Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 9
Chargers vs. Seahawks
Coming off a bye, this will be a tough test for the Chargers as the Seahawks come in winning four of their last five games. Below I will preview the fantasy relevant players for this week.
Is Melvin Gordon healthy?
According to the Friday injury report, RB Melvin Gordon was a full participant in practice, despite still being listed as questionable. The expectation now is that Gordon will play, although any further news in the next two days might change that. At the moment I have to imagine Gordon is a full go. Given that, how does his matchup look this week? He will likely clash with the league’s best linebacker in Bobby Wagner. Wagner has not missed a tackle this entire season and is one of the most athletic linebackers to ever play the position. Gordon’s volume always makes him a safe play but he will likely be less explosive with Wagner breathing down his neck than he has been in other matchups. The same can be said for RB Austin Ekeler as I do not expect much production from him this week.
How will Rivers and the passing attack fare in this matchup?
This is really an interesting game to decipher. Opposing QB Russell Wilson comes in red hot and will likely be tough for the Chargers defense to handle. However, the Chargers defense has looked much better lately and could potentially slow this Seahawks offense down. My expectation is that Wilson is able to have his way, therefore creating a favorable game flow for QB Philip Rivers to put up some big numbers. WR Keenan Allen is ready for his big week as nobody on the Seahawks can cover him. WR’s Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams continue to frustrate me as neither has taken over as the number two option. At this point, they both remain risky plays as either could end up the team’s third wideout in a given game. This specific matchup does not create any problems for either of them but without knowing how they will be used it is hard to trust them.
Back to the Defense, what is the key to stopping Wilson?
Like all QB’s you would rather him be under pressure, rather than kept clean. That is easier said than done and I am not sure this Chargers defensive line is capable of providing that pressure. Even with pressure, Wilson still manages to make big plays as it is important for the secondary to cover for the entire play. I think the Chargers secondary is talented enough to handle that task, but the lack of pressure will come back to haunt them. This game is also taking place in Seattle which only makes things harder for the Chargers. As I mentioned above, my feeling is that this game is high scoring and will produce a lot of fantasy points on both sides of the ball.
The Seattle Seahawks have kept rolling, going 4-1 in their last five with a narrow loss to the Rams. The team is as run-first as you can get, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fantasy value to be had across the board. Here’s a preview of their matchup against the Chargers.
Can Russell Wilson remain this efficient?
Short answer: Yes. Wilson is throwing the ball way less than usual, only throwing 17 passes last week. For those who see a red flag, never fear. He completed 14 of them for 248 yards and three touchdowns, an excellent fantasy day. Wilson will likely have a similar role on Sunday, doing a lot more handoffs than passes. However, a few big play-action touchdowns and Wilson will be a rock-solid QB1 once again. No concerns here.
Keep rolling with Carson?
Again yes. Carson has finally taken over as the lead-back in Seattle, pushing out Mike Davis and rookie Rashaad Penny for the role. He has ran for over 100 yards in three of his last four games, and I think it’s a very real possibility he does it again against the Chargers. I wouldn’t start either Davis or Penny in this one, but Carson is a solid RB2 option.
What about the receivers?
I said it last week and I’ll say it again, I don’t trust Doug Baldwin. Seattle’s run-heavy offense makes way fewer targets to go around, and when they do come it’s usually on play-action passes, which tend to go to burner Tyler Lockett or David Moore, not Baldwin. He still has a role, but I’d rather start Lockett over Baldwin at this point.
How about Ed Dickson?
It sure was nice to see big Ed score a touchdown in his first game back from the non-football injury list last week. However, while I think he will be Seattle’s top TE option, I wouldn’t start him outside of very deep leagues. Nick Vannett will steal some targets, and Seattle’s limited passing attack make them both very low floor options.
Seattle D will have their hands full.
This is not an offense I want to play Seattle’s D/ST against. Phillip Rivers has a history of carving up Seattle, and Melvin Gordon being healthy makes them too dangerous. Seattle’s defense has forced a lot of turnovers this season, but this isn’t a game I want to roll with them.
Boom: Chris Carson
Bust: Seattle D
Sleeper: David Moore