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NFL Prime Time – Week 11 Thursday Night Football (FREE)

Eric MacPherson

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Week 11 Thursday Night Football

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Greetings Gamers!  We have a fun Prime Time set of games this week beginning with the Green Bay Packers heading into Seattle to take on the Seahawks and who can forget about this matchup in 2012 in which the replacement referees oversaw the “Fail Mary” or “Inaccurate Reception” if you prefer.

Sunday Night Football brings us an intriguing battle between division foes as the Chicago Bears will be hosting the Minnesota Vikings in what projects to be a close matchup.

Not to bury the lede, but we do have a game approaching one of the highest ever recorded over/unders at 63.5 as of this writing.  The game originally was going to be played in Mexico City, but with ragged turf and concern for player safety, the Los Angeles Rams will get a bonus home game and play host to the Kansas City Chiefs in this battle of 9-1 squads, which may double as a preview for the Super Bowl.

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Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks -3.0 / 49.0

Green Bay Packers 23.0 implied team total

Quarterback – Aaron Rodgers will once again be without Randall Cobb, but he has been a stellar performer all season with 17 touchdowns against just one interception and his 199/2/0 last week against Miami was his “worst” performance of the year in a game dominated by the Packerson.

Although they are no longer the Legion of Boom, Seattle has been effective against the pass with the #6 DVOA rating according to Football Outsiders and they have done a good job of keeping things in front of them, of course facing a future Hall of Famer will be no easy task.

Depending on your projection system of choice, Rodgers checks in as a QB5-10 for the full slate and he can definitely be considered a tournament play for the Thurs-Mon contests.

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Running Back – Aaron Jones rewarded his supporters last week with a robust 145/2 on just 15 carries adding three receptions for another 27 yards on five targets.  The Seahawks have been mediocre at best against opposing running backs allowing Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon to each top 110+ rushing the last two weeks – yeah, those guys are good, but they have been less than stellar against anyone of above average talent (Week 5 Gurley 113 combined 2 TDs, Week 4 David Johnson 112 combined 1 TD, Week 3 Ezekiel Elliott 138 combined and the duo of Phillip Lindsay/Royce Freeman got to them in week one for 173 combined and 1 TD.

With Ty Montgomery out of town and Jamaal Williams as the only real backup, this is a fine spot to employee Jones in all formats as he is a fringe RB10 for this week.

Wide Receiver – Davante Adams is averaging 87.4 receiving yards per game which is good for 9th in the NFL and he is second with 9 receiving touchdowns.  He is a WR7-12 in all formats this week and it would be no surprise for him to see double digit targets in this game on his way to 100+ yards and a touchdown.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling is our next favorite option and he has been a revelation for Green Bay just as they needed depth with injuries to Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison.  Since Week 5 when he was pressed into full-time duty, he has averaged 6.8 targets for 4.2 receptions, 72.2 yards and two touchdowns.  He is a fringe WR20 on the full slate and a fine play for the Thursday single game contests.

Tight End – Jimmy Graham is off the injury list and should be a full go in his first meeting with his most recent team.  Seattle generally does well against tight ends and even with most of their key defenders of the last heyday no longer with the team, they are still allowing the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.  Yeah, narratives are nice, but don’t forget – they do go both ways.

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Defense/Special Teams – as a life long Seahawks fan, I figured this was going to be another year where we would target opposing defenses that generated a solid pass rush against a patchwork offensive line and Russell Wilson who always seems to take more than his fair share of sacks.  In Weeks 1 and 2 when they allowed half a dozen sacks in each game, I felt vindicated but then something funny happened and they only allowed 9 total sacks over their next five games.  Not to worry dear reader, they are back to there careless ways allowing four in each of the last two games and Green Bay currently leads the league with 31 sacks. Enjoy!

 

Seattle Seahawks 26.0 implied points

Quarterback – Russell Wilson has not seen the same passing volume that he did the last couple seasons as Seattle has retooled into a run-first offense.  Wilson is averaging 218.6 passing yards per game which will get him to about 3,500 on the season or 500ish less than what we have seen the last two years and about 100 less attempts over that time frame as well.

The efficiency comes in with his passing touchdowns where he has 2+ in every game save one and is on pace for 37 on the season, which would be a career high (34 in 2015 and 2017). Green Bay has the #9 passing DVOA per Football Outsiders, but with games against (Brock Osweiler, C.J. Beathard, Matt Stafford, Josh Allen, Alex Smith and a very shaky Week 1 Mitch Trubisky) have they really been tested?

Wilson is a fringe QB10 this week on the full slate and he is most definitely in play for the single game contests.

Running Back – Chris Carson is supposed to be healthy, Matt Davis has been filling in for him nicely, but now rookie first rounder Rashaad Penny is working into the mix.  Head Coach Pete Carroll is not always forthcoming with the injury information, but Carson was tabbed early in the week as being the starter – if you think he is healthy, then that is your target – if you think he is not (and he is a higher than normal in-game injury risk) then Mike Davis is your pivot.

Looking more deeply at Penny we need to keep in mind that he was active in Weeks 5 and 8 and did not see a single offensive snap (he did have a couple on special teams) and in the last two games he has had 27 and 10 snaps for 12/108/1 rushing against the Rams last week and 7 touches for 24 combined yards in Week 9 against the Chargers.  This is not a changing of the guard and Carroll has already said there will be weeks when there just are not going to be enough opportunities to go around if this trio is healthy.

Wide Receiver – Tyler Lockett has assumed the role of WR1 and the main option for Russell Wilson with Paul Richardson out of the picture and Doug Baldwin dealing with injuries. Since Week 4 Baldwin has 28 targets for 23/275/0 to Lockett’s 27 targets for 21/287/4 along with 5/44/0 on the ground.  Don’t let the higher price tag scare you away from Lockett, particularly on FanDuel where he should gain some serious separation in the popularity rankings with the $4,000 salary difference from Baldwin.

David Moore also deserves a quick mention for the single game contests as a salary relief option and he has seen 14 targets over the last three weeks leading Lockett and Baldwin who has seen a dozen apiece.  Again, the Seahawks are a running team first and foremost, so there is not the volume we are used to seeing from the passing game in today’s NFL.

Tight End – Nick Vannett is the clear primary option and Ed Dickson is the wild card having only played the last three games after returning from injury and seeing just four total targets – Vannett has 13 over the same stretch.

Defense/Special Teams – Green Bay has allowed multiple sacks in all but one game and they have allowed four in four of their contests.  While they do have 9 fumbles lost, that is offset by Aaron Rodgers ceding just a pair of interceptions.

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Summary – This will probably be a more interesting game to watch than… wait, what am I saying?!  The fantasy action is truly what will make this game worth watching – and again, I am a life-long Seahawks fan.  To me this particular matchup seems to be a better setup for just hand building a couple of entries that support a very specific storyline i.e. a slugfest between RBs/Kickers, Seattle playing with the lead and Seattle playing from behind would be the three I would focus on first.

Also keep in mind the bigger picture with Green Bay at 4-4 they are a game behind the Vikings and two games in back of the Bears in the NFC North and Seattle at 4-5 is already relegated to the wild card with the Rams at 9-1, fortunately there is a whole passel of teams in the 4-5 range so they are very much alive, but fighting for a spot with Minnesota, Green Bay, Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia.

Single Game Ranking (taking into account projected production, pricing and popularity)

  1. Aaron Rodgers (yes, it does feel like a pat answer, but come on – he has been phenomenal this season despite wearing a brace to protect his knee from further injury and dealing with a coach who seems to get worse every season with his play calling)
  2. Davante Adams (pairing Rodgers with his top option is not going to be sneaky, but with the bulk of the salary cap going to these two, we can find ways of differentiating our other roster slots)
  3. Aaron Jones (Green Bay with the top three spots should not be a surprise, as we know that Seattle tends to spread things around)
  4. Russell Wilson (hey, since the ‘Hawks spread things around, why not roll with the guy who has the ball in his hands on every play)
  5. Tyler Lockett (a poor man’s Davante Adams in Pete Carroll’s offense and the price could keep his popularity in check on the one game slate – DO NOT overlooked that he returns punts and kickoffs)
  6. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (with injuries and ineffectiveness, he is now the #2 option in the Packers passing game)
  7. Doug Baldwin (he should be good for a few high leverage looks in the passing game as the Seahawks approach pay dirt)
  8. Chris Carson and Matt Davis (two guys, four first names – h/t to Matthew Berry for keeping that classic joke alive – my lean is towards Davis in the event that Carson gets dinged up yet again)
  9. Green Bay D/ST (they get the nod with potential sack upside and the hopes of a return score sitting at about 15%)
  10. Jimmy Graham (yes he used to be a Seahawks and the defense remembers that too – for his price on DraftKings, I could see moving him next to Baldwin on this list – I would still keep him here on FanDuel)
  11. David Moore (reasonable price point on both sites, with a particular lean towards him on DraftKings – the FanDuel price makes him attractive because of the likelihood that gamers will go to Baldwin for $500 less)
  12. Nick Vannett (touchdowns in the last two games, more than three receptions only twice this season)
  13. Sebastian Janikowski (averaging 1.5 FGAs per game, but only one game with more than two attempts – a healthy 27 for 27 on PATs for the first rounder in the 2000 NFL Draft)
  14. Mason Crosby (since the Week 5 debacle where he was 1 for 5 on FGAs and missed his only extra point – Crosby has been perfect with 8 for 8 on FGAs and 12 for 12 on PATs)
  15. Seattle D/ST (they may get some false starts, sacks and be able to hold down the score, but with Green Bay doing a great job of protecting the ball, the odds for a return score are pretty low).
  16. Jamaal Williams (14, 31 and 13 snaps in each of the last three games – resulting in 14/46/1 on the ground and 3 targets for 2/20/0 through the air)
  17. Rashaad Penny (he needs to have his number come up with the Seahawks inside the 10 yard line)
  18. Equanimeous St. Brown (7 targets over last two games for 3/7/0 is not exciting, but he should be on the field a lot in three wide receiver sets)
  19. Jaron Brown (gets his own line, I just did not think it was fair to lump him in with the backup TEs)
  20. Ed Dickson, Lance Kendricks

As always, you can reach out to me in Awesemo.com Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any questions.

Good Luck Gamers! ~ EMac

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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