Seahawks @ Rams
Final Score: Rams 17, Seahawks 16
Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)
This was not a visually pleasing game. There were multiple injuries to notable fantasy studs – both Kenneth Walker III and Cooper Kupp were knocked out of this game prematurely. Additionally, Geno Smith was hurt and missed most of the 4th quarter. Up 13-0 late in the 2nd quarter, Seattle looked like they were in control of this game, scoring on all three of their first half possessions. But the Rams countered with a nine play, 75 yard drive right before the half that ended with a touchdown catch by Puka Nacua. The Rams had life. The second half was a punt fest for both teams, until the Rams got some late life and scored a touchdown and a go-ahead field goal on their final two drives.
Drew Lock played for most of the 4th quarter after Geno’s injury, but Geno returned for Seattle’s final drive. He led Seattle down the field to put them in position for a go-ahead field goal, but Jason Myers missed it and the Rams squeaked out a tough win against a divisional opponent.
- DK Metcalf – Came up big when he was needed on Seattle’s final drive, also scored a touchdown and had a 53 yard reception. He’s a beast
- Zach Charbonnet – He didn’t stand out by any means but it seems like he’s the starter moving forward after Kenneth Walker III‘s injury
- Cooper Kupp/Kenneth Walker III – Both exited this game with injuries and did not return
- Darrell Henderson Jr. – Thank goodness Kyren Williams is due back next week, cause Henderson is cooked.
Geno Smith: 22/34, 233 yards, TD, 2 sacks | 1 carry, -1 yard
Listen, Geno is a frustrating QB to watch. He’ll sometimes make an easy throw look more difficult than it is. He will force a ball into tight coverage and get away with it. He isn’t a guy who will elevate the players around him to another level. Thankfully he has plenty of talent around him, because he’s not a stud at the position. But he’s good enough. Case in point – at the end of the third quarter, after a pretty mediocre game fantasy-wise, Geno hurt his throwing arm after hitting it on a defender as he threw. Drew Lock entered the game and looked like a guy who has barely played this year. But, when Seattle needed to drive down the field to score and win the game, Geno came back and toughed it out. He had a nice throw to Tyler Lockett on the sideline, missed an open DK Metcalf downfield on a wild throw out of bounds, and hit Zach Charbonnet with a dump off. It wasn’t looking good, sitting 3rd and 10 with 41 seconds left at their own 40. Then, Geno, with his injured arm and all, threw an absolute bullet to Metcalf to get them in field goal range. Metcalf had to go up to get it, but considering the circumstances it was a near-perfect throw. And that is the Geno experience – some head-scratching decisions mixed in with some grit, toughness, and excellent play with the game on the line.
Per Mike Florio on the Sunday Night Football halftime show, Geno has a triceps injury. Given the short turnaround for a Thanksgiving night matchup against the 49ers, keep an eye on this situation. It’s certainly a good sign that Geno returned to finish this one out.
Drew Lock: 2/3, 3 yards, INT
In his limited action, Drew Lock did not look anything different from the Drew Lock we already know.
Kenneth Walker III: 4 carries, 18 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, -2 yards
Walker looked spry in his limited work – but, unfortunately, he injured his oblique midway through the first quarter on Seattle’s first drive of the game. It sounds like he will miss some time with the injury.
Seahawks’ HC Pete Carroll told reporters that RB Kenneth Walker suffered an “oblique strain that was legit.”
Walker is in danger of missing some time; Seahawks host the 49ers on Thanksgiving night.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2023
Zach Charbonnet: 15 carries, 47 yards | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 22 yards
With Walker down and likely out, it is now Zach Charbonnet SZN. He’s obviously been their passing down option for a few weeks now and will likely continue being a target machine, which bodes well in PPR formats. However, it will now come with a full dose of touches on the ground. I have to say, I wasn’t blown away by Charbonnet’s running in this game. He’s shifty, can make a would-be tackler miss, and has quick feet, but I didn’t see him flash speed at all. On multiple occasions in the first half he tried to get around the edge and simply wasn’t fast enough to do it. That to me is the difference between a sure-fire league winner and someone who might still share backfield duties with somebody else. Logic says Charbonnet is going to be the workhorse back in this offense as long as Walker is hurt, but my eyes tell me something different having watched this game and I just can’t quite shake it. Hopefully I’m wrong.
DeeJay Dallas: 1 carry, 4 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 10 yards
Wide Receiver/Tight End
DK Metcalf: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 94 yards, TD
DK Metcalf is a big-game WR who hasn’t had the chance to play in many big games. I say that because for the second straight week he hasn’t been an absolute stud for an entire game but he still came up big in the most critical moments. First, he started the game off with an opening drive touchdown, a slant in one-on-one coverage on a ball that he picked up off the ground. Later, on Seattle’s final drive, Metcalf was the one who Geno looked to in order to get them in field goal range. He found Metcalf for 21 yards, putting them in position to win it. It was another clutch catch in a critical situation after doing the same thing in Week 10. Metcalf mixed in a 53 yard catch and run in the 2nd quarter that made up the bulk of his yardage.
Tyler Lockett: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 51 yards
Lockett was listed as questionable for this game after not practicing all week. However, he toughed it out and played through the entire game. Nothing truly notable happened for him in this one, but the fact that he even played was likely a surprise to many.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards
With Tyler Lockett not practicing all week and looking like he’d be inactive for this one, a lot of folks (including myself) likely fired up Jaxon Smith-Njigba in DFS lineups hoping for a cheap lottery ticket. Unfortunately for us, Lockett played, relegating JSN to the number three option once again. JSN keeps flashing that 1st round talent, however. He made a nice catch down the sideline on their first drive, but didn’t quite get his second foot down in bounds and it was ultimately ruled incomplete after a review. A few minutes later, JSN went up to secure a great catch in double coverage on 3rd and long for 32 yards. He was targeted on Jake Lock‘s first throw, and Lock had him but it didn’t look like JSN was expecting the ball. He didn’t even attempt to make the catch.
Will Dissly: 3 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards
Jake Bobo: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards
Noah Fant: 2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards
Dee Eskridge: 1 target
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford: 17/31, 190 yards, TD, INT, sack | 2 carries, 1 yard
I continue to be amazed at how mobile Matthew Stafford is at this point in his career. Also his toughness, as once again Stafford appeared to be banged up on a play but hung in there and didn’t let it impact him. Seattle played well on defense, especially Devin Witherspoon who popped up all over the place.
I really just don’t have much to say about Stafford in this one – he was just blah. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible, just blah. Losing Cooper Kupp in the second quarter certainly didn’t help. His lone mistake, the interception, came on a flea flicker. He also shuffled directly into the pressure as opposed to shuffling away from it, which was strange, leading to the apparent injury that he played through.
Royce Freeman: 17 carries, 73 yards
Royce Freeman was the best RB on the field for the Rams, and by that I mean he was the only one who showed any kind of burst. Sure, Henderson scored the touchdown and had more receiving work, but he looks like he’s running through molasses anytime he gets a carry in the backfield. With Kyren Williams coming back next week, Freeman should be relegated to a backup role but he performed admirably in this game.
Darrell Henderson Jr.: 6 carries, 1 yard, TD | 7 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards
See Freeman’s blurb. Henderson is so slow, I don’t know how he still is as involved as he is on the ground. He did look decent in the passing game, and actually was overthrown by Stafford on a wheel route that would have been an enormous gain. Seriously, there was nobody within 15 yards of him. I’m curious to see what the all-22 will show because he might have scored. Otherwise it was a quiet game for Henderson save for his one yard TD run that salvaged his day.
Zach Evans: 1 carry, 0 yards
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Puka Nacua: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 70 yards, TD
Puka Nacua scored a gritty touchdown right before the half, right at the goal line with a defender draped all over him. He caught it and held onto the ball as the defender tried to throw him to the ground despite Nacua already crossing the plane with the ball. He had a 12 yard catch negated by a questionable hold, but there wasn’t much to talk about otherwise. Puka is a machine, catching most of what’s thrown his way and fighting for extra yards whenever he can.
Cooper Kupp: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards
Oh, what could have been. In an uncharacteristically down game for Cooper Kupp, he could have (and should have) added a 35 yard touchdown catch to at least bring something to the table for the scores of people starting him in fantasy. It was a free play thanks to a defensive offside penalty, and Kupp found himself wide open downfield with nobody within ten yards of him. Stafford threw a nice ball his way, but Kupp got mixed up, backpedaled, and ended up tripping over himself. Unfortunately, Kupp was injured in the second quarter and limped off to the locker room with what seemed like an ankle injury after getting stepped on by a defender. He did not return.
Demarcus Robinson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards
Austin Trammell: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards
Trammell came in when Kupp went out with his injury. Nothing stood out about him.
Tyler Higbee: 3 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards
Tutu Atwell: 3 targets, 1 reception, 17 yards