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Fantasy points won't be easy to come by for Seahawks in Arizona
Thursday night NFL games have gained a reputation for sometimes being less than ideal in terms of providing Fantasy output. But if anything will somewhat limit Seattle’s offensive ceiling this week, it could be the spectre of facing a familiar opponent in what is sure to be a challenging contest for both offenses. As any experienced football fan knows, divisional games are often hotly contested battles, and the Seahawks would have to expect a tough tussle against the Cardinals any day of the week.
Of course, the ground game is the apparent crux of the Seattle offense, but the Cardinals have a tenacious defensive line, and have been rather stingy in that department. Arizona ranks eighth in the NFL against the run, having allowed just 90.7 rushing yards per game with only two TDs. Yet as Seahawk fans well know, Marshawn Lynch often stands up to the most stiff defensive tests, and will not be denied. He remains a must-start, and Fantasy players should not worry at all about a short work week when it comes to Lynch’s outlook. He may have to work hard for his yardage this week, but you must always rely on Lynch when so many other running backs have proved to be less reliable for Fantasy purposes this season. The Fantasy community has been littered with many stories of RB disappointment this year. You won’t hear of any such tales from Lynch’s owners.
Russell Wilson faces the Cardinals’ 24th-ranked pass defense after overcoming the Titans’ formidable and somewhat underrated Tennessee secondary in last week’s win. CB Patrick Peterson is a well-noted force, and Arizona has picked off eight passes this year. But Wilson is very smart with the football and you should not expect more than one turnover. The Cardinals will be well-prepared to face Wilson, but he is not going to give them many opportunities to pounce on mistakes. Look for Wilson to continue to make sound decisions and take what the defense gives him, also taking off for more quality rushing totals for Fantasy players.
Like Lynch, Wilson cannot be expected to deliver an explosive Fantasy performance. The Cardinals will come out playing smart, tenacious defense and won’t surrender big plays easily in a key NFC West matchup. But Wilson, like Lynch, is not going to hurt his Fantasy owners, and if you have been rolling with him and winning to this point, you should keep Wilson plugged into your lineup. Wilson’s rushing ability always gives you the possible addition of extra Fantasy points that could ultimately mean the difference between a Fantasy win and loss.
Steven Hauschka has arrived as a top-level Fantasy kicker, and this should be another terrific week to use him. The Seahawks will certainly be able to move into scoring range consistently, even if the Cardinals defense tightens up in the red zone. You may get three or four field goal tries from Hauschka, and a cool nine to 12 points plus any extra points could be the type of output that can also boost you to a Fantasy victory.
This should be another fine week for the Seahawks defense. With a shaky offensive line, Carson Palmer has struggled mightily, throwing 11 interceptions, second in the league behind only the slumping Eli Manning. The Seattle secondary should be primed for an opportunistic evening. The Seahawks could win this one on turnovers, which would naturally translate into a prolific Fantasy week for owners of the defensive unit. Larry Fitzgerald has been battling hamstring issues and will certainly face double coverage, and if the front seven can contain sparkplug RB Andre Ellington, you won’t see many points on the board for the Cardinals.
At running back, the Dolphins will try to get their running game going again, and should succeed with Lamar Miller against Buffalo. Giovani Bernard has become a must-start RB2 and will continue to make exciting plays against Detroit. Knowshon Moreno is playing at a RB1 level and may score more than once again vs. the Colts. Trent Richardson will get some scoring chances as Luck moves his team into frequent scoring position.
Mike Wallace is starting to get more comfortable in Miami, and will score against the Bills. Alshon Jeffery will flash his better WR form against Washington. The Chargers will have no answer for Justin Blackmon, and Terrance Williams may be good for another score against the Eagles. Rueben Randle has become a strong start and will come through with another outstanding game vs. Minnesota.
Washington’s Jordan Reed may continue to emerge at TE, and look for the Vikings to keep Kyle Rudolph involved in the offensive flow. The Rams defense will certainly be a quality option against an inconsistent Panthers offense, and San Diego will have some defensive momentum after playing well vs. the Colts. Use the Chargers for sure against the Jaguars.
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