Matt Nein / @mnein9
Dynasty Championships are difficult to win in any format of fantasy football. Sustaining winning seasons with continual championship appearances is even more difficult. Dynasty rosters with top-heavy talent is nice and might win you a championship but if someone gets hurt then you’re left with a huge hole. The goal of dynasty is to build a complete roster from top to bottom. You want the top-end talent to carry your team but if someone gets hurt you have a replacement on the bench. Then at the bottom of your bench, you have high upside stashes that could one day turn into top-end talent or even a serviceable backup. From my experience, the high upside gems aren’t found on draft day or in trades, but on waivers. Sustained dynasty success comes from getting ahead of your teammates on the waiver wire. Seattle Seahawks WR, Freddie Swain, is the next gem that could bring continued dynasty success to your roster.
Swain is currently 4th in targets, receptions, receiving yards, receiving TDs, red-zone targets, and end-zone targets.
His current season stats are 6 targets for 5 receptions, 83 yards, and 1 receiving TD.
Swain is 2nd on the team in Fantasy PTS/TOUCH (3.86).
Who is Freddie Swain?
Swain was the Seahawks 6th round pick out of Florida in the 2020 NFL Draft.
(Photo Credit: Player Profiler)
In Swain’s four years at Florida, he amassed a stat line of 37 games played, 68 receptions, 996 yards, and 15 TDs. Not exactly jaw-dropping numbers but the QB play at Florida over the last few years hasn’t exactly been stellar.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking.
Matt, why are you even bothering with this guy? He only has 6 targets through 4 games and is the WR4 on his team.
Well, let’s dig a little deeper into this and see why I think Swain needs to be rostered.
First, let’s go ahead and establish that DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the 1A/1B WRs on this team. We don’t even need to discuss them. I want to focus on the WR3 role for the Seahawks.
As we know, there was no offseason for rookies to really get adjusted to the fast pace life of the NFL. However, there were signs during training camp that we should have taken notice of about the involvement Swain was going to have in the Seahawk's offense.
Pete Carroll was quoted saying: "Amazing how much he's learned and how fast he's learned it.''
Pete has been known to be overly optimistic about players in the past, so I took this quote with a grain of salt. I then went back to see what he had to say about some other recent WRs drafted by the Seahawks.
Pete praised DK Metcalf during training camp last year, week 1 we saw DK start playing right away, and as the season went on DK’s role grew more and more. Gary Jennings was cut and John Ursua is currently on the practice squad. Even though Pete is typically optimistic, he has always been brutally honest about guys being able to pick up the playbook and learn the offense. (RE: Penny’s rookie year…)
Freddie Swain right now has a role that is growing more and more each week.
Week 1 Snap Share %: David Moore – 53%, Freddie Swain – 26%
During week 1, Swain recorded his first-ever career catch. What was crazy about this play is that as I was watching live and I thought to myself “Great slant route by Lockett”. Then the announcer said it was Swain with the catch. I had to do a double-take. Watch the route closely. If I had not told you it was Swain, you probably thought it was Lockett too. They move and catch the ball identically.
Week 2 Snap Share %: David Moore – 51%, Freddie Swain – 19%
In week 2, Swain recorded his first career TD catch. Great play design to jam the middle of the field with a ton of players and Swain slipped underneath wide open for the easy TD.
Week 3 Snap Share %: David Moore – 41%, Freddie Swain – 45%
In week 3, Swain out-snapped and ran more routes than David Moore. This is the week that Swain caught my eye. I went and stashed him in several leagues to get ahead. I did this just in case because David Moore has been a Seahawk for several years and to see a 6th round rookie out snapping a seasoned vet so soon was very intriguing.
Week 4 Snap Share %: David Moore – 35%, Freddie Swain – 43%
In week 4, Swain out-snapped Moore yet again with an even bigger split in snap percentage. Freddie Swain has officially jumped David Moore as the Seahawks WR3. However, Swain jumping Moore for the WR3 role has been overshadowed by the fact that David Moore has been very efficient on limited snaps. Miami had 2 coverage busts that lead to Moore getting a 40+ yard gain right before the half and a TD later in the back of the end zone. Swain also had an end-zone target in the Miami game but could not quite get both feet in bounds for the score. (Swain should have 2 TDs on the season.)
I understand that 6 targets through 4 games isn’t something to go crazy about, but Swain’s role is growing each week. Seahawks GM John Schneider said this about Swain after the draft: “Really, really tough-minded individual, tons of grit, very instinctive player that’s played outside, played inside, and he is a really good punt returner.” Being an instinctive football player is something that cannot be taught. You either have it or you don’t. Swain has it.
As Swain’s role continues to grow, we need to take a look into the future to see if it’s sustainable.
David Moore is an UFA after this season. Seattle almost did not resign him after the end of last season, so it is tough to see Moore back in Seattle after this season. The 2021 WR draft class is very deep and the emergence of Swain already 4 weeks into the 2020 season doesn’t help the chances of Moore being resigned.
Tyler Lockett is an UFA after the 2021 season. Lockett will be almost 31 when his contract with Seattle expires. There is a small chance that Seattle resigns him depending on how this season goes. Right now, I am leaning on the side of Seattle lets him walk unless he takes a big discount to stay. As we know, the 2021 salary cap might drop due to Covid-19 and Seattle has plans to make Jamal Adams the highest-paid safety in the league. Shaquille Griffin is also in a contract year right now and I fully expect Seattle to pay him. DK Metcalf will also be due for a mega extension at the end of the 2021 season and as I mentioned before, the 2021 draft class is very deep so Seattle could draft another WR to help fill in.
This is also interesting to me.
From a physical/athletic standpoint, Swain and Lockett are very, very similar players. If Swain continues to develop as he is, there is a chance he is the WR2 for Seattle after the 2021 season and takes on the "Tyler Lockett role".
Right now, with the way Swain is trending, he needs to be rostered. He isn’t someone that should be started this week or even next week, but later in the season, he could have some flex appeal. The Seahawks are running a high-powered passing attack with Russell Wilson at the helm that can support multiple WRs. This style of play is the future for the Seahawks, so we need to be paying closer attention to the WRs Seattle is drafting.
Redraft: I wouldn’t really bother with putting a claim in for Swain. I can't see a huge impact for this season unless there is an injury.
Dynasty: Shallow benches he isn’t worth it yet but in deeper leagues, he needs to be owned.
Obviously, we never want to see any player get hurt but if DK or Lockett were to go down and miss a game or even the remainder of the season, Swain would become an immediate WR3 with upside.
Right now, Swain is probably sitting on your waivers for free, so this is a no-risk-only reward situation. The only thing I don’t know, which is impossible to gauge at this point in time, is what the WR core will look like when Dorsett comes back in a few weeks and Josh Gordon is reinstated. This is a situation I will be watching closely as Seattle will then have 7 WRs on their roster. Colby Parkinson and Rashaad Penny are also returning week 7 so there will be cuts to make room for these players as well.
Get Freddie Swain on your team, stash him on the end of your bench, and continue to have long-term dynasty success.