The Rams and Seahawks on “Thursday Night Football” is an explosive way to open the fantasy football scoring for Week 5. The Las Vegas total for the game is set at 54.5 and the spread is fewer than a field goal in favor of the Rams. That implies both teams will score a ton of points given their elite quarterbacks and shoddy defenses. Within reason, it does feel like a start ’em-if-you’ve-got ’em game, save for the defenses, but we have lineup advice for all the key players, including a “questionable” Chris Carson and backup Alex Collins.
Here’s diving deep into the matchup so you’ll know what to expect from the players on both sides so you can start the week off right.
Rams: Who to start or sit in fantasy football on Thursday night
Start: QB Matthew Stafford
Stafford seems like he’s been an elite fantasy football force on his new team, but his value is actually just around where he was targeted in drafts as QB8.Stafford can be streaky, but he tends to come through against bad pass defenses, which the Seahawks qualify as. He was awesome in Weeks 1 and 3, shaky in Weeks 2 and 4. Will he go back to big numbers in an odd week?
Start: RB Darrell Henderson
Henderson fought and played through the injury to his ribs last week. He ran well while Sony Michel lost a fumble. With Henderson playing and seeing more of the backfield snaps, he projects as a borderline RB1 given the Seahawks’ league-worst run defense so far. Michel can’t be played again unless Henderson is on the shelf.
Start: WR Cooper Kupp
Kupp is a native of Yakima, so he always enjoys returning home to Washington. In eight games against the Seahawks, he has totaled 42 catches (65 targets) for 472 yards and three TDs. Last year, Seattle contained him well in two games, but that was without Stafford throwing to him.
Start: WR Robert Woods
Woods should start to get more involved in the offense as a reliable inside-outside option to complement Kupp. He has caught just 15 passes on 25 targets for 172 yards and two TDs. He averages five catches for 75 yards against the Seahawks.
Sit: WRs Van Jefferson Jr. and DeSean Jackson
These guys have helped Stafford hit home runs early, as he stretches the field better than Jared Goff could, but they’re big-play dependent for now. Jefferson is trying to get involved as the new Brandin Cooks to Woods and Kupp, but the reliable volume isn’t there yet. Jackson can disappear from games after flashing, which pretty much tracks with his career.
Sit: TE Tyler Higbee
Higbee has caught 15-of-18 targets for 152 yards and a TD, a modest total that doesn’t scream starter in 12-team leagues. The Seahawks are so burnable with wideouts that Higbee should have limited usage in the passing game. He won’t do much with five-to-six targets and you’re riding everything on him scoring.
Start: K Matt Gay
Gay has been attached to this high-scoring attack and hasn’t disappointed as a top-five scorer at the position.
Sit: Rams DST
The Rams can be no-brainer plays, but the Cardinals exploited some key holes and Wilson will do the same with better knowledge of their defensive concepts thanks to offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who came straight from Sean McVay’s staff.
Seahawks: Who to start or sit in fantasy football on Thursday night
Start: QB Russell Wilson
Wilson at home in prime time is money in the bank for a big game. He’ll be called upon to throw often opposite Stafford.
Start: RB Chris Carson
Carson (neck) is a game-time decision after missing practice this week. Should he go, he’s in your lineups as a solid RB2 given two Cardinals backs gashed the Rams last week.
Sit: RB Alex Collins (unless Carson is out)
The Seahawks will turn to Collins should Carson miss the game. Any starter slated for double-digit touches in a high-scoring game is worth some starting attention. He can probably “Riverdance” back into the end zone to pad his value. Should Carson play, it’s hard to trust Collins getting enough work to plug into lineups.
Start: WR DK Metcalf
Metcalf has had some battles early in his career with Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, with each recording individual game “wins.” The last time they met in the playoffs, Metcalf caught just five-of-11 targets, but he made them count with 96 yards receiving and two TDs. In four regular-season games against the Rams, Metcalf has averaged just four catches for 52 yards and a TD. Seattle is moving around Metcalf to scheme him open given all the usual attention. The question is whether Ramsey will travel with him again both outside and inside.
Start: WR Tyler Lockett
Lockett also has been up-and-down against the Rams in his career. He was shut down in the playoffs, but in the previous 12 games against the Rams he has racked up 47 catches for 699 yards and five TDs. Should Ramsey follow Metcalf, the Rams will have major trouble with Lockett, as No. 2 corner Darious Williams has struggled.
Sit: TE Gerald Everett
Everett is set to come off the COVID-19 list and play in the revenge game against the Rams, They have giving up nearly catches for 75 yards per game to tight ends. Everett saw 9 targets in 3 games, catching 8 for 77 yards and a TD. But there’s also Will Dissly, who’s caught all 6 of his targets for 81 yards. This game figures to be about the wideouts for Wilson as much as that also happens for Stafford.
Sit: K Jason Myers
Myers has had a rough season so far, well out of the top 20 in kicker scoring. You can do much better than forcing him in here.
Sit: Seahawks DST
They have Jamal Adams and Bobby Wagner, which is nice, but that doesn’t mean they can stop much of anything in any way.
Rams vs. Seahawks: FanDuel single-game lineup
- MVP (1.5X): QB Russell Wilson $15,500
- AnyFLEX: QB Matthew Stafford $16,000
- AnyFLEX: WR Tyler Lockett $12,000
- AnyFLEX: WR Robert Woods $10,000
- AnyFLEX: WR Freddie Swain $6,500
The mission was to double-up on the quarterbacks and go from there. Kupp and Metcalf are the more expensive flashier picks, so thus the affordable pivot to Lockett and Woods. Swain has been scoring in key spots Jermaine Kearse-style, so here’s taking a cheap chance with what’s left.
Rams vs. Seahawks: DraftKings Showdown lineup
- Captain (1.5x): QB Matthew Stafford $17,100
- FLEX: QB Russell Wilson $11,800
- FLEX: WR Robert Woods $7,600
- FLEX: WR Van Jefferson Jr. $4,800
- FLEX: WR Freddie Swain $4,600
- FLEX: K Matt Gay $3,600
OK, the two-QB strategy is in play on DraftKings, too. Here, we are settling for the Wilson-Swain stack while bringing Jefferson into the mix with Woods tied to Stafford. Gay should be busy with the Rams likely stalling a few teams with the Seahawks playing bend-but-don’t-break defense more at home.