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Fantasy: How to replace Lynch and the Seattle Defense
The bye week means some well-earned rest for the suddenly surging Seahawks, but it also means you lose their services for the week. It is very challenging to replace the top two Fantasy options from their roster, the No. 1 running back and the defensive unit.
Lynch is an elite Fantasy running back right now, and the Seahawks defense reasserted itself against a very mediocre Jets offense in Week 10. The smart Fantasy owner likely planned ahead for the Lynch absence. Even if you haven’t, in many leagues, there are still some viable choices available on the free agent list or that could be possibly acquired in a lower-level trade.
Steven Jackson looked good against San Francisco last week and has an appealing matchup against those same Jets. Another Ram, Daryl Richardson, can give you decent production as well. Felix Jones ran with more authority last week and can be used again. Marcel Reece should be quite busy against a very vulnerable Saints defense. James Starks will give you regular carries and at least decent numbers, and digging even deeper, Joique Bell and Danny Woodhead could be adequate desperation options in PPR leagues. You can consider such RBs even if you do not own Lynch, as some Fantasy owners are facing some scary situations at the position, especially those who roster Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson.
Defensively, if you need a one-week option to sub in for the Seahawks, go right back to the Rams, who should keep the score down and will have turnover opportunities against the Jets. The Bengals were quite aggressive and opportunistic against the Giants last week, and will certainly have an even friendlier matchup against the Chiefs this week. Baltimore faces Byron Leftwich (‘nuff said) and Washington could pile up a few turnovers and sacks against Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles.
The bye week also represents a unique opportunity to pluck a rising Seahawk off the free agent list. Many Fantasy owners overlook available players on a bye, and you will see Russell Wilson available in many leagues. With prominent quarterbacks such as Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick going down for unspecified periods, Wilson becomes an excellent alternative. Grab Wilson now, and I mean now if you need QB help. I talk even more about why Wilson makes an excellent pickup among many available choices at QB here (http://rotoexperts.com/28239/how-to-replace-michael-vick-and-ben-roethlisberger/).
Among active QBs this week, Carson Palmer jumps off the board as he takes on the Saints. Palmer has been terrific recently for Fantasy purposes and you absolutely have to love the matchup. Josh Freeman will continue to be steady as he faces Carolina. Andy Dalton looks like he has a good matchup against the Chiefs, and you can use him if you’re in need of a fill-in, but keep in mind he has been quite inconsistent this year.
With the rapidly improving play of Wilson, the Seattle WRs have now become worth starting regularly as WR3 choices in Fantasy. Sidney Rice is healthy and scoring regularly, and Golden Tate has become a consistent TD contributor. If you have to look elsewhere this week among deeper WR selections, Danario Alexander is quickly on the rise in San Diego, and Lance Moore should perform very well against Oakland. Andre Roberts gets a lot of looks from QB John Skelton, and Oakland’s Rod Streater is a very nifty pick when you are really scraping for help. Among the more prominent WRs, it looks like Jordy Nelson will return to action, and he is a must-start. Andre Johnson could have one of his best games of the year against the Jaguars.
At tight end, Logan Paulsen is becoming a very reliable target for Robert Griffin III. Heath Miller gets a slight downgrade with Leftwich at QB, but still must be used, as the TE position is full of bigger question marks, and Miller will still be a top safety valve for the backup passer. Dustin Keller is better used in PPR leagues, he won’t give you too much in standard formats.
The bye week is also a blessing for your top Seahawk Fantasy players. Marshawn Lynch’s ultra-physical running style often leads to some bruises, as we saw last week with back and injury concerns. He gets a well-earned week of rest and can come back fresh and ready to lead your team to the Fantasy postseason. The defense can also benefit with rest and can come back very fresh, and in terms of game planning, Seattle can take extra time to ready for Miami after the bye.
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