Fantasy: Seahawks set to score some more for Fantasy players

Posted Jan 11, 2013

Russell Wilson is a very strong Fantasy start this week, especially if you are looking to save some dollars in a salary cap style league or can only use a player once during the NFL postseason.

The Seahawks are ready for another postseason matchup on Sunday at Atlanta, and Fantasy Football players who are leaning on their key offensive performers in NFL Playoff Fantasy Leagues will surely benefit with healthy point production. The Falcons are known for having a potent offense, but Seattle will surely be capable of keeping up with Atlanta, and even outpointing them.

Many experts who are previewing the game are expecting the Falcons to load their fronts against the run or key on the Seahawks running game. That would prove to be a mistake defensively for Atlanta, as Russell Wilson has certainly proved he can beat defenses with a mixture of high percentage throws and play action passes. Wilson is a very strong Fantasy start this week, especially if you are looking to save some dollars in a salary cap style league or can only use a player once during the NFL postseason.

Atlanta ranked 23rd in the league in overall pass defense during the regular season. They did, however, allow an NFL-low 14 TD passes. Their 20 interceptions were also fifth in the league. So it’s clear that they do give up some chunks of yardage, but have been more stingy against quarterbacks in scoring situations, and also make big plays when they do get tested often. This type of defense does bode well for Wilson statistically. Wilson has thrown only 10 interceptions, which places Seattle fourth in that category in the league. He simply does not make the mistakes the Falcons defense has feasted on this year, and the tight numbers in terms of TD passes are less meaningful if Wilson is moving the ball consistently.

Wilson has learned to spread the ball around effectively, a trait that shows a quarterback is maturing and can challenge defenses more regularly. That also makes his receivers less predictable for Fantasy purposes. The Seahawks, however, will have to make some critical throws to win this game, and Golden Tate has become a go-to guy for Wilson in such situations.

If you are still riding with him in draft style NFL Fantasy Playoff Leagues, you should get respectable production from him and even a score. In leagues where you can only use a player once, now is a good time to consider tight ends Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy, as both have scoring potential this week. Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin also have considerable appeal in “one and done” usage formats. The Seahawks could be busier as a passing team than some expect.

If you are playing in the Playoff Challenge, you receive bonuses when you carry a player over from one week to the next. So savvy players certainly used Marshawn Lynch last week, and will enjoy double point output this week for keeping him active.

Here’s a reminder on how that fun rule works:
A user selected Marshawn Lynch in the Wild Card round. Wilson earned 17 fantasy points in the first weekly scoring period, therefore participants were awarded 17 points for the first weekly scoring period. as Seattle advanced to the Divisional Playoffs. The participant selects to keep Lynch on his/her roster for the second consecutive weekly scoring period, and Lynch earns 15 fantasy points in his Divisional Playoff game.  The participant will earn 30 points for the second consecutive weekly scoring period (15 x 2 = 30). Those 30 points will be added to the 17 points earned in the first weekly scoring period for a two-week total of 47 points (17 30 = 47).

Lynch did miss some practice time this week to rest a foot injury, but he is expected to be ready to go for Sunday’s game and should be deployed as usual, a top starter in all Fantasy playoff formats, and especially for Fantasy Playoff Challenge usage. The Falcons ranked 21st against the run during the regular season, and allowed 16 rushing TDs, 24th in the league. Even if the Falcons limit Lynch early, Wilson will surely loosen them up and Lynch will wear them down, leading to another 100-yard outing overall and very likely, at least one TD run. Wilson is also a threat to run for a score at any time, and should be good for a minimum of two TDs, potentially one on a pass and another on a running score.

The Seahawks defense totaled 12 Playoff Challenge points last week in the win over Washington, as they sacked Robert Griffin III twice and Earl Thomas also registered an interception. This week, the ‘Hawks face arguably the deepest and most diverse receiving crew they have seen all year. If you choose to roll with them again, you should get an adequate outing, as the unit backs down to no opponent. As a Fantasy player and Seahawks fan, you’ll see the team realistically give up some significant plays to the likes of Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. You’ll be looking for a Seattle victory, but it won’t come via a shutout and a lower-scoring affair may be unlikely. But if Matt Ryan tests the Seattle secondary too frequently, that could lead to more than one interception.

The Seahawks signed Ryan Longwell to replace the injured Steven Hauschka heading into the Divisional Round. Longwell has not played in the NFL this season, but as we have often seen, kickers can quickly return to form at any time, as they remain ready and on call for a possible gig at any time. Longwell made 22 of 28 field goal attempts for the Vikings last year and should at least deliver a decent return for those Fantasy players who elect to use him this week.

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