Week 5: TNF Fantasy Preview Rams @ Seahawks

What is this? Yet another decent TNF matchup with fantasy opportunity on both sides of the ball? (Gasp!) Of course, now it will be a snooze-fest and we all go back to hating Thursday night football games.

But, let’s stay positive. There are enough offensive weapons for the Rams and the Seahawks to get excited about Thursday’s game.

Seattle Seahawks Startable Players

Rams Defense Ranks Fantasy Points Against 2019

RamsRank
QB9th
RB24th
WR14th
TE10

On paper, the Rams defense coming to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked completely different than it actually did playing on the field. Jameis Winston had himself a field day completing 28 out 41 passes for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns on a defense that boasts a mega-human like Aaron Donald. He was only sacked twice and only threw 1 interception. I don’t know about you, but that was not what I was expecting at all.

Perhaps Winston is finally becoming what we expected under Bruce Arians or perhaps this was simply an off-day for the Rams’ defense. Maybe both. What I do know is that Winston is nowhere near the caliber of a quarterback as Russell Wilson for the Seahawks.

Tyler Lockett is a must-start each week for me even though he’s going up against either one of the better corners in the league with Aquib Talib and Marcus Peters. However, I am avoiding D.K. Metcalf this week. He is now trending down and David Moore is starting to become a “thing” that has been very annoying for Metcalf owners simply because he is yet another mouth for Wilson to look to. I’m not dropping Metcalf, just stashing him until that relationship can a bit more solid.

Chris Carson is another must-start although I know you’ll need Pepto Bismol, Advil, and alcohol to get you through it while you are hoping he doesn’t fumble. The Rams’ defense is 24th against the run have allowed 90 attempts for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns over the last 4 weeks.

Rashaad Penny is a conundrum for me this week. Pete Carroll never does fantasy owners any favors so I have no idea what to believe. Carson may very well be banged up so Penny could get a big workload… or Carson really is “fine” as Carroll said and Penny is relegated to the RB2 with a small potential for fantasy effectiveness.

I think that if you really have to play Penny, then you have to play Penny. If you don’t have to play him and you decide to sit him this week, be prepared to be mad when he scores a random touchdown because Carson either fumbled or aggravated his injury. I’m sorry. It’s fantasy football. It happens.

Tight end Will Dissly has made a place for himself in Wilson’s offense. He is a large, athletic player who can do a lot with a little amount of space. Wilson will need to scramble in this matchup and Dissly usually finds a way to make himself open and give his QB a quick dump-off option.

Historically, the Rams and Seahawks game is a very dramatic matchup where the unexpected has started to become the expected. I do believe the Rams defense will take a major step up and come to play Thursday night. So temper your expectations, but also understand that it’s Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Chris Carson. Unless you have other elite options, you’ll be rolling with these guys.

Seahawks Starters: Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny (if desperate), Will Dissly

LA Rams McVay
Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams Startable Players

Seahawks Defense Ranks – Fantasy Points Against 2019

SeahawksRank
QB17th
RB19th
WR8th
TE19th

The 2019 Los Angeles Rams aren’t exactly the Rams of the past two years so far this season. Jared Goff has thrown as many interceptions as he has touchdowns, the touted defense was just shredded by the Buccaneers, and Todd Gurley seems all but non-existent in the screen game where he thrived last year.

One thing does remain constant, however. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Brandin Cooks continue to be heavily involved in the offense no matter who the Rams the face.

This week is going to be tough for the Rams wide receiver corps facing the number 8th ranked defense in Seattle. The Seahawks have only allowed 50 receptions on 81 targets for 587 yards and 3 touchdowns thus far. Combine that with a quarterback who has been turning the ball over, and it becomes a cringe-worthy matchup.

One thing I will say is that the Rams somehow find creative ways to get around the Seahawks, dating all the way back to the dark days of Jeff Fisher. I also have confidence in Sean McVay even if his playcalling and schemes have been somewhat head-scratching of late.

I know that Todd Gurley owners are probably frustrated, but Gurley himself is rather put-out as well. Hopefully, this will be a game where Gurley gets fed like he wants to be and fantasy owners can rejoice. The Seahawks are ranked 19th in the NFL vs. the running back position. Thus far they have allowed 253 yards and 2 touchdowns on 64 rushing attempts. Running backs have also been effective in the passing game with 25 completions for 265 yards and 1 touchdown.

When it comes to the starters, if you are feeling in a pickle about starting Goff, don’t worry, all Goff owners should be worried. It’s not a pretty matchup for him. I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest if you wanted to go with a safer option or even stream the position with a quarterback like Jacoby Brisset. However, if you don’t have a better option at the position, you may be forced to start him. I am sorry. We can suffer together.

Rams Starters: Goff (if you have to), Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Todd Gurley

Remember that if you are starting any of these players in your flex position right now, move them into their positional slots in your lineup. Don’t get stuck having your flex spot locked up with limited options if injury news breaks and you need to replace players.

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