The Seahawks have yet to get rolling as expected on offense, but a home date with the 49ers this Sunday offers promise for improvement. Cam Newton threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns against the Niners last week, so there is reason for offensive optimism for the Seahawks and Fantasy owners of their top players in Week 3.
Russell Wilson has one TD pass after facing the formidable defensive lines of the Dolphins and Rams in the first two weeks, and now has his first opportunity to toss more than one scoring pass in a game with Tyler Lockett starting to display more of his big-play ability and Jimmy Graham becoming an increasingly larger part of the passing game. In leagues more of more than 12 teams, or in two quarterback formats, continue to go with Wilson for at least a respectable offensive return in Week 3. Consistently among Fantasy Football's best passers every year of his career so far, Wilson's best weeks of statistics are certainly still ahead of him this season. Yet with so many other notable QBs having attractive matchups and outlooks this week, it may be best to go with an alternative in 10 and 12-team formats and scout Wilson with an eye towards plugging him back in for Week 4 at the New York Jets.
Matt Ryan leads all Fantasy QBs on NFL.com with 52.20 points. He is a must-start against a Saints defense that has allowed 336 passing yards per game in its first two outings. Philip Rivers is coming off a four-TD performance and faces a Colts pass defense that has been hurt by health issues and has surrendered 299 passing yards per game. Ryan Tannehill threw for 387 yards last week and takes on a Browns defense that may spend a lot of time on the field because of offensive issues. The Raiders have allowed NFL highs in passing yards per game (404) and touchdowns surrendered (seven) so far, making Marcus Mariota worthy of starting consideration as well. Ryan, Rivers and Tannehill are all surefire starters this week while you observe Wilson post solid numbers as one of your reserves. Mariota has the very friendly matchup, but Wilson has more established playmakers and should get the nod there.
Lockett had his first impressive game of 2016 last week, catching four passes for 99 yards, including a late 53-yarder, the longest reception of his young career so far. Baldwin remains a must-start in all Fantasy formats and both Seahawks WRs have strong outlooks after seeing the Panthers successfully execute in the air against the Niners last week. Baldwin is a prominent WR2 in Fantasy and Lockett is a definite WR3 play. Also monitor the continued re-emergence of Paul Richardson as a potential useful add in larger leagues with bye weeks beginning in Week 4. Graham may be a free agent in your league and should be added for potentially increased production going forward.
Eric Decker of the Jets has 28.30 standard Fantasy points on NFL.com after two games and won't back down against an aggressive Kansas City secondary. He's incredibly reliable and should be locked into all lineups. Travis Benjamin scored 23.40 Fantasy points last week and is a prime start vs. Indianapolis, and his complement, Tyrell Williams, deserves strong consideration as well. Willie Snead is the No. 2 overall Fantasy WR on NFL.com with 34.60 NFL.com points, and the Falcons are tied for most TD catches allowed with seven. Mike Wallace (32.30 points) is off to a terrific start and Jacksonville has allowed six TD passes so far. Devante Parker is starting to show signs of busting out and should be utilized against the Browns. Phillip Dorsett should also see an increased role for the Colts against the Chargers.
The rebirth of Christine Michael has been a compelling story since the preseason, for both Seahawks fans and Fantasy owners. After he averaged six yards per carry at Los Angeles, Pete Carroll told the media he ran like he was "shot out of a cannon." Michael can conjure up some memories of Shaun Alexander with his excellent vision, shifty moves and ability to accelerate and pick up momentum very quickly. The 49ers have allowed 120.5 rushing yards per game so far, and Michael is a comfortable flex play this week. Also keep a watch on Thomas Rawls to see how much of an asset he will be going forward when Fantasy owners will have to start dealing with bye week challenges.
The resurgent Melvin Gordon is fourth among RBs on NFL.com so far with 35.70 points, and he faces a Colts team that has allowed 125 rushing yards per game and three scores. He is one of the very best RB starts of Week 3. Tampa Bay has allowed only 78.5 rushing yards per game, but this still may be the week when Todd Gurley starts to show his best form. You can't keep a superstar down for too long. In the same game, Charles Sims takes over at RB for the Buccaneers, and the Rams allowed three rushing TDs in Week 1. Theo Riddick is a quality starting PPR option even as a RB2 if you need to use him there, as he could be very busy against the Packers. Keep an eye on how rookie Dwayne Washington is worked into the Detroit offense. His TD potential makes him a viable flex play. Jerick McKinnon starts ar RB for the Vikings against Carolina, and should be considered as a PPR flex play.
Dennis Pitta has resurfaced at TE and is a very good start vs. Jacksonville. Jason Witten should be busy against the Bears, and Jacob Tamme will stack up a good amount of catches vs. the Saints. Jordan Cameron is a good bet to get into the end zone against his former team, the Browns. The Seahawks defense should start to force more turnovers against the 49ers this week, as the secondary will win out with its physical play against the San Francisco pass-catchers. The Minnesota defense has been the best in Fantasy on NFL.com so far and should remain active in lineups even against Carolina. The Giants (vs. Washington) and Bengals (vs. Denver) are worthy plays also. New York's defense looks much improved so far in 2016.
*Scott Engel is a 20-year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. For more in-depth advice and a full suite of Fantasy regular season information from Scott and the team at RotoExperts.com, register for the Xclusive Edge In-Season Fantasy Football package right here. Seahawks.com readers get a special discount by entering promocode "seahawks" at checkout. *