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Fantasy: Seahawks defense ready to stack up stats
In any Fantasy format, sacks and turnovers generate the main flow of Fantasy point production for team defenses. This week at Chicago, the Seahawks should be a top Fantasy unit for such statistical purposes in a very important road game that could ultimately determine the course of their 2012 season.
The tenacious Seahawks defensive line should have the upper hand against a Bears offensive line that has struggled to consistently protect its quarterbacks in 2012. The Seahawks have sacked opposing quarterbacks 29 times, tied for ninth in the NFL. Chicago has allowed 35 sacks, third-most in the NFL. The Bears’ offensive line has been a major source of concern again this year, and will certainly be under siege against the likes of Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin this week.
The Seahawks should be able to regularly pressure Jay Cutler and help the Bears add to their team total of 13 interceptions, which is fourth in the NFL. Chicago has no outstanding threat in the passing game other than Brandon Marshall, and the Seattle secondary remains one of the best in the game and will certainly want to bounce back from last week’s frustrating performance with their playoff hopes at stake this week.
Matt Forte will try to tough it out through an ankle injury and Michael Bush is a consistent scoring threat, so the Seahawks front seven will have their work cut out for them. Slippery, evasive running backs have given the ‘Hawks the most trouble in recent weeks, which bodes better for Forte’s outlook.
Still, the Seahawks should be able to bring down Cutler a few times and pick him off more than once while possibly keeping the overall score down below 24 points, which makes them a very strong start in Fantasy again this week, so keep them active. Of course, the Bears have been the best defense in Fantasy this year, as they are plus-13 in takeaways/giveaways, have allowed only 15.9 points per game (second in the NFL) and have ranked third overall in the league in total defense.
Russell Wilson has shown a propensity for taking very good care of the football in recent weeks. He has not thrown an interception in his past three games, and has only tossed two in his past six. So those who start the Bears defense against the Seahawks this week could be disappointed in turnover and sack output. Wilson was sacked twice at Miami, but his elusiveness as a runner makes him no sure thing to be brought down despite the four-sack game against the Jets before the bye. Wilson has only been sacked more than two times in a game once since the season opener.
Sidney Rice and Golden Tate rely heavily on their TD potential in Fantasy each week. The Bears have allowed only 11 passing TDs, third-lowest in the NFL, so you will likely go with other alternatives this week in 10 and 12-team leagues as you maneuver for a Fantasy playoff spot in what is a very big week in the season for owners. Charles Tillman’s foot injury, though, could make you consider Rice or Tate in a 14-team format. The biggest worry facing many Fantasy players is what to expect from Marshawn Lynch this week.
The Bears rank eighth overall in rush defense, and more importantly for Lynch’s Fantasy owners, who rely heavily on his TD production, Chicago has allowed an NFC-low three rushing scores. Lynch rushed for only 46 yards against a stout Miami run defense last week and did not score. Still, we have seen Lynch become the first RB to score against the 49ers last year, and rushed for over 100 yards against their fourth-ranked rush defense this season. Lynch has come up big for the Seahawks against challenging opponents before, so you have to keep in your lineup for sure.
Every decision in Fantasy Football takes on magnified importance in Week 13, with playoff berths and seedings on the line in so many leagues. At quarterback, Eli Manning came back sharp from the bye and should certainly be started against the Redskins. Tony Romo will perform well against the reeling Eagles, and Colin Kaepernick is a very good start if you do not own another Top 10 QB. Use him if you have a Carson Palmer as your other choice, but not over a Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford.
Bryce Brown exploded onto the scene last week, as is a must-start as long as LeSean McCoy is out. C.J. Spiller will sparkle with an expected increased workload, and Steven Jackson will not back down against the 49ers. Beanie Wells should be good for a score against the Jets.
Dez Bryant is coming on strong at wide receiver, and is a must-start against Philadelphia. Randall Cobb should remain locked into lineups even with the Packers’ other top WRs back in action. Cecil Shorts and Danario Alexander have emerged as must-start Fantasy WR3 types.
Many Fantasy owners are desperate for help at tight end, and should turn to Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis, who has become more prominent in the Jaguars offense since Chad Henne took over as the starter. Ben Watson is a good bet to score against the weak Oakland defense. If you are looking for a plug-in defense, consider the Jets and Cardinals, who face each other in what could be an ugly game.
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