This is an ultra-important week for Fantasy Football players, as the postseason begins in many leagues in Week 14. A victory could mean clinching a playoff berth or gaining a bye. A loss could mean you have to start looking ahead to 2017.
The Seahawks host the Panthers on Sunday night, and the players from the home team may be crucial in boosting your team to a win after the early games finish. Or they could also position you for success heading into the final game of the week between the Colts and the Jets on Monday night.
Russell Wilson did not throw a touchdown pass at Tampa Bay, but he rushed for a season-high 80 yards. With center Justin Britt expected to return this week, his protection should be more solid and you can expect a better outing against a Panthers defense that allows 18.32 Fantasy Points Per Game on NFL.com, eighth most among all teams. With more time to throw this week against a vulnerable Carolina secondary, Wilson should be good for a minimum of two TD passes. His rushing potential always adds possible bonus Fantasy points, so he should be considered a QB1 for this week in Fantasy for sure.
Elsewhere at QB this week, Colin Kaepernick has scored 19-plus Fantasy points on NFL.com in his past four games. With his dual threat ability, he always has a good statistical floor, and he will be a Fantasy QB1 for Week 13 as he faces the Bears. The Chargers have allowed 3,125 passing yards, seventh-most in the league. Jameis Winston has thrown at least two TD passes in five of his past six games and should deliver a solid Fantasy outing at San Diego.
The Panthers allow 25.27 FFPG on NFL.com to opposing wide receivers, seventh most among all teams. Wilson will look to get rid of the ball quickly on many occasions against a Panthers defense that has generated 32 sacks, third-most in the NFL. That means quick hitting passes to Doug Baldwin, who should be very busy in terms of making catches this week. Baldwin is a solid starting option as a Fantasy WR2. He will be especially productive in PPR formats. The Panthers' secondary is not as formidable as it was last season, and Baldwin should be able to gain much yardage after the catch while also getting open for an occasional downfield look.
Carolina will have considerable difficulty handling Jimmy Graham, who is the fourth-most productive tight end on NFL.com right now with 90.60 standard points. The Panthers allow 11.09 FFPG to the TE position, third-most in the league. Opposing TEs have scored eight times against Carolina. Only the Lions have allowed more scoring catches to the position in the NFC. Graham will certainly be a significant contributor to any Fantasy success you may have in an all-important Week 13.
Marquess Wilson had a breakout game for the Bears in Week 12, as he was an instant favorite target of new starter Matt Barkley. He takes on the 49ers, who allow the most FFPG to wide receivers (28.08). Dontrelle Inman may be the No. 1 target for Philip Rivers against Tampa Bay, and he caught six passes for 119 yards and a TD last week against the Texans. Kenny Stills is a sneaky play against the Ravens, who have allowed an AFC-high 18 TD passes to WRs. Quincy Enunwa had a career game last week, with five catches for 109 yards. He should build on that outing with another quality performance, this time against the Colts.
The Lions have been the worst team against tight ends this year, allowing 11.42 FFPG to the position, so Coby Fleener is worth taking a chance on this week. The Bengals have allowed six TD passes to TEs, so it would not be surprising to see Zach Ertz get into the end zone against them. The Packers have yielded 772 yards to the position, fourth-most in the league. Start C.J. Fiedorowicz against them with confidence. San Francisco's Vance McDonald is a safe PPR play against the Bears.
The Panthers have been tough against the run this year, allowing just 14.83 FFPG to the position, fourth-best in the league. Thomas Rawls will certainly not back down against a challenge, though, and even if he has to work hard for his yardage this week, he'll be worth consideration as your flex player. The Seahawks will move the ball well via the pass, so he should have opportunities to score from short range. Expect an adequate yardage stat line from Rawls this week, with a good chance of seeing a TD run from him.
The 49ers allow the most FFPG to running backs as well (27.27), so expect to see Jordan Howard perform very well as the Bears look to establish a very strong ground game. Spencer Ware takes on the Falcons, who allow the second most FFPG among NFC teams (22.25). Wendell Smallwood should play a significant role for the Eagles against a Bengals defense that allows over 120 rushing yards per game. Theo Riddick is a top PPR start vs. Detroit, and the versatile Tim Hightower is a solid Week 13 choice in the same game.
Michael Bennett returns for the Seahawks this week, and that's good Fantasy news against the Panthers, who have allowed 27 sacks, 10th most in the NFL. Carolina has also registered 12 interceptions, fifth-most in the league. That's also good to know with the Seahawks welcoming back Earl Thomas. The Seahawks defense should be one of the top Fantasy units of the week. The underrated Chargers also lead the league in interceptions (14) and are a viable option. Philadelphia will be good for sacks and big play potential vs. Cincinnati. Miami and Baltimore will keep the score down as they face off.
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The Seahawks and the Panthers have faced off 12 times, including three postseason matchups. The Seahawks currently own eight wins in the series and will play the Panthers again this Sunday in Week 12 of the 2018 NFL season.