Kickoff: Sunday, November 19th, 4:25 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Betting Odds: SEA -1, O/U 46 via OddsShark
Writer: Nick Beaudoin
Geno Smith (Start, High-QB2)
Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Geno Smith! One of our top streamers last week, Geno was able to pick up steam (very) late in the game against the Commanders, turning 47 pass attempts into 369 yards, two touchdowns and the QB5 finish on the week. We’ve been waiting for this all season, but despite the great stat line, it was not a perfect game for Geno.
In fact, Geno struggled most of the game, with the majority of his success taking place in the fourth quarter, where he was able to salvage the day for not only himself but also for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Geno heads to LA this week for another great battle between these divisional rivals. With the run game struggling and a team-implied point total of 24, I’m expecting Geno to build on this momentum on this performance and take advantage of the Rams secondary, who currently rank 20th in PPG to fantasy QBs. Geno is a solid streamer once again and can be treated as a high-QB2 against the Rams.
Kenneth Walker (Start, RB2), Zach Charbonnet (Start, FLEX)
Kenneth Walker has had a few quieter weeks after a dominant start to the season but was able to salvage his week with a 64-yard touchdown reception. Outside of that, he was mostly bottled up, gaining just 63 yards on 19 carries (3.3 YPC). The fantasy world has been making note of Zach Charbonnet creeping into his snap percentage, actually outsnapping him 55% to 46% over the last three weeks, but it has been Walker with the stronghold on the backfield, out-touching Charbonnet 20-10 last week. The Rams are 13th in PPG to opposing RBs, and after seeing Walker get bottled up against a Commanders’ line that just sent away their best two players, I have skepticism about how the week will play out with two teams that know each other well. With that being said, in today’s fantasy landscape, I am stoked about any RB that is guaranteed 15-20 touches and will be starting them as a safe RB2 each and every week.
Although I think the “taking over the backfield” threads are starting too soon, we have to note Charbonnet’s playing time and touches increasing as the season goes on. I don’t think it will be happening this week, but this backfield does appear on its way to a 50/50 split, which makes sense in the long run considering Charbonnet’s second-round draft value. With four receptions on five targets last week, Charbonnet is earning more touches and has been playing more in the two-minute offense. The downside is that the Rams have given up the least amount of reception yards to RBs this season, which is not encouraging for his upside this week. Charbonnet’s trend appears all but guaranteed for 6-8 touches, which puts him in FLEX territory, and his usage gives him league-winning upside if anything were to happen to Walker in the back half of the season.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Tyler Lockett (Start, WR2), DK Metcalf (Start, WR2), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Start, FLEX), Noah Fant (Sit)
We’ve been starting with DK Metcalf for too long. Today, we’re starting with Tyler Lockett.
Lockett finished last week with eight receptions (10 targets) for 92 yards and a touchdown, the WR8 on the week. Most of the Seahawks benefitted from the end-of-game game script and prevent defense the Commanders deferred to, but with the game on the line, Lockett managed four receptions, 52 yards, and a touchdown to give the Seahawks the lead late in the fourth. Lockett is likely past the consistent WR1/2 days he managed the past few years, but he is still a very important part of this offense.
Despite the emergence of JSN, he still has a 23.4% target share and is clearly an extremely reliable target for Geno when the game is on the line. According to PFF, Lockett matches up well against all of the Rams CBs, and we can most certainly expect 6-8 targets in this matchup. Lockett is WR11 since their bye in Week 5, and unless he is unable to go (DNP Wednesday), there is no reason to believe he can’t continue that trend this week –
12 targets. 7 receptions. 98 yards. ‘Bout time. Sure, this was against a Commanders’ secondary that gives up huge performances every week. And yes, two receptions and 34 yards of this were against prevent defense at the end of the game. But these are the stat lines we expect from a healthy Metcalf. DK has underperformed (to our standards) all season, but he is still the young, incredible talent we all know and love to watch throw temper tantrums on the sidelines. Despite his underachieving play, PFF has him in highly favorable matchups this week against every Rams CB, despite them coming in 10th against opposing WRs. Anytime DK is healthy, he should be in your lineup, and with an average of 9.75 targets/game over the last four weeks, we can expect another healthy target share this week.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba may be Lockett’s replacement in this offense, but he is still the WR3 as long as the two above are healthy. In the past four weeks, JSN is averaging 5.75 targets, 53.8 yards, and .5 touchdowns/game. He is building momentum and rapport with Geno, but with below-average matchups across the board, JSN may be the odd man out this week. His volume makes him a good FLEX option, but with a single-game high of 63 yards, his blow-up game may still be on the horizon.
Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson, and Will Dissly continue to battle for the least appealing fantasy TE room competition and are doing their dang best to win it. Noah Fant “leads the way” with 2.6 PPG over the past four weeks, but despite the Rams being 31st “best” to opposing TEs, none of them can be trusted in your lineups with none of them playing more than 60% or less than 40% of snaps. If you’re going to go with one, go Fant.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford (Start, QB2)
Matthew Stafford will most certainly receive a welcome ovation after a performance that forced the Rams to release Brett Rypien, immediately signing Carson Wentz to the active roster. I know two people specifically who will be very happy, but we’ll get to them in a moment. The Seahawks’ secondary is filled with young talent, but they still come in ranked 21st to opposing fantasy QBs. Stafford (thumb) had a full practice on Wednesday and is expected to start this week. When healthy, Stafford has been the most consistent QB2 you could imagine this season, with a low of 12.4 and a high of 17.2 through eight games. I’m happy to bet on a continued trend with a team-implied point total of 23, making Stafford a solid QB2 this week.
Darrell Henderson (Start, FLEX), Royce Freeman (Sit, FLEX)
In the absence of Kyren Williams, this backfield has become a 50/50 split between Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman. The Seahawks’ run defense began the season as a fearsome front seven, but after a few down performances (specifically the Ravens), they come into the week ranked 27th against opposing RBs. For two RBs that can likely be found on waivers, this presents a favorable matchup in what may be their last week of relevance. Neither showed well against GB two weeks ago, but if I had to pick one, I lean toward Henderson based on his receiving abilities. He has averaged 15.3 touches/game over the past three and is more likely to be involved in a negative game script, however, it was Freeman who received the red zone touches three weeks ago against the Cowboys. Neither present a “sure thing,” but if you’re in desperation mode for an RB, this may be a backfield to target.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Cooper Kupp (Start, Low-WR1), Puka Nacua (Start, WR2), TuTu Atwell (Sit, FLEX), Tyler Higbee (Start, TE2)
Cooper Kupp was the WR13 with four weeks of Stafford in the lineup, and if I have him on my team, I couldn’t be happier with Stafford’s return. Kupp’s matchup is not “favorable” this week, projecting most of his snaps in the slot against rookie Devon Witherspoon, PFF’s 15th-ranked coverage CB – but I’m rolling Kupp as a WR1 each and every week.
I’ve been hyping the name “Puka” to my girlfriend in our dog search, which has not made it to the top of the list, but don’t worry my friend, I will keep you in the loop. Puka also doesn’t project well against this Seattle secondary, with most of his snaps against Tariq Woolen, PFF’s 35th-ranked coverage CB – but keep in mind that these projections are also based on statistics from the Brett Rypien-led LA Rams. Puka has not seen less than 7 targets in any game this season (including with a healthy Kupp), making him a solid WR2 despite the matchup.
Tutu Atwell looks to be in for a rough week, projecting poorly across the board. He has finished as at least a FLEX option more often than not this season, but his floor is too low for me in this matchup.
Tyler Higbee secured his payday and seemingly disappeared from the offense, with zero touchdowns on the season. The Seahawks come in 13th to opposing TEs, which is not great for someone coming in as TE23 on the season. I am looking for higher-upside streamers, and we just may have an article for that!
– Nick Beaudoin