Fantasy Football: Seahawks set to lean on Marshawn Lynch

Posted Oct 4, 2013

Scott Engel of previews the Seahawks Week 5 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts from a fantasy football perspective.

After one of the most satisfying and thrilling victories in franchise history at Houston, the Seahawks have another big road challenge ahead of them at Indianapolis this week. In the victory over the Texans, a strong running presence and timely defensive plays made a big difference, and helped Fantasy players in the process. This week, look for more significant contributions in both departments.

With injuries still an issue on the offensive line still apparent, there is a need to keep pressure off Russell Wilson and limit the number of times he is put in adverse passing situations. So look for the Seahawks to do what they do best this week, run the ball with Marshawn Lynch. The Colts made some upgrades to their defensive line this year, but will certainly be more vulnerable than Houston. Lynch ran for 98 yards and a TD against Houston, and should be very productive again this week. The Colts have allowed only one rushing score so far, but Lynch can certainly add to that number. The line did block well for the run last week and Houston’s front wall is more formidable than that of the Colts, even though Indy has looked better statistically overall so far.

The Colts are ranked eighth against the pass and are seventh in the NFL with 13 sacks, so the Seahawks offensive line has another tough task ahead of it as the unit tries to soldier through injury issues. Wilson rushed for 77 yards against the Texans, but if Lynch can establish a rhythm early and often, the Seahawks QB may be able to buy more time to throw against the Colts, who may not be able to generate quite as much pressure as Houston did. Wilson will take off when he needs to and can make some plays on the move as well. Look for a balance of respectable passing and running totals, enough to supplement your other top Fantasy players this week.

A strong running game should help Wilson use play-action passing more effectively this week. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate were targeted five times each last week as Wilson was limited to 12 completions. Tate leads the team with 21 targets, and Rice has 20. Yet Rice has scored twice and is getting important looks from Wilson in key situations. He does make a respectable plug-in if another of your top receivers is on a bye. Tate is contributing in areas that may not be so apparent in every Fantasy league, yet in formats that also count return yards, he does carry some extra appeal. Doug Baldwin is making many key catches for Wilson and has some appeal in very large PPR leagues.

The Seahawks allowed 325 passing yards and 151 rushing yards to the Texans last week, and will certainly come to prove that such totals are an anomaly this week. The Colts rank 10th in yards per game in the NFL, and are fourth in rushing yards per game. Yet the recently-acquired Trent Richardson has yet to hit his full stride in the Colts offense, and is averaging 3.1 yards per carry. So Bobby Wagner and the Seattle linebackers should be able to keep him from busting out this week.

Andrew Luck is ascending quickly as a second-year passer, but the Seahawks secondary obviously has the depth to lock up his top targets, including Reggie Wayne and up-and-coming TE Coby Fleener. Bruce Irvin returns to fortify and upgrade the Seahawks pass rush this week. So with his receivers well-covered and facing heavy pressure, Luck is a shaky Week 5 Fantasy start. The Seahawks defense should keep the Colts under 20 points while certainly forcing more than one turnover, making the unit a Fantasy must-start yet again this week.

In other games, Matthew Stafford is rather quietly playing at an elite level and is a top start of the week in what should be a shootout with the Packers. Cam Newton should take advantage as the Arizona defense spends a lot of time on the field. Philip Rivers will deliver another outstanding performance against the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor is a viable option in the same game against a shaky Chargers defense.

Ray Rice should see more of a regular workload this week against the Dolphins, and should be locked into your lineups. DeMarco Murray should be very busy as the Cowboys try to keep the ball away from the Broncos as much as possible. Expect Knowshon Moreno to get into the end zone in the same game. If you are looking for a sleeper play, BenJarvus Green-Ellis faces his old team, and should get into the end zone against New England. Whenever players oppose their former teams, you may see a boost in their Fantasy production. Also keep a trained eye on the Rams RB situation, where Zac Stacy could get a chance to emerge as a lead guy this week.

Andre Johnson proved last week he is a must-start regardless of opponent, and he will have another highly productive outing as he faces San Francisco. Larry Fitzgerald is healthy again and is a must-start against the Panthers. Danny Amendola should post big numbers in his expected return to action. James Jones is a very good WR3 choice against the Lions. Hakeem Nicks will show his better form against a weak Eagles pass defense, and Eddie Royal is a good bet to score against the Raiders. Justin Blackmon returns to action for the Jaguars and deserves WR3 consideration.

If you are desperate for help at TE, Kellen Winslow should be a frequent target for Geno Smith, who has to cope with a depleted WR corps. Jared Cook will get some scoring opportunities against the Jaguars. The Rams defense is also a strong play, as their defensive line will certainly have its way with a team that has allowed a NFL-high 18 sacks. The Jets have allowed 14 and are very thin on offense, making Atlanta a top defensive selection for this week as well.

Want to get more great Fantasy advice from Scott Engel and the RotoExperts team? Then check out the Xclusive Edge Fantasy package right here – take advantage of a very special offer for Seahawks fans!

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