Seattle Seahawks (1-1, 1-1 ATS) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2, 1-1), 4:25 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Seahawks 28.5, Vikings 27
Spread/Total Movements: 1 to 2 to 1.5, 55 to 55.5
Seahawks Injuries to Watch: RB Rashaad Penny (calf, out), WR Dee Eskridge (concussion, out)
Vikings Injuries to Watch: RB Dalvin Cook (ankle, questionable), LB Anthony Barr (knee, out), LT Christian Darrisaw (groin, out)
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks edged out the Vikings 27-26 in early October last season, but the Vikings got the cover as 6.5-point road underdogs while the game fell a point under the 54-point total.
Seattle failed to cover last week for the first in its last six September games.
The Seahawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a road favorite.
Seattle is 8-3 toward unders in its last 11 games.
Russell Wilson has averaged more than 11.0 YPA in each of his first two games (597 yards on 54 attempts) with a TD rate of 11.1% (six TDs). He completed 20/32 passes for 217 yards, three TDs, and one INT and he added 5/58 rushing in a Week 5 matchup with the Vikings last season.
Tyler Lockett is on a heater to open the season with 26+ FP in each game, totaling 12/278/3 receiving on 16 targets against the Colts and Titans. The Vikings have been ripped for the second-most touchdowns (5) to WRs to open the season. He managed just 4/44 receiving in this matchup last season.
D.K. Metcalf has been good for 11+ FP in each of the first two games, but his 10/113/1 receiving on 16 targets is underwhelming compared to Lockett’s start to the season. He smashed the Vikes for 6/93/2 receiving last season, and they’re giving up the third-most receiving yards per game (236.5) to WRs through two weeks.
Gerald Everett saw just two targets for 1/3 receiving against the Titans last week despite running a route on 76% of Wilson’s dropbacks. He’s seen just four targets for an 8% share through two weeks. The Vikings got ripped for 7/94 receiving by Maxx Williams, of all people.
Chris Carson has posted 13+ FP in each of the first two weeks, but he’s got there in completely different ways. He totaled just 31 scrimmage yards with two touchdowns last week after posting 117 scrimmage yards without a TD in the season opener. Carson finished with 8/52/1 rushing and 6/27 receiving in this matchup last season, and the Vikings are giving up 4.4 YPC to RBs through two weeks.
Brolley’s Vikings Stats and Trends
The Vikings have played over the total in five consecutive games and they’re 8-1 toward overs in their last nine home games.
Minnesota covered its first spread in nine games last week. They’ve failed to cover in four straight home games.
Dalvin Cook suffered what HC Mike Zimmer called a “little ankle sprain” in their Week 2 loss against the Cardinals. Cook rotated with Alexander Mattison on the final drive last week after he suffered the injury. Cook is coming off a strong performance with 22/131 rushing (6.0 YPA) and 2/13 receiving on three targets in a heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals. Derrick Henry just went for 35/182/3 rushing and 6/55 receiving against the Seahawks last week.
Kirk Cousins has thrown for multiple TDs in 10 of his last 11 games with just three INTs in that span after recording 244/3 (7.6 YPA) in a loss to the Cardinals last week. He’s also attempted 30+ passes in 10 straight games after reaching 30+ passes just twice in the first eight games of last season. He posted 249/2 passing on 39 attempts (6.4 YPA) against the Seahawks in Week 5 last season.
Justin Jefferson has seen a team-best 19 targets (25% share) but he’s currently third in receptions (11) and second in yards (136). His aDOT is sitting at a team-high 12.7 yards and he hasn’t quite been on the same page with Cousins just yet. Jefferson managed just 3/23 receiving on five targets in this matchup last season, which came before he was a major weekly factor in this offense.
Adam Thielen scored yet again last week, which gives him 17 TDs in his last 17 games dating back to the start of the 2020 season. He posted 9/80/2 receiving on 13 targets in this matchup last season.
K.J. Osborn has cemented himself in the #3 WR role with his play through the first two weeks of the season with a team-best 167 receiving yards, including 5/91/1 receiving on six targets (19% share) last week. He ran a route on 69% of Cousins’ dropbacks last week with 75% of them coming out of the slot. The Seahawks have yet to be tested out of the slot against the Colts and Titans.
Tyler Conklin has seen four targets in each of the first two games but he’s turned his looks into just 6/56 receiving. MyCole Pruitt caught all three of his targets for 43 yards in this matchup last week.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Week 1-2 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 25.8 (9th)
Week 1-2 – Plays per game: 54 (31st)
Week 1-2 – Pass: 60.4% (18th) | Run: 39.6% (15th)
Week 1-2 – Pace: 26.1 (11th)
Week 1-2 – Plays per game: 71.5 (8th)
Week 1-2 – Pass: 64.0% (12th) | Run: 36.0% (21st)
This is the game of the week for fantasy right here. Both teams are top-12 in pace to start the season, but I want to talk about Seattle for a second. New OC Shane Waldron put a point of emphasis on “pushing the pace” in OTAs and Training Camp and we’ve seen exactly that through two games. Seattle was dead middle of the pack (27.5 second in between plays) last year, so Waldron has stuck to his plan of playing faster and throwing more often on early-downs. On non-red-zone plays, the Seahawks have a 60% pass | 40% run split on 1st and 2nd down and Wilson has averaged a cool 11.4 yards per attempt on those plays (tied with Patrick Mahomes for second-best). With Seattle’s offense looking better out of the gates and Minnesota giving points up in spades, this matchup absolutely deserves the highest total on the slate. Dating back to last year, the Vikings are 10-3 towards the over across their last 13 games with 11 of those contests combining for 50 or more points. This game has massive upside from a scoring perspective.
(Note: We’re dealing with very small sample sizes early in the season – so I’m saving the deep dive into play-calling tendencies until Week 4.)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Are the Vikings going to be a defense to target on the ground this year? Let’s forget that they played Arizona last week, one of the league’s weakest run attacks. The Vikings have stacked the box at the fifth-highest rate over the last three seasons. During that same stretch, Seahawk RB Chris Carson.The Vikings permitted Joe Mixon to pace all RBs with 28 FPs in Week 1. It’s a good week for Carson.
It’s not the greatest time for Minnesota to list Bashaud Breeland (toe) and Patrick Peterson (back) on the injury report. But it’s pretty safe to assume that they will have both on Sunday. Peterson — when in Arizona — has quite a history of shadowing DK Metcalf. So Breeland is very likely going to be the responsible party for Tyler Lockett. Yes, Lockett is coming off back-to-back WR1 performances (31.9 FPG). But there’s history here too. In Week 7 last year, Peterson held Metcalf to a 2/23/0 line (4.3 FPs). Lockett proceeded to go ballistic with 15/200/3 (53 FPs). Seattle and Arizona met up again in Week 11. Metcalf managed to produce a 3/46/1 line (13.6 FPs) against Peterson, but Lockett was, once again, Russell Wilson’s go-to-guy with a 9/67/1 line (21.7 FPs).
By the way, the Vikings have discussed benching the struggling Breeland for Cameron Dantzler, who was already benched himself this year. I’d still view this as a win for Lockett.
Bashaud Breeland has arguably been the NFL's worst cornerback through two games. Meanwhile, Cameron Dantzler began the season in Mike Zimmer's doghouse but played well when Breeland got hurt.— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) September 23, 2021
Why it might be time for the #Vikings to make a change at CB: https://t.co/WH1H8z3Vb1
Dolan’s Vantage Points
I don’t know if there’s an easier game to break down on the slate than this one from a start-sit perspective.
Of the two quarterbacks in this game, Russell Wilson is the obvious play after Minnesota got shredded by both Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray. Minnesota has been in a world of hurt at CB opposite Patrick Peterson, and are considering benching Bashaud Breeland, as Wes mentioned above. That’s good news for the entire Seattle passing game. Minnesota has surrendered the 4th-most FPG to opposing QBs thus far, and I expect Wilson will torch ‘em.
While the numbers bear out that Tyler Lockett is the better play than DK Metcalf in this game, I think eventually Metcalf will get the better of PP. Maybe this is the week — indeed, I prefer Lockett, but preferring one Seahawk WR over the other has been a good way to lose money in DFS the last year-plus. Both are WR1 types against a Minnesota defense surrendering the third-most FPG to opposing WRs so far. Lockett and Metcalf have accounted for a whopping 60% of Wilson’s targets and 86% (!!) of his air yards.
Wes outlined why Chris Carson is a strong play above. I’m not going to be benching him. Dating back to last year, Carson has finished as a RB2 or better (top-24) in weekly scoring in nine of his last 13 games.
From a schematic standpoint, this is a mediocre matchup for Kirk Cousins, so I have him as more of a high-end QB2 this weekend than a must-start. But that doesn’t extend to WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, who have to be in lineups every week. I’ve obviously been pretty impressed with what Minnesota has gotten from slot WR KJ Osborn, as he leads the team in receiving yards, but his long TD against the Cardinals last week came on a busted coverage. He faces a challenge with Ugo Amadi in coverage this week.
The big question for Minnesota is the availability of RB Dalvin Cook, who has a minor ankle sprain and missed multiple practices this week. If Cook goes, you lock him into your lineup. If he doesn’t, Alexander Mattison is a strong RB2 option.
Mike Zimmer said Dalvin Cook is "doing much better" and got some work in today after being DNP Wed/Thurs. Asked if he thinks RB is a position where a player can sit out a week and still be ready for a game, Zimmer said, "If you're asking about Dalvin, I think Dalvin can."— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) September 24, 2021