By Stephen Dolan
Two NFC West teams that make up the last three NFC Championships square off on Thursday night when the Seattle Seahawks head to Levi’s Stadium to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Normally this match-up is for the top spot in the NFC West, or depending on the time of the year, the top spot in the NFC. This week it is different as both the Seahawks and 49ers enter the game at 2-4, tied for the worst record in the division. The records can be thrown out the window when these two bitter rivals square off. From a fantasy football perspective, here are the players you should start and sit for Thursday night’s Week 7 matchup.
Play: Russell Wilson (vs. SF)
Wilson has been steady all season for the Seahawks throwing at least one touchdown in every game while only throwing one interception over his last four games. He is coming off a decent game on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers throwing for 241 yards and a touchdown while completing exactly 60 percent of his passes. Wilson also adds an element in the running game as he rushed eight times for 53 yards. Play Wilson against a 49ers defense that has struggled versus the pass through the first six weeks of the season.
Pass: Colin Kaepernick (vs. SEA)
Kaepernick played well in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens as he threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions to snap the 49ers’ four-game losing streak. However, Kaepernick completed only 59.3 percent of his passes, marking the third time in the last four games that he has failed to complete more than 60 percent of his passes. He made his mark on the league with his ability to use his legs, but has just 33 rushing yards over the last two weeks. Kaepernick has the potential to put up big numbers every time he steps on the field but his consistency is a concern. Pass on Kaepernick against the Legion of Boom.
Play: Marshawn Lynch (vs. SF)
Lynch returned to the Seahawks on Sunday against the Panthers exactly three weeks after going down with a hamstring injury. Seattle eased him back into action last week as he rushed 17 times for 54 yards and a touchdown. Lynch had several rushes in which he looked like his old self running downhill and shedding tacklers. San Francisco has struggled at times against the run this season and look for Seattle to try and set the tone early on the ground. Play Lynch.
Pass: Carlos Hyde (vs. SEA)
Hyde was listed as questionable with a foot injury on Sunday against the Ravens after he got hurt last Sunday night against the New York Giants. Hyde still rushed 21 times for 55 yards against the Ravens, but was much less effective than the 93-yard performance on 21 carries just a week prior. He will be facing a Seahawks defense that has been stingy against the run, sit Hyde.
Play: Anquan Boldin (vs. SEA)
Boldin had a big game on Sunday for the 49ers who snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over his former team. He caught five passes for 102 yards including a 51-yard grab from Kaepernick. After a rough start to the season, Boldin has posted back-to-back 100-yard games including an eight-catch, 107-yard performance against the New York Giants, hauling in his second touchdown of the season. He is facing a tough Seattle secondary, but Boldin seems to be finding his stride heading into Thursday night.
Pass: Doug Baldwin (vs. SF)
Baldwin leads all of Seattle’s wide receivers with 26 receptions for 291 yards and two touchdowns. However, he hasn’t been much of a factor of late as he has been held to 36 receiving yards or less in three of his last four games, still searching for his first 100-yard receiving game on the year. Baldwin caught three passes for 23 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Panthers and is watching a number of his targets head towards tight end Jimmy Graham. Keep Baldwin on your bench.
Play: Jimmy Graham (vs. SF)
Graham finally returned to form on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers where he was dominant in the passing game. He put up season highs in receptions (eight), targets (12) and yards (140) and was the big target for Wilson when he escaped the pocket. Graham was a downfield target for the Seahawks who tapped the weapon he was with the Saints from 2010 to 2014. Play Graham.
Pass: Vernon Davis (vs. SEA)
Davis played sparingly on Sunday against the Ravens. Kaepernick targeted him only once and he failed to catch a pass. He is nursing a knee injury and has not caught a pass since September 20 (he caught five passes for 62 yards against the Steelers). Davis’ injury leaves his status in doubt for Thursday night against the vaunted Seattle secondary. Pass on Davis.
Play: Phil Dawson (vs. SEA)
Pass: Steven Hauschka (vs. SF)
Steve Dolan is an MBA student at Villanova University and a graduate of the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University. Steve co-founded Whiz Wit Sports, a Philadelphia-centric sports blog, in March 2011 growing the site to win PHL 17’s Best Local Blogger on the Philly Hot List in 2013.