Kickoff: Sunday, December 12th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Betting Odds: SEA -7.5, 41.5 total via Oddsshark
Russell Wilson (Start, QB1)
Is Russell Wilson back? Wilson dislocated his finger in Week 5, and early reports where he could miss six to eight weeks but Russ returned after missing just three games (with a bye week). However, Wilson struggled in back-to-back games in his early return but these last two weeks he is back in that QB1 groove again, with two straight 19+ point performances. Houston is a neutral matchup for quarterbacks but that shouldn’t matter. Seattle is a heavy favorite and the Seahawks are sure to push the ball downfield. He is a solid start this week.
Rashaad Penny (Sit), Alex Collins (Sit), Adrian Peterson (Sit)
For the first time since Week 13 of 2019, Rashaad Penny had a solid game, and more importantly, he finished the game healthy. Talented but often injured, Penny has 62 yards on 11 touches last week. He also played a team-high 41% of the snaps and 28% of the routes. It is hard to say what his role will be moving forward. Did he earn more opportunities last week? Perhaps. However, veteran Adrian Peterson did have 11 carries, including four chances inside the 10. Then consider the health of Alex Collins who returned to practice this week and will likely suit up. Seattle has been inefficient running the ball this season and it would seem these three players may split time and cancel each other out as fantasy starters. If you are desperate, consider claiming Penny but understand that he will likely only score if he gets loose for an explosive play. If he does then he could earn more time down the stretch.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Tyler Lockett (Start, WR2), DK Metcalf (Start, WR3), Gerald Everett (Sit)
With Russ playing much better these past two weeks, the passing attack has suddenly woken up. Tyler Lockett has seen his typical up and down weeks but that isn’t enough to consider benching him. Lockett has three of his four top 12 weekly finishes with Russ at QB. Lockett has always been incredibly efficient with his targets and target volume this week should not be a problem against an average Texans pass defense.
Since coming back from the bye week DK Metcalf has battled injury and has scored more than 10 fantasy points in just one game (in four). Metcalf appears to be past the injuries he dealt with mid-season but he hasn’t scored since Week 8, and his only 100-yard game was way back in Week 3. Metcalf is a big name, and the team has stated recently that they need to get him more involved, but until they do he is a hard player to trust. For managers that start three receivers, he could be a low-end WR3 start, but it may be best to sit him down until we see him break out.
The Seahawk’s passing attack is concentrated between its two lead receivers, leaving little meat on the bone for other targets. Gerald Everett has flashed in moments but not enough to trust in your lineup.
Davis Mills (Sit)
Rookie third-rounder Davis Mills is set to make his seventh start of the season. Veteran Tyrod Taylor was ruled out with a torn ligament in his left wrist. While Taylor has not been placed on IR, the team will turn to Mills, who was just 6-of-14 for 49 yards last week in relief. Mills has managed two solid starts this year, even finishing as a weekly Qb1 in those games but those were also his only top-24 starts on the season. Seattle has been solid defending the position and Mills just doesn’t have enough in his supporting cast to trust as a fantasy starter.
Rex Burkhead (Sit), Royce Freeman (Sit), David Johnson (Sit, Injured)
Texans leading rusher David Johnson missed last week’s game with a thigh injury and has been absent at practice early in the week. Managers should expect the team to hold DJ out another week and rely on Rex Burkhead and Royce Freeman to lead the backfield, with a bit of Jaylen Samuels sprinkled in. It is an abysmal corps of backs, and managers should stay away.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Brandin Cooks (Start, Flex), Chris Conley (Sit), Nico Collins (Sit), Brevin Jordan (Sit)
Despite a very rough year offensively for the Texans receiver, Brandin Cooks is the overall WR23 on the season. However look a little deeper and you will see that he hasn’t scored more than 12 points since Week 9, and is just the WR30 on a per-game basis. Cook has been earning consistent targets but the quality of targets and lack of scoring have held him back. Cooks is a fantastic player stuck in a struggling offense. For managers searching for a low-end Flex with several teams on bye, Cooks is a boom or bust option, but don’t be surprised if this offense struggles again and Cooks just ends up a bust this week.
The remaining options at receiver or tight end for the Texans are a who’s who of fading vets and promising rookies but no options that give managers warm feelings. Chris Conley, Nico Collins, and Brevin Jordan are all players that belong on waivers for now.
-Marc Salazar (@oldsnake77)