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Fantasy: Seahawks receivers set for Monday night show
The Monday Night lights can often bring out the best in some players. Any Seahawks fan who watched Shaun Alexander shine his brightest in nationally televised games during his prime can attest to that. Marshawn Lynch looked like he was in top form again last week and is certainly going to be amped up to remind the nation that he is indeed a premier runner in the league. Yet the Seahawks quarterback and wide receivers may actually set the stage for him to deliver quality Fantasy numbers against the Packers.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Packers will look to contain Lynch and force Russell Wilson to be the crux of the Seahawks offense. Yet Wilson has also showed he is poised enough to meet any challenge early in his career, and don’t be surprised if he comes out throwing, using the passing game early to loosen up the defense against the run. The Green Bay defense was very aggressive and dominant against Jay Cutler last week, but looked vulnerable in the opener against San Francisco. The Green Bay secondary is not an airtight, shutdown unit by any means.
So you can start Wilson with some confidence in those two-quarterback leagues, and you should be starting Sidney Rice as a WR3 this week. This is also a week to look to Golden Tate for an outing that fully signifies his career arrow is pointing upward. The Seahawks are giving Tate every opportunity for him to succeed at split end, and this will be his most prominent chance to show that he can make a true impact in the offense. Tate has a knack for making the spectacular grab, and there’s no place better to do it than on Monday Night football, in front of a raucous home crowd against a marquee opponent. Get ahead of the Fantasy free agent curve, and acquire Tate now before he becomes a hot pickup next week. Even if you don’t start him right away, it is definitely time to add him if you have the roster space.
A very respectable passing game means open running lanes for Lynch and opportunities to finish off scoring drives with shorter-range TD runs. Lynch is a must-start in all Fantasy leagues, and if you drafted him after the second round this year, you should pat yourself on the ‘ol back. Lynch is ranked No. 5 at RB on my in-season ranks on RotoExperts.com right now.
The Seahawks showed us last week that no matter who they face, you have to strongly consider starting their defense/special teams. The Packers’ passing game has not been quite as explosive as expected in the first two games, and a groin injury for Greg Jennings could diminish the potency of the passing game somewhat if he sits out or is limited.
As we look around the league for other Fantasy options this week, we lead with Tony Romo at quarterback, who is set to bounce back from last week’s disappointing outing at home against a very vulnerable Buccaneers defense. Robert Griffin III is now looking like a must-start player, especially against Cincinnati. You can do a lot worse than Alex Smith, who now has a diverse suite of pass-catchers. He certainly won’t hurt your outlook.
At running back, it is now apparent that Trent Richardson is healthy and ready to play well against Buffalo. Frank Gore has defied those waiting for a falloff and should have a very good game against the Vikings. Do not bench Adrian Peterson in the same game unless you have another top-level RB option. You never bench your superstars. That’s a firm guideline in Fantasy Football. If you can afford to do so, reserve Chris Johnson until he clearly turns things around. Ryan Mathews is set to return, and you may actually want to explore trading him before he misses any more time in the future.
Steve Johnson is set to be one of the top WRs of Week 3 against a very shaky Cleveland secondary. Antonio Brown should also break loose against the Raiders. Miles Austin is a very strong start against Tampa Bay, as he is Romo’s best target for big plays right now. Maintain confidence in Larry Fitzgerald no matter who his opponent is, he can revive your faith in him at any time. Danny Amendola had a monster breakout game last week, and will draw extra defensive attention from the Bears, yet should still perform adequately. Amendola is up to the task, to post at least respectable totals as a quality possession receiver.
Tony Gonzalez is a tight end that slows down for no one, and should be very busy against the Chargers. Antonio Gates appears set to return, thankfully for those who missed him last week. Scott Chandler and Brandon Myers are emerging as potentially reliable options. If you are looking for plug-in defensive options, go with the Lions against the struggling Titans, or the Dolphins against an erratic Jets offense.
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