*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
43-16…Seattle bombs the 49ers. No one is shocked by that, BUT so many interesting fantasy player news/notes from it. Seattle handled the 49ers, but SF was ‘game’…trying to get back into it, and just when it looked like they might something would knock them back.
The central theme I walked away with here…my ‘eye opener’ was – the 49ers are really playing hard and with the talented young guys they have trying to prove themselves, we have to be careful to take them too lightly. The 49ers are improving as the season goes on and the young guys are giving 110% to lock-down starting gigs and roster spots in 2019, and this really isn’t a bad defense (the entire season). I have a feeling the 49ers are going to shock the Broncos this week. SF is 2-10 this season, but 2-3 at home and have three straight home games ahead.
Seattle leaps to 7-5 overall and is really getting into a driver’s seat for a wild card spot. Wins over Dallas and Carolina already, and if they knock off Minnesota this week – they really have a stranglehold on the wild card. Tip of the hat to Xavier Cromartie who called this all along this summer…the Seattle purge of players did not kill them, while I pooh-poohed it.
We project Seattle wins this week, MNF over Minnesota, and is likely to finish 10-6…heading to Dallas for the playoffs most likely. Still a lot of football to go…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Here’s the reason I’m so enthusiastic on Jeff Wilson (15-61-0, 8-73-0/9)…it’s not that he’s some special talent. Heck, with everyone healthy…Wilson is the 49ers #3 RB, at best, in 2019.
It’s not just that Matt Breida (5-6-0, 3-51-0/3) is out and Wilson will get a lot of touches – although that’s huge.
It’s this…8 catches on 9 targets in this game. Wilson is a very good receiving back. Not great, but pretty good. And he also has a scout team, 3rd-string relationship with Nick Mullens – his first game as ‘the guy’, basically, here in this game and Wilson gets 9 targets! 8 catches.
It’s the targeting but it also was the type of targets. Not a bunch of screens and flares only. No. Wilson was lining up in five wide and running slants and popping out of the backfield and catching passes on stop routes over the middle. It’s just what you want from you PPR hopeful.
With Breida out…there’s nothing to stop Mullens-to-Wilson, the easiest throw Mullens will make and a smart target with a blitzing Denver front line this week, right?
If no Breida…I’m all-in excited on Wilson in this spot this week. Especially if Denver thumps them…then we’ll see all-throwing, and a lot of dump (and other) passes to Wilson as Mullens, and this young team, will not quit. Mullens’s NFL-life depends upon his numbers this fortuitous starting opportunity.
It’s not that Wilson is going to run for 100+ yards this week, with Breida out (but not out of the question)…it’s that he might go 15 carries for 60 yards and 7 catches for 50+ as well and might land a TD in there. Matt Dayes is no threat at all.
-- Speaking of Nick Mullens (30-48 for 414 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT), whom I’ve bashed repeatedly this season…
He is NOT an NFL starter talent…but as he keeps playing and is a controlled, smart (but limited) backup talent in a savvy offense that doesn’t put him in a lot of bad spots – he’s getting more comfortable. He doesn’t look as jumpy now. For my opposing defense/DST, I want ‘jumpy’, ‘nervous’ Mullens. He’s not been all too rattled by the NFL experience as it is…but he was fading the last two games and struggled the first-half here. At one point it looked like he might get pulled. However, he keeps pressing…and there in lies the problem (for your DST) and opportunity (for fantasy)…he keeps chipping away.
Mullens is going like Jameis Winston right now…they never stop throwing in defeat. Like…they get down 37-14 or something, going into the 4th quarter and they just keep dumping passes against a prevent and moving the ball and then things happen and maybe it ends up 40-28…but a lot of garbage numbers make all of the key offensive players fantasy viable.
Josh Rosen is a decent QB in an offense from hell that (that’s scored over 20 points in a game one time in the last 7 games…and twice all season). Mullens is less talented but in an offense protecting him/playing to his strengths/hiding his weaknesses.
Mullens & friends > than Rosen & friends.
Mullens over Rosen.
Wilson over DJ.
-- …and Dante Pettis (5-129-2/7) over Larry Fitz.
I’m just going to say…Pettis gives me a poor man’s Odell Beckham Jr. feeling/vibe. So sensational off the snap, such quick feet/first step, as I noted in my NFL Draft scouting of him.
I’ve been worrying that when Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon return that they’d take all Pettis’s heat away. I’m starting to believe Pettis is arriving, now…the 49ers new #1 of the future with Goodwin as a sweet #2 that commands attention. A relationship that helps both.
Goodwin is not a true #1 WR, a slot he has been forced into…rather he’s a great homerun threat #2-3. Pettis has #1 skills…worse case, also an awesome #2. I’m going all-in on Pettis for the future. The week’s ahead…could be hit and miss in 2018. But the future…#I’mwithPettis.
You know who Jimmy G.’s most comfortable target is? Marquise Goodwin.
You know how Nick M.’s most comfortable target is? George Kittle…then Jeff Wilson…but among the WRs it would be Pettis over Goodwin.
-- You know who the best RB on the Seahawks is? Rashaad Penny (7-65-1, 0-0-0/0). You know who won’t admit that/doesn’t realize that…Pete Carroll.
Seattle definitely wins 10 games this season if they stop the Chris Carson (13-69-0, 3-39-0/4) nonsense and give into Penny. That could start/get forced this week.
It will probably take the GM trading Carson this offseason just to turn a hose on Carroll to break up his undying love for Carson.
-- What Seattle WR do you trust this week? Always a confounding question.
Let’s look at the last five games as a recent sample size and see what we think…
Catches in games (starting 5 games ago):
Lockett: 3-5-5-5-1 (3.7 per game)
Baldwin: 4-5-7-5-2 (4.7 per game)
Moore: 2-1-4-4-0 (2.2 per game)
Brown: 1-0-0-0-3 (0.8 per game)
Yards in games:
Lockett: 22-67-71-107-52 (63.8 per game)
Baldwin: 77-39-52-39-22 (45.8 per game)
Moore: 16-16-57-103-0 (38.4 per game)
Brown: 10-0-0-0-67 (15.4 per game)
TDs in games:
Lockett: 0-1-0-1-1 (0.60 per game)
Baldwin: 0-0-1-0-1 (0.40 per game)
Moore: 0-0-0-1-0 (0.20 per game)
Brown: 1-0-0-0-2 (0.60 per game)
It’s the Lockett-Baldwin show…as experience would dictate it would be. Things are shifting from David Moore and settling back into Baldwin-Lockett.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes for these two teams…
Weeks 14-16 with DEN-SEA-CHI for SF…not a favorable set of defenses to face, but the 49ers are all about trying hard even in defeat. Three possible losses and three possible garbage times.
Week 14-16 for Seattle is MIN, @SF, KC…that SF game is wedged in there between two huge games, both national TV games. I am starting to fear SF at home vs. Seattle off an MNF and looking to a KC game…it could be a trap. Not sure the Seahawks-DST is such a power-play at SF in Week 15 as I thought it might. Still favorable but may not get the ‘wow’ we need in the fantasy playoffs.
Snap Counts of Interest:
54 = Baldwin
40 = Lockett
28 = D Moore
15 = J Brown
34 = C Carson
12 = Penny
10 = Davis
54 = Wilson
10 = Breida