Thursday Night DFS Breakdown: Rams vs. Seahawks
Thursday Night DFS Breakdown: Rams vs. Seahawks

This article is part of our Showdown/Single Game DFS Breakdown series.

The 48.5-point total on FanDuel Sportsbook for Thursday's Rams vs. Seahawks game is the third-highest of Week 5, and it's actually down a full point since Wednesday, putting it behind the ridiculous 56.0 for Colts vs. Chiefs and the 49.0 for Falcons vs. Texans on Sunday. 

Seattle comes in having scored at least 21 points in all four games, though they also allowed at least 20 in their first three before beating the Cardinals 27-10 in Arizona last weekend. Meanwhile, the Rams come in after getting blasted 55-40 by the Buccaneers in Los Angeles, a shocking result after they holding the Browns to 13 in Week 3 and the Saints to nine in Week 2.

QUARTERBACKS

Unsurprisingly, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ($10,600 DK, $15,000 FD) is the most expensive player on the slate despite a fairly pedestrian Week 4 in a game Seattle controlled from start to finish. Impressively, 16 quarterbacks have attempted more passes than Wilson's 133 but only seven have completed more, and his 8.6 YPA trails only Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott and Jimmy Garoppolo. It's no secret that Wilson can run the ball, though he's only rushed for more than 25 yards once this season, and twice he failed to reach even 10. The matchup against the Rams doesn't look quite as bad after they were smoked last week in Los Angeles by Jameis Winston for 385 yards and four touchdowns, and while they held their first three opponents to fewer than 240 passing yards while only giving up one passing touchdown, we can't ignore that they faced an injured Cam Newton in Week 1, knocked Drew Brees out in Week 2 and were successful in holding Baker Mayfield to a season-low 195 yards while completing only 50 percent of his 36 passes in Week 3. Given Seattle is favored and Wilson is reliable, he'll certainly be highly owned despite his high prices, and many will captain/MVP him too.

Meanwhile, Jared Goff ($10,200 DK, $14,500 FD) is second in the league in pass attempts after throwing a ridiculous 68 this past weekend in the 55-40 loss to the Buccaneers. After failing to reach 285 passing yards in a game through three weeks, Goff's volume helped him to throw for 517 yards and two touchdowns, though he threw two picks and lost a fumble for the third consecutive game. He now faces a Seattle defense that allowed 418 yards and two touchdowns to Andy Dalton in Week 1 but then held the Steelers, Saints and Cardinals to fewer than 250, including the first two to fewer than 200. Given the points expected in Thursday's game, and the fact that the Rams' offense seems to rely more on Goff's arm than their running backs' legs, it's certainly not crazy to consider rostering Goff, or even both quarterbacks, but they account for such a large percentage of the salary cap, and the game is filled with other strong potential fantasy scorers, that it doesn't seem like the optimal GPP build.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

While Wilson has been solid this season, it might be better to get cheaper access to the Seattle passing game by focusing on the pass catchers, with Tyler Lockett ($9,400 DK, $11,000 FD) the most active one this season, catching 26 of 32 targets for 328 yards and an 11.3 aDOT. The target tree is pretty small, with tight end Will Dissly ($7,600 DK, $10,000 FD) second on the team with 19 receptions, which he managed to do on just 22 targets, and while his 181 receiving yards and 171 air yards are solid for a tight end, he comes in with four touchdowns in his last three games, including at least one in each. Dissly's targets have increased consistently, but he's still a low-yardage receiver, as we see with his 7.4 aDOT. The big plays haven't quite been there for DK Metcalf, but the opportunities are there, as he has one more target than Dissly but his team-high 377 air yards have led to a team-high 16.4 aDOT. Unfortunately, he's only caught 10 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown, and his receptions have decreased from four to three to two to one in each game this season. That's not at all to say he's not a good play Thursday because we have to recognize he's their best big-play threat, but he's probably not safe enough for cash games.

Long-shot Seahawks include Jaron Brown ($1,400 DK, $5,000 FD), Malik Turner ($1,000 DK, $5,000 FD) and David Moore ($500 DK, $5,500 FD), who have combined for 13 catches on 19 targets for 191 yards, though they do have 9.0, 11.2 and 14.5 aDOTs, respectively. Moore is the longest of the long-shots, but Brown could be in play after catching three passes in each of the past two games, racking up 80 yards on nine targets in that span. Lockett is probably the most reliable of the bunch in terms of captain/MVP consideration, though Metcalf's upside potential is big.

The Rams' pass catchers have been quite prolific, which happens when their quarterback throws so many passes. Cooper Kupp ($9,600 DK, $13,000 FD) leads the team and is second in the NFL with 46 targets, while Robert Woods ($8,000 DK, $13,500 FD) is second on the team and tied for fifth in the NFL with 38. Kupp's been excellent of late, with more than 100 yards in three straight games, including three touchdowns in his last two. Meanwhile, Woods is coming off a huge game last week when he had 13 catches on 15 targets for 164 yards, but he's still looking for his first touchdown of the season, and he has just one red-zone target versus Kupp's four, two of which were inside the 10. And we obviously can't forget about Brandin Cooks ($7,800 DK, $12,000 FD), who leads the team with 425 air yards and a 14.2 aDOT, though his 19 catches on 31 targets for 296 yards trail the other two, and he has just one touchdown. Given the depth of their targets, Cooks is obviously the upside play in terms of long touchdown potential, and Kupp is the safest for cash games. With that said, Woods may be the lowest-owned of the group, especially on FanDuel where he's the most expensive. Any make for very reasonable choices for flex spots or captain/MVP.

Josh Reynolds is the only other Rams wide receiver to catch a pass this season, which came last week when he caught one of his two targets for 22 yards. Reynolds has two targets in three of four games, but he's a clear afterthought in their aerial attack. The tight end situation isn't significantly different, with Tyler Higbee ($2,000 DK, $6,000 FD) and Gerald Everett ($3,200 DK, $8,000 FD) solid red-zone options; the latter actually leads the team with five targets inside the 20 and Higbee is tied with Kupp, a total that's twice as high as Woods and Cooks combined. Either one offers decent salary relief, though the upside is limited to the touchdowns.

RUNNING BACKS

Despite losing three fumbles in the first three games, Chris Carson ($8,200 DK, $12,000 FD) was heavily used last week in Arizona, rushing 22 times for 104 yards and catching all four targets for 41 receiving yards, though C.J. Prosise ($2,800 DK, $7,000 FD) was able to find the end zone despite rushing three times for four yards. Prosise is probably headed back to the bench (not that he was on the field that much anyway) Thursday with the impending return of Rashaad Penny ($5,000 DK, $7,500 FD), who missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Penny was given 16 carries in the first two games, and while it seems the backfield is still Carson's, an early fumble could doom him because of Penny's availability. Carson's pass-catching has been helpful this season, as he caught 14 of 15 targets for 100 yards, though his minus-42 air yards have contributed to a minus-2.8 aDOT. He's likely to get a few targets, but you're really rostering him for his carries, which may not be all that plentiful if the Rams are able to put points on the board.

Meanwhile, Todd Gurley ($8,800 DK, $11,500 FD) continues to lead the Rams backfield, though his volume still leaves plenty to be desired, failing to get more than 16 carries in a game this season while being targeted more than once in just two games. He had a rather unorthodox line in last week's blowout, rushing five times for 16 yards, though two of those five carries were touchdowns. He did contribute through the air, catching seven of 11 targets for 54 receiving yards, but that more just pointed out how little he had been used, as he came into the game with four catches on six targets for eight yards in the first three games. Backup Malcolm Brown ($3,800 DK, $7,500 FD) is kind of a tough sell, as he hasn't been given more than six carries since Week 1 and he's only caught one of three targets in the last three games. If we know anything about the Rams backfield it's that Darrell Henderson ($800 DK, $5,000 FD) has been a complete non-factor, with zero offensive snaps since Week 1, a game when he was on the field for two plays (of course one was an unsuccessful goal-line carry). Captaining/MVPing Gurley is a bold move, but he's an explosive player who can hit a high ceiling. The issue is obviously that we haven't seen it yet, and there seems to be this continued plan to ease his workload. I guess we also can't ignore that he thinks a game on Thursday night is the "dumbest thing ever." Or maybe we can.

KICKERS

A game with a high total doesn't usually lead to a lot of kicker consideration, particularly in tournaments. Sure, they continue to be relatively safe because even high-scoring games tend to have a few field goals in them, but the upside is fairly limited, especially when there are other players who can have ceiling games that kickers just can't keep up with. As a result, Greg Zuerlein ($3,400 DK, $9,500 FD) of the Rams and Jason Myers ($5,400 DK, $8,500 FD) of the Seahawks aren't likely to be heavily owned, though they at least can provide some salary savings on DraftKings in a raw cost sense.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

We saw just last week that the Rams defense can get lit up, though they still managed a positive score thanks to a defensive touchdown. Otherwise, giving up 49 points and only getting two sacks would have been a disaster. Meanwhile, the Seahawks defense also scored a touchdown last week, but they have forced only one turnover in each of the last three games. If there's a plus it's that the Rams seem intent on throwing the ball a bunch, and Goff's propensity for fumbles could lead to some turnovers. With points expected to be scored, rostering a defense on DraftKings is more about being contrarian than expecting a ton of fantasy points.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 and 2018 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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