The Seahawks offense re-emerged as a potent source of Fantasy production in Week 9, led by Russell Wilson, who had his best output of the season so far. Throwing a picturesque and marvelous downfield ball, Wilson threw for 282 yards and two TD passes. He also scored his first rushing TD of the season, and totaled 26.28 standard Fantasy points on NFL.com. This week, Wilson and the Seahawks travel to New England in a marquee matchup for viewers that is also very intriguing matchup for Fantasy players.
Now that Wilson is displaying his better form again, he is a must-start in Fantasy leagues regardless of the opponent. New England allows 17.27 Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing passers on NFL.com, which ranks 21st among all teams, so it's not a very daunting matchup for Wilson. He certainly looked capable of challenging any defense with his performance in Week 9 vs. Buffalo. He's throwing the ball crisply, with his customary accuracy and zip, and has resumed moving deftly inside and outside of the pocket to burden defenses in distinctive fashion.
It's widespread knowledge, though, that the Patriots coaching staff looks to eliminate or limit an opponent's top offensive weapon. So that should mean they will place a heavy emphasis on trying to contain Jimmy Graham, who has completely re-emerged as an elite Fantasy tight end in fascinating fashion. Graham is the No. 2 overall Fantasy TE on NFL.com with 70.50 standard points. He is coming off his best Fantasy outing of the year with 22.30 points. He and Wilson have developed a fine on-field rapport, and he cannot be benched even if the Patriots try to do their best to try to prevent him from having another big game. It will also be highly compelling to see him on the same field with another longtime superstar Fantasy TE, Rob Gronkowski.
Patriots CB Malcolm Butler could also be possibly assigned to cover Doug Baldwin, who had his best game since Week 3 with 8.90 standard Fantasy points. The gritty Baldwin certainly isn't going to back down in one could be one of the most interesting matchups in this game, and should still be started as a Fantasy WR3. The Patriots do allow 20.84 FFPG to opposing WRs, and while that is sixth-best among all teams, Baldwin could get at least an adequate piece of such a weekly total this time. Wilson is going to continue to be a major focal point of the offense, and Baldwin has been his go-to guy at WR from beginning of his pro career.
While they won't be able to cover both of them fully, though, the Pats will be heavily honed in on Graham and Baldwin. That means other playmakers in the Seahawks offense could be presented with opportunities to take advantage of. Most notably, C.J. Prosise and Tyler Lockett might get their chances to build statistical lines to deliver their best Fantasy performances of the season so far. Lockett could find holes in the defense to exploit and Prosise may be ready for his most extensive workload of his rookie season.
Lockett had a 43-yard kick return last week, showing he is ready to again display the explosiveness that made him so exciting in his rookie year. Look for Wilson to get him more involved in the passing game this week. If you need a WR fill-in for a bye week who has some additional promise going forward, now is the time to add Lockett, who is still available in 39 percent of NFL.com leagues.
The exciting and versatile Prosise led the Seahawks running backs with 26 snaps last week, and with the offense veering more in the direction of becoming pass-heavy again, he seems like an ideal fit to be a top guy in the RB rotation right now. Prosise's pass-catching skills have been well-documented, and Wilson can turn to him not only in the short and flat passing game, but Prosise can also be utilized as a downfield threat. Do not hesitate to consider him as a bold flex option in PPR formats.
In other games, Jay Cutler should deliver a quality Fantasy performance against the Buccaneers, who allow 20.35 FFPG to opposing QBs, the fifth-most of any NFL team. Eli Manning is a good start vs. the Bengals, who surrender 19.97 FFPG. Carson Palmer and the Cardinals should dominate the 49ers, who allow 18.47 FFPG to the QB position.
The Broncos are allowing 128.6 rushing yards per game, fourth-most in the league, so you can start both of New Orleans' prime RBs, Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower, against them as flex options. Houston allows 125.8 rushing yards per game, and Jacksonville will again look to establish the ground game with Chris Ivory. The Saints allow 25.03 FFPG to running backs, so maintain confidence in Devonte Booker. Rob Kelley is expected to continue to be the lead RB for Washington, and will be the TD finisher for an offense that can be prolific in the passing game. Because of potential workload, he is a quality start vs. Minnesota.
Atlanta allows 27.81 FFPG to opposing WRs, second-most among all teams, so Jordan Matthews is a nice WR3 start. If the Arizona passing game clicks as indicated under Palmer, you will get good production from J.J. Nelson, who is looking like a riser in the Cardinals offense. Miami yields 25.93 FFPG to wide receivers, so make sure you start Tyrell Williams and consider Dontrelle Inman in deeper leagues. Green Bay allows 25.71 to the position, so continue to use Rishard Matthews, who has displayed regular TD promise.
Among tight ends, C.J. Fiedorowicz has become a regular starting option, and Lance Kendricks is another somewhat underrated and dependable producer who has emerged recently. Defensively, Houston should be good for some turnovers against Jacksonville and the Rams will give you a nice combination of sacks and turnovers against the Jets.
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The Seahawks currently lead the all-time regular season record, going 9-8 in 17 matchups. They'll look to make it double digit victories on Sunday Night Football this Sunday, September 20 at CenturyLink Field. Game Center