When fantasy managers last saw the Seattle Seahawks, things were coming unglued. Seattle had just 12 yards of second-half offense in an ugly 30-13 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week. The Seahawks lost both of their starting offensive tackles in that game. Holes needed to be patched, leaks needed to be plugged.
Fast forward to a date with Detroit. Mission accomplished.
The Seahawks offense rejoined the circle of trust Sunday, through an entertaining 37-31 overtime win over the Lions. Geno Smith was crisp throughout (32 of 41 passing, 328 yards, two touchdowns, no turnovers), and Kenneth Walker and Tyler Lockett both scored two touchdowns. DK Metcalf narrowly missed a score of his own — he was tackled inches short of the goal line — but he caught all of his targets, good for a 6-75-0 line.
Seattle's patchwork line struggled to create running lanes for Walker (17 carries, 43 yards), but the pass blocking wasn't a problem. Smith only took one sack, a ghastly 17-yard loss late in the fourth quarter, and that negative play was really on Smith, not the blockers.
Two common reminders from Sunday's result — good coaching will often find a way to mask offensive line holes in the practice week, especially when it comes to pass blocking; and a veteran quarterback is the most important player when it comes to avoiding sacks.
Said a different way, sacks are more of a quarterback stat than a protection stat.
The Seattle target tree was an eyelash wider than fantasy managers would like. Metcalf, Lockett and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba (5-34-0) absorbed 22 of the team's 37 targets. Noah Fant posted a 4-56-0 line, catching all of his targets, but the Seahawks have never made him a consistent priority in the passing game. Five other players were targeted, nine in all.
In the backfield, it was about what you'd expect. Walker had 18 touches and controlled the goal-line work. Zach Charbonnet was sprinkled in for six touches, and DeeJay Dallas had a single run.
With the Seahawks defense struggling for a second straight week, perhaps this is a team with carnival potential, weekly pinball games. We'll see if the Panthers and Giants can keep up the next two weeks. The Bengals host Seattle in an entertaining Week 5 matchup.
The Detroit side of things was fun, too, though it was also mixed with untimely injuries. Amon-Ra St. Brown (6-102-0, 7 targets) missed a few snaps due to cramping, and David Montgomery (74 total yards, touchdown) left with a thigh bruise and is headed for further testing. St. Brown and Montgomery also lost fumbles, not that the Lions would likely put either player in a turnover timeout. Jahmyr Gibbs was disappointing on the ground (7-17) and passable, if not necessarily explosive, through the air (7-39-0).
The productive Lions receivers were Josh Reynolds (5-66), who snuck in for two touchdowns. and Kalif Raymond, who grabbed a 36-yard score on a gadget play. And rookie tight end Sam LaPorta was dump-trucking defenders in the second half, en route to a 5-63-0 line. He's going to be a star soon, very soon.
Jared Goff lost his no-interception streak on one misguided pass, but otherwise, he was crisp, throwing for 323 yards and three scores on a 28-for-35 day.
The Lions offense is a fun watch, especially at home. Detroit hosts Atlanta next week, then travels to Green Bay for another Thursday night primetime game.
Is there a right answer in the KC receivers room?
Kansas City's 17-9 victory at Jacksonville wasn't a work of art, but sometimes you need a color-by-numbers job. Patrick Mahomes huffed and puffed his way to a 305-yard passing day, and also tacked on 30 rushing yards. Travis Kelce was well-marked on his nine targets (4-26), though he did have a short touchdown catch. Isiah Pacheco is making a case for more playing time; his 12 carries netted 70 yards.
The other Mahomes touchdown pass went to Skyy Moore, a pretty back-shoulder throw at the right pylon. Moore posted a 3-70-1 line for his modest four targets, and looks like the most interesting receiver here. But we can't ignore how wide the Chiefs' usage is right now; a whopping 12 players were targeted, and Kelce was the only player who saw more than five opportunities. If you want to talk yourself into Moore, I get it, but sometimes there are no right answers. He's available in 51% of Yahoo leagues.
We should mention Justin Watson drew some deep looks and had a respectable 3-62-0 line. The Kadarius Toney work was more underneath, netting 5-35-0 on five targets.
Case of what could have been for Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence had a shockingly quiet day (216 yards, 5.3 YPA), though the Jaguars execution was just a little bit off around the red area. On at least three occasions, Jacksonville completed a pass to a receiver who was outside the boundary by a foot or less. Zay Jones went catchless on six targets, but easily could have scored three times. Calvin Ridley (2-32-0) also left a score on the field.
Christian Kirk turned into the target monster of the day, running up 11-110-0 on 14 looks. A well-timed rebound after last week. Travis Etienne was ordinary as a runner (12-40-0) and once again was overlooked as a pass-catcher (two yards, three targets). At least Houston presents a favorable draw in Week 3.
Tampa Bay more fun than expected
I don't want to get carried away with the Buccaneers; you don't deserve a parade when you beat the 2023 Bears. But the Tampa Bay offense has a nice setup for fantasy, a mixture of talent and tight concentration.
All we want from Baker Mayfield is for him to be competent. He was more than that Sunday, playing an error-free game (no sacks or turnovers) and posting a juicy 9.3 YPA on 34 attempts. It hashed out to a 114.5 rating.
Mayfield only targeted seven players, with most of the attention going to Mike Evans (6-171-1), Chris Godwin (5-58-0), Cade Otton (6-41-0) and Rachaad White (5-30-0). White supplemented that with a useful 17-73-1 rushing line; he finished with 22 touches.
I'm also ready to sign off on any fantasy defense up against the Bears offense. Justin Fields is a sack waiting to happen — it's one thing to trust your athleticism, but at some point the ball needs to come out — and he also makes too many negative plays. Tampa Bay was the top scoring fantasy defense Sunday; Green Bay charted as the DST4 last week. Note the upcoming Chicago schedule and stream accordingly: Kansas City, Denver, Washington.
• The Falcons have four key fantasy players and it was a mixed bag Sunday: Bijan Robinson was great, Drake London was good, Tyler Allgeier was busy but inefficient and Kyle Pitts was quiet. That's probably a par for most teams. At least the tree is concentrated.
• You'll probably hear "sell high" on Raheem Mostert this week, but who are you selling to? Just how unsophisticated is your league? Mostert has always had good vision and a burst, and he's a fun story to root for. We know he's not likely to hold up for the long term. He's a perfect Play for Now pick, and sometimes that's enough. But I'm not going to pretend there's a heavy trade market for someone with his limited resume. If you can get it, you probably don't need much outside help — just collect those league entry fees up front.
• The Patriots are caught in Purgatory, just good enough to compete but not good enough to hold real upside. But at least OC Bill O'Brien and QB Mac Jones can give the offense enough buoyancy to support Rhamondre Stevenson and Hunter Henry. New England's longest pass completion Sunday was 14 yards. Their drives lack explosive plays, they have for years. This is why Tom Brady really had to leave after the 2019 season.
• Brian Robinson Jr. might never be great, but he's good — and Washington treats him as a favored starter. Robinson is also getting a sprinkling of receiving work, which is enough to keep him locked in the RB2 circle of trust.
• Lamar Jackson has just three rushing touchdowns in his last 24 games. The passing game had some splash to it Sunday, but if you wanted to drop Rashod Bateman or Odell Beckham Jr., I'm not going to argue with you.
• C.J. Stroud is good enough to support at least one viable fantasy wideout (Nico Collins looks terrific), and perhaps more than one. But offensive line problems are more maskable in the passing game, as we discussed at the top of the column. Dameon Pierce didn't have a chance Sunday.