Marshawn Lynch is reportedly experiencing back spasms and is not a sure thing to play in the Seahawks’ opener in Arizona this Sunday according to Adam Schefter at ESPN. This has implications in both the real and fantasy realms of football.
First let’s go over the fantasy football implications. In most league’s Marshawn Lynch is probably – and if he isn’t, he should be – a low RB1 or high RB2 which means he should be starting. With Lynch being a concern in regards to playing this Sunday, you may want to consider picking up Robert Turbin to start in Lynch’s place. My expectations would be for the offensive plan to be nearly identical with Turbin starting and him to get the majority of carries. I would only recommend this plan of action if your bench is thin on starting running backs and you don’t have another running back playing at the same time or later who is guaranteed a start and is going to get significant rushing attempts. This would require holding onto both Lynch and Turbin for the week and keeping an eye on game time announcements before plugging in your starter for the week.
Lynch not being able to start has an even greater effect on the outcome of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. With a rookie starting at quarterback it adds increased value to having a veteran running back that is capable of carrying the team in case of any growing pains or late-game situations. Starting a rookie at both quarterback and running back could throw the outcome of the game into jeopardy. With Arizona’s offense in its current state of disarray, Seattle was favored (slightly) to win the game. If Lynch is out, I’d argue that the game would be an even match since Arizona’s defense is still very strong. The winner would likely be the team whose defense scores the most points.
Lynch is also a key component to the morale of the Seahawks. He is the backbone of the offense and not having him for the season opener would leave the offense without any proven personalities that can lift the team up by making the gutsy play if the going gets tough. It doesn’t mean that somebody can’t, or won’t, step up, but it would definitely leave a void where Beast Mode would normally be.
Keep an eye out for developments regarding Lynch’s back throughout the week and prepare for a last minute substitution to your fantasy roster if you are currently planning on starting Lynch this Sunday.