Evan Silva’s Matchups Breakdown for Rams vs. Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Carson
Below is a breakdown of Thursday night’s matchup by Evan Silva of Establish The Run. The goal is to help fantasy players and bettors alike understand the game at the deepest level. For all of Silva’s breakdowns and more fantasy analysis, visit EstablishTheRun.com.
Team Totals: Rams 25, Seahawks 23
Rams-Seahawks is Week 5’s third-highest-totaled game pitting against each other teams that rank Nos. 6 (LAR) and 9 (SEA) in points and produced 36-31 and 33-31 shootouts in last year’s two meetings. While this game’s high-scoring likelihood is promising for Jared Goff, his negative-away splits again bear mentioning with QB9 and QB4 finishes in L.A. versus QB29 and QB19 results on the road. Beginning with most recent, Goff’s four fantasy outcomes against Pete Carroll’s team are QB12 > QB18 > QB25 > QB21 under Sean McVay. Ultimately, Goff is best approached as a boom-bust start. … Even as the Rams’ running game has yet to find a consistent rhythm, McVay seems to be developing increased trust in the stability of Todd Gurley’s knee and his ability to handle big workloads. Gurley set season highs in snaps (75%), routes run (38), and targets (11) in last week’s loss to Tampa, operating in a script-proof manner after the Rams fell behind. Gurley has still gone seven straight games without reaching 20 touches, but I think he’ll get there soon. McVay would be smart to again feature Gurley’s receiving skills on Thursday night; Seattle has limited enemy backs to 63/253/2 (4.02 YPC) rushing but has yielded the NFL’s third-most receiving yards (265) to Gurley’s position, including David Johnson’s 8/99/0 stat line last week.
Goff’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Cooper Kupp 46; Robert Woods 38; Brandin Cooks 31; Gurley 17; Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee 15; Josh Reynolds 7; Malcolm Brown 3. … Seattle has done a better job than most of defending Kupp, holding him to stat lines of 5/39/0 > 6/90/1 > 2/21/0 > 3/44/0 in four career meetings. Kupp remains an impossible fade with the NFL’s second-most targets and over 100 yards in three straight games. … Woods has delivered steady WR2 production against the Seahawks with 4/89/0 > 5/92/0 > 6/45/1 > 5/66/0 results since joining the Rams. Including playoffs, Woods has at least seven targets in 14 of his last 16 games. … Cooks draws the best matchup in Los Angeles’ wideout corps; whereas stationary Seahawks LCB Shaquill Griffin is developing into a shutdown force, RCB Tre Flowers has been burned for 19 completions on 27 targets (70.4%) for 248 yards (9.2 YPA) and two touchdowns. Cooks has drawn 12 targets in right corners’ vicinity versus only five against left corners. In his one healthy game against Seattle last year, Cooks caught ten balls for 100 yards, and zero of his 12 targets came against Griffin. … Everett is the Rams’ best tight end bet on one-game DFS slates after he out-snapped Higbee 50 to 39 and ran 42 routes to Higbee’s 25 in last week’s shootout with the Bucs. Both tight ends’ Week 4 box scores were inflated by the furious comeback nature of the game, however. Including penalties, the Rams ran 89 offensive plays against the Bucs after averaging 69 in Weeks 1-3.
The Seahawks catch Rams DC Wade Phillips’ defense on a short-week road trip following its stunning home-game collapse versus the Bucs; after yielding 49 points combined in Weeks 1-3, Los Angeles was torched for another 49 by Tampa Bay, not including NT Ndamukong Suh’s fourth-quarter fumble six. The Rams’ defense played a season-high 74 snaps, concerning on a quick turnaround. Down to 29th in QB hits (15), the Rams’ inability to get pressure on Jameis Winston especially stood out on tape and supports the notion Russell Wilson is likely to bounce back from his own slow Week 4. Wilson flamed Phillips’ defense for a 6:0 TD-to-INT ratio and 92 rushing yards in last year’s two meetings. I strongly prefer Wilson over Goff on one-game DFS slates. … As Seattle jumped out to a 20-3 first-half lead in last week’s win, Chris Carson’s season-best game was critical for putting the Cardinals away. Finally avoiding fumbles and totaling 145 yards on 26 touches, Carson’s run-finishing power cemented the victory and should re-instill coaching-staff confidence in Carson as its main back. Carson’s game would’ve been bigger had his fourth-quarter goal-line score not been nullified by a Will Dissly hold. Plays later, Carson was frustratingly vultured by C.J. Prosise from nine yards out. Even as the Rams have played stout run defense – holding enemy backs to 90/366/5 (4.07 YPC) rushing – Carson warrants fringe RB1 treatment in what projects as a neutral-script game with another good shot at 20 touches. Rashaad Penny (hamstring) is expected to be active, but probably only to give Carson breathers and change the pace.
Wilson’s target distribution: Tyler Lockett 32; D.K. Metcalf 23; Dissly 22; Carson 15; Jaron Brown 9; Prosise 8; Malik Turner 6; David Moore 4; Luke Willson 2; Penny 1. … Bucs slot WR Chris Godwin went berserk against the Rams last week, collecting 106 of his 172 yards on interior routes and creating a blueprint for 73% slot WR Lockett. In a much lower-volume role than he has now, Lockett dropped 5/67/1 and 3/98/1 stat lines on the Rams last year. … Metcalf finished with a season-low six yards on four targets in Week 4 as Wilson simply didn’t need to challenge the Cardinals deep. Metcalf remains a volatile WR3/flex option in season-long leagues. His Thursday night outlook is improved by this game’s high total and Wilson’s willingness to force throws to Metcalf in scoring position; D.K. leads the NFL in end-zone targets (7). Metcalf is also popping in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. … Dissly capitalized on last week’s trade of Nick Vannett as expected, logging a season-high 79% snap share and leading the team in targets (8). The Rams were playing stingy tight end coverage until Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard combined for a perfect 6/69/1 receiving line on six targets against them in Week 4. As Wilson proactively looks for Dissly in scoring position, he’s earned matchup-agnostic TE1 treatment. Dissly’s five end-zone targets lead all NFL tight ends. … For one-game DFS slates, Week 4 Seahawks receiver snaps were divvied as follows: Lockett 97% > Metcalf 63% > Brown 56% > Moore 40% > Turner 16%. … Re-signed No. 2 TE Willson played 24% of Week 4’s snaps.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Rams 21