Detroit Lions (2-12-1, 10-5 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (5-10, 7-8), 4:25 p.m.
Brolley’s Lions Stats and Trends
The Lions own the third-best ATS record in the league at 10-5.
The Lions have covered in six of their seven contests since their Week 9 bye.
Detroit is 6-1 toward unders in its last seven road games, and 10-3 toward unders in its last 13 games overall.
Jared Goff spent last week on the COVID list but he’ll be back this week. He completed 21/26 passes for 216 yards (8.3 YPA) and three TDs in Detroit’s stunning 18-point victory over the Cardinals in Week 15, which gave Goff multiple TDs in three of his last four games. Nick Foles posted 250/1 passing for 16.8 FP in a spot start against the Seahawks last week.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is in the midst of a full-blown breakout over the last month with another 9/91/1 receiving on 11 targets last week against the Falcons, even with Tim Boyle operating at quarterback. He’s now posted 8+ catches, 70+ yards, and 11+ targets in four consecutive games. The Seahawks are giving up the eighth-most catches per game (13.3) to WRs this season.
Josh Reynolds will be in a race to play this week after landing on the COVID list on Monday. He posted 3+ catches and 50+ receiving yards in four straight games playing with his boy Goff, but he flopped in Week 16 with Boyle, posting 2/36 receiving on seven targets (21% share). Darnell Mooney posted 5/57 receiving on nine targets in this matchup last week.
It looks like D’Andre Swift will see his first action since he injured his shoulder on Thanksgiving Day. He came out of Detroit’s Week 9 bye blistering hot with 47/266/1 rushing (5.7 YPC) in two games before his injury, and he has 3+ catches in every game this season. After a four-game layoff, Swift is unlikely to see 70% of the snaps or more as he had in seven straight games before his injury. Jamaal Williams returned to the lineup last week and he saw slightly more work (19/77 rushing) than Craig Reynolds (14/51 scrimmage). We could see some sort of an ugly three-man rotation this week with Swift leading the way, and the Seahawks are giving up the second-most FPG (29.9) to RBs this season.
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks fell to 5-10 overall, which means the franchise lost double-digit games for the first time in the Pete Carroll era and for the first time since Jim Mora went 5-11 in 2009.
The Seahawks are 2-5 ATS since Russell Wilson returned to the lineup.
Seattle is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite.
The Seahawks have faded out of relevance in December, but 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny has at least gotten his career back on track in recent weeks after an injury-riddled start to his career. He’s posted 135+ rushing yards and 1+ TDs in two of his last three games after finishing with 17/135/1 rushing on a 54% snap share against the Bears in Week 16. He has double-digit carries in four straight games and he’s averaging 6.4 YPC in that span thanks to a league-leading five carries of 15+ yards since Week 13. He’ll have the chance to break off more big runs this week against a Lions’ run defense that’s giving up 4.4 YPC and the fifth-most rushing yards per game (112.4) to RBs this season.
Russell Wilson is averaging just 6.6 YPA and 206.1 passing yards per game with eight TDs and four INTs since coming back from his throwing finger injury seven games ago. The Lions have given up multiple TD passes to individual QBs just five times this season, and Kirk Cousins is the only QB to top 17+ FP against Detroit since their Week 9 bye.
Tyler Lockett flopped in his first game back from a stay on the COVID list, finishing with just 3/30 receiving on six targets. He previously posted 65+ yards and 12+ FP in four straight games before he missed Week 15. The Lions limited Russell Gage to 4/39 receiving on five targets last week, but Christian Kirk had 9/94/1 back in Week 15.
D.K. Metcalf finally looked ready to erupt last week with an early 41-yard touchdown against the Bears, but he managed just one other catch for zero yards. He’s now averaging just 3.6/38.0 receiving on 7.6 targets per game with one TD since Russ returned to the lineup seven games ago. A.J. Green posted 4/64 receiving on eight targets in this matchup two weeks ago.
Gerald Everett has five double-digit FP performances in seven tries since Russ returned to the kitchen in Week 10. Everett is coming off his best performance of the season with 4/68/1 receiving on five targets for 16.8 FP against the Bears in Week 16. The Lions have allowed seven different TEs to reach 40+ receiving yards against them in their last six games, and seven different TEs have posted double-digit FP in their last five contests.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.4 (21st)
Plays per game: 60.3 (27th)
Pass: 55.4% (26th) | Run: 44.6% (7th)
Pace: 23.4 (1st)
Plays per game: 54.9 (32nd)
Pass: 64.0% (7th) | Run: 36.0% (26th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
As you might expect, this is the worst game of the Week 17 slate. Detroit is sixth-from-last in play volume while Seattle almost notoriously can’t sustain offense. It’s absolutely mind-blowing how bad the Seahawks are offensively – they are dead-last, by a mile, in both plays per game (54.9) and time of possession per drive (2:13) over the last eight weeks. This game might get even worse somehow if Tim Boyle is forced to start in place of the injured Jared Goff (knee). Gross.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Another 11 targets resulted in nine more receptions for Amon-Ra St. Brown last week. If he catches eight balls in each of the final two games, he will join Jaylen Waddle as one of only six wideouts to catch 90 passes during their rookie season. He will need to average 154 receiving yards over the final two to hit 1,000 receiving yards. It’s a feat only accomplished by 24 WRs in league history. But “just” posting his average yardage (85) from his monster four-game stretch would give him 862 yards for the season. Considering he only averaged 29.1 receiving yards over his first seven games, coming anywhere close to 900 receiving yards is a considerable achievement.
One of the instant draws for St. Brown – other than the obvious – is that the Seahawks are permitting 13.2 receptions/game to WRs (ninth-most).
On only 33 carries in Weeks 14 and 16, Rashaad Penny accumulated 272 rushing yards, and three TDs. Derrick Henry carried the ball 35 times in Week 2 and 33 times in Week 4. He cranked out 185 and three and 157 and 1 in those weeks, respectively. Granted, at 5-foot-11 and 220-pounds, Penny simply doesn’t have the 6-foot-3, 247-pound frame of King Henry to handle that level of volume. The point is simply to highlight the (mostly) out-of-nowhere efficiency from Penny. However, if Seattle coaches were to just tack on another five carries, using the production rates from those two games, 22 carries would result in 181 rushing yards and a pair of TDs.
The Lions are delivering 26.4 FPG to RBs overall (seventh-most), 16.6 on the ground (fifth-most), and have missed an average of 12.0 tackles attempts/game the last four weeks (second-most). They are also providing RBs with 5.0 RZ touches/game (sixth-most). One of the most impressive data points on Penny is that he’s averaging 4.11 yards per attempt after contact. It’s a number that only ranks behind Nick Chubb’s 4.14.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Unsolicited, Russell Wilson says as Seahawks sit at 5-10 entering home finale Sunday vs Detroit: “I know for me, I hope it’s not my last game (in Seattle). But at the same time, I know it won’t be my last game in the NFL.” pic.twitter.com/QGPNNN1m1j— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 30, 2021
Here’s Jake Tribbey from DFS Early Look on Penny:
Rashaad Penny has earned 12 or more touches in just 4 career games.— Jake Tribbey (@JakeTribbey) December 13, 2021
His per-game averages in those games:
Hear me out...
Maybe he's really good?
“And Penny followed that up with a 4.4-point fantasy performance on 13 touches, averaging just 3.5 YPC in a game Seattle scored just 10 points and were heavy underdogs. But this past Sunday, in a game where Seattle was favored against Chicago, we saw Penny return to that elite form. He tallied 17 carries and had 135 rushing yards (7.9 YPC), scoring 19.5 fantasy points. So maybe Penny is really good, but we just need to be more conscious about when we play him, favoring matchups with likely positive gamescipt and weak defenses against opposing RBs.
And in Week 17, the Seahawks open as 7.5-point favorites, suggesting a more favorable gamescript for Penny. Plus, Detroit is allowing the 4th-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing RBs (+5.2) this season. Given Penny averages 19.2 FPG in the six career games he’s earned more than 12 touches, if we simply add our schedule-adjustment to that total, we get a slate-breaking 24.4 fantasy points, which leads all slate-eligible RBs.”
It really shows how badly this team and QB Russell Wilson are struggling that Everett is a more consistent fantasy option — at his position — than WRs Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Here’s Jake Tribbey from Streamers on Everett:
“Everett has eclipsed at least 10.0 fantasy points and caught at least 4 passes in four of his last five games, averaging 10.6 FPG over that stretch.
He’s demonstrated a brutal floor, scoring under 1.5 fantasy points on 3 occasions this season. That’s likely the product of being the No. 3 pass game option on a team that’s attempted the 3rd-fewest passes this season, but Everett’s solid red zone role keeps him in the streaming conversation. Since Week 11, Everett is tied with Travis Kelce for 12th among TEs in red zone targets (7), and tied for 15th in end zone targets (2). And among Seattle players, Everett actually only has 4 less total targets (28) over that stretch than Tyler Lockett (32).
His Week 17 opponent, the Detroit Lions, have been especially vulnerable to opposing TEs over the last 5 weeks, allowing +5.7 schedule-adjusted FPG (3rd-most). So I think it’s fair to say this matchup is a plus for Everett. But, I’m not a huge fan of the play overall given just how low Everett’s floor is. He’s a decent bet to get you 10.0 or more fantasy points (7 games), or less than 2.0 (3 games), with seemingly little room in between. So, I’m considering him a risky streaming option that’s really only attractive in deeper leagues, albeit an option with solid upside for a mid-range TE2.”
I do have to say that the Seahawks will be getting backup TE Will Dissly back this week after a brief stint on the COVID list, but I do still like Everett’s potential.
Pete Carroll says TE Will Dissly will "for sure" play Sunday for Seahawks vs Detroit now that he's off the COVID list.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) December 29, 2021
It’s also worth pointing out that Lockett may have been quiet last week because he was still recovering from COVID-19. Some guys definitely have gotten it worse than others, as you might expect.
Tyler Lockett on his COVID-19 experience: "I was very exhausted, I could barely move."— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) December 30, 2021
Said he lost about 8 pounds, had a sore throat, threw up once.
Despite his shoulder injury and playing for a dead-end team this year, the Lions are bringing RB D’Andre Swift back this week.
Dan Campbell says D'Andre Swift should be ready to go this week and these last two games are an opportunity for him to grow. "We'll shut him down after Green Bay."— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) December 29, 2021
That all being said, I seriously doubt Swift will handle a significant workload on early downs. Jamaal Williams returned from the COVID list and posted 19/77 rushing, while Craig Reynolds was the Swift facsimile, with 11/29 rushing and 3/22 receiving. I expect Williams to again be the lead back, but with no involvement in the passing game, Williams is a TD-dependent FLEX on a bad offense. Meanwhile, Swift could always rotate third-down work with Reynolds, which makes him a high-upside FLEX with a low floor.
The Lions activated QB Jared Goff off the COVID list this week, but he is dealing with a knee injury and has missed multiple practices this week, leading to a “doubtful” designation.
That will force Tim Boyle into another start. While I’d prefer Goff, Boyle showed last week he can get the ball to the Lions’ rising star — slot WR Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Here’s that boy Jake again! This time on St. Brown:
“St. Brown has seen 11 or more targets, and earned at least 73 receiving yards in each of his last four games. And in those games, he has averaged 22.4 FPG. Among slate-eligible WRs, that ranks 2nd-best, behind only Cooper Kupp.
Compared to his first 11 games of the season, St. Brown has seen a 117% increase in targets per game, a 165% increase in yards per game, and a 224% increase to his FPG. And he is commanding a strong number of the high-value opportunities that used to go to D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson, as he ranks 3rd among all WRs with 12 red zone targets over the last 4 weeks.
And despite playing like a high-end WR1 these last 4 weeks, St. Brown is priced like a mid-range WR2. It’s truly an egregious mispricing, especially with St. Brown (who runs 78% of his routes from the slot) facing Seattle this week. The Seahawks are currently giving up the 4th-most FPG (16.0) to opposing slot WRs, and are a massive slot funnel, allowing a 51.5% slot target share, the most in the NFL by nearly 5%.”