Fantasy: Seahawks defense ready for Cam

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Fantasy writer Scott Engel of takes a look at the Seahawks' matchup with the Carolina Panthers and breaks down Week 5 in the NFL.

He is one of the most exciting players in Fantasy Football, and was a first-round pick this season in many leagues. He is also the defensive focus of the Seahawks this week: Super Hybrid quarterback Cam Newton.

The Carolina QB is a major challenge for any defense to handle, because he has a howitzer-type arm and is one of the strongest all-around passers the league has ever seen. When Newton scrambles, he will sacrifice his body and give the defenses bruises as well. He’s big, brawny , uniquely athletic and built like a Transformer robot.  He raises major concerns for any defensive unit.

Cam NewtonThe Seahawks, however, will be ready to keep Newton in check as much as possible, and they have film from which to extract sound schemes and strategies to do so. Tampa Bay and the New York Giants combined to intercept him five times and sack him five times. Newton may still stack up some pretty good numbers overall, but the Seahawks will be well-prepared for him.

You do not reserve the Seahawks defense in Fantasy Football no matter who they face. Keeping the Green Bay Packers in check proved a point. Quality defensive units such as the Seahawks generate sacks and turnovers regardless of the opponent in many weeks. Many Fantasy players start their defenses based on the perceived weakness of the offense it faces. Those who started the Raiders against Miami earlier this year can attest to how that can often work out. It’s about the quality of the unit, not just the opponent.

The Seahawks have the No. 8 ranked defense/special teams unit in Fantasy Football so far this year. They rank sixth in sacks and have yet to hit their full stride in terms of forcing turnovers and scoring touchdowns. Plus, the added special teams threat of Leon Washington can produce a bonus score for you any time. So you simply do not reserve the unit.

FS Earl Thomas can help Steve Smith in check, while SS Kam Chancellor will not back down to the task of facing TE Greg Olsen. The Panthers lack the overall weaponry to truly challenge the secondary regularly. Seattle should also stuff the running game, and Newton will be in for an uneven day littered with a few mistakes. Expect a few sacks and more than one turnover from the Seahawks.

Marshawn Lynch can help propel many Fantasy teams to victory this week, as he faces a vulnerable Panthers run defense that is allowing 134.8 yards per game. Lynch has been simply relentless and is rated a Top 6 Fantasy RB by me right now in my overall in-season ranks  ( on He is also sixth in terms of overall Fantasy production at RB on

The Panthers also rank 24th in the league in passing yards per game allowed, so you can consider Sidney Rice and Golden Tate as potential options if you need to plug someone in due to bye week concerns. Russell Wilson is worth a look in two-quarterback leagues if you are looking for an option because of bye weeks in such formats.

Looking around the league for other Fantasy options this week, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco should get strong consideration at QB. Rivers faces a Saints defense that can be thrown on consistently, and Flacco may not get much pass pressure at Kansas City, allowing him to pick apart the Chiefs pass secondary at will. Andy Dalton’s accuracy is improving, and he is a pretty good bye week filler at Miami.

Darren Sproles should be one of the most productive Fantasy RBs of Week 5, as he faces his former team, the Chargers. He will be very amped up to show up the guys in his old uniform. Cedric  Benson should be very serviceable against the Colts. Stevan Ridley is a good bet to score again as the Patriots take on the Chargers.

Brian Hartline is for real, as he catches everything thrown in his direction, and he will keep piling up fine numbers against the Bengals. Malcom Floyd will be a top target for Rivers this week. If Hakeem nicks is out again, Domenik Hixon is a great one-week play vs. Cleveland. Roll with James Jones for one more week, he’ll make some big plays against Indianapolis.

Keep the faith in Kyle Rudolph and Dennis Pitta after one quiet week for each. If you are looking for a plug-in defensive/special teams unit, Minnesota should hold Tennessee in check and will have some return game potential as well.

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