Sea-k and Destroy

Staring at the standings on FantasyDraft can be a bit nerve-racking if sitting just slightly inside or outside the cash line of a contest but owning players from this game should ease those concerns. Assuming you find yourself in a situation where tonight’s game can make or break the weekend, here are my projections for the game tonight that will help make your likely fate abundantly more clear:

Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks

Quarterbacks: Notably, Russell Wilson has not thrown a TD pass nor scored a rushing TD since Oct. 2. He is simply too good for this streak to continue but the Bills do not exactly present him with the perfect elixir to snap out of it. So far, the Bills have allowed the ninth fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs including zero rushing TDs and a measly 8:6 TD-to-interception ratio. The good news is they have allowed a healthy amount of passing yards (2,101) and in tune rate below average in terms of passing defense according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. Therefore, there is some reason for optimism in this matchup. On the other side of the ball, Tyrod Taylor draws the toughest task in football as he will be asked to head to the most difficult atmosphere in football to face one of the NFL’s six best passing defenses. The crowd is loud and only the Falcons have topped 18 points against the Seahawks in CenturyLink Field this year. Unfortunately, the Bills are not a well-oiled offensive machine like the Falcons and only five defenses have allowed fewer rushing yards to opposing QBs. As if that were not enough, both Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods may be out tonight so his receiving core is depleted. Taylor should not be expected to do a whole lot. Projections: Russell Wilson 17 fantasy points, Tyrod Taylor 11 fantasy points

Running Backs:  Seattle’s 3.4 yards per carry (YPC) allowed is tied for third best in the NFL and they have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing backs. The Bills better be damn sure LeSean McCoy is fully healed from his recent hamstring injury if they are going to deploy him in this matchup. While the defense is always stout, they are best when at home; the splits show the team has allowed 3.6 YPC and three rushing TDs on the road but only 3.2 YPC and one rushing TD at home. In other words, McCoy will need to bring his A-Game in order to be successful. If he shows any signs of lingering effects from the injury like he did in his previous start, this could prove to be a nothing game for him (meaning he produces very little). As for the Seahawks, Christine Michael has needed to pick up the scoring slack in recent weeks with Wilson struggling. He has scored six TDs in his past five games and the Bills have allowed a hefty nine rushing TDs. If leaning on DVOA for analysis, the Bills rank as an absolutely matchup, currently sitting at 15th in rushing defense. Of the RBs, the advantage goes to Michael, especially with the team listed as 6.5 point favorites. Projections: Christine Michael 18 fantasy points, LeSean McCoy 12 fantasy points and Mike Gillislee seven fantasy points

Wide Receivers: Literally the only receiver in this entire game who draws even a miniscule favorable matchup is Doug Baldwin against Nickell Robey-Coleman (and Coleman is a talented corner playing extremely well). A majority of both QBs’ value tonight could come from their rushing ability which makes it very difficult to rely on any receiver. If handicapping this one, Baldwin would be the top play with Marquise Goodwin behind him due to the big play ability. Hell, the Bills were forced to sign Percy Harvin this week and he is expected to suit up and possibly play a big role if Woods is unable to go. UPDATE: Woods is expected to play on Monday Night Football. Still, this entire situation is a mess and rather unpredictable. At most, the receivers in this game are going to be around two-percent ownership so there really is not much to worry about. Then again, if playing a Monday Night slate, Woods is worth keeping an eye on because he only costs slightly above minimum and will be relied upon as the number one option. The good news for him is he lines up on the opposite side of the formation as Richard Sherman. All of this is a long-winded way of saying receiver is a wasteland in this game. Projections: Doug Baldwin 15 fantasy points, Robert Woods 10 fantasy points, Jermaine Kearse eight fantasy points and Marquise Goodwin eight fantasy points

Tight Ends: If anyone is going to score a receiving TD in this game, the TEs have the best shot. Charles Clay is listed at an incredibly cheap price tag and the Seahawks have only ranked 26th in terms of DVOA to the position. In layman’s terms, the Seahawks have surrendered 46.1 yards receiving per game to TEs and have allowed a TD to the position as well. If the Bills are able to reach the red zone, they will likely go with a heavy dose of McCoy, Taylor scrambling and targets to some of the big boys (including Clay). The same goes for Jimmy Graham against a Bills defense that ranks 22nd in DVOA. Although I wrote Graham up as a fade earlier in the week, he could easily garner a target or two in the red zone and convert it into a score. Of the two, Graham is more heavily owned and he has been targeted at least eight times in four of his last five games. If he sees those sort of targets tonight, he should be destined for a productive evening. Projections: Jimmy Graham 13 fantasy points and Charles Clay 10 fantasy points

Defense: Clearly, the defenses are the most enticing plays tonight as both offenses are just a mess heading into the Week 9 finale. Neither offense on paper presents an overly favorable matchup but Bills’ QBs have been sacked 19 times and the Seahawks have turned the ball over six times. Moreover, the both the Bills and Seahawks have created havoc for opposing QBs to the tune of 26.0 (second most) and 22.0 sacks (sixth most) respectively. With both QBs under siege, mistakes, turnovers and defensive fantasy points are likely to be created. With the Seahawks listed as favored and Taylor unlikely to have a real running game supporting him, the advantage, once again, goes to Seattle. Projections: Seahawks Defense 15 fantasy points, Bills Defense 11 fantasy points

Final Score Projection: Seattle Seahawks 20, Buffalo Bills 13

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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