Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season wraps up with Monday Night Football as the Seattle Seahawks play host to the New Orleans Saints. Here is my fantasy football preview to the game, offering up my starts and sits and DFS plays for Monday night action.
New Orleans Saints
QB Jameis Winston — Gadget QB Taysom Hill suffered a concussion in the second-quarter of the Saints’ Week 5 bout with Washington. The unfortunate occurrence solidified Winston’s status as NO’s lone signal caller, and the scattershot QB scored three times afterwards, finishing with four touchdowns on the night. Despite New Orleans’ Week 6 bye, Hill was unable to clear the league’s concussion protocol. Winston can never be trusted to play turnover-free football but fantasy managers can fire him up as a mid-to-high QB2 this week. The expected return of dominant LT Terron Armstead (elbow) coupled with the absence of Seattle’s top pass rusher Darrell Taylor should afford Winston clean pockets in prime time.
WRs Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith, Kenny Stills — The likely return of Smith displaces Stills well outside of the position’s top-60 in fantasy. Callaway’s play has steadily improved since his slow regular season start and, while his targets might take a hit with Smith’s return, his role shouldn’t. Callaway has run 79.6% of his routes from the perimeter of the formation (per PFF.com) while Smith, operates as a vertical slot receiver a little over half the time. Seattle is currently allowing 35.7 .5PPR PPG to opposing WRs, 4th most in the NFL, and have given up 8 explosive pass plays over the last 2 weeks, T-11th most. Their 38.1% NEFF pass defense rating is tied for the 26th lowest mark. Both Callaway and Smith are high-end fantasy WR4s with long-touchdown upside.
WR/RB Ty Montgomery — Sean Payton kicked 2021 off with a slot receiver rotation but Montgomery squarely stole the job over the last few weeks (with a splash of rushing work mixed in). Smith may end up directly replacing him but that would mean the washed up Kenny Stills would take over as a starter in three-wide sets. Montgomery is far more capable than Stills as a short-to-intermediate area utility man. He’s too risky for redraft purposes but could considered in DFS. Seattle’s slot DB duo of Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi have been tagged for 7 catches and 49 yards on 9 targets over the last two weeks (per PFF.com).
TEs Juwan Johnson and Adam Trautman — Trautman saw an uptick in routes run before the bye but neither man is seeing much in the way of targets. Both players are outside of the position’s top-24 in fantasy.
RBs Alvin Kamara and Devine Ozigbo — Payton got Kamara’s dual threat usage back on track in their last outing, funneling eight passes his way against The Football Team but luckily, his type of usage on Monday night will be irrelevant; Seattle’s 126.5 RB rushing yards and 60 RB receiving yards allowed are the 3rd highest sums in their respective categories. Kamara’s a top-5 fantasy back this week, once again. North/south banger back Ozigbo has the No. 2 RB role to himself with Tony Jones Jr. on IR and Dwayne Washington ruled out due to a neck injury. He’s unlikely to be fantasy-relevant in any format though.
QB Geno Smith — Pete Carroll’s “yes man” Shane Waldron has dutifully employed Carroll’s clock-killing offensive philosophies, resulting in 55.8 offensive plays per game, 1.2 plays less than any other team in the NFL. The Saints already boasted the league’s 3rd best NEFF pass defense rating (57.6%) and that was with standout pass rusher Marcus Davenport out since Week 1. The 6-foot-6 force of nature is expected to make his return in Seattle’s rain-swept arena this week. Smith is a borderline mid-to-low QB2 in fantasy.
WR D.K. Metcalf — Seattle’s top two receivers both saw seven targets last week but neither was able to do much with them. Seattle’s coaching staff dropped Metcalf’s average depth of target (aDot) to 6.2 yards, the second lowest single-game aDot of his 2.3-year career, in an effort to make the big-bodied dynamo more accessible to their fill-in QB. Should they repeat that idea, Metcalf has the ability to turn any catch into a foot race to the end zone and he should see a significant snap share lined up against rookie CB Paulson Adebo. Metcalf is a highly volatile high-end WR2 with a decent shot at a solid outing.
WR Tyler Lockett — Lockett is spending more time on the perimeter nowadays while running 35.8% of his routes from the slot. His route running is as good as it gets but he’ll spend much of Monday night running against lock-down CB Marshon Lattimore and slot CB/S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Lockett is a borderline WR3/4.
WR Freddie Swain — Seattle’s No. 1 slot receiver is in for a rough outing against slot CB/S CGJ. Look elsewhere for WR6/DFS help.
TEs Gerald Everett and Will Dissly — Everett was eased back into the lineup last week, returning from a two-week, symptomatic bout with COVID-19. Fortunately he out-targeted Dissly despite playing 16 fewer snaps. When he’s on the field, they want to use him. It’s a tough match-up against a stout Saints defense that looks to be getting coverage linebacker Kwon Alexander back in the mix (elbow).Both players are borderline TE2/3s but Everett’s possible usage keeps him in play for DFS purposes.
RB Alex Collins — Early in the week, Pete Carroll told the world that Collins was dealing with hip and glute injuries before being forced to tell the truth on the injury report, where he revealed Collins is actually dealing with an ambiguous groin injury. The journeyman back produced two DNPs before getting in a limited session on Saturday and is expected to play but groin injuries are bad news. Treat Collins as a highly volatile RB3.
RB Rashaad Penny, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer — Penny is schedule to return from Injured Reserve this week and is the most likely Seattle RB to shoulder a high-volume workload. The rush-centric back is a high-end RB3. Dallas has completely supplanted Homer as the passing game back but is only viable as a mid-tier RB4 in full-point PPR formats.