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Fantasy Football start/sit advice, projections, Week 3: 49ers-Seahawks

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We’ve got fantasy football projections for Week 2.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The 49ers and Seahawks kick off at 1:05 p.m. PT. Niners Nation breaks down the fantasy implications, and provides statistical projections courtesy of NFL.com.

I will also suggest a sleeper pick, available in at least 50% of leagues, worth considering at each position.

The track record of Chip Kelly’s offense against Seattle does not bode well if you’re considering 49ers offensive players. In his only game against the Legion of Boom, Week 14 of 2014, Kelly’s Eagles team produced only 139 total yards of offense. On the other side, the Seahawks rolled up 440 yards, with 188 yards on the ground. Seattle is off to a much rougher start on offense this season, averaging 26th in yards per game, but their defense is the stoutest in the NFL, averaging only 248 yards allowed.

Quarterbacks:

The fantasy expert community predicts big things from Russell Wilson in this matchup, projecting him to place 3rd among all QB’s. Wilson has yet to break out this season, and is battling through an ankle injury. If you have him on your roster, you likely spent a very high pick (32nd overall in average draft position) so you’re going to start Wilson, but this one comes with a major “buyer beware” warning.

Blaine Gabbert currently ranks 17th among fantasy QBs, 10 slots higher than Wilson, but this is not a matchup that bodes well for throwing the ball. Sit Gabbert.

If you’re in a pinch for a spot starter at QB for the week, consider Ryan Tannehill (owned in less than 11% of leagues) vs the Browns.

NFL.com projections:

Russell Wilson: 279 yards, 2 TD’s, 24 rush yards, 24.35 points (3rd among QB’s)
Blaine Gabbert: 208 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 15 rush yards, 13.9 points (25th among QB’s)

Running backs:

Thomas Rawls was the projected lead back, but Christine Michael is the leader of this committee situation in Seattle. Michael has 30 touches to Rawls’ 25 so far in 2016, and Michal has produced twice the yardage of his teammate. If you need an RB, Start Michael, Sit Rawls. The better option is to sit both.

While Carlos Hyde should be considered a lock to start every single week he’s healthy, this is likely his worst matchup all season. Seattle has allowed the 3rd least rushing yards in the NFL. Start Hyde, but accept that uneasy feeling about doing so.

In need of a RB? Ravens RB Terrance West is available in 65% of leagues, and has a favorable matchup against a Jaguars team ranked 26th against the run.

NFL.com projections:

Thomas Rawls: 76 yards, 1 TD, 13 receiving, 14.9 points (8th among RB’s)
Christine Michael: 31 yards, 7 receiving, 7.8 points (29th among RB’s)
Carlos Hyde: 59 yards, 16 receiving, 7.5 points (32nd among RB’s)
Shaun Draughn: 5 yards, 5 receiving, 1 point

Wide Receivers:

Fantasy scoring algorithms are bullish on Seattle WR’s this week, projecting 3 in the Top 25 at their position. Don’t buy the hype. All Seattle WR’s combined have produced only 1 viable fantasy performance thus far. Start Baldwin, Sit Kearse and Richardson.

While none of the 49ers WR are a good start this week in standard scoring formats, Kerley is worth consideration is PPR leagues. Given the Seahawks strengths elsewhere on defense, expect to see Kerley get 10+ targets from the slot.

Need a WR? Philip Dorset is moving into the #2 role for the Colts, and is matched up against a Chargers defense ranked 29th against the pass. Dorset put up 94 yards in Week 1. He’s available in over 95% of fantasy leagues.

NFL.com projections:

Doug Baldwin: 61 yards, 1 TD, 12.2 points (11th among WR’s)
Jermaine Kearse: 47 yards, 1 TD, 10.7 points (16th among WR’s)
Paul Richardson: 28 yards, 1 TD, 8.8 points (23rd among WR’s)
Torrey Smith: 49 yards, 4.9 points (57th among WR’s)
Jeremy Kerley: 42 yards, 4.2 points (69th among WR’s)
Quinton Patton: 40 yards, 4 points (71st among WR’s)

Tight Ends:

In the desolate wasteland that is the fantasy Tight End position in 2016, Vance McDonald is the #2 overall tight end. I’ll repeat that: Through 2 weeks, Vance McDonald is the 2nd best Tight End in the NFL in fantasy points. If you’re hurting for a TE this week, you can do a lot worse than a dice roll on starting McDonald.

Need a TE? Vance McDonald is available in 91% of leagues.

Meanwhile, Seattle’s 2015 blockbuster acquisition has yet to make much of an impact. While returning from a knee injury, Jimmy Graham has been outscored by 32 other tight ends in 2016. Don’t fall for the projected stat line. Sit Graham until he proves otherwise.

NFL.com projections:

Jimmy Graham: 56 yards, 1 TD, 11.6 points (3rd among TE’s)
Vance McDonald: 29 yards, 2.9 points (36th among TE’s)

Defense:

If you have the Seahawks defense, it’s because you used an early pick, planning to never think about the DEF position for the rest of the season. While they haven’t quite lived up to their draft status at 2nd overall DEF/ST in ADP, they’re still a lock to Start vs a 49ers offense tied for 3rd in giveaways.

The 49ers are a sneaky Great Start this week. Both opposing defenses to face the Seahawks have scored in the Top 5 in fantasy points. The Seattle offense is struggling, and now is the time to take advantage.

The 49ers DEF/ST is available in 93% of leagues, and is worth a play this week.

NFL.com projections:

Seahawks: 2 sacks, INT, FR, 17 points allowed, 6 fantasy points (18th)
49ers: 2 sacks, FR, 24 points allowed, 4 fantasy points (20th)

Kickers:

In a game that could include a lot of kicking, Start Haushka. Dawson is a borderline Start as well.

Need a kicker? The Jets Nick Folk is the 4th highest scoring kicker in fantasy, and is available in 97% of leagues.

NFL.com projections:

Steven Hauschka: 16 points (1st among Kickers)
Phil Dawson: 1 point (32nd)