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Fantasy points won't be easy to come by for Seahawks in Arizona

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com previews the Seahawks Week 7 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals from a fantasy football perspective.

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.

Lynch was held in check by Carolina’s third-ranked run defense in the season opener, but at the very least, you will get adequate totals from him. Despite notable injuries on the offensive line, the Seahawks have blocked well for Lynch in recent weeks. He may not deliver quite the outstanding numbers he did against Tennessee, but Lynch is not going to hurt your Fantasy team for sure. This could prove to be a lower-scoring affair, but you never bench your superstars, and that is what Lynch is, a Fantasy superstar.

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.

Golden Tate may see a lot of Peterson in coverage, and Sidney Rice has been making key catches for the Seahawks, but you may want to keep him reserved for now. Once Percy Harvin returns, the Fantasy arrows can only point up for Tate and Rice, as they will face less defensive attention. Keep both rostered as reserves with some promise for bye week usage going forward. Doug Baldwin has become the newest version of Bobby Engram, a terrific chain-mover who can give you some depth in larger PPR leagues. Zach Miller is expected to play this week, and the Seahawks would like to see him re-emerge as a red zone option. He still has some appeal as a Fantasy TE2.

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.

In other games, look for Andrew Luck to be geared up to host Peyton Manning and deliver very good totals at QB. Philip Rivers is a top start against the Jaguars. Nick Foles is an excellent play as he starts again vs. Dallas, in what should be a high-scoring NFC East showdown between the Cowboys and Eagles. Eli Manning may actually get back on track at home as the Giants gun for their first win at home against Minnesota.

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.

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

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