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Fantasy: Players not done with Seahawks
Many Fantasy players won their championships in Week 16 because of Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks defense . If you see more people sporting Wilson, Lynch and Richard Sherman jerseys nowadays, it’s because Fantasy Football makes many fans appreciate and respect players who may not necessarily be on their favorite teams, or elevates their already high opinions of those players.
So it was no surprise during this past week when the RotoExperts SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio morning drive show and the RotoExperts.com e-mail boxes were flooded with stories of how the Seahawks “Fantasy championship trio” had boosted many happy Fantasy players to league titles. Wilson and Lynch were top five scorers at their positions on NFL.com, and the Seahawks defense was seventh. Because the Seahawks had played in the final game of the week on Sunday night against the 49ers, their provided results made the ultimate difference in Fantasy final scores, so the production of all three Seattle Fantasy selections was magnified and appreciated even more.
But because some Fantasy players just can’t get enough of their favorite game, lots of them are still playing in Week 17, whether it is for a league championship or another league honor, such as an overall points title. Week 17 play is often not recommended by many Fantasy purists such as myself, mainly because some teams will rest their starters, skewing some Fantasy results from the norms and raising skepticism that the best team either won it all or prevailed in any sort of other league-wide competition for the week.
But if you are one of those who have rode Seattle’s “Big Three” to this point, you will not have to worry about not getting the required production from your Seahawks this week. The Seahawks will have a lot to play for in their home game against the Rams, even though they clinched a playoff berth last week. They will need some help to achieve such goals, but they can still win the NFC West and even have a chance to earn a first-round bye if some NFC dominoes fall their way. So with NFC playoff seeding at stake, you can roll out Wilson, Lynch and the Seattle defense with a lot of confidence in Week 17 if you are still playing Fantasy Football.
Wilson has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in Fantasy Football in recent weeks and is a certain Top 10 starter this week at the position. He has scored 20-plus Fantasy points in four of his past five games according to NFL.com standard scoring. Wilson does his best Fantasy work at home, with 16 touchdown passes against two interceptions. Wilson threw three interceptions at St. Louis in Week 4, but seems like a vastly improved passer since then, and Fantasy leaguers can discard that performance from their memory banks considering the way he is playing recently.
Lynch is the No. 4 Fantasy running back overall on NFL.com for the season and there is no reason to expect any sort of falloff this week as the Seahawks play with full determination. Lynch has six TD runs in his past four games and is looking for his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing performance to finish out the season. Lynch has become more of a national hero and fan favorite over the past two seasons as a Seahawk, because his terrific late-season performances have led many Fantasy players to league championships. He rushed for 118 yards and a TD against the Rams in Week 4.
The Seahawks defense has been arguably the most valuable unit in Fantasy Football this year. Their average draft position this year on NFL.com this year was 135.13, putting them in the 14th round area. Yet they come into Week 17 as the second-best unit overall, seven spots ahead of the 49ers, who were the No. 1 defense overall in terms of ADP this year. The Seahawks defense again proved that if you know the league well enough, you don’t have to draft a defensive unit too early. The unit should also fare well at home again this week, as Sam Bradford and his receivers don’t figure to stand up too well to the likes of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. The defensive line should also stack up some coverage sacks. The Rams shut down Golden Tate and Sidney Rice in the first meeting this year, but with Wilson playing well and with some Fantasy owners having to dig deeper for WR help this week, both have to be strongly considered for lineups. Doug Baldwin has come on as of late and has re-emerged on the Fantasy radar as well if you are scrambling for some help. Wilson is spreading the ball around well, a true sign of a maturing QB, and all of his top targets have some Fantasy potential this week.
Building a Week 17 lineup is not easy overall, as the Ravens, Falcons, Bengals and Colts could all rest significant starters this week because they have their playoff fates determined. Also, teams such as the Steelers and Browns, who cannot make the playoffs, will hold out injured starters such as Mike Wallace and Trent Richardson.
At QB, Tony Romo is a very strong start as he tries to turn around his legacy in must-win games. The Cowboys have to beat Washington to advance to the postseason. Michael Vick will start in the season finale for the Eagles, and could perform very well as he tries to finish on a positive note as he heads into the offseason with improved chances of regaining a starting job.
C.J. Spiller is looking matchup-proof as he is playing very well and displaying electric cutback moves that are making defenders miss regularly. He is a prime Week 17 start among running backs. Alfred Morris is a must-start in the Washington/Dallas NFC East title showdown. Knowshon Moreno has resurrected his career late in the season and is a strong choice as the Broncos try to sew up a first round bye against the Chiefs.
Andre Johnson is playing like an elite Fantasy WR again, and is a top start at his position as the Texans try to lock up the AFC’s top seed against the Colts. Danario Alexander is a Top 10 WR start against the Raiders, who have been enduring defensive issues all year long. James Jones should be good for a score again as the Packers try to lock up a first-round bye in the NFC.
Antonio Gates and Jermichael Finley can be used with some confidence at tight end, and the Steelers are a great defensive choice against the depleted Browns. San Diego should also be a solid pick for defensive purposes against the Raiders. Next week, we will look at the Seahawks for Fantasy Football playoff purposes, such as in the NFL.com Playoff Challenge.
You can view Scott Engel’s complete Week 17 Fantasy lineup rankings right here on RotoExperts.com. Also, you can always consult a RotoExpert via email advice for personalized consultation on your Fantasy teams.