Tarvaris Jackson has reached an agreement to sign with the Seattle Seahawks. It now appears the Seahawks have also reunited Matt Leinart with Pete Carroll, but Jackson is the story here. The initial media reaction suggests the Seahawks are essentially tanking 2011 in the hopes of landing one of the elite QB prospects in next year’s draft. Is Jackson really that bad?
Jackson posted an underwhelming sophomore campaign in 2007, but the Vikings didn’t provide much help. Bobby Wade was his best receiver. In five starts the following year, Jackson progressed to a very encouraging 9-2 TD-INT ratio and 7.1 ypa. As a result, he finished as PFF’s 24th rated QB despite playing only 372 snaps. Unfortunately, he completed only 15 of 35 passes with no TDs and an INT in a playoff loss to Philadelphia. His career as a starter essentially ended in Minnesota that day.
Seattle’s decline at QB might not be as steep as most pundits are predicting. Matt Hasselbeck struggled greatly on his way to earning a 25th place ranking by PFF last year. He completed less than 60% of his passes, threw fewer TDs than INTs, and averaged less than 7.0 YPA. Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu both finished with PFF ratings in the top 20 for WRs, so his receiving corps may not have been as suspect as has been portrayed.
Jackson will start in Seattle and could emerge as a valuable fantasy reserve. The Seahawks should spend most of the season playing from behind, forcing Jackson to throw often. Even if Jackson only manages a pedestrian 6.5 ypa, 540 attempts would put him at 3510 yards. Jackson will probably rush for an additional 300 yards. The problem comes in the TD department where it’s easy to see him topping out at 18 combined scores. Based on Mike Clay’s projections, Jackson would then slide in around Colt McCoy, Alex Smith, and Mark Sanchez.
Among other Seahawks affected, Mike Williams sees his fantasy value take the biggest hit. A favorite target of Hasselbeck’s, BMW will struggle to maintain the lofty targets/snap ratio he put up last season.