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Fantasy: Owners turn to Seahawks for encore
Last week, the Seahawks defense and Marshawn Lynch catapulted many players into the next round of their playoffs. Both were the top Fantasy scorers at their respective positions. The defense’s 41 points were particularly outstanding, as it was the most scored by any unit on NFL.com since 2005. Lynch totaled 30.80 points on NFL.com, boosted by his three touchdown runs.
This week, the Seahawks make a trip to Toronto, in their special “Wolf Grey” uniforms, and Fantasy owners are hoping for special numbers again from the defense and Lynch as they look to advance to the championship/Super Bowl round in their leagues in Week 16.
Last week’s totals will be very hard to approach for both the defense and Lynch, but both can certainly come through with strong performances and are must-starts. The Bills rank 20th in total offense and cannot be expected to put too many points on the board against the Seahawks. Richard Sherman can handle WR Stevie Johnson for sure in coverage, and Ryan Fitzpatrick lacks other significant playmakers in the passing game, so he may absorb some coverage sacks and hits that could also lead to turnovers.
Lynch is looking like a terrific start against the Bills’ 28th-ranked run defense. The Bills have allowed a league-high 18 rushing scores, so Lynch obviously has a great opportunity to help propel you into the next round of your Fantasy playoffs. The Seahawks defense may have its hands full with explosive Buffalo RB C.J. Spiller, who can excel against any defense with expected increased touches. If you have Spiller on your Fantasy team, you’ll get quality numbers while you hopefully watch a Seahawks win. It’s not always pleasant to start opposing players against your favorite team, but the best scenario is to accept the Fantasy production while still rooting for the Seattle victory.
If you have been leaning on Sidney Rice as a WR3, you and the Seahawks both received good news late in the week. Rice shed his walking boot and is listed as probable after working through a foot injury. Buffalo has allowed 22 TD passes this year, and Rice is a regular scoring threat. There’s no reason to play it conservative and reserve based mostly on the injury.
Rice’s presence ensures that Golden Tate will not draw extra defensive attention and should get open frequently. This has no doubt been a very satisfying season for Tate, who has started to live to his considerable potential. Fantasy owners have also discovered Tate to be a viable Fantasy WR3 and a somewhat pleasant source of TD production.
Russell Wilson has done a fine job of limiting mistakes this season, and the Seahawks rank fifth in the league for the least amount of giveaways. So if you have to use Wilson in a two-quarterback league, he certainly isn’t going to hurt your team this week. It’s a daunting trip for Wilson and the Seahawks, but expect the offense to be efficient in an important game in terms of nailing down a playoff berth and staying in the NFC West title race.
As you look around the league for other quality Fantasy options for Week 15, Josh Freeman is a very good start at quarterback against a highly vulnerable New Orleans pass defense that has allowed the most TD passes in the NFL this year (27). Robert Griffin III is a risky start with a knee problem, and you should play it safe and use another quality alternative if you have one, such as Eli Manning or Matthew Stafford.
At running back, Giants rookie David Wilson is expected to get a lot of work against Atlanta, and his considerable upside demands you plug him as a RB2. Chris Johnson can break a big play or two against the Jets on Monday night. Steer clear of Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure, as he is starting to lose important touches to Joique Bell.
Cleveland’s Josh Gordon is again looking like a nifty wide receiver start against a shaky Redskins pass defense. Danario Alexander has emerged as a lock at your WR2 spot. His size should give him an advantage against the Carolina secondary. Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams should score against the Saints.
Heath Miller is a very solid option at tight end right now, and Martellus Bennett is re-emerging in the Giants’ passing game. On defense, look to Miami at home against Jacksonville, but avoid Tennessee (vs. the Jets), as they are simply not a quality Fantasy unit. They rank 23rd on NFL.com in terms of overall defensive scoring and should not be used regardless of matchup.
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