Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th, 1:00 PM ET
Location: Ford Field, Detroit Michigan
Betting Odds: DET -5.5, 47 total via PFF.com
Writer: Justin Mello (@JustinMelloNE on Twitter)
Geno Smith (Start, QB2)
Last year’s Comeback Player of the Year, Geno Smith, had an underwhelming game in Week 1, to say the least. Battling a Rams secondary that wasn’t expected to be all that good, Smith was only able to throw for 112 yards, by far his lowest total in a game since the start of last season. What’s perhaps more concerning is that the Rams graded as the third worst coverage team in Week 1 according to PFF, meaning that plenty of opportunities were left on the field by Geno and the Seahawks. It’s too early to panic, but it’s fair to wonder if Geno’s incredible 2022 campaign could end up being a one-year wonder. As for his next opponent, the Lions secondary looked much improved against the Chiefs thanks in part to offseason additions C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton, and Brian Branch. While the unit is still far from elite, this doesn’t appear to be an ideal “get right” spot for Geno in Week 2. With that said, there is certainly upside in what could turn into a shootout. Smith is difficult to trust as a QB1, but he can be viewed as a worthwhile gamble at the QB2 spot.
Kenneth Walker (Start, RB2), Zach Charbonnet (Sit)
Like the rest of the Seattle offense, Kenneth Walker left something to be desired during his 2023 debut. His lack of fantasy success had more to do with the failures of his offense as a whole than his own shortcomings though. Walker averaged 5.3 yards per carry and received an impressive 72.6 run grade from PFF (15th among 78 backs) while playing with a groin injury in Week 1. The bad news for the second-year RB is that he faces a Lions defense which had an even more impressive 79.9 run defense grade from PFF (6th best) in Week 1. Nonetheless, Walker looked like the clear undisputed RB1 as he out-touched rookie Zach Charbonnet 16 to 3 against the Rams. He even got involved in the passing game and caught four balls on five targets while Charbonnet remained untargeted throughout the contest. Given his status as the clear starter, Walker should be a relatively safe RB2 with a chance to push into RB1 territory if the Seahawks are able to keep the game close early and lean on the run game down the stretch. Charbonnet should be left on the bench until he becomes a more integral part of the offense.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.K. Metcalf (Start, WR3), Tyler Lockett (Start, WR3), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Start, FLEX), Noah Fant (Sit), Colby Parkinson (Sit), Will Dissly (Sit)
D.K Metcalf’s first game of the season was saved by a touchdown that he caught in the second quarter. It is concerning that he only had three receptions, but he did lead the Seahawks receivers in snaps, targets, and yards. He also was PFF’s highest-graded Seahawks receiver by a wide margin. As long as the Seahawks don’t allow the Detroit offense to hold the ball for two-thirds of the game like the Rams did, Metcalf should have more opportunities that he can turn into fantasy points. Unfortunately, the matchup is less than ideal for Metcalf according to PFF though. He has the 37th-ranked matchup advantage of all WRs in Week 2. This limits him to being a high-end WR3 against the Lions.
Metcalf’s long-time counterpart Tyler Lockett also had limited opportunities in Week 1 and was only able to haul in two of four targets. The silver lining is that he out-snapped rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba 45 to 30 and still appears to be the number two receiver in the Seattle offense. This is especially telling considering Lockett exited the game early due to concussion protocol. While his targets were low on Sunday, he did have a 21.2% target share in 2022 according to FantasyData, and he certainly has a chance to get back there if he continues to play the percentage of snaps that he did in Week 1. He should be treated as a lower-end WR3 against Detroit. As for Smith-Njigba, his appeal is severely limited until he starts to see more snaps in Seattle’s offense, but he could still be a viable flex option in a potential shootout in Detroit.
The Seahawks like to use multiple tight ends including Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson, and Will Dissly. However, last week (and just about all of 2022 for that matter) showed that it is difficult to trust any one of them as a starter in fantasy. Expect the passing game to predominantly go through the WRs on Sunday. The TEs can be left on the bench.
Jared Goff (Start, QB2)
Jared Goff looked the part against the Chiefs as he threw for 253 yards and a touchdown on his way to an upset victory over Kansas City. He gets a phenomenal matchup on Sunday when he plays the defense which just got absolutely dismantled through the air by his former team. Matthew Stafford carved through the Seattle secondary with ease as he consistently found receivers open downfield. In all fairness to the Seahawks, they were tasked with stopping elite talents in the upper echelon of the NFL receiver hierarchy like Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell. All jokes aside, the Seahawks’ secondary was shockingly bad on Sunday and earned the worst team coverage grade by PFF in Week 1. If they play anywhere near as poorly against the Lions, Goff should have a field day in Ben Johnson’s offense. Goff’s immobility and lack of receiver depth probably limit him to a QB2 status despite the juicy matchup, but he should be treated as a high-end QB2 with boom potential.
David Montgomery (Start, RB2), Jahmyr Gibbs (Start, RB2)
Former Chicago Bear David Montgomery averaged just about 3.5 yards per carry in Week 1 and received a not-so-great grade of 55.4 from PFF (57th among 78 HBs). He is playing a better run defense than the Chris Jones-less Chiefs in Week 2. Despite their struggles against the pass, the Seahawks were stout against the run. They held starter Cam Akers to 1.32 yards per carry and earned a respectable grade of 72.4 against the run per PFF (12th best). Even Kyren Williams, who enjoyed somewhat of a breakout against the Seahawks, was held to under 3.5 yards per carry in the contest. All of this context makes David Montgomery seem like a bad start in Week 2, but I still believe he belongs in your lineup. The reason is simple–he is almost guaranteed to get desirable volume. Montgomery got 21 carries in Week 1, and this included work by the goal line, which is obviously important for fantasy purposes. As long as Dan Campbell and Brad Johnson continue to give Montgomery a sizable workload, he should remain a viable starter.
Their other running back, Jahmyr Gibbs, is in the opposite situation. He only received nine opportunities in his debut, but he clearly looks like a more explosive player than Montgomery on both film and the stat sheet. The rookie averaged six yards per carry, contributed in the passing game, and was the 3rd-highest-graded running back by PFF in Week 1. His opportunities will likely stay limited behind Montgomery in Week 2, but he is a big play waiting to happen. He is a high-risk, high-reward RB2.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Start, WR1), Josh Reynolds (Start, FLEX), Marvin Jones (Sit), Sam LaPorta (Start, TE2)
The man whose name translates to “Sun God” is the unquestioned WR1 in Detroit. He got nine targets against the Chiefs, and there’s no reason to believe his targets will dip. Amon-Ra St. Brown should be treated as a WR1 in most matchups, and this game is no exception. The Seahawks were unable to stop the Rams’ passing attack in Week 1, and now St. Brown has a great opportunity to capitalize against a shaky secondary.
The depth behind St. Brown is less inspiring, but there is certainly FLEX potential for Josh Reynolds. Reynolds led the team in receiving yards in Week 1 and appears to be Goff’s WR2 of choice (at least while Jameson Williams is suspended). He played the second-most snaps of the Lions WRs and also had the second-most targets. He even had the highest Week 1 grade by PFF among Lions WRs. Reynolds certainly lacks the elite athleticism that makes other receivers a more enticing start, but he is ultimately the WR2 on a good offense with a great matchup in Week 2. He can be comfortably slid into a FLEX spot. Marvin Jones Jr. on the other hand, who looked like a liability against the Chiefs and was graded as the second worst receiver in all of the NFL by PFF in Week 1, should remain on your bench if not waivers.
Sam LaPorta impressed in his NFL debut, and he is clearly an important part of the offense. It is tough to envision him getting enough volume to put him in TE1 territory, but he should be a decent TE2 option against the Seahawks.