ball, but also when used as a decoy, which shows exactly how valuable he is. Early on, he was used frequently as a checkdown receiver, and showing he can be elusive as well as powerful. His specialty, the short yardage/goal line play eluded him as well; He fumbled once in the red zone (but did not lose it); and late in the game with a big lead, actually was stuffed quite often. And yet, his value to the team was evident in so many ways. Whenever the call was play action or a read-option that the QB held on to, the defense paid so much attention to Lynch that itís a shame he didnít get credit for some of the yards gained on those plays. One last thing that he rarely gets noticed for is his pass blocking, which made an impact in this game (and others, but of course, itís not something youíll ever see on the stat sheet).
Week 14 - From the start, Lynch hit the Niners with pure, smash mouth football. He ran it up the gut with power, and even when stopped for a short gain, he still looked like he was winning the battle. Then, on just the second drive for the Seahawks, Lynch got outside for a ten yard gain. Then, early in the second quarter, he had a red zone carry from the 11 yard line, ran straight down the middle, made a single cut which gave him some daylight, and flat out, ran over a couple of defenders on his way to the end zone. Unfortunately, that was his longest run of the day. He was able to shed the first tackler often, but the defense bottled him in from there on out, not allowing him to break free for any big gains.
Week 15 - Early in the game, Lynch was used often as a receiver. Mainly this was when Wilson scrambled, and then on a swing pass which came up just short of the first down. The Giants defense shut down the run pretty handily, allowing short gains only. But Lynchís short yardage and red zone carries were great. He carried the ball from the 6 to the 3 yard line, and then won an epic battle to cross the goal line on the next play. While there wasnít much for him on the ground, Lynch mad another short catch and turned it into 30 yard gain with 1:22 left in half. He had another short yardage TD nullified by penalty later in the game; and then ceded the 4th quarter to Robert Turbin as the game was well in hand.
Week 16 - Lynch started the game with a big run, getting them out of what was terrible field position. After that, he had trouble finding running lanes inside. He did well running outside, with a big gain on a pitch, and then a 7 yard gain on the same play in the red zone. Lynch was there in the two minute drill (often he is replaced by Turbin in that situation) with a short catch, nearly enough for the first down. He got his goal line chances, too, but was stopped just short, and then stuffed again on a one yard plunge.
Week 17 - Lynch fell down on his first carry, and still gained two yards after he got up. He really gained steam gradually, with only one decent run in the first quarter, among several very short gains. In the second quarter, Lynch began to win the battle, gaining 3-7 yards on most carries. He was consistent, finding the hole and breaking tackles even when being mauled by the Rams defense. His red zone touchdown run looked remarkably easy, as he waited for the hole to open and sauntered through to the end zone untouched.
Week 19 - Lynch was at times a one man show in this game. With the passing game fizzling, Lynch moved the chains on the ground. He also got stuffed a number of times for no gain or a loss, but seemed to wear the defense down gradually. Lynch showed great vision on his first TD run, staying behind his blocker until the last possible second before making his move and scampering toward the end zone (where he also ran over a guy to get the score). His second score was a 31 yarder, as he got to the outside and schooled a defensive back one-on-one before going all the way.
Week 20 - Lynch got off to a slow start, but he was able to keep plugging away and eventually put his stamp on this Seattle win. In the second half, Lynch was more patient and using nifty footwork to find holes and burst through them for good gains in the first drive of the second half. Finally, he was able to break through to the third level and run away from the defense to the pylon for a long touchdown to ignite a crowd and Seahawks offense that had done little to cheer about up to that point. Lynch had a few more nice runs in the third down and kept running with outstanding effort until the very end. The fumbled exchange after the missed Navorro Bowman takeaway was on Russell Wilson for holding the ball too high, not Lynch.
Week 21 - Marshawn Lynch had the bad fortune of playing against the one element of the Denver Broncos that actually showed up to the Super Bowl- the run defense. Led by defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, Denver overwhelmed Seattleís blocking, consistently hit Marshawn Lynch at the point of attack, and prevented him from making any of the signature tackle-breaking plays that heís so known for. By the end of the day, Marshawn Lynchís performance was even uglier than his 15-carry, 39-yard stat line suggested, as his short carries constantly stranded Wilson in poor down-and-distance situations.