The Seattle Seahawks have a way of playing games that are friendly to fantasy football managers, making the Carolina Panthers a little more interesting than they are most weeks. On the Seattle side, a pair of exciting rookies are begging for the chance to produce. Do they get their shot this week?
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Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks
- Spread: Seahawks -6
- Total: 42
- Panthers implied points: 18
- Seahawks implied points: 24
An ankle injury will keep Young out of the starting lineup this weekend with the Panthers electing to go the cautious route with their young signal caller.
The Red Rifle is set to start for the Panthers this week and I expect the offense to function a bit differently as a result.
This has very much been a conservative unit with Young under center, presumably to not overload the rookie. A veteran like Dalton should be able to handle the entire playbook and with that in mind, the Panther pass catchers got a slight tick up in my Week 3 rankings.
Smith turned in a QB8 finish against the Lions last week, showing off everything that made his 2022 breakout possible.
- 78.1% completion rate
- 328 pass yards
- 20 rushing yards (including a 15-yard run)
In what figures to be a positive game script, I have Smith ranked as my QB11. He threw for 264 yards and three scores when these teams met last season, a stat line that I think is achievable on Sunday. In that game, he didn’t do anything fancy, he just fed his stars (Metcalf/Lockett: 52.8% target share).
At this moment in time, there are eight trustworthy fantasy quarterbacks. If you don’t have one of those guys (I currently have Kirk Cousins at the end of that tier), Smith in this matchup should be on your radar.
Even if he looks fast wearing a single-digit number, he’s yet to show us much in the way of explosion (39 touches, and none of them have gained more than 13 yards). While big plays and touchdowns will be tough to come by for Sanders, the fact that you can count on him for 16-20 touches is enough to land him in your starting lineup.
I find it unlikely that he wins you your week, but he’s just as unlikely to be the reason you lose. The Panthers ran for 223 yards and two scores in the upset win in Seattle last season, something that should give them confidence entering this matchup.
Kenneth Walker III
He didn’t look great against the Lions last week (16 carries for 29 yards after his first carry gained 14). Zero concerns. We feel confident in his raw talent, and I’ll happily continue to bet on that, given the usage he is getting.
It is clear that Zach Charbonnet is not a threat to Walker’s fantasy value at the moment, and as inefficient as he was, he did bail you out with a pair of short TDs. He’s averaging 17 touches per game, and if he gets there in this spot as a big favorite, a top-10 week is very much in the range of outcomes.
If you’re a Charbonnet manager, you can be encouraged that he opened the second drive last week as the lead back. That doesn’t happen in these single RB backfields, but Seattle hardly used him otherwise.
I’m holding him as Walker insurance if I have him, but if you have shallow benches and need more current upside, cutting ties with Charbonnet isn’t out of the question.
The veteran saw a team-high nine targets against the Saints on Monday night and cashed in with a WR18 finish – on your bench. Technically you made the wrong call in benching him, but there’s nothing that supports him being a consistent option (WR88 in Week 1 at ATL), and I’ll be benching him again this week.
He’s going to score his fair share of touchdowns because that’s what he does. That said, this passing game lacks quality and quantity, making all pass catchers on this roster more risk than reward.
I’m encouraged by the target earning (13 this season), as that is a skill that often takes time to develop. The early success in that department, along with a quarterback he can grow with, make him a reasonable dynasty bye after a slow statistical start.
For annual leagues, don’t worry about this rookie. He’s yet to finish a week as a top-75 receiver, as those 13 targets have picked up just 43 yards.
He was inches away from a touchdown last week, but he was instead tackled on the goal line, hurting his ribs in the process. He went on to miss some snaps, and we can guess that they were giving him a problem upon returning.
Metcalf hasn’t been a top-20 receiver in either week this season – I’d bet on that changing sooner rather than later. He turned five catches into 71 yards and a score against these Panthers last season, a stat line that pretty much mirrors what I’m expecting this week.
You guys let me know when the league figures out how to slow down Lockett.
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2023
Until I see otherwise, I’ll just assume he’s always open and that Smith will see him a handful of times per game. He scored the game-winning touchdown last week as a part of an impressive eight-catch, 59-yard, two-TD performance. A fifth straight season with 1,000 yards and eight scores seems more likely than not, a production that will land him as a WR2 for me just about every week, no matter the matchup.
With a pair of finishes outside of the top-60 at the position, JSN isn’t in a spot to be considered a weekly option, while Metcalf and Lockett are both healthy. His talent is real, and that gives him roster value as the rare insurance receiver behind Seattle’s stars.
For those in deeper formats, if there was a week to roll the dice on him, this could be it. He’s earned 5+ targets in both games this season, and we saw Marquise Goodwin post a 5-95-1 line as the WR3 in this offense against Carolina last season.
Hurst saw his target share drop from 18.4% in Week 1 to 9.1% last week, a rate of involvement that simply isn’t enough to matter in this low-octane offense. Tight ends have caught 8 of 9 targets against the Seahawks this season, giving us some efficiency upside here, but without reliable volume, Hurst is easily outside of my top 15.
Who Should You Start in Week 3?
Should You Start Miles Sanders or Breece Hall?
When possible, I like playing RBs who are a part of above-average offenses that generate scoring opportunities. Sometimes, however, that isn’t possible and that’s the case here. Sanders has impressed me by earning 11 targets in the early going this season and without touch competition on this roster, he gets the slight nod in this battle of low-end RB2s.
Should You Start Geno Smith or Jared Goff?
Both are very much in the streamer conversation and both could outproduce expectations. With that in mind, I prefer Goff, and his offense has averaged 32.9 points per game at home since the beginning of last season. The injury to David Montgomery should open up this Lions’ offense and elevate Goff’s floor in the process.
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