Matchup Analysis: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Seahawks 21, Steelers 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Seattle Seahawks Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Seahawks Offense21.0 (-3.2) (20)72 (-36) (25)161 (-102) (29)
Steelers Defense33.0 (+8.8) (28)99 (-9) (15)366 (+102) (27)

Pittsburgh Steelers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Steelers Offense3.0 (-21.2) (31)32 (-76) (30)276 (+12) (13)
Seahawks Defense20.0 (-4.2) (12)34 (-74) (4)395 (+131) (31)

Seahawks Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Steelers defense.

As expected, the Seahawks opened the year following 2018’s run-dominant blueprint. The game was close throughout, but Seattle kept the ball on the ground for 25 of its 45 snaps. There wasn’t much success to be found - those 25 rushes netted just 72 yards - but better days should be ahead. The front line has its issues in pass protection, but all five starters are strong run blockers, earning the unit an A+ run grade from Footballguys’ Matt Bitonti. Chris Carson remains the clear-cut lead back, and despite the rough opener, his arrow is pointing up in this scheme. His emergence as an explosive runner has made a novelty item of the disappointing Rashaad Penny, who managed just 18 yards in the opener. Since the offseason, Penny hasn’t looked dynamic in either phase of the offense; he’s well behind Carson in the pecking order. Russell Wilson remains a threat to run, though he’s far less aggressive than some of his peers. He’s more valued for his ability to extend pass plays than as a high-volume rusher.

The Steelers boast one of the league’s better run defenses, and for the most part, it showed up in Week 1. Patriots power back Sony Michel was completely neutralized, putting up just 14 yards on his 15 attempts, with a long gain of 5. But their performance followed a familiar Steelers trend: winning the power game, but flailing badly against speedy, one-cut runners. Michel may have been bottled up, but scatbacks Rex Burkhead and James White combined to post 12 for 70. It’s a long-standing problem, and the team hopes top pick Devin Bush will pick up big slack in those matchups. Bush looked a bit lost in his debut but showed off dazzling speed and a nose for the play (11 total tackles). His rookie success will hinge on the line’s ability to keep him clean, and luckily for Bush, the Steelers are stacked upfront. Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward are elite space-eaters, which should keep Bush and company free to make plays. Any step forward from safety Terrell Edmunds, who was drafted first in 2018 but has struggled in the lineup, would be a bonus for this generally-stout unit.

Seahawks Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Steelers defense.

With the Seahawks’ scheme and front line geared toward the run, the passing game is used more as a situational, game-changing tool. Russell Wilson is valued for his athleticism and mobility, but also an effective deep arm that both stretches defenses and creates chunk gains. In Week 1, Wilson completed passes of 44, 42, and 25 yards among his 20 attempts. His biggest obstacle, as usual, is the Seahawks’ weak pass-blocking line, which allowed four sacks on opening day. When Wilson can see the field and set his feet, he throws to a truly dynamic pair of wideouts. Tyler Lockett was surprisingly frozen out for most of the game, drawing just two targets. There should be more usage going forward, but Lockett may be in the process of ceding the No. 1 role to DK Metcalf. The rookie had a phenomenal debut, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 89 yards, accounting for 45% of the team’s yardage. The athletic megastar showed the ability to create separation, as expected, but also to make tough catches in coverage. He’s a fairly raw prospect but clearly boasts the No. 1 receiver traits to make a huge impact anyway.

The Pittsburgh pass defense was caught off-guard and run over by Tom Brady and the Patriots in Week 1 allowing 343 yards. The secondary remains full of question marks in coverage, an issue that will snowball if Joe Haden can’t go Sunday. Haden wasn’t sharp last week but is always the Steelers’ best cover man on the field. Mike Hilton is a solid slot man, but Steven Nelson and Cameron Sutton are shaky on the outside. Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett took full advantage in Week 1, and the Seahawks will look to move Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf around into those matchups. Even more crucial to the unit’s outlook is the availability of top pass-rusher T.J. Watt, whose status is unclear. The Steelers will need to pressure Russell Wilson - yet contain him in the pocket - to help paper over their coverage issues.

Steelers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Seahawks defense.

In their blowout Week 1 loss, the Steelers never had the opportunity to get their running game going. Even while the game was competitive, their runners showed little in the face of a swarming Patriots defense. James Conner and Jaylen Samuels combined for just 25 yards over their 12 carries, and both were swept out of the game plan by late-second quarter. Conner took the clear lead role, though, and he looks likely to bounce back once game script comes back the Steelers’ way. He looked outstanding in the preseason, racking up 6.3 yards per rush, and he still runs behind one of football’s best lines. Center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard David DeCastro spring big holes, both inside and out, for the relatively slow-footed Conner. Samuels serves as the change-of-pace back, and his weekly usage will always be hard to project. But he’s shown, with a 4.5 average over his young career, an explosiveness that nicely complements Conner’s decisive power.

The Seattle run defense certainly fired out of the gates in Week 1. The Bengals’ makeshift line wasn’t much of a challenge, but the Seahawks impressed by holding their quick-footed backs to just 31 yards on 13 carries. With Jarran Reed suspended, the team is using a four-man rotation at tackle to keep blocks off their playmakers. It was effective Sunday, with the entire front seven swarming Joe Mixon and making big stops (seven tackles for loss as a team). Linebacker Bobby Wagner was his typical active self but may have been upstaged by a breakout game from end Quinton Jefferson (six tackles, two for loss). And, as he acclimates to his new digs, Jadeveon Clowney should add even more playmaking punch to this unit. Clowney has long been a dynamic force against the run, and he made his presence known over 48 Week 1 snap. Altogether, the team has retooled nicely after its 2018 letdown. One game isn’t much of sample size, but this unit looks poised to return to its status as one of fantasy’s tougher matchups.

Steelers Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Seahawks defense.

The Steelers’ post-Antonio Brown Era opened struggled Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger completed just 27 of 47 throws, producing 276 yards (many in garbage time) along the way. His line would have been bigger if not for several back-breaking drops by Donte Moncrief, but Roethlisberger certainly underperformed. There’s hope for a quick bounce-back, but they’ll have to establish a downfield game; without Brown, the team lacked that element Sunday. JuJu Smith-Schuster was solid before leaving with a toe injury - he’s expected to be fine for Week 2 - but changes will likely be made further down the line. Most certainly, Moncrief will cede some usage to James Washington, following a night that saw him turn 10 targets into just 7 yards. Washington flashed in limited snaps, and his 45-yard reception helped keep the Steelers (briefly) alive in the third quarter. Even rookie Diontae Johnson, who caught three passes of his own, could work in ahead of Moncrief. The team will probably look to get tight end Vance McDonald involved up the seams, as well. McDonald didn’t draw a target until the game’s final drive, but can present mismatches against linebackers and safeties. Roethlisberger will need that kind of advantage as he transitions into life without Brown.

The Seattle pass defense has tumbled severely from its Super Bowl heights. With its trio of All-Pros now all gone from the secondary, this unit has become fairly targetable for fantasy purposes. In Week 1, Andy Dalton posted a career day (35 of 51 for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns) with A.J. Green sidelined. The Seahawks had no answer for speedy John Ross, who caught both those touchdowns from long distance. Cornerbacks Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin struggled throughout the day, and there was little resistance on quick-hitting throws into the slot. The overmanned secondary would benefit from a strong pass rush, and Sunday was certainly promising in that regard. Jadeveon Clowney had an impactful Seahawks debut, while down lineman Quinton Jefferson broke out with five hits (two sacks) on Dalton. This is a shaky unit, but one capable of mixing in strong performances alongside permissive ones.

Steelers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+6.5)24 (+6.5)25 (+6.2)25 (+7.7)
1Tom Brady7024363413000029.129.125.628.6

Russell Wilson (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $6200)

1vs CIN5314201962048018.618.616.616.6
2PROJ-Dodds21292281.50.65220.119.619.619.6 (H=45)19.6 (H=55)
2PROJ-Tremblay19292111.40.75260.118.618.618.6 (H=41)18.6 (H=50)
2PROJ-Bloom17252161.80.54150.119.619.619.6 (H=45)19.6 (H=55)

Steelers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.1)23 (+4.6)21 (+2.3)23 (+4.0)
1Rex Burkhead328440854108.513.511.013.5
1James White334260755608.213.210.713.2

Chris Carson (FanDuel: $7400, DraftKings: $6400)

1vs CIN411546176.035120.
2PROJ-Dodds18750.55.1360.215.320.417.9 (H=39)20.4 (H=57)
2PROJ-Tremblay19780.56.8530.217.324.120.7 (H=51)24.1 (H=77)
2PROJ-Bloom18610.74.0250.2141816.0 (H=32)18.0 (H=46)

Rashaad Penny (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $4000)

1vs CIN14618000.0001.
2PROJ-Dodds6270.21.0604.55.55.1 (H=6)5.6 (H=9)
2PROJ-Tremblay8320.20.0004.44.44.5 (H=5)4.5 (H=6)
2PROJ-Bloom7230.10.0002.92.93.0 (H=2)3.0 (H=3)

Steelers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+21.2)30 (+21.8)31 (+21.4)28 (+19.7)
1Phillip Dorsett614495200021.525.523.525.5
1Josh Gordon474373100013.316.314.816.3

Tyler Lockett (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $6200)

1vs CIN4821.044100010.411.410.911.4
2PROJ-Dodds4.8680.50009.814.612.3 (H=23)14.7 (H=33)
2PROJ-Tremblay4.3660.50009.613.911.9 (H=21)14.0 (H=31)
2PROJ-Bloom5.0810.815013.418.416.0 (H=36)18.5 (H=50)

DK Metcalf (FanDuel: $6100, DraftKings: $4300)

1vs CIN4164.08900008.912.910.912.9
2PROJ-Dodds4.0560.400081210.0 (H=17)12.0 (H=34)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.7500.30006.810.58.7 (H=13)10.5 (H=27)
2PROJ-Bloom4.0710.500010.114.112.1 (H=24)14.1 (H=45)

Jaron Brown (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3300)

1vs CIN4100.000000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1.4160.10002.23.62.9 (H=2)3.6 (H=5)
2PROJ-Tremblay0.790.10001.52.21.9 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)
2PROJ-Bloom1.0110.10001.72.72.2 (H=1)2.7 (H=3)

Steelers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-7.1)2 (-11.1)2 (-9.1)2 (-11.4)
1Ryan Izzo4521300.

Will Dissly (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2800)

1vs CIN2721.01201.
2PROJ-Dodds2.0210. (H=5)5.3 (H=12)
2PROJ-Tremblay1.6170. (H=3)3.9 (H=7)
2PROJ-Bloom1.0130. (H=2)2.9 (H=4)

Nick Vannett (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $2600)

1vs CIN2422.01601.
2PROJ-Dodds1.7170.12.343.2 (H=3)4.0 (H=8)
2PROJ-Tremblay1.7160. (H=4)4.5 (H=10)
2PROJ-Bloom2.0150. (H=2)4.1 (H=8)

Steelers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+8.2)31 (+8.2)31 (+8.5) (+0.0)
1Stephen Gostkowski4433151516.016.0

Jason Myers (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs CIN0033333.03.0

Steelers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10T (-3.1)10T (-3.1)23T (+3.2)23T (+3.2)
1New England Patriots3308110003310.010.0

Seattle Seahawks (FanDuel: $3700, DraftKings: $2900)

1vs CIN20.0042950300111112.012.0
2PROJ-Dodds26.704262. (H=16)7.2 (H=21)
2PROJ-Tremblay25.004252.81.20.600. (H=21)8.3 (H=26)

Seahawks vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+6.4)23 (+6.3)19 (+1.3)22 (+4.8)
1Andy Dalton7735514182000028.928.920.725.7

Ben Roethlisberger (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $5800)

1@ NE6927472760117013.513.510.710.7
2PROJ-Dodds26403021.71.1250.121.921.921.9 (H=55)21.9 (H=72)
2PROJ-Tremblay27433301.71.2260.123.323.323.3 (H=61)23.3 (H=80)
2PROJ-Bloom27372831.71000202020.0 (H=47)20.0 (H=61)

Seahawks vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-10.7)4 (-12.2)5 (-11.5)4 (-12.8)
1Giovani Bernard487210324206.
1Joe Mixon29610032701.

James Conner (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $6800)

1@ NE321021044.04406.510.58.510.5
2PROJ-Dodds17760.63.3270.114.517.816.2 (H=32)17.8 (H=43)
2PROJ-Tremblay16740.73.0250.114.717.716.2 (H=32)17.7 (H=42)
2PROJ-Bloom19750.54.0310. (H=32)18.2 (H=44)

Jaylen Samuels (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3600)

1@ NE2324021.0200.
2PROJ-Dodds3150.11.51203.34.84.1 (H=4)4.8 (H=8)
2PROJ-Tremblay3150.11.5120. (H=5)5.4 (H=10)
2PROJ-Bloom480.12.0170. (H=5)5.7 (H=11)

Seahawks vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26T (+13.4)31 (+22.0)28 (+15.9)31 (+22.3)
1John Ross63127158200027.834.831.337.8
1Tyler Boyd611186001306.314.310.314.3

JuJu Smith-Schuster (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $7500)

1@ NE6286.07800007.813.810.813.8
2PROJ-Dodds6.2810.500011.117.314.2 (H=24)17.3 (H=37)
2PROJ-Tremblay5.9790.400010.316.213.3 (H=21)16.2 (H=33)
2PROJ-Bloom7.0850.500011.518.515.0 (H=26)18.5 (H=41)

Donte Moncrief (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4000)

1@ NE62103.0700000.
2PROJ-Dodds3.4420.300069.47.7 (H=12)9.4 (H=24)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.7520.3000710.78.9 (H=16)10.7 (H=30)
2PROJ-Bloom2.0210.20003.35.34.3 (H=4)5.3 (H=8)

James Washington (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $3600)

1@ NE3662.05100005.
2PROJ-Dodds2.7410.30005.98.67.3 (H=11)8.6 (H=23)
2PROJ-Tremblay2.6350.20004.77.36.0 (H=8)7.3 (H=17)
2PROJ-Bloom4.0510.30006.910.98.9 (H=16)10.9 (H=34)

Ryan Switzer (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1@ NE4666.02900002.
2PROJ-Dodds3.0280.10003.46.45.0 (H=7)6.5 (H=16)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.2350.20004.77.96.4 (H=11)8.0 (H=23)
2PROJ-Bloom3.0230.10002.95.94.5 (H=6)6.0 (H=14)

Diontae Johnson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ NE2553.02500002.
2PROJ-Dodds1.5200.10002.64.13.4 (H=3)4.2 (H=8)
2PROJ-Tremblay2.3320.20004.46.75.6 (H=8)6.8 (H=18)
2PROJ-Bloom2.0260.10003.25.24.3 (H=5)5.3 (H=11)

Johnny Holton (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ NE820.000000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
2PROJ-Tremblay0.9130.10001.92.82.4 (H=2)2.8 (H=3)

Seahawks vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.9)26 (+5.9)25 (+3.9)26 (+5.6)
1C.J. Uzomah54546606.610.68.610.6

Vance McDonald (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3900)

1@ NE4942.0400465.06.0
2PROJ-Dodds3.7440. (H=13)9.9 (H=27)
2PROJ-Tremblay4.0470.36.510.58.5 (H=14)10.5 (H=30)
2PROJ-Bloom3.0390. (H=10)8.7 (H=21)

Seahawks vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19T (+1.2)19T (+1.2)19T (+0.5) (+0.0)
1Randy Bullock2322888.08.0

Chris Boswell (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ NE1100333.03.0

Seahawks vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17T (-0.1)17T (-0.1)15T (-0.8)15T (-0.8)
1Cincinnati Bengals2123340100666.06.0

Pittsburgh Steelers (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $2400)

1@ NE33.0046510000110.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds23.003832.80.70.700. (H=23)8.5 (H=33)
2PROJ-Tremblay21.503471.90.70.700. (H=22)8.4 (H=33)