The banged up Arizona Cardinals showed up to CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday, and brought their league best 9-1 record with them. This was a must-win for the playoff hopes of the Seahawks, and also a bit of a redemption opportunity for Russell Wilson.
The bottom here line is that Drew Stanton is not Carson Palmer...
Russell Wilson - This was Russell at his most accurate. Despite facing perhaps the league's most dangerous secondary in Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Peterson, Wilson was surgical, head faking, pump faking, and often play faking. The box score won't reflect it, but, if not for one bad holding penalty by Jermaine Kearse, Russell Wilson would have notched a beautiful 48 yard carry for a touchdown too.
Wilson's first passing touchdown on the day came on a dogfight of a catch and run by Cooper Helfet from 20 yards out. It would be his only score of the afternoon, but, he continued to absolutely pick apart the Cardinals defense with his arms and legs all day. Wilson rushed for 73 yards on 10 carries (7.3 YPC), and, added an additional 211 yards passing while completing 17 of 22 attempts (77.2%). His rushing total is up to 644 yards on the season, which is already 105 yards beyond his entire rushing total from 2013.
Russell faces the San Francisco 49ers on a short week for a Thanksgiving Day game (Thursday). He'll be a low end QB1 vs a stingy defense on short rest.
(73 Rush Yards, 211 Pass Yards, 1 Pass TDs = Total Points 21.74)
Marshawn Lynch - Started the first quarter with a few carries and then went M.I.A. for the next several series. Speculation was a potential flared up back issue which Marshawn has been dealing with since last season, and Pete Carroll mentioned that he felt sick to his stomach for a spell. Alas, the messiah returned, but, he did a lot more damage in the pass game then he actually did on the ground.
Lynch finished the day rushing for 39 yards on 15 attempts (2.6 YPC), but seriously underwhelmed from the ground. Despite a less than stellar ground performance Sunday, Marshawn did hauled in 3 catches for 43 yards on 4 targets. We all knew Arizona was a tough defense, and they proved it by holding the NFL's 4th best rusher to just 39 total rush yards. Seattle is committed to the run though, and on Thanksgiving Day vs the 49ers, expect Lynch to find heavy usage.
(39 Rush Yards, 3 Catches, 43 Rec Yard = Standard 8.2/PPR 11.2 Points)
Robert Turbin - 4 carries for 12 yards to go along with his 2 catches for 3 yards. Air Turbin passengers, if you open the seat pocket in front of you there should be a complimentary barf bag available. This just isn't a viable fantasy option.
(12 Rush Yards, 2 catches, 3 Rec Yards = Standard 1.5/PPR 3.5 Points)
Doug Baldwin - Where in the world did Doug Baldwin go? His performance Sunday was a product of his environment. He saw just 2 targets on the day which he spun into 2 catches for just 6 yards. This feels like a major step backward for a receiver we all started to put into the potential WR3 conversation. Momma said there would be days like this, and, there is no telling if next week won't be a mirror image. He's shaping up as more of a WR4 heading into what is sure to be a ground war with San Francisco on Thursday.
(2 Catches, 3 Rec Yards = Standard .3/PPR 2.3 Points)
Jermaine Kearse - *See Doug Baldwins write-up above* This is the kind of day that any Seahawks receiver can have on a week to week basis. Kearse was already just a WR5 with some home run hitter potential, but, similar to Baldwin; versus the San Francisco 49ers he will not be a recommended start.
(1 Catch, 19 Rec Yards = Standard 1.9/PPR 2.9 Points)
Ricardo Lockette - Lockette ended the first half by catching an absolute bomb from Russell Wilson for a 48 yard gain, and, giving seattle a needed spark going into the second quarter. This would be Ricardo's only catch on the day and still he finished with the most receiving yards on the team Sunday. He's a shaky start then even Kearse is, and, that is saying something. He's not on any radar known to the human race.
(1 Catches, 48 Rec Yards = Standard 3.4/PPR 6 Points)
Tony Moeaki - Coming off scoring a touchdown in his first game as a Seahawk, Moeaki followed it up with a 4-34 day. He catches everything thrown his way and has added a much needed athletic dynamic to the tight end position. He's worth keeping an eye on in a position that Seattle is in desperate need of a playmaker in.
(4 Catch, 34 Rec Yards = Standard 3.4/PPR 7.4 Points)
Cooper Helfet - He's been a target for Russell Wilson nearly every week, and, Sunday was no exception. Cooper found himself on the receiving end of a pass from 20 yards out of the Arizona endzone, which he turned and broke to the house for Wilsons 1st passing touchdown of the day. He would finish his day with just one more catch on a total of 2 targets. Helfet is a nice piece in this Seattle offense, but, if I had to select a Seattle tight end right now it would probably be Moeaki. Theres just not enough to go around, and, Helfet's relevance is directly tied to his touchdown dependency.
(2 Catch, 27 Rec Yards, 1 TD = Standard 8.7/PPR 10.7 Points)
Seattle Seahawks - The Seattle DST looked a lot like the DST of 2013 Sunday against Arizona. The pass rush was vicious, the crowd noise was raucous and the secondary was stingier than Ebenezer Scrooge's giving holiday bonuses. The first Seattle takeaway of the game came in the early second quarter when Byron Maxwell ripped off Drew Stanton for an easy INT. The biggest points on the day came from SEA DST holding Arizona to a total of 3 points for the day. It was a
refreshing change from the team we've watched get picked apart by opposing offenses over the past few weeks. They should be a good bet to hold the 49ers to a relatively low scoring game, they are in the TOP 10 discussion for week 13 even on a short week.
(3 Points Allowed, 3 Sacks, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 INT, 52 Return Yards = Standard/PPR = 15.3 Points)
Steven Hauschka - Today was definitely the day you were supposed to start Steven. Hauschka had one kick blocked on the day, but, otherwise paid serious dividends to his owners. He earned his bonus points for kicks outside of 40 yards and 50 yards. Next week should yield somewhat similar results, he will be a high end option facing the 49ers.
(4 FG's, 1 XP = 16 Total Points)
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a Thanksgiving Day-only $2,000 fantasy football league for SBNation. It's $5 to join and first place wins $200. League starts Thursday 12:30 PM ET and ends the same night. Here's the link.