Kickoff: Monday, October 2nd, 2023, 8:15pm PM ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, New York
Betting Odds: NYG +1.5, 43 O/U total via oddshark.com
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@theDunit13 on Twitter)
Geno Smith (Start, QB2)
Geno Smith hasn’t exactly been the breakout player he was last year, but he is still good. He comes into Monday night with four touchdowns and only one interception. A lot of the appeal for Geno last year was the volume of passing. He had 572 attempts and is on pace for 583 this year. Given the weapons they have around him, he can put up QB1 numbers any given week. What has also helped him is that the Seattle Seahawks defense is not great. They have given up almost 30 points every game. The New York Giants defense is not great in coverage. PFF.com ranks them as the fourth-worst team in coverage. They are giving up 18.67 fantasy points to quarterbacks which is the 18th fewest. It’s a good matchup and normally I would put that quarterback in the QB1 range, but I fear the Giants offense won’t be able to put up those 30 points and the Seahawks will focus on the run more. Start Geno as a solid QB2.
Kenneth Walker (Start, RB1), Zach Charbonnet (Sit)
Last week should have been Kenneth Walker‘s week, but the Miami Dolphins rightfully dominated the headlines instead. Walker has been the man in the Seahawks’ backfield. He has seen double-digit carries each week despite playing on less than 65% of the total snaps. He has had two touchdowns in each of the last two games. He now gets to face the Giants who are giving up the sixth most fantasy points to running backs. He is also being worked into the passing game for even more value. You should be starting Walker as a solid RB1 this week.
Walker has been able to hold off rookie Zach Charbonnet so far this season. You can look at all the advanced metrics you want but here is what matters: Charb is only playing on 31% of the snaps on average. Last week was the first time he was over that number at 43%. His season high for carries was nine (last week) but only had 46 yards. He hasn’t scored more than six fantasy points yet in a week. I’m still high on his talent and his future but you can’t start him right now.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
D.K. Metcalf (Start, WR1), Tyler Lockett (Start, WR3), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Sit), Noah Fant (Sit, TE2)
It seems like D.K. Metcalf is matchup-proof. He has been consistent in his production each week. I’m not concerned about the fact that his snap percentage has dropped every week because his targets have stayed consistent. He now faces a secondary that isn’t that great. He will probably see coverage from rookie Deonte Banks who PFF.com ranks at 54.7. That makes him 80th out of 107 total cornerbacks. I expect the Giants to roll safety coverage to his side but none of the Giants players are great at coverage. The best is Xavier McKinney who rates at 64.0 which is 42nd out of 82 safeties. I’m expecting Metcalf to be a WR1 this week. He is bringing a ton of value from where you got him in drafts.
Tyler Lockett should be the main beneficiary of safety help rolling over to Metcalf’s side of the field. Lockett has been hit or miss so far. Still, he is playing 80+ percent of the snaps and getting targets–though his average depth per target is a minuscule 4.9. It hinders his upside because he isn’t getting those long bomb touchdowns that we used to see. Lockett can still be a solid fantasy piece and I expect him to do well this week. He should draw coverage from Adoree’ Jackson who rates as the 84th out of 107 corners in coverage. When the Seahawks line up in three wide receiver sets Lockett will probably see Tre Hawkins who rates as the 91st-best coverage corner. Start Lockett as a WR3.
The third wide receiver for the Seahawks is rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Even on his best week, he hasn’t played more than 60% of the team’s snaps. He isn’t seeing enough snaps or targets to be fantasy-relevant right now. You should still hold him on your bench as the future looks bright. Sit JSN this week.
Tight end Noah Fant has started to separate himself from the others on the roster but is still lagging behind the other three wide receivers on the team. He has been okay with fantasy points but he lacks the upside of other players probably on your waivers. I don’t think you can trust him right now. Even if he is a TE2, I’m not starting him.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Sit, QB2)
The Seahawks are giving up the 10th most points to quarterbacks right now. They are rated as the third-worst coverage team by PFF.com, one spot below the Giants. It’s a great matchup, but it’s also Daniel Jones. Jones hasn’t been great so far this year. The touchdowns haven’t been coming. The rushing upside is still there, but he is not hitting pay dirt. Jones’s completion percentage is trending back toward his 2021 numbers. The Seahawks have good players in the secondary including Tariq Woolen who ranks as the 32nd best coverage corner. With how bad the Giants passing offense is, I’m not rolling out Daniel Jones in my lineups even in a good matchup. Sit this week.
Saquon Barkley (Sit) Matt Brieda (Sit)
It seems that the odds of Saquon Barkley playing this week is a long shot. He is dealing with what he called a high ankle sprain. That leaves Matt Brieda and Gary Brightwell. Brieda was not great last week but that was against the San Fransico 49ers who are one of the best run defenses in the league. The Seahawks are right behind them on PFF.com’s ratings. The Giants’ offense as a whole is lackluster so it is hard to start a back who has been a career backup and hasn’t produced on his limited opportunities. I’m sitting him this week.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Darius Slayton (Sit, FLEX), Wan’Dale Robinson (Sit), Isaiah Hodgins (Sit), Parris Campbell (Sit) Darren Waller (Sit)
If you drafted Darren Waller you haven’t been happy with him, but he hasn’t been that bad when you dig into the numbers. In the past two weeks, he has played on over 80% of the total snaps. He has seen an average of six targets a game. He ran 27 routes last week which was second most on the team. He is lining up all over the field. He spent almost equal time in the slot, out wide and inline. It’s great to see the Giants move Waller around the formation. The matchup is okay against the Seahawks but I worry about the pass rush which is rated highly. I’m willing to start Waller as a decent TE2 this week.
Darius Slayton has been the main wide receiver for the Giants. He has played on the most snaps and has run the most routes. The fact that Slayton might see either Woolen or Devon Witherspoon is not great. Both are good cover corners who frankly are more talented than Slayton. I’m not willing to roll with him this week.
The same could be said about the rest of the Giants’ receivers. Wan’Dale Robinson, Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, and Jaylen Hyatt are a crap shoot. You are hoping for a random touchdown. I assume that one of them will stand out by trying to figure out which one will make you pull your hair. I still like the skill level of Hodgins and Hyatt as stashes who can produce. It’s a good match-up this week so look to see who stands out. It’s probably going to be one of the auxiliary pieces as they see weaker coverage while in the slot. Sit all of them this week.