NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football Recap: San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) runs for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs (6) after making a reception during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

The 49ers without Deebo Samuel: Samuel missed this game and is expected to miss one or two more due to ankle and knee injuries.

  • Ray-Ray McCloud III was Samuel's immediate replacement last week, but Jauan Jennings was the every-down player for the 49ers this week.
  • McCloud joined the 49ers' offense whenever it used three-receiver sets, which wasn’t very often.
  • Third-round rookie Danny Gray moved up to fourth on the depth chart. He made his first NFL catch last week but suffered a hamstring injury in this game.
  • While those two saw played more, the 49ers' star players saw the increase in touches.

The 49ers rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey: He touched the ball 30 times for the first time as a 49er.

  • Previously, he dominated first-half snaps before the 49ers use more of a rotation in the second half.
  • He’s played in 83.7% of the 49ers’ first-half snaps from Weeks 8-14 compared to 60.2% in the second half.
  • He played 100% of the team's first-half snaps Thursday night, including registering a carry or target on two of every three plays for the 49ers.
  • They rotated Jordan Mason in a little bit in the second half, but not nearly as much as last week. McCaffrey continued to carry the ball even with a 15-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter.
  • Mason received two goalline snaps, but they were kneel-downs.
  • McCaffrey’s production was a combination of the matchup and injuries to teammates, but San Francisco’s next two opponents should also yield positive results for fantasy managers.

Kenneth Walker III‘s return: Walker missed last week due to an ankle injury but was able to practice a few days and returned to the Seahawks' starting lineup Thursday night.

  • Walker played in his usual role, taking the early-down and short-yardage snaps while Travis Homer played on passing downs.
  • Walker gained some snaps in the two-minute drill after Homer fumbled. 
  • He also received all of the two-minute drill snaps in the second half. He typically hasn’t played much in these situations in the past.
  • His stat line was unimpressive thanks to the game script and the 49ers defense.
  • San Francisco has allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.
  • The Seahawks were still without DeeJay Dallas due to an ankle injury, but he was unlikely to see much playing time even if he was healthy.
  • Walker can more safely be put in starting lineups for the next two weeks, but the Seahawks offense will need to play a lot better for Walker to be a league winner.

The Seahawks' frustrating tight end rotation: Both Noah Fant and Will Dissly played less than usual Thursday night.

  • Dissly and Fant both ranked top 16 in PFF receiving grade among tight ends this season heading into Thursday night’s game. Either one could be a fantasy starter if the was the solo tight end.
  • The Seahawks have used a three-man rotation at tight end all season, which has made it impossible to trust any of them in fantasy leagues.
  • Fant caught a late touchdown, but it easily could have been Dissly, who caught a pass just a few plays earlier on the same drive.
  • Seattle was playing from behind throughout the night, which meant it couldn’t use as many two or three-tight-end sets.
  • The Seahawks also rotated Colby Parkinson in the game even more than usual. Parkinson ran double-digit routes just twice over the first 12 weeks of the season.
  • He reached 10 routes in both Weeks 13 and 14 and that increased more against the 49ers.
  • All three tight ends are under contract for 2023 at appropriate prices. We could see a similar three-man rotation next year, and it could be worse if Parkinson is viewed equally to Fant and Dissly by the coaching staff.

Monitor Tyler Lockett‘s health: Lockett left the game early with an arm injury.

  • It’s unclear when he suffered the injury, as he played every snap on the Seahawks' drive that started at five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
  • Reports came out that he left for the locker room during the 49ers' following drive. Seattle never got the ball back.
  • The Seahawks haven’t played a game without Lockett or Metcalf so far this season, so we can’t be confident about how the Seahawks would use their wide receivers if Lockett misses a game.
  • Chances are Marquise Goodwin would become a starter while Dareke Young and Penny Hart would both see time in three-receiver sets.

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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