Game Preview

Monday Night Football Preview: Seahawks at Eagles

Week 12 MNF

After a slate of Thanksgiving games (including one delayed to Tuesday), Monday night’s contest will feature the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams will look to maintain pace in their division races as Seattle will look to keep up with the incredibly competitive NFC West while Philadelphia will attempt to take back control of the floundering NFC East.

– Monday Night Football Preview –

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

Seahawks (-6.5) at Eagles | Over/Under 49

Vegas Odds

Philadelphia will be a home underdog on Monday night as the Seahawks come to town. Seattle is favored by just under a touchdown and should be an easy cover for prospective betters. When facing teams who currently have winning records (the Rams, Steelers, Ravens, and Browns), the Eagles have lost by an average margin of 9 points with only one contest being a one-possession game (Week 6). The Seahawks should have no issue covering the 6.5 points on Monday night, feel confident in that bet. For the Over/Under, the line to beat 49 points. Outside of the last two weeks, Seattle has covered the 49 point line in all of their contests, due in part to their amazing offense and abysmal defense. Both teams have had low scoring games in recent weeks so this Over/Under is a tough call. Based on the explosive nature of Seattle’s offense, I feel the safer bet is to take the Over, which is what I will be betting Monday night.

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson is having another MVP level season in 2020, leading the league in passing touchdowns, and is among the league leaders in many conventional and advanced statistics. This on-field success has led to tremendous fantasy production as Wilson is the QB2 through Week 11 behind only Kyler Murray (depending on scoring format). Those who have Wilson on their roster have gotten one of the most consistent fantasy quarterbacks in 2020. Wilson has had only two weeks where he finished outside of the QB12 (Weeks 4 and 10), but he finished above that mark in every other week, including five games where he finished in the top five quarterbacks for the week. He is an elite fantasy option that is virtually matchup-proof and should be started every week including on Monday night.

When the Eagles drafted Carson Wentz second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, various scouts around the NFL praised him and his ability to make good decisions with the football and had confidence in his future development as the man under center for Philadelphia. While he has had his ups and downs throughout his career, his 2020 campaign has been a painful one, especially from the turnover perspective. Through Week 11, Wentz has 18 turnovers, 14 interceptions, and 4 lost fumbles. If you exclude Philadelphia, Wentz has more turnovers than 30 teams in the NFL, only surpassed by Denver and Dallas who have 23 each. These issues have caused a plague on the Philadelphia offense as who, ranking in the bottom ten in yards and points per game so far this season. This has hurt Wentz in terms of fantasy stature as well, moving him from weekly stater status like in years past to the streamer tier this season.

His matchup on Monday night will be a great one, probably the best one he could face. Seattle has had loads of trouble on defense this year, especially in terms of covering the passing game. The Seahawks have allowed the most completions and passing yardage through Week 11 and are among the top fourteen in terms of passing touchdowns allowed. In fact, Seattle allowed an average weekly finish of QB8 for Weeks 1-9 and allowed an opposing quarterback’s best weekly performance of the year on three separate occasions (Cam Newton in Week 2, Kyler Murray in Week 7, and Josh Allen in Week 9). They have made tremendous improvements over the past two weeks, allowing opposing quarterbacks to an average of only 201 passing yards and one touchdown per game. It will be interesting to see if the Seahawks defense continues to soar or if they will fall back down to their previous averages on Monday night, which makes starting Wentz a major question mark for this week, especially when you factor in reports that backup Jalen Hurts may be seeing more playing time going forward. With all these factors going against him, I would keep Wentz on your bench/waiver wire this week.

Running Backs

After being one of the hottest names for fantasy sleepers to look for in 2020, Miles Sanders has failed to live up to the hype in a full capacity so far this year. He is ranked as the RB26 in PPR leagues, but that does not tell the full story of his season. Sanders started the season on the bench with a hamstring injury in Week 1, came back, and started Week 2, ranked as the RB10 for Weeks 2-6, and then suffered a knee injury in Week 6 causing him to miss until Week 10. Since returning, Sanders has been solid but not spectacular, averaging 75.5 rushing yards on 15.5 rushes along with 2.5 receptions on five targets for 12.5 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He will attempt to get his game back in gear Monday night against Seattle, whose rushing defense has been solid in 2020. They are ranked as the 17th defense against fantasy running backs (depending on scoring format) and have allowed at least one touchdown to running backs and a weekly finish of RB26 or better (in PPR scoring formats) in their last four games. Sanders will be a very solid option to start on Monday night, feel confident in him this week.

One of the most undervalued running backs in fantasy football is Chris Carson. He often flies under the radar despite being a top 15 running back in 2018 and 2019 (in PPR scoring formats) and was a top-five running back through Week 5 of this season before suffering a foot injury. He has missed the last four games but is projected to return for Monday night.

Carson has the talent to return to the RB1 territory but the main question will be what his role and touch share will be once he returns because Seattle has some newfound running back depth. DeeJay Dallas, a fourth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft from Miami, had an amazing Week 8 performance where he finished as the RB3 on the week but has mainly fizzled out since then. Seattle also has some solid production from veteran running backs such as Carlos Hyde, Alex Collins, Bo Scarbrough, and Travis Homer during Carson’s absence. Obviously, all six players will be able to play at the same level they did previously, but Pete Carroll and his offensive coaching staff will have decisions to make starting Monday night on what they will do going forward. They will have a tough task against Philadelphia, who has the 12th best defense against fantasy running backs through Week 11 (depending on scoring format). The Eagles defense has been especially stout in recent weeks, allowing only one top ten weekly performance in their past four games (Wayne Gallman in Week 10 where he scored two goal-line touchdowns). Despite the matchup, I have faith that the Seahawks offense will put Carson in positions to succeed and allow him to continue his dominant 2020 campaign, assuming he is active and ready to go. If for some reason he is not, however, Carlos Hyde will be the next best option to plugin due to his performance in Week 11. Feel confident in Carson Monday night.

Wide Receivers

Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf have been Fantasy football stars so far in 2020. Both players have made highlight plays on the field and have shined for those who have played them on their fantasy teams. Both wide receivers rank inside the top six in PPR scoring formats through Week 11, the best teammate duo in the league. In fact, if you look at their combined statistics so far this season (115 receptions for 1610 yards and 17 touchdowns), their numbers alone are better than the wide receiver groups on eight NFL teams.

TeamsReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
Raiders Wide Receivers88137010
Browns Wide Receivers9012876
Ravens Wide Receivers9311846
49ers Wide Receivers10513276
Dolphins Wide Receivers109127010
Patriots Wide Receivers11314422
Giants Wide Receivers11413706
Eagles Wide Receivers11413388
Lockett and Metcalf115161017

While Lockett and Metcalf have had some bust performances this season, their upside in this Seahawks offense is too high to keep them on your bench, regardless of matchup. The Eagles, while being the 12th best defense against fantasy wide receivers through Week 11 (depending on scoring format), will be no match for Lockett and Metcalf on Monday night.

In one of the few positive stories that have come from this season, Travis Fulgham, a former sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by Detroit who has been waived multiple times and spent time on three different practice squads in his short career, has made a name for himself as a member of the Eagles. He was promoted to the active roster for Week 4 and took full advantage of the opportunity. From Weeks 4-8, Fulgham had 29 receptions on 44 targets for 435 yards and four touchdowns, making him the WR1 in PPR scoring formats during that stretch. Despite his hot start, Fulgham has been ice cold the last two weeks, getting one reception for eight yards in both Weeks 10 and 11. Fulgham still managed to get at least 5 targets in each game so his role in the offense seems to still be intact, to some extent but he is just not been able to produce in those games. He will get a chance against the worst pass defense in the NFL as the Seahawks have allowed an average of 21 receptions and 260 yards to opposing wide receivers through Week 11. Fulgham is the Eagles wide receiver I trust the most for Monday night but he is still someone with WR3/Flex potential at best until he gets fully back into his rhythm he had previously in 2020. Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia’s first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, is also someone to consider in this game as a lottery ticket type of Flex play. Seattle has allowed the most air yards on completions through Week 11 and should be vulnerable on deep passes, something Reagor is very good at. Start Fulgham as a Flex and take a shot on Reagor for Monday night.

Tight Ends

For those who took a chance in drafting one of the “early” round tight ends and snagged Dallas Goedert or Zach Ertz, expecting them to excel past their draft position and make a big impact on your roster quickly found themselves in a hole when both players were either underperforming or on injured reserve by Week 4 and 7 respectively. Goedert was at least able to post a Week 1 performance of eight receptions for 101 yards and one touchdown and provide an early-season boost before his injury. Ertz, on the other hand, failed to live up to any projections he had before the 2020 season. In Weeks 1-6, before his ankle injury, Ertz ranked as the TE16 in PPR scoring formats and only posted one top-six weekly finish (Week 3 versus Cincinnati) during that time frame. Ertz is not expected to be back for Monday night and will look to come back in Week 13.

With Ertz out, this leaves Goedert and Richard Rodgers as Philadelphia’s main tight ends for Monday night. Rodgers had done a phenomenal job filling in for Ertz and Goedert and will continue to try and find his role in the offense going forward. Goedert and Rodgers were able to be productive in Weeks 10 and 11 together, finishing at least as the TE15 on the week in both games. They will need to keep this system going on Monday night as they face a Seahawks defense that has not allowed a double-digit performance (in PPR scoring formats) since Week 5 when Irv Smith Jr. got four receptions for 64 yards against them. Goedert has shown how important he is to the Philadelphia offense and is likely to be featured again Monday night. While this matchup is less than ideal, Goedert should be starting in your lineups this week.

With Greg Olsen being placed on IR after suffering a non-contact foot injury, a door has opened slightly has opened for both Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister to pop in and become a larger part of the Seahawks offense. Though Wilson has not targeted the tight end group much this season (the position group makes up for roughly 20% of the total targets through Week 11), this is a chance for both players to make a name for themselves and help propel their career. Hollister will have the tougher track to travel as he currently only plays on an average of 15 snaps per game, which is well below Dissly (31 per game) and Olsen’s previous rate (42 per game). Even once they figure out the proper snap count for both players, it is hard to see either Dissly or Hollister being fantasy relevant on Monday night, especially against an Eagles defense that has not allowed a touchdown to the tight end position since Week 6 and has not allowed more than three receptions or 35 yards in their past two games. Keep Dissly and Hollister on your bench/waiver wire for Monday night.

Defense/Special Teams

In recent years past, the Eagles and Seahawks D/ST were units that were coveted in leagues and could be started in nearly any matchup. In 2020, much like most things, those rules have changed. Both defenses have been mediocre so far this season in terms of points allowed and turnovers. The Seahawks are the better team with 15 turnovers through Week 11 but have only gotten one since Week 9. Philadelphia has been better at controlling their points allowed but have allowed at least 22 points per game to the Browns and Giants respectively since Week 10. Neither team has been impressive in terms of sack numbers in recent weeks so there is little appeal to playing either of the units for Monday night. Keep the Eagles and Seahawks D/STs on your bench/waiver wires this week.

Prediction

The Seahawks have what it takes to take charge on Monday night. They have looked like one of the top tier teams in the NFL at certain points during this season and should have little issues taking down the Eagles. Philadelphia does have talent on their roster, however, and should be able to find a way to make things interesting. One factor they can look to pounce on is pressuring Wilson early and often. In Weeks 10 and 11, Seattle allowed 15 and 16 quarterback pressures (a combination of sacks, quarterback knockdowns, and hurries) respectively, nearly double the amount they allowed in Weeks 8 and 9 (eight per game). If the Eagles can find a way to keep this trend going, they may be able to lower the score to a margin that is more manageable for their offense. I just don’t see that happening, however, Seattle is just a far better team and it will show on Monday night. I have this game going to the Seahawks 35-17.

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