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 strengthened their NFC playoff positioning last week with a big win at Carolina, and can continue their push to the postseason with a home victory over the 49ers on Sunday. Meanwhile, many Fantasy owners are also trying to firm up their playoff seedings this week, as the postseason begins in Week 14 in the greater percentage of leagues. A good chunk of you reading this either need a win to secure a playoff berth or possibly a first round bye. This is the most important week of the Fantasy regular season. Win and you are in, and possibly even advancing a week without playing. Don't overthink things, start your proven superstars regardless of matchups, and make informed and well thought-out lineup decisions otherwise.
Phillip Lindsay vs. CIN: if you are thinking of benching the guy who may be the best Fantasy story at the position this year, you could be making a big mistake. Savvy owners know this is a great matchup, but some Fantasy players still don't regard Lindsay as a must-start. Forget the fact that he was an undrafted free agent, Lindsay is a Fantasy RB1 as a rookie. Lindsay is the No. 11 RB on NFL.com with 138.70 points. No team allows more Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing running backs than the Bengals (26.69).
Gus Edwards vs. ATL: It took nine games, but the Ravens found their starting RB, and he is coming off a pair of 100-yard performances. Edwards has quickly risen to RB2 status in Fantasy and his physical style is exactly what John Harbaugh was looking for. Do keep an eye on an ankle injury for Edwards, though. If he is not available, either Alex Collins or Ty Montgomery could become a sneaky RB play in Week 13.
Lamar Miller vs. CLE: The Texans are starting to fully hit their stride offensively as their magical run of victories continues. Deshaun Watson is looking healthy again and Miller has re-emerged as a viable Fantasy starter. He has four double figure fantasy performances in his last five outings on NFL.com and is coming off a 162-yard rushing outing that included a 97-yard TD run. The Browns have allowed 1,204 rushing yards to running backs, fourth-most in the AFC.
Dalvin Cook vs. NE: Fantasy owners have been frustrated by his health issues and expected more from a player they likely drafted as a RB1, but Cook is healthy right now and has enough upside to be a quality RB2 starter. The Patriots have allowed 595 receiving yards to opposing running backs, fifth most in the AFC.
Tyler Lockett vs. SF: He is having his best pro and Fantasy season so far, with eight TD receptions. Lockett and Russell Wilson have been incredibly efficient as a scoring duo, picking their spots for big plays. Lockett ranks 16th at WR on NFL.com in Fantasy scoring, with 118.50 points. That identifies him as a strong starter for your Fantasy playoff push, especially against a 49ers pass defense that has allowed 15 TD passes to wide receivers.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. GB: The future Hall of Famer has been a consistent TD force recently, and while it's not always safe to depend on consistent touchdown output, Fitzgerald has a TD-friendly matchup this week. After scoring five times in his past four games, he is a good bet to find the end zone again vs. Green Bay, which has allowed 16 TD passes to wide receivers, tied for second-most on NFL.com. Consider Fitzgerald for a WR3 or flex spot, especially in deeper leagues.
D.J. Moore vs. TB: The rookie has 248 receiving yards in his past two games and appears to be blossoming at the right time of the year for Fantasy owners. Moore is becoming the clear No. 1 WR or the Panthers, and he will be a fine WR3 start in a key week for Carolina and Fantasy players. The Buccaneers allow 27.34 FFPG to WRs, fifth-most on NFL.com.
Corey Davis vs. NYJ: The very talented second-year wideout has started to flash more explosiveness recently, including 96 yards and a TD on Monday. His night was highlighted by the 48-yard scoring reception. We have not quite seen the best of Davis on a regular basis yet, but could be treated to more of his better form vs. the Jets. New York has allowed an AFC-high 2.065 receiving yards to wide receivers.
Cameron Brate vs. CAR: The unfortunate loss of future star O.J. Howard has pushed Brate back into a featured role in the offense with Jameis Winston, who loves to look for Brate in scoring situations. Working mainly with Winston, Brate caught 14 TD passes in 2016 and '17. In the first game with Howard on IR last week Brate scored again. The Panthers have allowed an NFL-high nine TD passes to tight ends.
Chris Herndon vs. TEN: Herndon is a prime fill-in if you are continuing to deal with injuries or disappointing play at the TE position, which is rampant. Herndon has become a reliable PPR option in his rookie year, with double figure outings in four of his past six games. He gives you a decent floor, which is not easy to find at the position right now. Consider using him regardless of matchup because of his ability to provide adequate and respectable production.
At this point of the schedule, with bye weeks done and the QB position being deep, you should pretty much know who the starter is that you will have to ride with. Jameis Winston has resurfaced as a good play if you are streaming, though. He has a lot of statistical upside and the Panthers allow 19.96 FFPG to the QB position, fourth-most among NFC teams. The Browns have allowed 3,279 passing yards, fourth-most in the AFC, and Deshaun Watson has rediscovered his best form at a critical time of the year in Fantasy. In many cases, though, you will not be turning to your backups now that the bye weeks are done. In others, decisions involving fringe starters such as Tom Brady and Kirk Cousins will come down to weekly matchups.
Seahawks Fantasy Focus
As ESPN noted this week, Russell Wilson is one of only four NFL QBs to throw multiple TD passes in 10 games, and he has done it in seven consecutive outings. San Francisco has allowed 23 TD passes, so it's another week to expect two or more scoring passes from Wilson and you can consider him to be in Fantasy QB1 territory again. David Moore will be a big threat to score again, as he and Tyler Lockett both reached 100 yards last week and should continue to operate as significant downfield threats. Moore is worth consideration in larger leagues this week. The 49ers allow 19.16 FFPG to opposing running backs, middle of the pack on NFL.com, and likely not enough to fully contain the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense. Chris Carson will be a strong flex play again.
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