Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks

2RT4DE8 Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams celebrates after scoring against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

  • Kyren Williams: 15 carries, 52 yards, 2 touchdowns; 0 receptions, 2 receiving yards via lateral
  • Puka Nacua: 10 receptions, 119 receiving yards

Kyren Williams leads the Los Angeles Rams backfield: Cam Akers started for Los Angeles, but Williams entered the game for the second play and was the Rams' leader in every situation.

  • Williams was expected to be the passing-down back, with Akers as the early-down back, but Williams took most of the early-down work today. 
  • Akers ended the game with 29 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
  • The Rams had a 17-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter, and at that time, Williams had more carries (11-10) and nearly three times as many yards (36 to 13).
  • It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter when the Rams were protecting their lead that Akers overtook Williams as the leader in carries. Akers received eight carries in the last four minutes of the game.
  • This makes Williams the clear waiver wire target at running back for the week, as he’s the one clear top running back available on the waiver wire.
  • We have seen backfield usage change wildly from one week to the next in Sean McVay’s offense, so it’s possible we see Akers regain the early-down role in the future.

Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell have breakout games: Both wide receivers stepped up with Cooper Kupp on injured reserve, with both gaining 119 yards.

  • It was clear from their preseason usage that Atwell and Nacua would be every-down players.
  • The numbers of snaps and routes for Atwell and Nacua were not surprising, but the number of targets was.
  • Nacua posted a dominant 42.9% target rate, matching Tyreek Hill for the week
  • Both players rank top-five in receiving yards prior to Sunday Night Football.
  • They should continue to see this kind of playing time over the next three weeks as long as Kupp is out.
  • It’s hard to imagine either player sustaining fantasy success if Kupp is healthy, but we don’t know when he will be healthy. Both players will be top waiver wire targets at wide receiver.

The Seahawks running back rotation: We finally got to see Kenneth Walker III, Zach Charbonnet and DeeJay Dallas in the same game.

  • The rotation went roughly as expected. Walker was the primary early-down back, Charbonnet the backup early-down back and Dallas was the primary receiving back.
  • It was good to see both Walker and Charbonnet receiving at least a few snaps on third-and-long, making it possible for the three-man committee to become a two-man committee at some point.
  • Walker had a fine game, picking up 64 rushing yards on 12 carries and 3 receiving yards on four receptions.
  • Seattle ran 50 plays but moved the chains just once in the second half.
  • Walker can confidently be put in starting lineups. Charbeonnet should remain on the bench but be picked up off the waiver wire.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes his debut for Seattle: Smith-Njigba played consistently in three- and four-receiver sets but didn’t take a single snap out of 12, 13, 21 or 22 personnel.

  • He luckily received a high target share when he was on the field. He was targeted five times on 19 routes.
  • He caught three of those passes for 13 yards.
  • The Seahawks passing offense needs to play a lot better before fantasy managers even consider putting Smith-Njigba in fantasy starting lineups.
  • It’s possible for him to be a fantasy starter in this role, but it’s very difficult without him getting at least some of the snaps in 12 personnel.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Tyler Higbee was supposed to be one of the top fantasy tight ends this week. He ran the number of routes necessary to finish among the best, but the young wide receivers prevented Higbee from having a great game of his own.
  • The Seahawks' tight end situation remains a three-man rotation. It won’t be safe to trust any of them due to the lack of playing time. Noah Fant can probably be dropped from rosters.


Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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