|46.6%||22||Opp. Rush %||27.3%||2|
|53.5%||11||Opp. Pass %||72.7%||31|
- Since hiring Pete Carroll in 2010, the Seahawks have a league-best 15-1 record (12-4 ATS) at home in the month of September.
- Over that same span under Carroll, Seattle is tied for a league-best 19-3 record (16-5-1 ATS) in home prime time games.
- Seattle threw the ball on 66% of their offensive snaps on early downs outside of the 4th quarter, the second-highest rate in the league.
- That rate was at 49% in 2019 (24th).
- Cam Newton’s 15 rushing attempts in Week 1 were his most in a game since Week 6, 2014 (17 carries).
- Chris Carson played just 28 snaps in Week 1 after averaging 49.8 snaps per game in his full games played in 2019.
Russell Wilson: Did analytics football Twitter and Seattle fans finally get their wish? At least for one week, the Seattle staff did #LetRussCook. Wilson rewarded Seattle by going 31-of-35 for 322 yards and four touchdown passes while he also led the team with 29 rushing yards. Attacking the Atlanta defense with that approach is one thing, but going out and passing all over the Patriots defense is another.
Despite not having Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, D’Onta Hightower, and Patrick Chung on this defense anymore, the Patriots still came out in Week 1 and did what they did a year ago, allowing a league-low 0.55 points per passing attempt. Shutting down Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins is a far cry from what Seattle brings to the table, but New England does have the defenders to match up well with the Seattle wideouts.
Just four quarterbacks have finished higher than QB20 against New England since the start of last season. All four of those passers (Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Ryan Fitzpatrick) all could use their legs and three of them added four-plus fantasy points rushing in the matchup since New England has allowed multiple touchdown passes just twice over that span. Wilson is capable of using his legs as well, giving him an out to go along with a hot start to the season, but this is not the matchup to have expectations of Wilson equaling his Week 1 fantasy output.
Cam Newton: The Patriots swerved right into embracing Newton’s strengths in Week 1. Newton averaged 1.17 fantasy points per dropback, the most for a quarterback in Week 1. Even without a touchdown pass (thanks N’Keal), Newton was the QB6 (25.7 points), rushing for 75 yards and two scores while completing 15-of-19 passes for 155 yards (8.2 Y/A).
Seattle gave up the most passing yardage in the league in Week 1, but did allow 201 yards and two touchdowns through the air in the fourth quarter. Even prior, without allowing a touchdown pass, Matt Ryan had averaged 8.6 Y/A through three quarters. New England went the opposite direction, running just 11 pass plays in the second half of Week 1 with just one in the fourth quarter. As road dogs, New England is unlikely to sustain that Week 1 game script and need Newton’s arm as well as his legs. With Newton being a better bet to have more rushing production, I would wager on Newton outscoring Wilson here for fantasy purposes.
Chris Carson: Carson’s six catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns masked some potentially problematic usage should Week 1 roll over into multiple weeks. Coming into Week 1, Carson had just three career touchdown receptions on 79 targets. Carson was out-carried by Carlos Hyde 7-to-6 on Sunday, but ran 18 pass routes compared to zero for Hyde and seven for Travis Homer. I would be willing to chalk some of that up to the unique approach Seattle had, but even if his usage reverts here, New England is a run defense that has been strong since the start of last season.
The Patriots allowed the fewest points to opposing backfields in 2019 and the most points below what those teams had averaged coming into the matchup. They allowed 108 yards on 28 touches to a much softer Miami backfield in Week 1 and 3.1 YPC. Carson has the receiving role secured out of this backfield and still likely the goal line work, leaving him plenty of outs as an RB2 option.
Patriots RBs: In Week 1, each of Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and James White played 19 snaps with J.J. Taylor picking up nine snaps. James White led the backfield with 52 yards on eight touches, but ran just six pass routes overall. Even with an NFL-low 22 drop backs in Week 1, White’s 27.2% route rate per dropback was well below his 52.4% rate from 2019. The only other Patriot back to run a pass route was Taylor, however with just two.
Newton himself handled three of the team’s four carries inside of the 10-yard line, but Michel (10-37-1) did make his one carry from the goal line count for a score. Week 1 was such a unique dynamic for the fantasy prospect of White (low dropbacks) and Michel (Newton’s GL presence) that it adds more variance to both the floors of the players a lot while offering a limited ceiling. White is still in play as a floor-based PPR FLEX option with Michel as a hopeful touchdown chasing option only.
Tyler Lockett: It was business as usual for Lockett and his connection with Wilson in Week 1, as their mind meld proved as efficient as ever, connecting on eight targets for 92 yards. Since the start of the 2018 season, only Michael Thomas (82.2%) has a higher catch rate than Lockett’s 78.2% among NFL wideouts. Lockett still ran 68% of his routes from the slot to start the year. The Patriots were fifth in points allowed to opposing slot wideouts a year ago, which was slightly better than their top ranking in points allowed to boundary wideouts a year ago. If I had to choose a Seattle wideout to have the better game, I would choose Lockett.
D.K. Metcalf: Metcalf started the season where he left off in 2019, catching 4-of-8 targets for 95 yards and touchdown in Week 1. Seattle also used Metcalf out of the slot 23% of the time, a spike from his 11% rate over his rookie season. Any snaps away from Stephon Gilmore are good snaps. Gilmore will give up some catches and yards on occasion, but has allowed just one touchdown receptions in coverage since the start of last season.
Metcalf does not have a lengthy resume of facing top-shelf cornerbacks, but did catch 5-of-5 targets for 69 yards in Jalen Ramsey’s coverage a year ago in Week 14. I would still discount Metcalf a touch here to WR3 status, but I am still not leaving the player with the most end zone targets since the start of last season on any benches.
Julian Edelman: Edelman was third among New England wideouts with 37 snaps in Week 1, but he was tied for the team lead in routes run (86.4% of drop backs) and led the team with seven targets (5-57-0). He also tacked on a 23-yard run. Seattle allowed 12 receptions for 179 yards to Atlanta wideout out of the slot in Week 1, allowing a 9-114-0 line to Russell Gage overall. With an increased rate of drop backs due to game script, Edelman is a solid floor-based WR2 in PPR formats and a WR3 in non-PPR formats.
N’Keal Harry: Entering his second season finally healthy, Harry was involved in Week 1 receiving six targets (31.6% of the team share) which he turned into five catches for 39 yards and a lost fumble out of the end zone on a potential score. The good news is that those 39 yards are new career-high. The bad news is that those 39 yards are a new career-high. The downside here though is Harry remained a near-the-line-of-scrimmage target with a minuscule 3.6-yard average depth of target, leaving Harry’s current station having to rely on yards after the catch. The usage is a step forward, but we will need some actual downfield targets at some stage to generate some sort of ceiling. As of now, Harry is an optimistic FLEX with marginal target competition behind Edelman.
Greg Olsen: In the Seattle tight end race, it was Olsen running 22 pass routes (56.4% of team drop backs) compared to nine for Will Dissly and six for Jacob Hollister. Olsen even had the team’s lone end zone target in Week 1, which elevated his 4-24-1 game line. Outside of chasing another end zone target, Olsen is still stuck in TE2 territory.
Patriots TEs: Ryan Izzo led the New England tight ends with 63 snaps (98.4%), running 16 routes with one catch for 25 yards. Rookie Devin Asiasi played just 10 snaps with zero pass routes, leaving him as a slow burn for Dynasty hopefuls.
More Week 2 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: