Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com has more than 20 years of experience in the Fantasy industry and is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. This is his seventh season providing Fantasy Football coverage and advice on Seahawks.com.
The Seahawks travel to Carolina this week vying for a critical victory that can strengthen their playoff positioning. At the same time, many Fantasy players need an important win this week to move into a more optimum spot in the standings as the playoffs are now only two weeks away in many leagues. If your team has anything less than nine Fantasy victories at this point, it certainly feels like a must-win matchup for you. This is the final bye week to deal with, but it's arguably the most challenging one yet, as the highly prolific offenses of the Chiefs and Rams will be off after a memorable Monday night showdown. Fantasy postseason berths can certainly be earned this week with deft and savvy lineup management.
Gus Edwards vs. OAK: The undrafted rookie delivered an unexpected breakout performance in Week 11, rushing for 115 yards and a TD against the Bengals. Edwards now has an apparent opportunity to seize the Ravens' starting job, as John Harbaugh has been searching for a solid No. 1 runner this year. The Raiders have a league-high 1,310 rushing yards to opposing running backs. Edwards is worth plug-in consideration if you are dealing with bye week or injury issues at RB.
Matt Breida vs. TB: He has done a commendable job of stepping forward when injuries struck the 49ers RB corps as early as the preseason, with good speed, versatility and a determined running style. Breida is a solid Fantasy RB2 starter when healthy, and the Buccaneers have surrendered an NFL-high 13 rushing TDs to opposing running backs.
Duke Johnson vs. CIN: A recent coaching change has reinvigorated Johnson in PPR formats, as the new regime has installed him as a key part of the offense again. He is essentially the second best receiving target in the Browns offense for Fantasy purposes. He'll present quite a challenge for the Bengals LB corps. Cincinnati has surrendered 538 receiving yards to running backs.
Chris Carson vs. CAR: The Seahawks league-leading rushing attack has been able to impose their will on just about any opponent recently, and should be able to do so again vs. Carolina. The Panthers have the eighth-ranked run defense in the league, but the 'Hawks' running game looks matchup proof right now. Carson returned to his impressive and physical form vs. the Packers, and is a solid Fantasy flex start this week.
Tyler Boyd vs. CLE: The expected return of A.J. Green should free Boyd up to face less defensive attention and recapture the form that made him look like a breakout Fantasy WR a few weeks ago. The Browns have allowed 143 receptions to wide receivers, the third-highest total in the AFC.
Keke Coutee vs.TEN: The impressive rookie has provided a respectable PPR floor when healthy, and should continue to get opportunities with opposing defenses focused so heavily on DeAndre Hopkins. Deshaun Watson has started to rely on Coutee on key passing downs. The Titans allow an AFC-high 26.78 FFPG to wide receivers on NFL.com.
Alshon Jeffery vs. NYG: The Eagles are still alive in the NFC East race and Carson Wentz can carry his offense to a win in this one. Jeffery should find the end zone at least once vs. New York and he has yardage upside as well. The Giants have allowed 1,702 receiving yards to opposing WRs.
Josh Gordon vs. NYJ; The Patriots offense may come back strong after a week off, and the Jets present a friendly matchup to take advantage of. New York has allowed 150 receptions to wide receivers, the second-highest total in the AFC, and has yielded 11 TD passes to the position. Gordon is an evolving weapon in the New England passing game as a downfield playmaker and goal-line area threat.
Chris Herndon vs. NE: Injuries and inconsistency have plagued the TE position, and this rookie has been emerging as a respectable option. Herndon has been a frequent TD threat and can give you adequate production in PPR formats also. The Patriots have allowed an AFC-high seven TD passes to the position.
Nick Vannett vs. CAR: If you are without Travis Kelce this week or lost O.J. Howard and could not get your preferred option on the waiver wire, you may have to play matchups. This week, the matchup is very friendly for Vannett, who has become a viable target for Russell Wilson near the goal line. The Panthers have allowed an NFL-high nine TD passes to the TE position.
Baker Mayfield vs. CIN: He is an ideal replacement for Jared Goff or Patrick Mahomes this week. Mayfield has thrown two or more TD passes in four consecutive games, and the Bengals have allowed an AFC-high 23.23 FFPG to opposing QBs.
Lamar Jackson vs. OAK: The exciting rookie may get another chance to start this week. With the ability to rush for 70 to 100 yards in any given week, plus rushing score promise, Jackson has quality upside.
Seahawks Fantasy Focus
This should be a productive week for the Seahawks passing game against Carolina's 20th-ranked pass defense. The Panthers have allowed 23 TD passes, the fourth-highest total in the league, and their 23 sacks are tied for eighth-lowest. Russell Wilson should have ample time to throw, and another three-TD outing is possible. Doug Baldwin has been climbing back into Fantasy WR2 territory, and Tyler Lockett is a very strong start as a Fantasy WR3. David Moore should also be considered as a plug-in this week.
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