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Here’s the thing about Seattle that is really bugging me…all that talent and they’re just not that good on the field – as good as they could be. This game was 10–6 Seattle after three quarters of play. I can understand the Lions struggling on offense – Stafford’s finger, trouble running the ball all season, weak WRs, a tough Seattle defense and AT Seattle against the 12th man. I get the ‘6’ for Detroit after three quarters (and for the game). How is it that Seattle, with everything going for them…including facing a weaker Lions’ defense…has only 10 points after three? The TD coming from a miracle catch by Paul Richardson, where he also clearly face-masked the defender as the throw approached. That miracle TD came on 4th & 2…three shots from the two-yard line (and Jimmy Graham nowhere to be found as a part of the plan) and it takes a Paul Richardson miracle (and blind ref) to score a TD. If this was a one-off game it wouldn’t matter. However, this is like the story of Seattle’s offense every week.
I kid you not…Seattle may be the single worst coached team top to bottom in the NFL. We don’t notice the coaching because they have such great players getting over enough to win. Seattle should be the clear best team in the league. They should be automatic near the goal line. Has any team looked more incompetent near the goal line than Seattle the past few weeks? It’s embarrassing. When this team wins by 20…they should have won by 40. I’m afraid, for them, they will lose this week by 7…when they should have won by 10+.
Seattle’s the best team, top to bottom, in the NFL…even with a flawed O-Line…and they are probably not going to win a Super Bowl title that they should. It’s not on the players. Seattle can win any game so it’s not over, but boy do they look terrible for how good they are.
Beating Detroit is no feather for the cap either because the Lions didn’t belong here. Seattle is 4–3 in their last seven games. Escaping the lowly 49ers and beating the hapless Rams, not by as much as they should have on either. They pounced on Carolina…other than that the Seahawks haven’t been impressive all year outside of beating New England…which is why I believe the Patriots will get stopped by KC or Pittsburgh. The 2016–17 Patriots are not the Patriots of old.
— This game, sadly, changes nothing for the Lions for 2017 fantasy purposes. The coaches and GM are emboldened behind a playoff run and the excuse that if Stafford weren’t hurt we would have won the division. That might be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Lions at their best are still not better than the Packers at their best. Just a fact of life.
If the Lions run 2017 like 2016, then…
Dwayne Washington stays buried…behind Ameer Abdullah. Unless Ameer gets hurt, Washington has little chance to shine. Abdullah is 50% likely to get injured again…so DW might see his chance again at some point. At worst, Washington could have been a version of Tyreek Hill for Detroit…don’t want to disrupt all those screen passes to Theo Riddick. This is an Abdullah-Riddick backfield as long as this coaching staff is intact.
Zach Zenner (11-34-0, 6-54-0/6 targets) did enough to go from getting cut (which I was hoping) to the nice complement to Abdullah. So, Zenner is useless for fantasy 2017 as well…as it stands now.
Unlikely a major shift (via draft or free agency) at WR happens…so Golden Tate (3-25-0/5 targets) has PPR top 15 potential. If you saw Tate in this game, you know why he’s ‘not my cup of tea’. I get he’s the primary and that will produce numbers over time…but, man, I’m not a fan.
— This is getting comical now with Jimmy Graham (3-37-0/4 targets) – 2.2 catches for 38.2 yards and 0.20 TDs per game in the past five games. Seattle possesses one of the greatest offensive weapons in NFL history…and has no idea what to do with him. He’s not even on the field in goal-to-go situations. Have you heard a peep of consternation about this nationally?
When Julio Jones isn’t thrown to for a big game, there’s an uproar and investigation as to why. Jimmy Graham’s plight…no one cares. I assure you Jimmy Graham does. I’d set the odds that Graham is on a different team in a few months at 85% likely. If the offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is fired, then it’s 50-50. You will start to hear about such Graham-gone things a few days or so after Seattle’s playoff run ends.
Graham is owed $10M in 2017, the final year of his contract. Will Seattle pay $10M for their backup tight end? Luke Willson seems to be just fine for Seattle’s purposes…and he is good. Seattle doesn’t have a ton of cap space. Graham wants out. Seattle doesn’t use him. There’s one expensive year left. The best move is to bite the bullet and trade him.
A team will only trade for him if they can extend Graham’s contract, and keep possession of him…so a trade has to happen with a team Graham wants to play for/sign a long-term deal with. I see Miami, Atlanta, Dallas (if Witten were to retire), Oakland, and Pittsburgh as contenders.
For dynasty…you should be making deals for Graham while the price is down. He’s forgotten almost. 2017 is either Graham back in Seattle with changes or a trade to where he is wanted. He’s one of the 5–10 best weapons in all of football…he’s a difference-maker for a dynasty team – in the era of no tight ends or hurt tight ends.
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— Didn’t I tell you Paul Richardson (3-48-1/4 targets) was the sleeper of the weekend? Jermaine Kearse (2-14-0/3 targets) is dying and Richardson is more talented. He’s finally staying healthy. I thought Richardson was in for a huge game after that stellar TD grab and another amazing catch in the game, but Wilson defaulted back to Doug Baldwin (11-104-1/12 targets).
Let that be a lesson for your fantasy purposes this weekend – Baldwin is Wilson’s desire, and Atlanta has very weak pass coverage.
I know I hyped up Baldwin early in the season and many acquired him just in time for a mini-slump. However, did you now in his last four games he’s averaging 7.8 catches for 97.8 yards and 0.75 TDs per game? He’s a WR1 with Wilson…clearly Wilson’s guy.
— I’m seeing J.D. McKissic (1 target) in games early for Seattle of late. He’s a guy who you must go read our dynasty stash and preseason reports on – he’s talented. He’s a guy who went undrafted in 2016, and then was picked up by Atlanta 2016 and had a great preseason…but was cut and stashed on the practice squad. Seattle plucked him off the Falcons’ practice squad and immediately has him in the backfield and in on pass plays early in games. They don’t do much with him, but he’s doing more than he did in Atlanta. And he’s facing his old team this week…boy, do I hope they set something up and he pops one.
Deep, deep sleeper for this weekend. Too deep.
— IDP A’Shawn Robinson (7 tackles) had his best game of his rookie season. A one-time considered top 10–20 overall pick, he fell to #46 in 2016…rightfully so. He’s not that great. He had an OK season…similar to his ‘OK’ career at Alabama. More name/college than talent.
— Ezekiel Ansah (9 tackles, 2 sacks) had 2.0 sacks and 5 QB hits…how many sacks and hits do you think Vic Beasley gets this week against a weak Seattle O-Line?