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Fantasy: Seahawks set for the heat
When the Seahawks travel to Miami this week, they will be in good position to produce well statistically. They match up well with the Dolphins, who have a rookie quarterback and an uninspiring receiving crew, and their running game does not look as it did earlier in the year. Plus, the defense, which played so well against the run earlier in the year, has started to show some cracks.
Ryan Tannehill has thrown five interceptions in his past two games and certainly has a major challenge facing the Seahawks secondary. His top target is Brian Hartline, who has some upside but is inconsistent, and has 128 receiving yards in his past two games. Richard Sherman should be able to keep him in check, and the rest of the receiving crew will not scare the other Seattle DBs. Reggie Bush has not rushed for 100 yards since Week 2 and has not been an outstanding threat to defenses, and Daniel Thomas does not pose a significant matchup problem, either. Miami’s 28th-ranked offense is a great Fantasy matchup for the Seahawks defense, which is a must-start this week. Miami has allowed 21 sacks, so expect to see Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons pressuring Tannehill frequently enough.
Miami ranks eighth in the league against the run, but allowed Chris Johnson to go over 100 yards in Week 10 and C.J. Spiller landed close to the century mark in terms of rushing yards a week later. Marshawn Lynch is an elite Fantasy RB and could venture into Johnson territory this week, too. The Dolphins defense may spend too much time on the field, and Seattle can impose its will via the running game over the full course of the afternoon. Lynch is a must-start again in all formats.
The Dolphins do have a unique homefield advantage that few NFL experts discuss, though. The South Florida heat can sometimes be intense on gamedays, and we’ve seen some opponents less experienced wear down under the sun over the course of a full game. Lynch may be seemingly invincible to the elements, but look for Seattle to smartly use Robert Turbin to keep him fresh and not overworked.
The Seahawks did have a bye week to prepare for the extensive travel and elements, and should be well prepared for the conditions, which should be more apparent as to how potentially adverse they may be over the weekend, closer to gameday. Miami does rank 27th against the pass, and Russell Wilson is playing well right now, not making turnovers at a high rate and taking what the defense gives him with some occasional big plays sprinkled in. If you’re one of those Fantasy players who lost Ben Roethlisberger or Michael Vick, Wilson won’t hurt you as an alternative.
Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have been frequent scoring targets for Tate in recent weeks, and both deserve strong consideration as Fantasy WR3 options this week. Rice is healthy again and is on his way to one of his best Fantasy campaigns to date. Tate has been a favorite of Wilson’s when the Seattle QB needs a big or key play made. Look for the Seattle coaching staff to potentially rotate other options in to keep Rice and Tate’s batteries well charged in the South Florida conditions. They will be ready to make important plays when needed.
Seattle’s defense should prevent most of the Dolphins from being viable Fantasy starts this week, especially now that we have reached the end of the bye weeks and you can start most of your better players on a regular basis from here forward. The one danger from Fantasy perspectives is that the Dolphins do play above their rank on pass defense and tighten the screws against he run, in which case you can look for a low-scoring game on both sides.
In the other Week 12 games, you can look to the Oakland-Cincinnati matchup for some top quarterback choices. Carson Palmer will surely want to get revenge vs. his former team, and Andy Dalton will not want to be outpointed by the ex-Bengal in his own house. The other big quarterback news is the expected start for Colin Kaepernick against the Saints. His upside is apparent, but do not use him over a more proven and reliable top-tier starter.
At running back, the Raiders-Bengals game also offers some quality choices. Marcel Reece is playing very well in place of the injured Darren McFadden, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis should score against a woeful Raiders run defense. C.J. Spiller should post very good numbers against the Colts, and Steven Jackson is performing well and should find the end zone against Arizona.
Among wide receivers, Eric Decker and Marques Colston are strong bets to score. Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson are nice bounce-back candidates. At the all too-frustrating tight end position, look for Jermaine Gresham to be one of the top performers of the week, and Kyle Rudolph can perform well again with Percy Harvin either limited or out. The Denver defense is a great start again vs. Kansas City, and the Rams should certainly be a strong choice against Arizona.
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