Welcome to the Fantasy Football Forecast! My goal with this weekly column is to get you actionable information as quickly as possible, regardless if you're playing season-long fantasy, DFS, or are grinding player props. If you're just looking for fantasy football rankings and only have 10 minutes to skim through for your sit/start decisions, then head over to the "Forecast" sections below where I project each player's PPR finish based on a 12-team league. But if you want to get your research on, then I have full player breakdowns. As always, hit me up on Twitter @HaydenWinks if you have questions.
Seahawks (25.5 implied points, -1.5 point spread) vs. LAR
Russell Wilson heads into Week 5 with the third-most fantasy points at quarterback despite being 17th in pass attempts. Wilson continues to be one of the most efficient players in football (8.6 YPA), and the Rams Defense is flying up to Seattle on a short week after playing 74 defensive snaps on Sunday. With Vegas expecting the Seahawks to put up 26 points and with the Rams Offense playing with the second-fastest pace, Russ is a decent QB1 with a high ceiling. … Chris Carson was a broken tackle machine last week after the coaching staff put all their chips on Carson despite him having a position-leading three fumbles. Thanks to last week’s 104-yard performance, Carson should still see most of the workload even with Rashaad Penny’s expected return, and the Rams Defense is tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs (5) through four weeks. Carson is an RB1/2, but I am still concerned with his fumbles. … Rashaad Penny had six and 10 carries in his first two games this season, so he’s just a change of pace back and season-long handcuff to Carson. Penny owners are hoping for a Carson fumble.
Tyler Lockett has been quite game script dependent this season, being heavily targeted when the Seahawks need to pass and basically forgotten about when the Seahawks jump out to an early lead. The game is likely to remain close for a while, so Lockett should see WR2 usage with WR1 efficiency. Slot WR Chris Godwin just lit up the Rams Defense for 12-172-2 last week to make his outlook even sweeter. … DK Metcalf had WR2/3 usage in each of the first three weeks as the Seahawks’ primary deep threat, but he was game-scripted out of action in Week 4. That shouldn’t be an issue this week, but Metcalf’s matchup with Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib is more difficult than Lockett’s. Metcalf is a classic boom-or-bust WR3/4. … Will Dissly predictably went off against the Cardinals’ porous defense last week, and he now enters the low-end TE1 mix after seeing 5, 7, and 8 targets in the last three weeks. Dissly is a touchdown regression candidate after collecting four touchdowns on 22 targets, but Dissly is the best or second-best red zone target on the team and we should expect Dissly to have above-average touchdown rates since his quarterback is, you know, Russell Wilson.
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Rams (24, +1.5) @ SEA
Jared Goff has averaged just 240 passing yards and 1.3 touchdowns in his last 10 road games, and the Seahawks have had success against him during his career. Goff can still have a ceiling -- the Rams are playing with the second-fastest offensive pace -- but he’s being pressured more often this season and that’s leading to shakier results. The Rams’ average 24-point team total and the mid-week turnaround makes Goff more of a QB2 than a locked-in QB1. … Todd Gurley set season highs in snaps (67) and receptions (7) in last week’s shoot out, but he’s still seeing far fewer carries per game (12.25), receptions per game (2.75), and goal-line opportunities (33.3% team share of inside-the-5 carries) this season than last. The matchup is below-average, too, with the Seahawks checking in as PFF’s fifth-ranked run defense. Gurley is an RB2, while Malcolm Brown steals a handful of touches each week. Intriguing rookie Darrell Henderson is still not seeing any offensive snaps.
Games against the Browns (without their starting corners) and Bucs (at home when the defenses were non-existent) led to skyrocketed opportunity for all three Rams’ receivers the last two weeks. This week’s 50-point over/under offers another week of heightened opportunity. Cooper Kupp enters Week 5 second in PPR points among receivers and has been Goff’s favorite target by far. Kupp’s 46 targets are eight more than Robert Woods’ 38 and 15 more than Brandin Cooks’ 31. With that type of usage, Kupp is a no-brainer WR1 even with Goff’s home/road splits. … Brandin Cooks isn’t seeing the target totals that Kupp is seeing, but Cooks is 11th in air yards among receivers. In the season opener, John Ross and the Bengals laid out the blueprint for how to get a speedster going against the Seahawks, so Cooks is a boom-or-bust WR2. … Robert Woods has had strong WR2 usage in three of the four games this season, but he does face Seahawks right-side CB Shaquill Griffin who has allowed the fewest yards per coverage snap among corners with at least 100 snaps. If I’m fading a Rams’ receiver, it’s Woods, but he’s still a decent WR3 option based on projected volume. … Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee continue to split reps, but Everett ran more routes (41 to 25) and was targeted once more (8 to 7) in last week’s game. Both are zero-floor TE2 dart throws with nearly identical season-long stats and usage.
The rest of the Week 5 Fantasy Football Forecast will be posted Friday morning.