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Trade for Carlos Dunlap already paying off for Seahawks

Fri Nov 27 5:50pm ET
AP Sports Writer

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap (43) sacks Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1), late in the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-21. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap (43) celebrates with defensive end L.J. Collier, center-left, after Dunlap sacked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray late in the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-21. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Carlos Dunlap was quick to dismiss the idea that his arrival suddenly solved the problems the Seattle Seahawks had on their defensive front.

Consider it Dunlap's way of deflecting recognition when there is pretty solid evidence that his addition to the Seahawks' defensive line is already paying off in a significant way.

''They said I was coming here to save the rush, but I see guys getting healthy, and all those guys getting sacks,'' Dunlap said after Seattle's win over Arizona last week. ''It's not like I got the whole 16 (sacks). I only got two out of those. To say I came to fix the rush; we just had to put ourselves in better situations and get guys healthy on the edge.''

Over the past four weeks, the Seahawks' once-dormant pass rush has suddenly awakened, thanks in no small part to the addition of Dunlap after his trade from Cincinnati. Dunlap has three sacks in the three games he's played heading into Monday night's matchup against Philadelphia.

Seattle has 16 sacks total in the past four games. The Seahawks had nine in the first six games of the season. And there is no reason to think that surge of pressure will slow down this week against a Philadelphia offense that has given up 40 sacks this season, the most in the NFL.

Dunlap's influence in helping create that improvement is not lost on his teammates.

''You have a guy out there that everybody knows is a playmaker and you got to be accountable for,'' Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ''You got to know where he's at. ... But he's just very, very smart and so he picked up the defense really fast. You watch him out there on perimeter plays or effort plays, you could just see him kind of flying around all over the field. And so just having another playmaker out there definitely helps us and we're grateful to have him.''

Seattle's pass rush was considered the biggest concern coming into the season and those worries proved to be accurate. Part of the reason the Seahawks' defense was shredded by opponents through the air earlier in the season was because of the lack of pressure quarterbacks were facing.

As the pressure on QBs has increased in recent weeks, the results for the defense have looked much better for Seattle - with one notable exception. While Seattle recorded a season-high seven sacks against Buffalo, it also allowed Josh Allen to throw for 415 yards and put up 44 points.

But Seattle's defense stymied San Francisco for three quarters in Week 8; had a solid second half in a loss against the Rams; and had its best overall game of the season in last week's 28-21 win over Arizona.

After failing to hit Kyler Murray in the first matchup against the Cardinals, the Seahawks had seven QB hits and three sacks, including Dunlap's on Arizona's final offensive play.

''There's going to be more games to play. I just have to continue to show up,'' Dunlap said. ''This is what they brought me here for. I'm just happy I could deliver.''

So far, coach Pete Carroll is thrilled with Dunlap's addition. He hopes the team can continue to create pressure with its defensive line and rely on the blitz less than it did earlier in the season.

''Let me state the obvious that he has had an impact,'' Carroll said. ''He knocks the pile back. He knocks the tackle into the quarterback and creates lanes for other guys. He's contributing to other guys' rushes as well. We've just taken a step forward with how we're doing things.''

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Player Notes
Tevin Coleman Nov 27 6:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the division-rival Rams. Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) will be activated from Injured Reserve on Saturday and are expected to play on Sunday, joining Jerick McKinnon in a crowded backfield. Mostert was the leader of this backfield before his injury, but head coach Kyle Shanahan could change things up in what is becoming a big headache for fantasy managers. Coleman may not even have much of a role when he returns to action, making him droppable for better options in shallow leagues. If Mostert is active, he'll be a shaky WR3/flex against a tough Rams defensive line.

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Jakeem Grant Nov 27 6:00pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Jets. Grant was limited in practice the last two days, so he has a pretty good chance of facing the winless Jets. The 28-year-old has drawn 17 targets for 10 catches and a touchdown in the last three weeks and seems to have good chemistry with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. However, Tagovailoa looked terrible in Week 11 and might not play this weekend after injuring his thumb in practice on Wednesday. If Grant is active, he'll be a WR4/5 in deeper leagues despite the excellent matchup with New York. If Grant sits, DeVante Parker could see a huge target load, while Mack Hollins, Antonio Callaway and rookies Malcolm Perry and Lynn Bowden Jr. could have a chance to make some noise.

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Antonio Brown Nov 27 6:00pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been a strong producer since joining the team. Aside from the blowout loss to New Orleans, Brown has put up 7-69-0 and 8-57-0 receiving lines on eight and 13 targets, respectively. Those are essentially WR2-level workloads, though the matchup against the Chiefs is certainly a tough one. Considering that Kansas City has surrendered the third-fewest targets to wide receiver this year, a slight downgrade to Brown's prospects is necessary. However, this game could go the way of the shootout, which would give Brown WR2 upside.

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Chris Godwin Nov 27 5:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin has developed a nice chemistry with Tom Brady over the last few games. Godwin has compiled at least six receptions and 50 receiving yards in each of the last two games against relatively tough matchups. He has proven to be a reliable receiver over the middle of the field, as Brady has looked deep less often recently. Godwin is a good bet for around seven to 10 targets again in what is looking like a high-scoring contest, even though the Chiefs have been tough against wideouts. Lock him in lineups as a strong WR2 option.

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Jeff Wilson Nov 27 5:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running backs Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) and cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) will be activated from Injured Reserve on Saturday and will be questionable for Week 12 against the Rams. Mostert has been out since Week 6 but could be inserted back into the lead-back role, albeit in a crowded backfield, if he's active on Sunday. He will certainly be a nice addition to fantasy lineups that are trying to make a postseason run, but Mostert will be a somewhat shaky RB3/flex if he's eased back into the fold in a crowded backfield against a Rams Defense allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to RBs in 2020. Wilson has been out since Week 7 but was effective when asked to step up for San Fran. Mostert will be the most attractive fantasy back on the Niners if he plays, but this backfield will still be a headache for fantasy managers in Week 12.

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Mike Evans Nov 27 5:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans faces a Chiefs Defense that has been stingy to opposing wideouts. The Chiefs have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position, though there's a good chance this game turns into a battle between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. If that happens, Evans would surely be one of the beneficiaries. Over the last four games, he's averaging 8.3 targets and 61.3 receiving yards- he has three touchdowns in that span. He has remained a steady producer despite the addition of Antonio Brown to the offense. Keep Evans in the lineup as an upside WR2 despite the seemingly tough matchup.

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Matt Ryan Nov 27 5:30pm ET

The Raiders defense has allowed 30 points or more in six of 10 games this season and take on a streaky Falcons offense this week. The Falcons offense has scored at least 25 points in six of their 10 games, so this game has the makings of a high-scoring contest. The Raiders defense has just 11 sacks so far this season but may be able to take advantage of a Falcons offensive line that has allowed 27 sacks. Matt Ryan has also been susceptible to some interceptions with seven on the season. With all this being said, the Raiders defense is mostly unreliable and will likely get a couple fantasy points at best.

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Leonard Fournette Nov 27 5:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette gets a great matchup in Week 12 against the Chiefs. Fournette was out-touched by Ronald Jones II last week, though he was on the field for more snaps in a negative game script. With the high-flying Chiefs offense on the other side, Tampa Bay will need to put up points to keep up. The Chiefs have also surrendered at least four receptions to running backs in five contests this year- and Fournette has operated as the team's pass-catching back. He's a solid flex play this week, though he likely has better prospects in PPR formats.

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Darren Waller Nov 27 5:10pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller is a must-start TE1 option this week against the Falcons Defense. The Falcons defenses are one of the worst teams in the league against the pass and rank 23rd against opposing tight ends. Waller is the Raiders' No. 1 offensive weapon and is coming off a great performance against the Chiefs where he caught seven passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging more than nine targets and six receptions per game this season, so it is reasonable to expect a very good fantasy performance against a poor Falcons defense. Look for Waller to have a big day in Week 12.

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Hunter Renfrow Nov 27 5:00pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has three straight games with just two catches, and he only played in 34 percent of the team's snaps last week against the Chiefs. Renfrow has gone for less than 40 yards in half of his games this season and has gone for 60 yards or more only twice. He is averaging right around three catches for about 40 yards per game this season, and he only has two touchdowns. He is definitely not a starter in eight or 10-team fantasy formats but has borderline flex value in deeper leagues if your lineup is stretched thin. Renfrow's ceiling is extremely low and should only be started as a last resort.

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Ronald Jones II Nov 27 5:00pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II has a good matchup on tap against the Chiefs in Week 12. Kansas City has allowed the seventh-most rushing yards and the eighth-most receiving yards per game to opposing running backs this year. Jones' snap percentages have been maddening over the last five weeks- 43, 24, 32, 59, and 36 percent. It's quite clear the coaching staff likes what they have with Jones and Leonard Fournette, though there could be enough room for both to have good fantasy days this week in what projects as a high-scoring contest. Jones is best utilized as a high-upside flex play this week.

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New York Giants Nov 27 4:50pm ET

The New York Giants Defense is one of the best starts in fantasy football for their Week 12 game at Cincinnati. With rookie sensation Joe Burrow (knee) out for the season, the Bengals will turn to Brandon Allen at quarterback. Allen was on the practice squad for Cincinnati until this week and has just three career starts, all last season with Denver. Expect Cincinnati to be conservative with the ball, but there's always hope for a miscue or a big defensive play when facing an inexperienced quarterback. The Giants defense should be universally started this week.

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Mitch Trubisky Nov 27 4:50pm ET

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced on Friday that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will start in Week 12 against the division-rival Packers. However, with Nick Foles (hip) doubtful to play, Nagy made no assurances that Trubisky would keep the starting job beyond this Sunday. Trubisky started the year under center but was benched in favor of Foles in Week 3. He played one snap in Week 8 and injured his shoulder, causing him to miss the last two games. Trubisky has been extremely inconsistent throwing the football, but his rushing ability could give the Bears offense and fantasy managers more upside against Green Bay. Still, the Packers Defense has been pretty tough against opposing QBs this year, and Trubisky is nothing more than a low-end QB2 in superflex leagues as he returns to the starting role.

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Tom Brady Nov 27 4:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is poised to face off with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 12. Brady comes into the contest licking his wounds a bit, as he has five touchdown passes and as many interceptions in his past three games. However, the Tampa Bay offense will have to put up points to keep up with the defending champs, who lead the league in points per game. The 46-point explosion a couple of weeks ago against Carolina showed the kind of upside the Buccaneers have when everything is clicking. Two of Brady's last three meetings with the Chiefs have been high-scoring affairs with at least 70 points put up on the board. At worst, the veteran signal-caller will be a low-end QB1, though he has some serious upside his week.

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Kyler Murray Nov 27 4:40pm ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (shoulder) wasn't listed on the team's final injury report on Friday and will start in Week 12 against the Patriots. Murray was bothered by a shoulder injury in the Week 11 loss to the Seahawks last Thursday, but he played through it and was always expected to be available this weekend against New England despite being limited in practice this week. The second-year signal-caller might not be 100 percent on Sunday and may not look to run as much as he normally would, but he's still a top-five fantasy QB and needs to be in all fantasy lineups. He won't have veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald due to COVID-19 and All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore will likely be covering DeAndre Hopkins, but Murray's elite athleticism should allow him to overcome and put up QB1-worthy numbers.

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Melvin Ingram Nov 27 4:40pm ET

The Los Angeles Chargers activated cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) from Injured Reserve on Friday and placed defensive end Melvin Ingram () on IR in a corresponding move. Harris hasn't played since Week 3, but he's not a lock to be active this weekend against the Bills. The Bolts could certainly use him to slow down the Buffalo offense, though, with cornerback Casey Hayward being ruled out with an injury. This will be Ingram's second stint on IR in 2020. The former 18th overall pick in 2012 has just 10 tackles, one interception and no sacks in seven games this year and may not make it back at this point in the season. Avoid the Chargers Defense in Week 12 against a high-octane Bills offense.

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Giovani Bernard Nov 27 4:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (concussion) is practicing in full on Friday and is expected to play in Week 12 against the Giants. Bernard is officially listed as questionable, but fantasy managers should consider him on the right side of that designation. He should continue to see the lion's share of touches in the backfield with Joe Mixon on Injured Reserve, but Bernard's fantasy ceiling could be capped with Brandon Allen taking over under center after rookie quarterback Joe Burrow (knee) suffered a season-ending injury in Week 11. Bernard disappointed last week against Washington, carrying the ball nine times for 18 yards and catching four passes for 37 yards. He's more of an RB3/flex for fantasy managers in PPR leagues against New York and a defense that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to RBs.

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Darius Slayton Nov 27 4:20pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton has been a boom-or-bust option for fantasy all season long, but has a solid matchup on tap for Week 12. Slayton has three games this season with 90-plus yards but also has three games with under 35 yards. His volume has been unpredictable as well as he logged seven targets last game after being targeted only once the week prior. Cincinnati, however, is a beatable secondary as they've allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in the last four weeks. Slayton is a zero-floor, high-upside flex option versus the Bengals.

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Julio Jones Nov 27 4:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Raiders. Jones was limited in practice earlier this week but was expected to be a game-time decision all along, so fantasy managers will need to check back Sunday morning. A must-start in single-year formats if he's active, the 31-year-old continues to battle nagging injuries. Still, you'll want to fade Jones in DFS and temper expectations for him if he's active in single-season formats, as he was limited in Week 11 against the Saints and caught both of his targets for just 39 yards. The All-Pro wideout has just three touchdowns on the season and hasn't seen double-digit targets since Week 8. If Jones sits out, Calvin Ridley should see double-digit targets and will have a high-end WR1 ceiling. Russell Gage, Christian Blake and Olamide Zaccheaus would see more playing time as well, if Jones were to be inactive.

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Henry Ruggs III Nov 27 4:10pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has mostly moved himself off the fantasy radar for the time-being. He has just eight catches for 79 yards over his last five games, so there is nothing to suggest he is worthy of starting in fantasy lineups. He is still listed as No. 2 on the Raiders' depth chart, but he is probably considered the fifth option in the offense. Ruggs has a chance to break loose in a porous Falcons secondary this week, but the big play is highly volatile to rely on for fantasy relevance. Ruggs comes with a lot more risk than reward this week, so fantasy owners can mostly feel comfortable keeping him on the bench.

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