Game Predictions & Player Projections - BUF vs. SEA

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: BUF 16, SEA 20 (Line: SEA by 7, O/U = 44)

SATURDAY UPDATE: LeSean McCoy practiced again on Saturday and is expected to play despite his questionable tag.

UPDATE: C.J. Prosise was added to the projections on the statement by HC Pete Carroll that he would be more involved. Prosise ran for 23 yards and had 4 catches for 80 yards last week but that was against the Saints. At least for now, he merits consideration as a low-end reception point league play. Marquise Goodwin had a full day of practice on Friday and may be cleared from his concussion. He has a good chance of playing on Monday night so I am adding him in but his outlook remains low against the Seattle defense.

LeSean McCoy's status will be better known on Saturday when the final designation happens. He had limited practices on Thursday and Friday and has not been ruled out. Hopefully this will not become a game time decision but it may even if only for strategic reasons.

This is the Monday night game. The 4-4 Bills have lost their last two games and are 2-2 in road games. The 4-2-1 Seahawks are atop the NFC West and have a perfect 3-0 home record. The home venue is enough to win this game and the likelihood of LeSean McCoy missing another game only makes it easier to call.

Buffalo Bills

1 @BAL 7-13 10 BYE ---
2 NYJ 31-37 11 @CIN ---
3 ARI 33-18 12 JAC ---
4 @NE 16-0 13 @OAK ---
5 @LA 30-19 14 PIT ---
6 SF 45-16 15 CLE ---
7 @MIA 25-28 16 MIA ---
8 NE 25-41 17 @NYJ ---
9 @SEA ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
BUF @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyrod Taylor 50,1 180
RB LeSean McCoy 60 3-20
WR Anquan Boldin 3-30
WR Jordan Matthews 5-70,1
WR Walter Powell 3-40
TE Charles Clay 3-30
PK Stephen Hauschka 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Losing to the Patriots with Tom Brady there was not a surprise and with LeSean McCoy out of the game it wasn't as bad as expected. But losing in Miami dropped the Bills to only 1-3 in the division here at midseason and that makes January plans be more about heading to the Caribbean instead of a play off game. The back half of the schedule is actually easier and the Week 10 bye will help heal the team up for the stretch run. This week in Seattle is not likely to see any improvement.

QUARTERBACK : Tyrod Taylor is rushing more in recent weeks and scored on a run the last two games. But he's never been more than a mediocre passer since Sammy Watkins left. Taylor threw for only six touchdowns over the most recent six games and never went about 250 yards. Over half of his games have failed to produce over 200 passing yards.

RUNNING BACK : LeSean McCoy is still nursing his hamstring strain that caused him to miss Week 8. Mike Gillislee took his first start and gained 85 yards and one score on 12 carries in the loss to the Patriots. Gillislee would add three catches for nine yards. HC Rex Ryan expressed optimism that McCoy might play this week but pending practice reports, I'll hold him out and update if needed. With a Week 10 bye, it makes a lot of sense to get their only star player completely healthy.

WIDE RECEIVER : Precious little is going on with this unit that ranks as one of the worst in the league. While they have combined for seven touchdowns, it is very rare that any receiver tops 50 yards in any game. Marquise Goodwin was out last week with a concussion and I will hold him out until he is certain to play. Goodwin has a team high three touchdowns on the season and gained 93 yards and a score in Week 7 in Miami. He never had more than 22 yards in the four previous weeks though.

Robert Woods is as consistent as it gets here with around 50 yards in most games but only one score all year thanks to the 49ers. The Bills just signed Percy Harvin to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million and that is a good sign of the desperation in the offense to find anything that works. It is too early to project for him and he's been out of football for good reasons - he could not remain healthy and wasn't that productive anymore anyway.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value. Charles Clay was getting around 60 yards per game but the last two weeks is spending most his time blocking and is only catching two short passes.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Seahawks have only allowed three teams to throw for any touchdowns and the Bills are already one of the least productive passing offenses. No reason to expect Taylor to have anything more than a mediocre passing day but with a chance of one rushing score for him.

The Seahawks have only allowed one runner to score on them and that was back in Week 3. Without McCoy, Gillislee is going to find it much tougher to score this week or gain more than moderate yardage. His lack of receptions hurts more in this sort of game.

There are no elements of the passing offense to consider in a soft matchup, much less on the road in Seattle. Robert Woods natural matchup is with CB Richard Sherman.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 17 6 31 25 22 5
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 6 6 9 6 10 3

Seattle Seahawks

1 MIA 12-10 10 @NE ---
2 @LA 3-9 11 PHI ---
3 SF 37-18 12 @TB ---
4 @NYJ 27-17 13 CAR ---
5 BYE --- 14 @GB ---
6 ATL 26-24 15 LA ---
7 @ARI 6-6 16 ARI ---
8 @NO 20-25 17 @SF ---
9 BUF ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 260,1
RB Mike Davis 20
RB C.J. Prosise 10 4-40
WR Doug Baldwin 4-60
WR Jermaine Kearse 3-50
WR Tyler Lockett 3-40
TE Jimmy Graham 6-90,1
PK Blair Walsh 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Tying the Cardinals no doubt tired out the Seahawks but losing in New Orleans with only one offensive touchdown was a surprise. That high-flying passing offense of last year is so different from what we have seen that it is starting to seem like it never happened. The defense is still formidable though not unbeatable. But the offense is not giving them any help. This week against the visiting Bulls may not be insurmountable but playing in New England for Week 10 probably is.

QUARTERBACK : Russell Wilson hasn't thrown a touchdown since Week 4. He has just five touchdowns on the year and only once had more than a single score. The yardage is solid enough but the touchdowns are just not there. Wilson may remove his knee brace soon to help with his mobility but that is another aspect of the offense that hasn't been present for 2016. Wilson has never scored as a runner or gained more than 16 yards in any game. Last week in New Orleans, he only threw for 253 yards and one interception.

RUNNING BACK : Christine Michael has also been much less effective in recent weeks and in New Orleans was held to only 40 yards on ten carries when the game went more to the air. Michael has been the full time rusher since Week 1 and yet hasn't topped 66 rushing yards in any game. He has a minimal role as a receiver. When Thomas Rawls returns likely in a couple of weeks, there is no reason to not make this into a committee. Michael hasn't been any sort of a difference maker that Rawls was last season or that Marshawn Lynch was for years.

WIDE RECEIVER : This unit is back to the old days where it ranked among the least productive in the NFL. They have combined for only three scores this year and only once was there anyone with more than 100 yards in a game. Doug Baldwin is the top player by a large margin since he's turned in 50+ yards in most games and scored twice. He had big games in the opener versus the Dolphins (9-92, TD) and Week 2 against the 49ers (8-164, TD) and that is it. Never more than 69 yards or a score in any game since. Tyler Lockett has dealt with injuries but is a major disappointment with no scores on the year and only once gaining more than 35 yards in any game.

TIGHT END : Jimmy Graham is the top receiver here but has just one touchdown on the year. He had three straight games with 90+ yards and then the last two road games had him almost disappear. Back in New Orleans for the first time, he could only manage three catches for 34 yards. A home game should help this week but it is troubling how far Graham and the rest of the offense have dropped recently.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bills defense has been quietly very good. Until their comeuppance with Tom Brady, they had held all opponents to a total of just four passing touchdowns over seven games. Wilson has struggled as of late anyway and not thrown a score in three games. Michael is a must start this week and should have at least moderate to good yardage with one score against a visiting defense that already allowed nine rushing scores to opponents.

Graham and Baldwin are both worth consideration this week. Any passing score is almost certain to end up with one of them and the Bills gave up over 100 yards to tight ends when they faced the Patriots both times. If Baldwin cannot score in New Orleans or against the visiting Falcons, it is hard to rely on him for more than moderate yardage but he has upside even this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 27 15 26 11 14 11
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 8 16 16 8 24 6

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