The Seahawks travel to iconic Lambeau Field for a rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game, ready to handle the NFC's premier offense. Succeeding in Green Bay will mean controlling the clock as much as possible, so Marshawn Lynch is ticketed to be very busy and may spur many of his Fantasy owners to Week 2 victories.
It seems to be a simple concept: Hand the ball to Lynch and keep Aaron Rodgers' crew off the field as much as possible. Yet as most opponents have already discovered, even if they know Lynch is coming, they eventually will have difficulty fully containing him. Against the best defensive front in the NFC last week, Lynch rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries. He also caught five receptions for 31 yards and added a two-point conversion. Lynch finished with 12.40 points in NFL.com standard leagues, and PPR players received even more.
Lynch, who showed no apparent signs of slowing down in the season opener in a very daunting matchup, now has a much better outlook against the Packers. Last week, Matt Forte rushed for 141 yards and a TD vs. Green Bay, the second-best Fantasy performance of the week on NFL.com, as he finished with 22.60 points.
Lynch rushed for 267 yards and three touchdowns in the two meetings with the Packers last year, with a 157-yard outing in the NFC title game. With the additional threat of Jimmy Graham now looming in the Seahawks offense, the Pack now has even more to be concerned with defensively. After taking on the Rams, Lynch seems to be headed towards one of the performances that will once again remind all that he is a truly elite Fantasy option that can be the crux of championship contending squads.
Russell Wilson scored 15.14 points on NFL.com against the swarming Rams front last week, throwing for 251 yards and rushing for 31 more. With Lynch easing some more pressure on him this week, Wilson should be able to find ample time to spread the ball around. If the Packers start to roll up a good amount of points this week, Wilson will not hesitate to show he can keep up in the passing game when he has to. There is statistical upside for Wilson this week, as he has already showed he can ably handle an up-tempo offensive pace if needed.
Jimmy Graham came on strong in the second half of his Seahawks debut and finished with 11.10 Fantasy points on NFL.com. The Packers allowed Chicago TE Martellus Bennett to score and register 55 yards. Graham is quickly becoming comfortable with Wilson and should be targeted frequently this week, especially if the Seahawks speed up offensively. He'll definitely present matchup issues near the goal line, when the Packers have to be concerned with both him and Lynch. Graham could be outstanding in all formats this week, and he could have one of the very best TE performances in PPR formats.
Wilson showed again last week that he will spread the ball around to various receivers when necessary, a true indicator of a quality quarterback. Jermaine Kearse caught eight balls for 76 yards, making him a notable add this week for teams that are searching for WR help. Kearse, of course, caught the game-winning TD in the NFC title game and will definitely merit the defensive respect he will get this week. He is a viable pickup for roster depth in larger leagues right now.
Tyler Lockett caught four passes for 34 yards, and his 57-yard punt return for a score further demonstrated that he has the look of a real Fantasy gem in leagues that award points for individual special teams yardage. Lockett can make exciting plays any time he has the ball in his hands, and must be owned in all leagues.
Doug Baldwin caught seven balls last week and should continue to remain on the PPR radar in deeper leagues. Steven Hauschka should be busy and one of the top Fantasy kickers this week, especially as this game has some real potential to be higher-scoring.
Seeing the possible amount of points that could go on the board, some Fantasy owners may be moved to reserve the Seattle defense. Yet keep in mind that sacks and turnovers are what truly drives a Fantasy defense. The Seahawks defensive line faces a nimble opposing QB in Rodgers who minimizes mistakes in most weeks. But if the Packers run a lot of plays, inevitably that will mean Seattle should register at least adequate numbers in those departments. Plus, the promise of a Lockett return TD at any time adds extra appeal to the unit this season. So consider keeping the Seahawks DST in your lineup this week, especially if the waiver wire is thin.
In other games, Carson Palmer should continue to look sharp against the Bears, and Sam Bradford will post some impressive totals against Dallas. Marcus Mariota had a memorable opener, and will begin to deserve stronger starting consideration this week if he has a good outing against the Browns.
At RB, Carlos Hyde will deliver another quality outing as he faces the Steelers, Chris Ivory is definitely going to have considerable TD potential vs. the Colts. Doug Martin will roll up very good totals against New Orleans. Tevin Coleman is a quality flex play as he takes on the Giants.
Brandin Cooks appears ready for his first big game of the season against Tampa Bay. Terrance Williams deserves WR3 consideration as he faces the Eagles. Eric Decker may score again vs, the Colts and Charles Johnson will also find the end zone against Detroit.
Zach Ertz could have his first impressive game of the year at TE. Vernon Davis wil show his better form from past years. The Panthers defense is a top start against Houston, and the Cardinals will put considerable heat on Jay Cutler and the Bears.
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