Fantasy Football Trade and Waiver Wire Targets for Later in the Season

Fantasy Football season is upon us. With Week 1 nearly done and dusted, the attention of fantasy players will shift to the waiver wire and to the trade market. Here’s a look at some trade targets (or waiver wire additions if they’re available in your league) that you should look into.

Some of these players may be candidates to buy low now on and reap the benefits later, but they’re all worth a look.

Michael Thomas

Thomas caught six passes against the Raiders for 58 yards in Week 1. Also, the Saints like to throw the ball—a lot. Thomas may not out-produce Willie Snead, but he could put up big numbers as a rookie in New Orleans. He’s a worthy flex play moving forward and could grow into a WR2.

Jimmy Graham

Yes, he isn’t 100% healthy yet, and yes he didn’t do too much in Week 1, but the Seahawks are going to throw the ball more, and that should generate in more looks for Graham. He won’t struggle like he did last season, and someone may be willing to sell low on the tight end.

Derrick Henry

If Henry takes over for Demarco Murray, the rookie could put up top-10 running back numbers as a starter. He’s that good.

Travis Benjamin

If you need a Keenan Allen replacement, this is your guy. The former Brown made seven catches in Week 1, and should get a healthy number of targets moving forward. He put up some big numbers for Cleveland last season, and could thrive with Phillip Rivers throwing him the ball.

Chris Hogan

Like Thomas, Hogan won’t overtake some of the other receiving options on his own team (Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski) in the pecking order for targets. However, he could easily settle into the New England offense as the number three option. As a flex play, he’s worth a look.

Tyrod Taylor

Taylor has the chance to be a top fantasy quarterback thanks to his ability to rack up points through the air and on the ground. You could get him for cheap following his struggles against the Ravens in Week 1.

Coby Fleener

Like Taylor, Fleener is a buy-low candidate after a quiet Week 1 (one catch for six yards). In a high-octane offense in New Orleans, Fleener could post elite numbers at the tight end position.

Thomas Rawls

Another buy-low candidate, Rawls could be back up to full speed in the not-too-distant future. Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise will be a part of the offense moving forward, but it will be hard to keep the talented Rawls off the field for the Seahawks. Buy low if you can.

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5 Reasons Why the Seahawks will Beat the 49ers

There is absolutely no chance I would even consider picking against Seattle at home. I could care less that the 49ers are on a tear and their offense is clicking, etc.

Here are five reasons why the Seahawks will win on Sunday

1. Collin Kaepernick

If you’ve never been to a game at CenturyLink Field, or aren’t a Seahawks fan, you probably believe the ludicrous commercial that shows the Niners’ QB acting unfazed as a horde of “fans” jeer at him like an angry mob. Not only is the commercial a gross overstatement when it comes to Seahawks fans (they don’t officially say that the fans are from/in Seattle, but’s it’s definitely implied), but it’s also a gross overstatement of Kaepernick’s ability in Seattle. Sure, he can act like he doesn’t hear anything walking from the team bus to the stadium, but when he gets on the field in Seattle he looks extremely affected by the crowd noise.

The last time the two teams met in Seattle, Squidward Gargamel  Kaepernick posted a horrendous stat-line that would have looked all the more worse without his 87 rushing yards. The numbers are as follows:

13 for 28, 127 yards, 46.4 completion percentage, 4.54 yards per attempt, three interceptions, 14.0 Total QBR and a 20.1 quarterback rating.

Not exactly sparkling numbers there. Part of all this is simply that the Seahawks are tremendous as a defensive unit and make the best QBs look average, or worse. But part of it also has to do with the environment; Kaepernick struggles in Seattle. It’s a little harder to tell on TV, but in person you can tell from his body language that he looks exceedingly flustered by all the noise.

2. Frank Gore

Home field advantage and where the game is played really make a difference for Frank Gore. In the Niners’ Week 14 win he posted 110 yards on 17 carries. Against Seattle in Week 2? 16 yards on nine carries. These both look like outliers in the grand scheme of things, but the rub is that Gore struggles, comparatively, on the road. He has a decent split of home-to-away yards this year with 639 of his 1,128 yards at home and the remaining 489 on the road. However, if you take out his 153 yard outburst in St. Louis the road total dips to 336. That’s good for a stupendous 48 yards a game! The Seahawks won’t hold him to 16 yards like last time, but anything under 75 or 60 certainly won’t be surprising.

(On a somewhat unrelated side note, Gore ran for a total of 150 yards in playoff victories over Green Bay and Carolina. That’s only 10 more rushing yards than Marshawn Lynch gained total against New Orleans.)

3. Rising Interception Rates

Despite not intercepting any of Drew Brees’ passes, it can be argued that the Seahawks could have easily picked off a few passes. Before the playoffs began, the Hawks’ D produced 11 interceptions over its final three games. Given Gore’s ghastly (excuse the alliteration) road numbers in general, and against Seattle, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Kaepernick throw more. This would play right into the Legion of Boom’s collective hands seeing as Dan Quinn’s unit has accounted for half of the 49ers’ QB interception total this season.

4. Unleashing the Beast

(If I had a nickel for every time I heard this in relation to Marshawn Lynch this season, I would probably have enough money to buy my own NBA team.)

Marshawn Lynch is heating up at exactly the right time. After a phenomenal 140 yards against the Saints last week, Lynch will look to carry over the momentum against a Niners team that he scored four times against in two regular season meetings. The 140 yards isn’t just an outlier; the former Bills player ran for 97 yards and a score against St. Louis to close out the regular season.

5. Lack of 23 Point Games

The San Francisco 49ers like 23 points. Of the seven consecutive games they have won, in four of them (and the last three in a row) the team scored 23 points. The Seahawks haven’t given up 23 points in a game since Week Six of 2012 when they beat New England 24-23. They haven’t lost a game when allowing 23 points since 2011, before Russell Wilson was even out of college.

The Seattle Seahawks’ Most Important Win of the Season

The Seattle Seahawks’ most important win of the season was not the thrashing they gave the San Francisco 49ers on a wet Sunday night in mid-September. Nor was it their recent thumping of the Saints. Well, if it wasn’t two of the teams’ primetime, nationally televised games, which game was it?

It was the 12-7 victory the Seahawks opened the year with. The one that they ground out over the Carolina Panthers.

The Carolina Panthers.

Coming into the year, San Francisco was/is going to be tough. Houston was very good last year, as was Atlanta. Indianapolis and Minnesota both looked like they were on the upswing. The Giants certainly aren’t going to be an easy game. Of all the teams the Seahawks have played this year, who would have thought Carolina would be the most important?

Most people, myself included, probably thought Carolina was going to be a somewhat difficult game. Tougher than, as say, a game against Jacksonville, but nowhere near as tough as a game versus New York or Minnesota. This is all before the season, mind you.

As it stands, Seattle owns tie-breakers over projected NFC playoff teams New Orleans, San Francisco and Carolina. Regardless of what happens this Sunday, San Francisco probably isn’t going to catch Seattle for the NFC West title. That being said, the Seahawks biggest competition for home-field advantage will come from one of its’ NFC South contemporaries.

With Seattle owning a tie-breaker over both teams, it would take something truly catastrophic, and nearly impossible, for the Seahawks to lose home-field advantage. However, one of these teams could put the pressure on Pete Carroll’s squad. That team is the Panthers. If you look at it purely based on momentum, and the fact that the Panthers and Saints play twice in the next two weeks, you would pick Carolina.

New Orleans laid an egg in Seattle, which judging on the Seahawks’ play this year, isn’t too big of a deal. Still, the Saints aren’t necessarily on a hot streak. That is exactly what the Panthers are on. Cam Newton and company have won eight straight games.

At the end of the season, the road to the Super Bowl in the NFC will likely go through Seattle. The Seahawks should get home-field advantage without too much of a fuss, but Carolina will make it close. Thank goodness the Hawks beat them earlier in their schedule.

What We Learned From the Seahawks’ 24-14 Win Over the Washington Redskins

  • Win-Win-Win. The Seahawks won for the first time on the road in the playoffs since 1983. That’s 13 years before I was born. Not to try and make people feel old, but it’s all just very surprising that the team hasn’t won on the road since then. The Seahawks also obviously won the game, so that accounts for a third of the win-win-win. Got that out of the way. The third win is that not only is it the Seahawks’ first win on the road in the playoffs since 1983 (think about that for a minute, Seattle didn’t win on the road at all in the 90’s or 2000’s. That’s two decades without a road playoff win,) but it was also the Seahawks’ first road win in the NFC ever. (They were in the AFC in the 80’s.) That’s a pretty absurd stat for a team that made the playoffs four years in a row from ’04-’07 and five years total in the 2000’s.
  • Turn Away If You Are Horrified By Gruesome Incidents. (This paragraph was almost one. Seriously, it was.)
  • The Kick(er) is Good? Steven Hauschka was placed on injured reserve due to a left calf injury. Cue Ryan Longwell sprinting out of the tunnel to Rock the Casbah. (You’re right, that musical reference doesn’t make any sense.)
  • With the Pushing and the Shoving and the Whole Thing. Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams pushed/punched Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman in the face after the game. I know that it’s an emotional game in the playoffs, win or go home and all that stuff, but seriously? What compelled Williams to do that? I just have one question for him, are you seriously that mad…bro?
  • Marshawn Lynch Really Likes Making Big Plays in the Playoffs. Anybody remember Marshawn Lynch make the Saints’ defense look like a bunch of crash test dummies trying to tackle? Well, Beast Mode was at it again on Sunday, scooping up a rare Russell Wilson fumble and taking it 21 yards on a play that could have easily resulted in the Redskins recovering. Did I mention the Seahawks were down 14-0 at the time?
  • I am Very, Very, Very Sorry Washington Redskins. Here’s a number, the last time three times the Redskins have made the playoffs they have played the Seahawks. Not surprisingly, the ‘Skins have lost all three games. It also doesn’t help when the team’s respective quarterbacks were an older Mark Brunell, an injured RGIII and Todd Collins.

So, that’s what I learned on Sunday. What exactly did you guys learn about the game? Tell me in the comments section below if I missed anything important.