The 16 week storm is a near an end. A seahawk flies overhead, signaling that land is near. If you are still afloat in the fantasy playoffs, only one more battle stands between you and the fantasy promised land. Those of you who play until week 17 still have some sea to churn, but for most, this is it.
Unfortunately, this week's 49er matchup isn't exactly buried treasure. It's more of a ghost ship. Two teams with strong rushing attacks and stout defenses playing in the cold rain. Doesn't exactly scream fantasy buffet does it? If you need a big game from a 49er or a Seahawk to seal the deal this week here is breakdown of the key players:
The normal tag here is that Kaep is a solid fantasy start because his running ability provides a fairly high floor. Last week he did it all with his arm, this week he may need to quiet down the Seattle crowd with his legs. It's a tough match-up and many "fanalyst" have him ranked around 16th among quarterbacks, but that seems a bit low. Kaep hasn't had a horid fantasy game since became the starter and he seems to perform his best against strong opponents. You won't win your championship because of Kaep this week, but he won't blow it for you, either.
Final Line: 200 yards passing, 70 yards rushing 2 TDS (combined), 1 INT
That sound you hear is me kicking myself in the marbles for benching him last week and consequently being eliminated from the playoffs. Wilson won't have another 30+ fantasy game this week, but the rookie deserves to be in the top 13 QBs despite the match-up. The offense runs through Beast Mode, but Wilson will need to connect with Rice and Tate consistently to take pressure off Lynch. Even with last week's phenomenal fantasy game Wilson is a risky QB1 and a fantastic QB2 this week.
Final Line: 250 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, 1 INT, 1 TD
Seahawks only have a few natural predators. One of them is Frank Gore. Outside of a few games, Gore tends to play well against Seattle. In PPR leagues, Gore had his best fantasy line of the season against this defense totaling over 180 combined yards. I don't predict a repeat, but Gore seems to show up one way or another this season.
Final Line: 80 yards rushing, 3 receptions for 25 yards, 1 TD
The Seahawks as a team may not have the Niners number, but it appears Lynch may. The beastly one ended the drought of rushing TDs against the 49er defense last year and went for over 100 against this defense in week 7. Seattle will seek to control the clock and keep the crowd pumping all game. This calls for a heavy dose of Skittle fueled runs from Marshawn. Don't worry too much about the match-up here. Lynch will get his touches and he has proven he can eat up the yards against this defense.
Final Line: 110 yards, 1 reception for 10 yards, 1 TD
Niner fans have been waiting for Crabtree to have a game that ridiculous. He has been a solid PPR play for awhile, but we finally saw him have a performance that warrants putting him in the top 20 of wide receivers until further notice. As of writing this, Richard Sherman's appeal is still in play so it is a bit difficult to say how well Crabtree will perform. For what it's worth, Crabs best game against Seattle was a 6 or 60 performance back in 2009. He should be able to duplicate or do better on Sunday
Final Line: 7 receptions for 80 yards.
My prediction for a big game last week for Vernon was way off the mark. Even coach Harbaugh admits that he and Kaepernick need more time to get their chemistry down. If you made it to the championship game with VD, odds are you benched him long ago. There are a few solid alternatives this week including Kyle Rudolph, Jermichael Finley and Tony Scheffler, but the entire TE field outside of Tony Gonzalez and Aaron Hernandez is a crap shoot at this point.
Final Line: 3 receptions 50 yards.
Who is the best sleeper out of the two teams?
I was initially thinking of championing Golden Tate, but then I remembered one of the best wide receivers ever is turning it on at the right time. Randy Moss isn't owned in many leagues and Kaepernick is looking for him in the red zone often. I imagine Sherman would cover Crabtree if he does play, which leaves Moss and Davis to take advantage of the mismatches. He isn't going to reel in a ton of receptions, but you love the possibility of a TD.
Final Line: 4 receptions for 75 yards 1TD.
Did I miss someone you might start? Need help hashing out your line-up? Leave a comment, break out the eggnog and I'll will offer advise (*Notice - advise does not equal solutions). Happy Holidays gamers!