Last updated: September 19th at 2:52pm ET.
Team Totals: Seahawks 24.5, Saints 22.5
The Saints visit The Clink overwhelmingly shorthanded without Drew Brees (thumb) and Tre’Quan Smith (ankle), forced to turn to some combination of Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill under center. Coach Sean Payton refused to name Bridgewater the clear-cut No. 1 on Wednesday, and no team has played more snaps with two quarterbacks on the field simultaneously than New Orleans since Week 1 of 2018. Hill played twenty one offensive snaps in last week’s loss to the Rams and could push for 30 in Seattle. Although Pete Carroll’s defense conceded Week 1’s QB11 fantasy result to Andy Dalton before facing a Steelers team that lost Ben Roethlisberger in-game last week, this road matchup is too imposing for fantasy investment into a potential quarterback rotation. Bridgewater and Hill are Week 3 fades. … Even as every Saint takes a hit from Brees’ loss, Alvin Kamara figures to be leaned on heavily as the most-dynamic player on the team. Seattle has defended the run stoutly, however, surrendering a combined 28/105/1 (3.75 YPC) rushing line to Bengals and Steelers backs. Ultimately, Kamara should be downgraded toward fringe RB1/2 territory. Latavius Murray is nearing droppable in 12-team leagues.
Bridgewater’s Week 2 target distribution: Michael Thomas 11; Jared Cook 5; Kamara 3; Taysom Hill 3; Tre’Quan Smith 2; Murray 1. … Thomas’ ridiculous 37% target share on Teddy’s Week 2 attempts bodes positively for his chances of maintaining post-Brees WR1 value against a Seahawks secondary that has given up productive wideout stat lines to John Ross (7/158/2), JuJu Smith-Schuster (5/84/0), and Tyler Boyd (8/60/0). Thomas’ ceiling takes a hit, but his floor should stay bankable as the clear-cut focus of Payton’s passing game. … The Cook experience has not been a fun one in 2019 to the extent that I’m not sure he belongs in even low-end TE1 discussion any longer. Cook’s target share from Teddy was strong last week, however, so perhaps he deserves one more game’s worth of patience for fantasy owners lacking reasonable alternatives. Teams targeting tight ends against Seattle have completed 16-of-18 passes (89%) for 131 yards and two touchdowns, so Cook’s matchup is certainly right. He also popped as Week 3’s No. 2 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Just one of Bridgewater’s Week 2 throws traveled 20-plus yards downfield, boding poorly for deep threat Ted Ginn.
Russell Wilson was surgical in Seattle’s road win at Pittsburgh, overcoming four first-half sacks for Week 2’s QB4 fantasy result by posting Next Gen Stats’ fastest average time to throw (1.89 seconds) from an NFL quarterback since 2016. Week 3 opponent New Orleans surrendered Week 1’s overall QB3 score to Deshaun Watson and brought Jared Goff (QB9) back from the dead after a slow start. As the Saints are devoid of slot-corner answers, this is another obvious Wilson-to-Tyler Lockett DFS-stack spot. Wilson’s Week 2 box score could’ve been even more impressive had he not lost two big runs to penalties. … Chris Carson’s three fumbles are cause for serious concern, but OC Brian Schottenheimer promisingly went back to Carson for a critical late-game fourth-and-one run to clinch last week’s win. I’m standing behind Carson as a Week 3 RB2 and DFS-tournament play based on this game’s projected positive script plus New Orleans’ allowance of a combined 41/240/1 (5.85 YPC) rushing to Texans and Rams backs in its first two games. The Saints’ season-ending loss of playmaking MLB Alex Anzalone (shoulder) can’t be overlooked. … Carson’s ball-security woes did propel Rashaad Penny into an expanded Week 2 role; he logged 11 touches on 32% of the snaps and zipped an un-touched 37-yard touchdown run off a third-quarter run-pass option. Penny remains a boom-bust flex play with questionable week-to-week usage.
Wilson’s target distribution: Tyler Lockett 14; D.K. Metcalf 13; Carson 10; Will Dissly 7; Malik Turner and Nick Vannett 3; Penny 1; Jaron Brown 0. … Bankably burnable in the slot, the Saints gave up above-expectation results to Cooper Kupp (5/120/0) and Kenny Stills (3/37/1) in their first two games. This should be a fun one for Lockett, who set Week 2 career highs in targets (12) and receptions (10) and is running 67% of his routes inside. … Even with Marshon Lattimore in coverage, outside WRs DeAndre Hopkins (8/111/2), Brandin Cooks (3/74/1), and Will Fuller (2/69/0) haven’t struggled to make big plays against the Saints. A Martavis Bryant clone, 90% perimeter WR Metcalf smoked Steelers S Terrell Edmunds for last week’s fourth-quarter 28-yard score on an over-shoulder basket catch and won’t go away anytime soon as a monster big-play threat in this vertically-built passing attack. Top 20 in the NFL in Air Yards (217) and neck and neck with Lockett for Seattle’s target lead, Metcalf is a high-ceiling season-long WR3 and mouth-watering DFS-tournament play in this spot. … Inconsistent playmaker David Moore (shoulder) is tentatively due back this week and should be grabbed in deep season-long leagues as Seattle’s eventual No. 3 receiver. … I initially doubted Dissly after last year’s patellar tendon tear, but he’s earned Seattle’s starting tight end role by crushing as a pass and run blocker and converting 6-of-7 targets into 62 yards with two scores. Dissly’s 56% snap rate suggests touchdown dependence, but his TE1 streamer appeal is real as a player Wilson seeks out in scoring position.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 28, Saints 20