Week Seventeen Analysis:
Marshawn Lynch has now gone five straight games without reaching even 75 rushing yards or 4.0 yards per carry. Fortunately, he's still scoring in roughly three out of every four games, and this week against the Rams he'll look to atone for his most head-scratching performance of the year. The Rams rank bottom-10 against opposing backs in both combo yardage and touchdowns, yet Lynch managed just nine touches for 27 scoreless combo yards in the first meeting. A rebound is imminent.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
Arizona's top-ranked run defense has given up just 821 rushing yards all season, which is 190 yards fewer than the next best team, and less than half the totals of both Atlanta and Chicago. Moreover, only two teams have allowed fewer than the five touchdowns they've surrendered to the position. Fortunately, the opposing back who's had the most success against the Cardinals this year happens to be Marshawn Lynch, who totaled 94 combo yards and a score in the first meeting. He's now scored six times in his last five games, and in addition to being the league's sixth-leading rusher, he posted his second 70-plus-yard receiving day of the season last week. It's a daunting matchup, but Lynch has proven himself to be the league's most matchup-proof runner.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
On one hand, Marshawn Lynch has scored five times in his last four games. On the other hand, he's averaged a paltry 57 yards on 3.2 yards per carry over his last three games. While the Giants fourth-ranked run defense has given up three touchdowns to the position in their last two games, they've held the following elite backs under 70 rushing yards this season: Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris, and LeSean McCoy twice. That's five of the top-six rushers in the league. Lynch himself slots in fifth, making him the only top-six back the Giants have yet to face and dominate. Clearly, this is far from an ideal matchup.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
San Francisco is merely a neutral fantasy running back matchup, but even when they were dominant the previous two seasons, there was exactly one guy they couldn't contain: Marshawn Lynch. In his last four matchups with the 49ers, Lynch's low-water mark is 116 combo yards, and he's totaled six touchdowns. Three of those scores, along with 135 combo yards, came in the first meeting earlier this season. Although Lynch has only averaged 60 combo yards on 3.0 yards per carry over the last two weeks, he's continually come up big in this matchup.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
After going for over 140 combo yards in back-to-back games, Marshawn Lynch only managed 63 total yards against the Vikings. Of course, 63 yards looks a lot better when you make three trips to the end zone. It was Lynch's second touchdown trifecta of the season, and he's now on pace for 16 scores, which would shatter his previous career-high of 13. The Saints have given up a very generous 4.6 yards per carry, as well as one rushing touchdown per game over their last six. The last time Lynch faced New Orleans, he caused an earthquake. Literally.
Week Eleven Analysis:
The Vikings have surrendered over a touchdown per game to opposing backs this season, and last week Alfred Morris became the latest power back to trample them. Morris' 139 rushing yards came just two weeks after Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined to rush for 151 yards and two scores, so this matchup is perfect for Marshawn Lynch. He's run for 125 and 145 yards on 6.0 yards per carry the last two weeks, and he totaled 150 yards and a touchdown when these teams met last season. When Lynch reaches full Beast Mode, good defenses become speed bumps, and bad defenses become road kill.
Week Ten Analysis:
For the first time in over a calendar year, Marshawn Lynch has gone back-to-back games without a touchdown as Pete Carrol has used everyone else at the stripe besides Lynch. Fortunately, he did get back on track last week with a season-high 125 yards on 6.0 yards per carry against Tampa Bay, and he should continue to run downhill against Atlanta. The Falcons allow a very generous 4.6 yards per carry, and have surrendered rushing touchdowns in back to back games. Lynch totaled 83 combo yards and a score in the Divisional Playoff loss to Atlanta last year, and that feels like his baseline in the revenge game.
Week Nine Analysis:
Somewhere, the fantasy gods are giggling and pointing at Marshawn Lynch owners. In his two easiest matchups of the year, against the powder puff run defenses of Jacksonville and St. Louis, Lynch has totaled 96 scoreless combo yards. In his other six games, against legitimate defenses, he's averaged 114 combo yards and over a touchdown per game. Tampa Bay is a middle-of-the-road fantasy run defense that's given up four touchdowns in the last two weeks to the subpar backfields of Atlanta and Carolina. Lynch went for 143 combo yards and a score after his Jacksonville clunker, and he should get back on track this week as well.
Week Eight Analysis:
Welcome to the mismatch of the week. Marshawn Lynch has scored seven times in his last six outings, while beasting for 117 combo yards per game during that span. Last week he went for over 90 yards and a score against Arizona's top-tier run defense, and that should be considered his absolute floor as he travels to the other end of the spectrum in St. Louis. The Rams 31st-ranked run defense is giving up 160 combo yards and over a touchdown per game to the position. This is as close to a lock as it gets in fantasy football.
Week Seven Analysis:
Marshawn Lynch hasn't been nearly as consistent as we've come to expect. In six games, he's had two scoreless sub-70 yard outputs, which is something that he'd done just twice in his previous 31 games coming into the season. However, he's also had two typically strong Lynch outings, and two outright explosions in which he's combined for 290 scrimmage yards and five scores. The last time Lynch faced Arizona, he ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries, but this defense is dramatically improved. Against opposing backs, the Cardinals have only given up 3.2 yards per carry and one touchdown.
Week Six Analysis:
Marshawn Lynch seems to be hitting his stride. He's totaled 250 combo yards and a score over the last two weeks, while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. This despite an injury ravaged offensive line. He's carried the ball exactly 17 times in four of five games, which feels a bit light, but 17 carries should be more than enough against Tennessee's 26th-ranked run defense. Despite facing a slate of opposing starting backs that's included Isaac Redman, Ryan Mathews and Bilal Powell, the Titans are giving up 131 combo yards per game to the position. Last week Jamaal Charles went for 145 total yards and a score against Tennessee, and similar numbers are within reach for Lynch.
Week Five Analysis:
After a wildly inconsistent start to the season, Marshawn Lynch finally gave us a typical Marshawn Lynch box score last week—143 combo yards and a touchdown. His impressive 5.8 yards per carry came against a stout Houston run defense that entered the game allowing just 3.0 yards per carry, so it looks like he's ready to settle into a groove. Indianapolis padded their stats against Jacksonville last week, but they're a middling run defense at best. The most comparable back to Lynch they've faced this year was Frank Gore, who went for over 100 combo yards on just 13 touches.
Week Four Analysis:
Marshawn Lynch entered the season as the model of consistency among fantasy backs. He'd scored and/or topped 90 combo yards in 28 of his previous 30 games, so now we're in uncharted territory with this three-week roller coaster. His 135-yard, three-touchdown domination of the 49ers has been bookended by scoreless, sub-70-yard flops, thanks to an early benching in the Jaguars decimation last week. Lynch will look to level out against a stout Houston defense that's allowed just 3.0 yards per carry to opposing backs, but don't be discouraged by the matchup. A big part of Lynch's latest clunker was tough luck and early garbage time against Jacksonville. Seattle figures to really lean on him in this slugfest.
Week Three Analysis:
Coming off an extremely rare clunker in the opener, Marshawn Lynch got back in our good graces by dominating the fearsome 49ers for a fourth consecutive time. In addition to his 98 yards and two scores on the ground, he added 37 receiving yards and just his second receiving score in his last 25 games. He should stay red hot this week, as Jacksonville's run defense is so bad that Los Angeles is already embarrassed. The Jaguars have given up 5.8 yards per carry, which has resulted in 191 combo yards and a score per game to opposing backfields. This is a slam dunk, even if Lynch gets pulled early in a blowout, because he'll already have put up monster numbers.
Week Two Analysis:
Coming into the season, Marshawn Lynch had scored and/or topped 90 combo yards in 28 of his last 30 games. He did neither in the opener, rushing for just 43 yards on 17 carries against a stout Carolina front seven. Unfortunately, he'll have to work hard to exceed that Sunday night. San Francisco is the league's best run defense, and they held Eddie Lacy to 2.9 yards per carry in the opener. Lacy did score, however, and Lynch has had surprising recent success against the 49ers. He's scored three times in the last three meetings, while totaling 131, 130 and 116 combo yards.
Week One Analysis:
Marshawn Lynch is as consistent as they come. He's scored 27 times in his last 30 games, while amassing at least 80 combo yards in 25 of those 30 contests. Last season Carolina's wild inconsistency against the run resulted in a middle-of-the-road final ranking. Coming into this season, their arrow is certainly pointing up, with the immensely talented tandem of first-round rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and linebacker Luke Kuechly leading the charge. Still, it's far from a scary matchup, and the opponent just never matters with Lynch anyways. Expect a solid season debut from your first-rounder.
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Marshawn Lynch has turned into a consistent, rock-solid fantasy producer in his first two full seasons with Seattle. He's posted career highs in attempts, yardage and average in back-to-back seasons, and he's scored 27 touchdowns in his last 30 games. Additionally, in that same 30-game span, he's gained at least 80 combo yards 25 times, so he's virtually clunker-proof. The supremely talented Seahawks win most of the battles in the trenches, in field position, in turnover differential, and on the scoreboard. All of these things add up to Lynch being one of the safest picks in fantasy football.