Fantasy points won't be hard to come by in NFC West showdown

Posted Sep 14, 2013

Scott Engel of breaks down the Seahawks Week 2 matchup with the 49ers from a fantasy football perspective.

The Seahawks and 49ers come into Sunday night’s marquee matchup with strong defensive reputations that may make Fantasy owners think about benching some top players. But as we have often seen with the Seahawks at home, they play well against all levels of opposition. Fantasy Football is not a game based purely on matchups, anyway. You don’t start or bench players on matchups alone.

Last year, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 214 yards in two matchups with the Niners, who have been widely hailed for their defensive prowess against the run over the last two-plus seasons. Lynch is ultimate proof that the best Fantasy players are regarded as such because they play well against all levels of competition. Lynch never backs down against the highly feared 49ers linebackers, and it will be no surprise to see him get back into 100-yard form this week after a subpar opener against the Panthers.

It’s already apparent as well that Russell Wilson is not intimidated by strong defenses and knows how to persevere against sturdy units. We saw his outstanding resiliency last week against Carolina, and last December, he torched the 49ers for 4 TD passes. Wilson may come out throwing to loosen up the Niners against the run, and if there is one weaker link in the 49ers defense, it is the secondary. Wilson is again a Top 10 Fantasy starter at quarterback this week, and do not consider benching him based on matchup alone. The Seahawks QB is not going to be thrown off his game on his home turf, and will at the very least provide you with respectable Fantasy totals.

The Niners will not be able to completely hold Wilson down, and when the Seahawks passer is playing at optimum levels, he will spread the ball around very effectively. Golden Tate and Sidney Rice deserve strong WR3 consideration this week, as both have strong potential to score TDs. Tate will build pretty good yardage totals as he continues to work hard after the catch. Doug Baldwin re-emerged on Fantasy radar screens last week, and should be considered a option in larger point per reception formats where you can start more than three wide receivers.

Last week, the 49ers put on an awesome defensive display against the Packers. But Seattle’s defense is much more formidable than Green Bay’s, and should never be out of your lineup regardless of matchup. The Seahawks held Colin Kaepernick to 244 passing yards, one TD and one interception, along with 31 rush yards last December. Kaepernick’s Fantasy owners cannot bench him because of his tremendous statistical upside, yet they simply cannot expect anywhere near the 412 yard, three-TD outing he delivered against the Pack.

Anquan Boldin quickly made 49ers fans forget about the injured Michael Crabtree, with a 13-catch, 208-yard outing that harkened back to Boldin’s salad days with the Cardinals. The Seahawks, however, will certainly do their best to clamp down on Boldin and make the other receivers beat them. Boldin cannot be reserved, but he is going to have to work very hard for his Fantasy totals this week.

Vernon Davis may be frequently located over the middle and is a must-start at tight end. Frank Gore was held to 44 rushing yards in the opener. He did punch in a TD, though, and the Seahawks must always respect him. He rushed for 131 yards in the first meeting between the teams last year, and should always be locked in as a reliable Fantasy RB2.

The Seahawks are hoping to have Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril back this week, and their presence should help Seattle generate a better pass rush than they did in the season opener. Keep the Seahawks defense locked in your lineups for sure, because playing at home in a major divisional matchup can certainly spur some big plays on defense. The Seahawks will be aggressive for sure, and a combative, physical style can only lead to those precious turnovers and possible scores that Fantasy players eagerly seek.

In other games, Cam Newton should be among the best at QB this week as he faces a very shaky Buffalo pass defense. Tony Romo will continue to throw frequently against the Chiefs. Michael Vick will provide you with another strong outing against a Chargers defense that will get overworked. Use Terrelle Pryor for more quality rushing numbers, but do not use him over a more established passer just yet.

Look for running backs Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris to bounce back from disappointing Week 1 outings, they are just too good to keep you down for long. Any time a viable Fantasy player faces his former team, you could get one of the best performances of the season from him. Such is the case with Steven Jackson of the Falcons against the Rams. Expect Eddie Lacy to soar past the 100-yard mark against Washington.

Larry Fitzgerald will shine at WR as he goes over 100 yards against Detroit, and Steve Smith could have one of his best games of the year against Buffalo. Look for Mike Wallace to get the ball a lot after a frustrating opener, and Eric Decker could also put a down opener behind him this week, use him as WR3. Michael Floyd is on the rise and also merits starting consideration against Arizona.

Giants TE Brandon Myers will start to get even more involved in the offensive flow this week. If you do not have an elite tight end, Brent Celek can serve you well and fill the hole nicely. The Bengals defense will absolutely terrorize the Steelers, and the Ravens will come back strong defensively against the Browns. Miami looks good early and will not back down against the Colts.

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