Scott Engel of RotoExperts.com is in his seventh season of Fantasy Football analysis on seahawks.com. Scott is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association’s Hall of Fame and a former FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award Winner. He can be heard on FNTSY Radio every morning and seen on FNTSY Sports Network daily on CenturyLink’s sports package and Dish Network.
The Seahawks return home this week in what many are considering a prime Fantasy matchup for Week 4. But outside of Russell Wilson and a few other key top Fantasy quarterbacks, it is going to be a definite challenge to make key lineup decisions at the QB position. Many notable passers have formidable matchups to overcome. Fortunately, the first three weeks have given us an idea of some early trends, and we will try to make some tough calls easier for you here.
Trevor Siemian vs. Oakland: The Denver QB is inside the Top 10 among Fantasy passers after three games, with much of his momentum built in the first two outings at home. He threw for six touchdown passes and two interceptions in the first two weeks, and now gets an Oakland defense that allows 20.46 Fantasy Points Per Game, second-highest among AFC teams on NFL.com. Siemian should be good for two-plus scoring passes this week and could top last week’s season high of 259 yards.
Carson Palmer vs. San Francisco: Jared Goff had a career game vs, the 49ers defense last week. And the Cardinals must throw the ball to keep the offense moving. Arizona has to depend much more on the air attack without David Johnson. Palmer now has two consecutive 300-yard games to his credit and could nail a third this week.
Philip Rivers vs. Philadelphia: The Eagles have allowed 857 passing yards, third most in the NFC, and this is a prime spot for Rivers to rebound. Philadelphia has been dealing with some issues in the secondary and Rivers will have to throw frequently in what should be a shootout between the Eagles and Chargers.
Carson Wentz vs. LA Chargers: The second-year QB threw over 600 times last year and it’s clear that the passing game will carry the Eagles again this year. Los Angeles has been dealing with some secondary issues of its own, and Wentz has a good array of weaponry and a willingness to gun it. He already has two 300-yard games and 116 passing attempts this season.
Chris Carson vs. Indianapolis: The seventh-round rookie has built on an impressive preseason and seized the starting job, once again proving that good play from the summer through early in the regular season is rewarded by Pete Carroll. We’ve seen this before with the likes of Russell Wilson and Thomas Rawls. The Colts have already allowed three rushing scores, and Carson will get some opportunities to finish off drives for the Seahawks this week.
Christian McCaffrey vs. New England: The Patriots have allowed a league-high 26.93 FFPG to opposing RBs on NFL.com this season. McCaffrey is stepping forward as a dual purpose threat that is difficult for any defense to account for. He has not rushed for 50 yards in a game yet, but he had 101 receiving yards last week and the Panthers really need him to make a lot of plays to stay in the game this week.
Jay Ajayi vs. New Orleans: You may be hesitant to plug him in for sure after a quiet Week 3 and some concerns about his health. But the Dolphins must run the ball well to operate optimally on offense, and the matchup is very friendly this week. The Saints have allowed 24.33 FFPG to opposing RBs on NFL.com so far, and getting back to riding Ajayi will keep Miami competitive. They also need him to control the clock and keep the explosive Saints offense off the field.
Chris Thompson vs. Kansas City: Ride the electrifying Washington pass-catching RB while you can. The Chiefs have allowed four rushing TDs so far, the most among AFC teams. Washington has not demonstrated a traditional RB approach so far, but Thompson has been getting in the end zone anyway. Thompson has two rushing and two receiving scores, and will be involved as a playmaker whether Washington is in the game or is playing from behind. As Kirk Cousins has been dealing with some personnel changes, he has turned to Thompson in many key spots because of his familiarity with him and the RB’s potential to make a big play at any time.
Sterling Shepard vs. Tampa Bay: With Odell Beckham Jr. back in the regular flow last week, Shepard showed he could be ready for a big breakout season of his own as Beckham commands a lot of defensive attention. He busted out for seven catches, 133 yards and a TD vs. Philadelphia. Tampa Bay allows a league-high 36.30 FFPG to opposing WRs on NFL.com.
Allen Hurns vs. New York Jets: The Jets allow 26.87 FFPG to opposing WRs, second most among AFC teams. Hurns caught 10 TD passes in 2015, and with Allen Robinson out, he is starting to re-emerge as a scoring threat for Jacksonville. He has scored in each of the past two games, and also caught six passes for 82 yards in Week 2.
Alshon Jeffery vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Yes, you sense the Philadelphia passing connection here. The Chargers have allowed five TD passes to wide receivers, tied for most in the league. Jeffery was brought to Philly to be a frequent TD producer and red zone playmaker. He has been targeted 21 times over the past two games and this is his best matchup yet after draws with the Redskins, Chiefs and Giants to open the season.
Sammy Watkins vs. Dallas: The Cowboys have allowed four TD passes so far and their secondary was repeatedly challenged by Larry Fitzgerald last week. Watkins is healthy and Jared Goff is taking advantage of friendly matchups like this one. Look for his second 100-yard game and third score of the season.
Tight Ends, Kickers & Defense/Special Teams
The Giants are always vulnerable against TEs and have allowed three TD receptions to the position so far this year. Cameron Brate is a must-start. The Eagles have allowed the third-most yards in the NFC to tight ends, so this a rebound week for Hunter Henry. … Matt Prater totaled 18 points last week and should have another opportunistic week against Minnesota. … Blair Walsh should be prolific at home against the Colts. … Arizona has 11 sacks and is a quality start against the 49ers. … The Bengals also have 11 sacks and are a prime start against a Cleveland team that seems prone to turnovers.
Seahawks Fantasy Focus
This should be another big week for Russell Wilson. The Colts do have 11 sacks, but they have allowed an AFC-high 892 passing yards. Doug Baldwin is expected to play and cannot be benched, but look for other Seahawks pass-catchers to step forward and ease the load on him. Paul Richardson will get some deep and red zone looks, and Tyler Lockett is a deep, sneaky play who can threaten the Indianapolis secondary with his moves and elusiveness. Jimmy Graham admirably soldiered through an issue last week and showed he is still a must-start. The Seahawks defense is the Top play among NFC units this week. They will be looking to eliminate the big play and will focus heavily on containing Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton.
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Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Colts as the two teams ready to face off during Week 4 at CenturyLink Field.