Seattle Seahawks (1-2, 1-2 ATS) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1, 1-2), 4:05 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Seahawks 24.25, 49ers 27.25
Spread/Total Movements: 3.5 to 3, 52.5 to 51.5
Weather: 65 degrees, 0% chance of rain, 5-10 mph
Seahawks Injuries to Watch: TE Gerald Everett (COVID), WR Tyler Lockett (knee/hip, questionable), RB Rashaad Penny (calf, out), RT Brandon Shell (ankle, out), WR Dee Eskridge (concussion, doubtful), WR DK Metcalf (foot, probable)
49ers Injuries to Watch: RB Eli Mitchell (shoulder, questionable), TE George Kittle (calf, questionable), CB Josh Norman (chest, doubtful), CB K’Waun Williams (calf, out), DT Javon Kinlaw (knee, questionable)
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
The Seahawks won both matchups with the 49ers last season, and both games went over the total.
The Seahawks are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
Seattle is 1-7 ATS in its last eight road games
The Seahawks are 5-1 toward unders in their last six road games.
Russell Wilson failed to hit multiple TD passes for the first time last week, but he still averaged 9.6 YPA — he’s still leading the league with his 10.4 YPA average. San Francisco has given up 19+ FP in every game, and Russ threw for 442 yards and six touchdowns in two matchups with the 49ers last season.
Tyler Lockett played on 92% of the snaps last week despite getting rolled up on, but he saw just four targets that he turned into 4/31 receiving and 7.1 FP. He previously totaled 57.8 FP in the first two weeks. Lockett ripped the 49ers for 12/90/2 receiving in the season finale last season.
D.K. Metcalf gave us a ceiling game for the first time last week with 6/107/1 receiving on nine targets. He’s topped 50+ receiving and 11+ FP in every game so he’s had a solid floor. Metcalf posted 12/161/2 receiving in this matchup back in Week 8 last season.
Will Dissly will be an interesting plug-and-play option in season-long leagues with Gerald Everett (COVID) looking doubtful for this weekend. He’s seen his snap share slide the last three weeks (70%>48%>38%) with Everett getting more run, but he should see the vast majority of snaps and routes at the position this week. The 49ers have tightened up against TEs after getting ripped by T.J. Hockenson (8/97/1 receiving) in the season opener, limiting Robert Tonyan to just a six-yard catch last week
Chris Carson has been steady in the early going with between 13.7-16.2 FP in three games. He posted 14/82/1 scrimmage last week but he played just 43% of the snaps because of multiple cramping issues. Carson posted 13/83 scrimmage in his only game against the 49ers last season.
Brolley’s 49ers Stats and Trends
These teams are 5-0-1 toward overs in their last six meetings in this series.
San Francisco is 1-4 ATS and 4-1 toward overs in its last five home games.
Jimmy Garoppolo has yet to hit 20+ FP in the first three games and Trey Lance vultured a touchdown at the goal line last week. He averaged 12.6 YPA against Detroit in the season opener but his YPA has plummeted to under 6.5 YPA in each of the last two games with their backfield in shambles. The Seahawks are giving up the seventh-most passing yards per game (307.0) to QBs through three weeks.
Deebo Samuel’s fantasy production has tailed off each of the last three weeks (32.9>16.1>10.2), but he’s still been given at least 10 opportunities in every game after seeing 10 targets and two carries last week, which he turned in to just 52 yards. Deebo posted a combined 13/214 receiving with 100+ yards in each game, and he added 2/33/1 rushing in the season finale.
HC Kyle Shanahan is apparently done teaching Brandon Aiyuk a lesson as he saw season-highs in snap share (86%), targets (6), catches (4), scrimmage yards (45), and touchdowns (1). He still finished behind Samuel and Kittle in targets last week but he’s back to being usable for fantasy. Aiyuk posted 8/91/1 receiving in his lone matchup with the Seahawks last season.
The 49ers are the first team since the merger to have 11 touchdowns scored by 11 different players…and none of those touchdowns have come from George Kittle. At least the 49ers finally got him going a bit in the passing attack with nine targets, which he turned into 7/92 receiving against the Packers. And those targets caveat 8.0 yards downfield after his aDOT sat at a measly 2.2 yards through the first two games. He posted a combined 9/107 receiving against the Seahawks last season.
Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) is expected to return this week, which will likely push Trey Sermon to a backup role after he totaled just 12/34/1 scrimmage last week. The bigger question is will FB Kyle Juszczyk stay in the team’s passing-back role after he totaled a career-high nine touches for 51 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks are giving up 155.0 rushing yards per game (3rd-most) after Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullah combined for 136 rushing yards.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Week 1-3 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 28.6 (16th)
Week 1-3 – Plays per game: 55.3 (31st)
Week 1-3 – Pass: 62.4% (13th) | Run: 37.6% (20th)
Week 1-3 – Pace: 29.8 (23rd)
Week 1-3 – Plays per game: 65.3 (19th)
Week 1-3 – Pass: 54.9% (26th) | Run: 45.1% (7th)
After losing an overtime nailbiter to the Titans and never really being competitive in Week 3 against the Vikings, the Seahawks are in danger of falling behind quickly in the insanely competitive NFC West. One of the Rams or Cardinals will be 4-0 after this weekend and the Seahawks desperately need a win here to keep pace. I was optimistic that the Seahawks new OC Shane Waldron would be allowed to run the offense the way he wants – more pace and more passing – but that simply has not materialized through three weeks. Seattle is throwing a little bit more when they have a lead, but are still very balanced overall and are the 10th-most run-heavy team above expectation (+2.7%) when the game is within a score. The good news is that Seattle has been extremely efficient offensively (7.4 yards per play: best), but their defensive woes from last year are back. The Seahawks defense ranks dead last in both plays per game allowed (78.9) and in time of possession allowed per drive (3:34). With their defense unable to get off the field, we’re running into the same problem as always with Seattle. They need to let Russell Wilson throw it more to try and counteract their defense giving up yards and points at will. Every inefficient run that results in 2nd and 3rd long situations for Wilson to play Hero Ball \ just puts more stress on the defense in the long run if Wilson makes any mistakes or is unable to stay ahead of the chains.
Meanwhile, HC Kyle Shanahan has brought back a very similar game-plan as last year with Jimmy Garoppolo and it’s simple: Play slow and run the ball. The 49ers are the seventh-most run-heavy team above expectation (+4.9%) and I have to imagine they’ll stick to that script against this Seahawks run defense that has been creamed for 198 yards from scrimmage in Week 1 (Colts RBs), 237 YSM in Week 2 (Henry), and 171 YSM in Week 3 (Mattison).
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
While it’s always a challenge to choose whether DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett will have a better game any given week, especially since the Seahawks run so few plays per game, but let’s try it this week. These teams met on two occasions last season. Metcalf shredded 5’11”” Emmanuel Moseley for 43 FPs in Week 8. When they crossed paths again in Week 17, former DC Robert Saleh had 6’2” Ahkello Witherspoon ready to work across from The Wolverine.
Witherspoon managed to limit Metcalf to only 5.1 FPs… but is now in Pittsburgh. For this Sunday, it will not matter who new DC DeMeco Ryans intends to use on Metcalf. Moseley, Josh Norman (6’0”… and doubtful to play), and 2021 fifth-rounder Deommodore Lenoir (5’11”) leave Metcalf with the clear size advantage at 6’3”. Metcalf (foot) also seems less banged up than Lockett (knee/hip).
On the other side, Let’s not forget that Jimmy Garoppolo will have something the 49ers lacked in both of their matchups with Seattle last season: WR Deebo Samuel. In two games against the Seahawks during his rookie season, Samuel averaged 20 FPG. Both he and Jimmy G have success against Seattle’s typical coverage shells.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the 49ers are seriously banged up.
...— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 1, 2021
* At tight end: Ross Dwelley
* At running back: Trey Sermon
* At cornerback: Dre Kirkpatrick or Deommodore Lenoir or Dontae Johnson
* At nickel cornerback: Buster Skrine or Johnson
Let’s start in the backfield. If Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) can’t go, that sets up a dynamite matchup between THE STOPPABLE OBJECT Trey Sermon and THE MOVABLE FORCE, Seattle’s run defense.
I think Sermon looked bad last week, and the 49ers evidently agreed. Despite Sermon being the only 49er tailback to play a snap in Week 3, Sermon played just 59% of the offensive snaps against the Packers, clearly indicating he doesn’t have the full trust of Kyle Shanahan yet. Meanwhile, FB Kyle Juszczyk played a 69% snap share, the first time he’s been over 60% since Week 17 of 2019. If it isn’t evident, trust is a huge factor for Shanahan, and every indication thus far is that Sermon hasn’t completely eaten his way out of the doghouse yet. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense has been shredded on the ground, giving up major points in all three games to Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, and Alexander Mattison. By fantasy and real-world metrics, this is the worst run defense in the game. If Mitchell can’t play, both Shanahan and fantasy players have to suck it up and use Sermon as an RB2. Both are FLEX options if Mitchell — who clearly won’t be 100% — is able to suit up.
If TE George Kittle (calf) can’t go, I’m not likely to be putting Ross Dwelley into a season-long lineup. But that would open the door for Deebo Samuel to continue his strong season — Wes wrote up above why he’s a no-brainer in this matchup. It also could be time to take Brandon Aiyuk out of your own personal doghouse. After snap shares in each of the 49ers’ first two games below 55%, Aiyuk played 86% of the snaps in Week 3 against the Packers, and he turned in a fantasy-relevant performance with 4/37/1 receiving on 6 targets, and a single 8-yard rush. He also had a touchdown drop before halftime that would have made his game really strong. Still, he ran 44 routes… the first time all season he’s run more than 20. He’s a WR3.
If Kittle can’t go, I can’t recommend Jimmy Garoppolo as a streamer.
Seattle is overall a simple team to break down, as Russell Wilson and company are likely weekly starters for your team. You can stick with Chris Carson in that group as well.
But a lot does hinge on the status of Tyler Lockett (hip/knee), who was downgraded midweek to a DNP on Thursday. If Lockett can’t go, given the matchup, it could well be a week for DK Metcalf to be the WR1. But of course, Metcalf also caught a midweek downgrade, as he was limited on Thursday with a foot injury. If Lockett can’t play, I’m hesitant to put Freddie Swain into a lineup as anything more than a prayer, especially since Dee Eskridge (concussion) has returned to practice — he’s listed as doubtful. But if you’re dying, Swain’s 70 routes this year trail only Lockett and Metcalf (89 a piece) on Seattle’s food chain.
Tyler Lockett has a hip issue three days before #Seahawks' NFC West test at 49ers.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) October 1, 2021
DK Metcalf (foot) limited. So was Poona Ford, Benson Mayowa. Still no Brandon Shell.
But Dee Eskridge returns to limited work for 1st time since concussion Sept. 12 https://t.co/T4YVtG3c8U
And there’s another issue for Seattle — TE Gerald Everett is on the COVID list. In his first three games, Everett was the TE11 by route share (70%) and TE19 by FPG (7.2). That could open the door for Will Dissly to be an interesting TE streamer if Everett can’t get cleared by Sunday. The only other TE on Seattle’s roster is Tyler Mabry — an undrafted second-year player with 7 offensive snaps on his resume.