Kickoff: Sunday, December 20th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD
Betting Odds: SEA -5.5, 44.5 total via Oddsshark
Russell Wilson (Start, QB2)
Russell Wilson was once an MVP candidate, but he was left on the burner too long and he’s now overcooked. After his torrid start to the season, Wilson has only averaged around 17 points per game over the last three weeks against Philly, the Giants, and the Jets. Washington has a better defense than any of those three teams, so I’m going to be really conservative on Russ this week and label him as a QB2. They’re playing good defense and will need to step up this week to carry the team if Alex Smith is out, and with that pass rush, it’s going to be difficult for Wilson to sit in the pocket and wait for D.K. Metcalf to get open downfield. If you have Wilson you’re probably going to end up firing him up no matter what, just temper expectations a bit and don’t expect a 30+ point performance against this defense.
Chris Carson (Start, RB2), Carlos Hyde (Sit), DeeJay Dallas (Sit)
Both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde have 33 carries over the past three weeks, but Carson has done significantly more damage with them than Hyde has. For whatever reason, it seems that head coach Pete Carroll is insistent on working Hyde in early and often, and I wonder if it’s because they’re trying to keep the fragile Carson healthy for the playoffs. Hyde hasn’t been bad, but he certainly hasn’t looked as good as Carson has since they’ve both returned from injuries. The matchup is tough, but Seattle loves to run the ball and they’ll find creative ways to get the ball in Carson’s hands. He’s an RB2 this week, but unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot of upside after that.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.K. Metcalf (Start, WR2), Tyler Lockett (Start, WR2), David Moore (Sit), Freddie Swain (Sit), Will Dissly (Sit), Jacob Hollister (Sit)
With Washington’s phenomenal pass rush, my gut tells me this is going to be more of a Tyler Lockett game than a D.K. Metcalf game because Russell Wilson will need to dump it off over the middle of the field more often. There won’t be time for him to sit in the pocket and hit Metcalf deep on a consistent basis. I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a 10+ catch game out of Lockett. If I had to choose one of the two it would be him, but Metcalf will still have that upside and you really have to chase it unless your team is absolutely stacked. Fire them both up in your lineups and we’ll see what happens.
Washington Football Team
Dwayne Haskins (Sit), Alex Smith (Sit)
Alex Smith sustained a calf injury in Week 14 and was replaced during the game by Dwayne Haskins. There is some doubt swirling around Smith’s availability for this game, so keep an eye on that, but for entertainment purposes, I really hope he’s able to go. The offense has looked so much better this season with the future Comeback Player of the Year at the helm and if Haskins is in there instead then this team will struggle to move the ball. Haskins has at least shown a rapport with Terry McLaurin in the past, and he did find Logan Thomas in the end zone approximately ten times in the preseason so all hope is not lost for them. But Haskins is not a good quarterback, and he’s useless in fantasy. The matchup is okay, but Seattle’s defense has been rounding into form in recent weeks and the unit isn’t as much of a wasteland as it was earlier in the season. Smith hasn’t lit the world on fire for fantasy purposes, but he would make this game at least more entertaining. Sit whoever ends up under center this week.
J.D. McKissic (Start, RB2), Peyton Barber (Sit)
In Antonio Gibson‘s first full week out, it was Peyton Barber who led the team in carries but J.D. McKissic who had the better day from a fantasy perspective. His 82 targets are second-most in the NFL for a running back, and I would expect more of the same this week. Seattle has allowed the 10th most fantasy points to RBs this year, but as I said above they’ve been better of late. McKissic should be Haskins’ safety net on Sunday whenever he runs into trouble, and that could be the case often against a Seahawks’ team who has the fourth-most sacks in the league this year. Barber will likely continue getting carries and potentially vulture a touchdown, but McKissic is who you want to ride in this one.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin (Start, WR2), Cam Sims (Sit), Steven Sims Jr. (Sit), Logan Thomas (Start, TE1)
Terry McLaurin has shown in the past that he can succeed with Haskins under center, so why should we believe otherwise now? Yes, he has averaged only eight points per game in each of the past three weeks, but two of those games were against solid defenses in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Terry should be able to bounce back this week with a solid WR2 output.
Did you know that Logan Thomas is TE8 on the season? Did you also know that he’s only 13 points out from being a Top 5 tight end? His breakout this year has been so enjoyable to watch and I think it’s pretty safe to say that he’s going to be on a lot of people’s radars next year as a mid-tier tight end. Seattle hasn’t allowed very many fantasy points to tight ends this year (8th fewest) but I do think Thomas will be involved early and often in this one. It’s not like there are many other options to go to in this offense, so fire Thomas up.
— Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)