Seattle Seahawks (0-0, 0-0 ATS) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0, 0-0), 1 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Seahawks 26.25, Colts 23.75
Spread/Total Movements: 2.5, 50
Seahawks Injuries to Watch: TE Colby Parkinson (foot, IR)
Colts Injuries to Watch: QB Carson Wentz (foot, probable), OG Quenton Nelson (foot/back, questionable), WR T.Y. Hilton (neck, IR), WR Parris Campbell (Achilles, probable), LT Eric Fisher (Achilles, out), CB Xavier Rhodes (calf, out)
Brolley’s Seahawks Stats and Trends
Seattle has failed to cover in six straight road games, and they’re 0-5 ATS in its last five games as a road favorite.
The Seahawks ended last season on a 4-9 ATS run, including a 2-5 run in their last seven games as a favorite.
Seattle went 7-2 toward unders in its last nine games last season.
The big question coming into the season is will new OC Shane Waldron let Russell WIlson cook as he did in the first half of last season. Russ threw for 28 touchdowns through the first eight games of last season and Seattle led the league by averaging 34.3 points per game in that span. He then threw for just 12 scores and the offense averaged just 23.1 points per game in their final eight games. The Seahawks will reportedly move more toward quicker routes and pull back from their vertical passing attack this season, which is good news this week going against Indy’s heavy Cover 2 looks. The Colts allowed the 11th-fewest FPG (18.2) to QBs last season.
D.K. Metcalf recorded a league-leading 480 yards on his 29 deep targets last year, and those downfield targets helped him to three performances of 27+ FP. Metcalf’s game-to-game consistency was outstanding last year, as he saw 5+ targets in 15-of-16 games and he scored double-digit fantasy points in 12-of-16 games. The Colts allowed the seventh-most receiving yards per game (175.7) to WRs last season.
Tyler Lockett posted career-highs in FPG (16.6), targets (132), and catches (100) last season but he took an unconventional route to get there. He posted three different week-winning performances with 33+ FP but he averaged just 10.9 FPG in his other 13 games. The Colts gave up the 15th-most FPG (37.5) to WRs last season.
Gerald Everett has steadily improved in his first four seasons, culminating in 41/417/1 receiving on 62 targets for 93.9 FP while playing 55% of the snaps in 16 games. He followed Waldron to Seattle and he’s hoping for a more prominent role after playing next to Tyler Higbee to start his career — he’ll still have to contend with Will Dissly for playing time in Seattle. The Colts allowed the fifth-fewest FPG (10.6) to TEs last season.
Chris Carson has been remarkably consistent over his last three seasons, finishing as the RB15, the RB12, and RB19 over the last three seasons. Carson can’t seem to shake being a committee back despite an efficient 4.6 YPC and 7.7 YPR to open his career, as he’s never exceeded a 65% snap share in any individual season. The Seahawks kept five backs on their 53-man roster this year so Carson is unlikely to see a massive workload again in 2021. The Colts allowed the third-fewest rushing yards per game (73.1) to RBs last season.
Brolley’s Colts Stats and Trends
The Colts are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.
The Colts are 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog.
Indianapolis is 1-11-1 ATS in its last 13 season openers and they’ve lost seven straight openers.
Indianapolis has played over the total in five straight season openers.
The Colts ended last season with a 9-4 run towards overs.
Jonathan Taylor exploded in the final six games of last season as he averaged 6.2 YPC and he scored eight of his 12 TDs in that span. He finished as a top-12 RB in five of his final six games — he finished as the RB15 in the other performance — and he’s looking to carry over his success into his second season. He feasted on weak defenses late in the season, but he’ll be challenged against a Seahawks run defense that allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (73.5).
Nyheim Hines has exactly 63 catches in two of his first three seasons, and his YPR average has increased every year (6.7<7.3<7.7). He’ll be adjusting to life without Philip Rivers this season, who targeted his RBs an NFL-high 312 times in 2019-20 compared to just 185 times by Wentz. The Seahawks allowed the fourth-most receptions per game (5.8) to RBs last season.
Carson Wentz is on track to play in Week 1 after he needed surgery on his foot in August. He lost plenty of practice time with his new offense and he also lost his top vertical threat with T.Y. Hilton (neck) landing on the IR. Wentz had an absolutely miserable final season in Philadelphia, completing just 57.4% of his passes, averaging 6.0 YPA, and tossing 15 INTs in just 12 games. The Seahawks were one of two teams to average allowing more than 300+ passing yards per game last season.
Michael Pittman is the no-doubt #1 WR in Indianapolis with Hilton out for at least the first three games of the season. Pittman put up a respectable 35/514/1 line in his final 10 games and his 90-yard performance in the playoffs was his second-best of the season. His aDOT sat at a meager 8.9 yards last season with Rivers at quarterback, but the Colts sound ready to unleash him more downfield in his second season. The Seahawks allowed the fourth-most FPG (43.4) to WRs last season.
Parris Campbell has just nine games to his name in two seasons. He managed to play just two games in 2020 before tears of his MCL and PCL cost him the remainder of the campaign and put him under the knife yet again. He posted a promising 6/71 receiving in his only full contest last season, and he’ll be thrust back into the spotlight early in the year with Hilton out of the lineup. The Colts will try to get him going downfield as the Seahawks allowed the seventh-most passes of 20+ yards (55) last season.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.5 (T-15th)
Plays per game: 63.2 (21st)
When the game is within a score — Pass: 60.1% (8th) | Run: 39.9% (25th)
When the team is ahead — Pass: 53.9% (9th) | Run: 46.1% (24th)
When the team is behind — Pass: 65.8% (15th) | Run: 34.2% (18th)
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.9 (19th)
Plays per game: 65.0 (10th)
When the game is within a score — Pass: 57.1% (19th) | Run: 42.9% (14th)
When the team is ahead — Pass: 48.4% (20th) | Run: 51.6% (13th)
When the team is behind — Pass: 65% (20th) | Run: 35% (13th)
Last year was a tale of two seasons for the Seahawks offense. They opened up the season as one of the most pass-heavy teams in the league, ranking fifth in early-down pass rate at 59% in Weeks 1-9. From then on? Seattle cratered to 53% pass on early-downs, which placed them 20th in Weeks 10-17. Now, by DK Metcalf’s own admission, their passing attack became stale and predictable in the back-half of 2020 and defense just figured them out. Now, former OC Brian Schottenheimer has moved on to be the QBs coach and passing game coordinator in Jacksonville and Seattle has brought in Shane Waldron to replace him. Waldron spent the last four seasons under HC Sean McVay as the Rams TEs coach and passing game coordinator. Waldron has put a point of emphasis on “pushing the pace” in OTAs and Training Camp, which probably isn’t music to the ears of Pete Carroll who would prefer to give Chris Carson 32 carries per game. One of the biggest storylines I’m tracking in Week 1 is what this Seahawks offense looks like. Do they push the pace and unleash Russell Wilson? If last year’s tendencies are any guide, the Colts defense got passed on 58% of the time (sixth-highest rate) on early-down, non-red-zone plays last season. Hopefully (fingers crossed) Seattle attacks the Colts through the air and not on the ground against their strong run defense.
The Colts side is far less interesting. That’s not a bad thing! It’s just that we know what their offense will look like. HC Frank Reich is obsessed with balance on offense, as evidenced by their 2020 play-call splits, and whether or not they can establish the ground game with Jonathan Taylor in Week 1 will come down to whether or not their defense can slow Wilson & Co. The Colts have lost three-straight season openers under Reich and they were underdogs twice in those games. Indianapolis is +2.5 to Seattle.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
This game has the potential to be an ugly one. Yes, it’s certainly a positive that Seahawk QB Russell Wilson will have the no-longer-disgruntled LT Duane Brown protecting his blindside, but the Colts’ pass rush is nasty, and I also don’t like Wilson’s history against the type of coverages I think Colt DC Matt Eberflus will throw at him.
That being said, Wilson’s numbers could be helped given Colt top CB Xavier Rhodes, who missed some practice time with a calf injury this week, is out. Rhodes doesn’t travel in Eberflus’ defense, so it wasn’t like he’d shadow WR DK Metcalf anyway, but it is a help to Wilson, Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett that the Colts have to dig into their CB depth this week.
On the flip side, I really don’t like Colt QB Carson Wentz against the significant amount of Cover 3 the Seahawks will throw at him. That said, I do think one of the Colts’ receivers will have success in this coverage, and that’s Michael Pittman, who is expected to be the go-to guy with TY Hilton (neck) on IR.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Colts are a very easy team to break down for me. The only two players I’m even considering for fantasy are Jonathan Taylor — who is almost certainly in my lineup — and Michael Pittman, who’s in consideration for a WR3/4 spot. There ain’t no way I’m playing Carson Wentz until I see him string together a couple of good games. In fact, he’s likely on your Waiver Wire.
It’ll be interesting to see what Parris Campbell looks like out there. He’s got a ton of promise, but injuries have limited him to nine games in two seasons, and he popped up on the injury report this week with what’s being called a lingering Achilles issue. I’m… not exactly sure how I should feel about that, but given Campbell’s history, it doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
#Colts WR Parris Campbell was listed as limited today with an Achilles, but this is more of a lingering issue not a situation where he suffered an injury in today’s practice.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2021
The outlook for the Seahawks’ passing game is improved considering the contract dispute with LT Duane Brown is settled for now, and Colt CB Xavier Rhodes (calf) can’t play. It’s not like Rhodes playing will shy you away from playing DK Metcalf (as a, if not the, WR1) and Tyler Lockett (as a WR2), but it certainly helps throw more support behind Russell Wilson, whom we have ranked as a low-end QB1 this week. Metcalf could go nuclear here.
It’s a nasty matchup on the ground for RB Chris Carson, as he’s behind a still-weak offensive line against a defense that allowed the third-fewest rushing yards to RBs last season. He’s an RB2.
One guy I’m interested in this week for TE streaming or deeper leagues is TE Gerald Everett. He will face mediocre coverage from Khari Willis, and has been getting a ton of hype from Pete Carroll, who essentially called him a big WR. He’s got a good chance to be the #3 passing target in this offense, and is startable — we have Everett ranked at TE15 this week, but there are only about eight TEs we feel 100% confident in starting over him.