Fantasy football Week 7 officially kicks off in a few hours with the Seattle Seahawks visiting the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have won three straight against the Seahawks, and are coming off an ugly home loss to the New York Giants. The Seahawks pulled off the upset last week at home, beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots by a score of 24-23. Russell Wilson threw three touchdowns last Sunday. The biggest, a 46 yard touchdown to Sidney Rice, with 1:18 left in the game to pull off the comeback.
Six teams are on a bye this week, so some out there might be looking for quick fill-ins. This game will feature two of the top defenses in the NFL. Fantasy points and points in general may come at a premium in this one, so let’s take a look at who warrants a start and who doesn’t in this match up.
QB Russell Wilson - Wilson continues to improve on his passing game, and his production has risen over the past three weeks. However, he has at least one turnover in his past three games, and the 49ers defense is a stout unit. The 49ers have given up the 6th fewest points to the QB positions, and have held their past three opponents to 136 passing yards per game and one touchdown. That sounds about right for Wilson’s production tonight, as his 300 yard three touchdown performance last week was against the Patriots. The 49ers defense/secondary are miles ahead of the Patriots and should give Wilson trouble all night. Put Wilson back on the bench.
RB Marshawn Lynch - The 49ers gave up 116 rushing yards to New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw last week, and surrendered their first rushing touchdown. Don’t expect the same type of output for Lynch tonight, as the 49ers look to get back on track. Historically, Lynch does not fare well in San Fran, as he has rushed for a lousy 62 yards with zero touchdowns in the past two seasons at Candlestick Park. Lynch does not belong on your bench, but lower the expectations here as the 49ers defense will be ready for his rushing attack.
WR Sidney Rice - Rice only hauled in three passes for 81 yards in week 6, but one of them was the game winning touchdown from 46 yards out. Not saying there isn’t a chance he doesn’t score again tonight, but the chances are slim. Rice has caught three balls or less three out of six games this season, and if he doesn’t reach the end zone, his week usually ends up being a bust for his owners. Not the best option this week, look elsewhere.
TE Zach Miller - Zach Miller has not reached the end zone once this season, but he does catch the ball when it’s thrown his way. He has caught every ball Russell Wilson has thrown to him the past three weeks, but the production is minimal. The 49ers did give up four touchdown to the TE position in the first three weeks of the season, but they have adjusted the past three weeks, giving up only ten receptions for a total of 75 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. Miller is not seeing enough targets to warrant a start though, there are better options out there.
Seahawks D/ST - The Seahawks are a top five fantasy defense that have not given up more than 23 points this season. They are giving up on average, an impressive 15.5 points per game and 294.7 yards of total offense. Seattle’s defense ranks second in the NFL in rushing defense and scoring. There is no way you can sit this defense against a team that couldn’t even find the end zone against the Giants, but the expectations have to be lowered just based on the fact that they are on the road and facing a team that does not want to lose another game in front of the home crowd.
San Francisco 49ers:
QB Alex Smith - After exploding for 303 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in week 5, Smith came back to reality last week. The Giants held Smith to 200 passing yards, and intercepted him three times. Things won’t get any easier on Smith, as the Seahawks secondary is no cakewalk. Seahawks have given up the 2nd fewest points to the QB postion, and before last week’s match up with the Patriots, they held opposing QBs out of the end zone for three consecutive weeks. Smith will play better tonight, and the turnovers will be kept to a minimum, but it’s not enough to advise starting him.
RB Frank Gore - The Seahawks have not surrendered a rushing touchdown in three weeks, and have yet to allow a team to record 100 yards rushing. Impressive indeed, but Gore has fared very well against Seattle. Gore has tallied 842 rushing yards in five career home games against Seattle, including a pair of 200+ rushing yard performances. The Seahawks have given up the least amount of points to the RB position, so expectations have to be lowered. However, Gore is a must start, and he should without a doubt, find the end zone somehow tonight.
WR Michael Crabtree - If any WR on the 49ers is going to have a good night, it will most likely be Crabtree. He has been a productive PPR receiver, being targeted at least six times in each game this season. Seahawks secondary is solid and quite physical, but they did get smoked for 388 passing yards last week and a total of 27 fantasy points surrendered to Patriots WRs. Crabtree is a must-start in all PPR formats, and should be considered in standard formats as well.
TE Vernon Davis - Very tough call this week on Vernon Davis. He is the 2nd ranked fantasy tight end through six weeks, and is coming off a brutal performance against the Giants. Is it possible he has two bad weeks in a row? Davis has not recorded a touchdown in three weeks, but to be fair his team has been involved in blowouts the past three games. The Seahawks have only allowed one touchdown to the TE position, which came last week against the Patriots. Hard to put this man on your bench, as Smith will most likely be looking to get his stud TE out of this funk. Just don’t expect the world of him tonight.
49ers D/ST – This defense is a must-start almost every week no matter who the opponent is. Nothing changes with this match up against the Seahawks. The 49ers have won three straight against Seattle, and have forced nine turnovers in that span. Look for the 49ers to stuff the run tonight, and bother the rookie QB Wilson all night.
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