Last updated: December 12th at 9:15am ET
Team Totals: Seahawks 27, Panthers 21
Following Rashaad Penny’s ACL tear, Chris Carson visits Carolina as an enormous-ceiling RB1 facing the Panthers’ league-worst run defense, which has been steamrolled for a combined 56/394/5 (7.04 YPC) rushing by enemy backs in two games since losing NT Dontari Poe (quad) to I.R. Pete Carroll’s staff fancies the running game as its offensive foundation, while Seattle’s pass protection isn’t sturdy enough to support a dropback-driven track meet against a Panthers defense that ranks No. 2 in the NFL in sacks (47). Carson is averaging 22.6 touches over his last ten games. Suddenly back in league-winning position, Carson next catches the Cardinals at home in Week 16. … Russell Wilson has taken a clear backseat in 2019’s NFL MVP race while disappointing monumentally in second-half box scores. Fantasy’s overall QB1 in Weeks 1-9, Wilson’s weekly results in the four games since are QB14 (49ers), QB18 (Eagles), QB17 (Vikings), and QB27 (Rams), albeit all against formidable defensive foes. Carolina does qualify as the latter, having held 9-of-13 quarterbacks faced to fantasy finishes of QB15 or worse. With top threat Tyler Lockett playing like a shell of himself, we’ve reached the point of questioning Wilson’s season-long QB1 viability, especially in a game Seattle could control with its rushing attack and curb Wilson’s usage.
Wilson’s Weeks 13-14 target distribution: Jacob Hollister 14; D.K. Metcalf 13; Lockett 8; Carson, Josh Gordon, and David Moore 6; Malik Turner 3; Jaron Brown 2. … Averaging 6.8 targets over Seattle’s last five games, Hollister has maintained TE1-caliber usage for a sustained stretch while playing 78% or more of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in four of the last five weeks. Although Carolina has yielded the NFL’s sixth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends, Hollister has earned volume-based starter treatment in season-long leagues. … Metcalf’s Week 15 matchup also looks tough on paper against Panthers top CB James Bradberry, but the rookie phenom is an entrenched WR2 with 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 11-of-13 games. Bradberry has been far from perfect lately, surrendering 25 catches on 31 targets (81%) for 343 yards (11.1 YPA) and a touchdown in Weeks 8-14. … Clearly debilitated by some combination of his pre-bye shin injury and a lingering illness, Lockett hasn’t exceeded 43 yards since Week 9. Struggling to generate both separation and yards after catch, Lockett has devolved into a boom-bust WR3 option. I’m still willing to stick with Lockett against the Panthers’ unimposing slot coverage. … Although Gordon has taken over as Seattle’s No. 3 receiver, Moore and Turner are still mixing into sub-packages, and Gordon has yet to top 34 yards or hit pay dirt through four games with his new team. Pete Carroll did indicate this week that Gordon needs the ball more, enhancing his long-shot, narrative-driven WR4 appeal.
Losers of five straight and their longtime head coach along the way, the wheel-spinning Panthers catch a plus Week 15 draw assuming their offense is mentally and physically up to take advantage. Even amid a flurry of turnovers, Kyle Allen has quietly banked top-12 fantasy results in three straight games, while Seattle’s pass rush has stayed in the tank with the NFL’s third-fewest sacks (23) and seventh-fewest QB hits (62), easing the burden on enemy signal callers. Allen is still best viewed as a two-quarterback-league play with a bit more upside this week than most. … Although Christian McCaffrey was essentially vultured twice in last week’s loss to Atlanta – once on an Allen rushing score and again on Ian Thomas’ one-yard TD following a play fake to CMC – McCaffrey largely laid to rest concerns about a late-season slowdown with 135 yards on 22 touches, including 11 receptions. Allen’s increasing propensity to check down has benefited CMC for an average of twelve targets per game over the last month. Nothing about McCaffrey’s Week 15 matchup particularly stands out – Seattle is middling in run defense – but he’s long since earned every-week overall RB1 play treatment with 130-plus total yards in 10-of-13 games.
D.J. Moore faces Seattle with 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six straight games, earning every-week WR1 treatment on pace for a 96/1,306/5 receiving line. He’s No. 3 in the NFL in Air Yards (844) since Carolina’s Week 7 bye. … Albeit at the smack-dab bottom, Curtis Samuel popped in Week 15’s Air Yards Buy Low Model, giving him some DFS-tournament appeal even as Samuel has topped 70 yards once all year with vertically-challenged Allen at the helm. Samuel remains a fringe WR3/4 in season-long leagues. … Whichever Panthers tight end starts will offer locked-in TE1 playability against the Seahawks, who’ve conceded the NFL’s second-most yards (918) to Greg Olsen and Ian Thomas’ position. Thomas dropped a pass that resulted in one of Allen’s two Week 14 interceptions but saw elite usage with ten targets and a whopping 46 routes on 86% of Carolina’s offensive snaps. Olsen’s return would eliminate Thomas from this week’s streamer conversation, however, and Olsen returned to practice Wednesday. The Seahawks have been rocked for PPR-useful stat lines by fellow TEs Gerald Everett (7/136/0), Tyler Higbee (7/116/0, 3/47/0), Zach Ertz (12/91/1), C.J. Uzomah (4/66/0), Austin Hooper (6/65/1), Kyle Rudolph (4/50/1), Vance McDonald (7/38/2), Ricky Seals-Jones (4/37/1), and Dallas Goedert (7/32/0).
Score Prediction: Seahawks 27, Panthers 24