Seahawks-Saints matchup will also decide fantasy fates

Posted Nov 30, 2013

Scott Engel of previews Monday's matchup with the New Orleans Saints from a fantasy football perspective.

Monday night’s game obviously has so much at stake for the Seahawks and Saints. It can arguably be considered Seattle’s biggest home game since the 2005 NFC Championship Game. So it’s only fitting that the ultimate Monday night matchup of the 2013 NFL season will have a resounding effect on so many Fantasy Football leagues in what is widely considered to be the most important week of the year.

Monday games are always a deciding factor in so many Fantasy matchups, and no single game may have a bigger impact on widespread Fantasy results more than this Week 13 showdown. This week’s NFL games will decide the ultimate Fantasy playoff destinies of teams in every league, and the Seahawks-Saints tilt will be the game that widely determines who wins and loses with so much on the line. Both the New Orleans and Seattle rosters are heavily stocked with players who are standout or pivotal performers in Fantasy Football.

Marshawn Lynch and Drew Brees are the No. 2 overall Fantasy Football players at their respective positions in standard scoring, and they shine most brightly on the Monday night Fantasy marquee this week. Lynch has 178.70 points on, and the Saints will surely be heavily focused on containing him, especially with the spectre of Lynch’s performance in the 2011 NFC Playoff game against New Orleans still looming large.

The Saints rank 15th in Fantasy Points Allowed to running backs (17.09 per game), and it’s going to be hard to deny Lynch even if they devote extra attention to the superstar RB and keep him in check early on. In a game of major magnitude, the fiercely determined Lynch will ultimately not be denied. Opening up the passing game early could also loosen up the Saints defense more for Lynch. If you own Lynch in a Fantasy league, you have a very good chance of punching your ticket to the playoffs or securing a higher seeding this week.

Only Peyton Manning has outscored Brees (250.38 total) at QB this year, and not even the stout Seattle defense may be able to contain the leader of the most explosive offense in the NFC. No matter the matchup, Brees is always capable of being the top scorer at his position every week. The Seahawks have not faced a quarterback of his stature yet this year. Seattle fans and opponents of Brees will simply have to concede that Brees is going to get hisnumbers, while rooting for a victory.

The Saints have improved defensively this season, and rank third overall in net passing yards allowed. But with Brees challenging the Seattle defense, Russell Wilson will be ready to strike back, and he is a prime Fantasy start for Week 13. With Percy Harvin now in the mix, Wilson has what may be his most diverse and balanced receiving crew of the season.

Wilson, the ninth-best QB on in terms of Fantasy points (195.38) has his top blockers back on the offensive line, and a diverse receiving crew to work with. With the possibly pressing needs to stay close to Brees and open up room for Lynch, all signs point to Wilson being counted on to deliver quality production on a big stage. As we have seen throughout his Seahawks tenure so far, Wilson responds very well when the stakes are raised. Fantasy owners will be able to start him with a heck of a lot of confidence this week.

Wilson will likely use Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin as his main targets for more high percentage connections. Both should get strong WR3 consideration in all leagues this week. Jermaine Kearse is a prime target when Wilson looks to throw near or into the end zone. He can be used in some larger leagues.

Steven Hauschka is the No. 4 ranked kicker on in terms of overall Fantasy production (110.00 points) and can certainly boost many Fantasy teams to a win this week, as the Seahawks will move the ball efficiently behind Lynch and Wilson, and putting him into consistent position for field goal chances.

Whether you use the third-ranked Seahawks defense (126.00 points) depends on your scoring system and other potential choices. If your league deducts for points and/or yardage allowed, it is an unwritten rule to not start a defense that faces the likes of Brees. Excellent alternatives include Buffalo against the Falcons, and both the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. Those two latter teams face each other Sunday and it could be a low-scoring divisional affair. St. Louis has been performing quite well and may also keep the point totals down in an NFC West war with the 49ers.

Jimmy Graham has been the best tight end in Fantasy Football this year (160.60 points) and even the Seahawks will find him a threat to bust through double teams to make terrific plays. But Brees tends to spread the ball around among other targets, making WRs such as Marques Colston and Kenny Stills unreliable for Fantasy purposes. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles are viable PPR flex options in any matchup. Sproles has a reputation for elevating his play when the national lights are on.

In the Sunday games this week, Nick Foles will make an aggressive Arizona defense pay for gambling and he is a top Week 13 start at QB. Carson Palmer is in a groove and is a Top 10 Fantasy QB for this week in the same game. Josh McCown has a terrific matchup against Minnesota and is a great option if your alternative has been frustrating or unreliable.

Giants running back Andre Brown has been impressive since returning and will roll up some big Fantasy stats against Washington. Shane Vereen is an outstanding PPR option against the Texans, and Giovani Bernard will continue to make the most of his touches against the Chargers. Fred Jackson could get into the end zone more than once against the Falcons.

Josh Gordon (vs. Jacksonville) and Alshon Jeffery (vs. Minnesota) have arrived as Top 10 Fantasy WRs and should be locked into your lineups in this all-important Week 13. Keenan Allen (vs. Cincinnati) is also a must-start and should not be reserved. Stevie Johnson returns to face Atlanta, and he is a somewhat underrated PPR choice who can always serve you well. Julian Edleman deserves to be started again after he re-emerged in Week 12. Tom Brady is very comfortable with him and the matchup is a good one against Houston.

At TE, Jordan Cameron should be back in lineups now that Brandon Weeden is starting again for the Browns. Coby Fleener has become a main target for Andrew Luck and is a threat to score every week. Add Ladarius Green of the Chargers if he is still available on your free agent list. He has a ton of upside for possible late-season impact if you need help at the position.

For more in-depth Fantasy Football analysis from Scott Engel and the team, check out the Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football package, now at a special slashed Fantasy playoff push rate for Seahawks fans! Click here for more info.