The San Francisco 49ers are set to take on the Seattle Seahawks in a pivotal, hotly anticipated NFC West showdown on Sunday. Seattle has looked like the best team in the NFL this season, and it already dominated the 49ers once this season. But San Francisco is looking like the most dangerous wild card team in years, and will have the home-field advantage this time around.
There's a lot of appeal in this one, and plenty of fantasy options worth exploring for both teams. We'll get started and walk you through it, starting with the home team:
You're going to start Frank Gore any week, though it is worth noting that the Seahawks are strong against running backs. Gore has also had a few poor outings, but he's too good to leave on the bench. Given the pass defense in Seattle, Gore could wind up getting more carries and therefore more yards. Davis is a matchup nightmare, even against the Seahawks, and may not have double coverage with both Crabtree and Boldin drawing said coverage.
If Kaepernick is your quarterback, you're probably starting him anyway. He always has the potential to put up big fantasy numbers, especially with his rushing ability. The Seahawks have a strong pass defense, but it's not enough to sit Kaepernick. Crabtree will be playing in his second game this season, and probably won't draw the primary coverage on Sunday.
Boldin will likely draw Richard Sherman on Sunday. Sherman and Boldin don't fight for the ball so much as they just fight. Sherman will go home with a piece of Boldin's jersey and Boldin will probably leave with sore hands from all the push-offs. Manningham should see a reduced role as Crabtree gets more playing time.
Wilson hasn't put up huge numbers every week, but he seems to put up bigger numbers against tougher teams. He definitely rises to the occasion, and after 310 yards and three touchdowns a week ago, he's a must-start. Lynch is the same story -- the 49ers have a tough rush defense, but he's Marshawn Lynch. So what are you to do? Start him. Tate is the No. 1 receiver in Seattle and will see plenty of looks. He's a smart start because someone has to catch passes from Wilson.
Deep Start: Doug Baldwin
Baldwin has had some big games recently, but the 49ers have a strong secondary, which could be a product of the strong pass rush. But for whatever reason, they're good against receivers and Baldwin is only a deep start this week.
Sit: Zach Miller
Miller had 86 yards and a touchdown in Week 13, but the 49ers are stingy when it comes to tight ends. They've shut down just about every tight end they've faced this season, and Miller should be no different. Sit him this week unless you don't have another tight end.