This post comes from Justin Becker of FantasyFootballOverdose.com. You can follow him on Twitter@NBAandNFLInfo or on the Fantasy Football Overdose Google+ Page, and for more NFL Fantasy Projections visitFantasy Football Overdose
The Arizona Cardinals have been one of the bigger surprises of the 2014 NFL season, as they currently sit atop the would-be impossible NFC West with an astounding 7-1 mark. They haven’t been too shabby in the fantasy footballrealm, either, as they’ve produced weekly studs at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
They’ve had some hiccups along the way, however. Carson Palmer has been rock solid when active, but he missed three starts early in the year due to a shoulder issue. Michael Floyd has blown up a couple of times, but has otherwise been a disappointment considering his elite sleeper status.
It’s been mostly good, though, and that should continue in week 10 as the Cards’ prepare to slap around a weakerSt. Louis Rams team. A big win this week will push them further above everyone else, while doing so should also keep fantasy owners satisfied in the process.
To see what we can expect from a fantasy perspective, let’s break down their matchup in each main area:
Passing on the Rams
The Rams don’t pose much of a threat on defense right now. Specifically against the pass, they rank in the bottom-10 of the league against quarterbacks in fantasy points allowed per game on the year (18.83) and haven’t done much better against wide receivers (25.18).
Arizona is also at home and Carson Palmer has made a habit of playing really good football. Upon closer look, Palmer has thrown at least two touchdowns in every single game he’s played, hasn’t dipped below 240 passing yards in any contest and has just two interceptions on the year.
Everything screams "good matchup" here, while it all bodes well for Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald, as well. Even slot man John Brown could have a shot in this one, so it’d be wise to deploy your Arizona Cardinals in week 10.
The Ground Game
With Arizona’s passing attack set up for a solid outing, you’d think that could also lead to running back Andre Ellington putting up some solid numbers. Just by default, if the Cardinals find success through the air, that’s likely to be the case, at least to some extent.
While that might happen, we may want to temper our expectations just a bit for Ellington. The Rams oddly get a bad reputation as a horrible run defense, but in terms of fantasy points allowed, they’re actually fairly stingy. Over the last four games the Rams are giving up just about 15 fantasy points to running backs per game (good for 8th overall), while they rank as fantasy’s 8th best unit against running backs overall on the year.
Of course, rankings don’t always mean everything, as the slightest bit of investigation shows they’ve been run on pretty easily when it comes to yardage (777 rushing yards given up), but they’ve just managed to keep running backs out of the endzone (4 rushing scores allowed on the year).
The matchup may not give way to a career outing for Ellington, but it’s also clearly not one to be afraid of in the least. Ellington should operate as usual as a rock solid RB2 with serious RB1 upside in week 10.
Austin Davis and Tre Mason are not threats. Arizona’s defense is ridiculously depleted and they can’t rush the passer to save their life (just eight sacks on the season), yet they keep getting it done on a weekly basis. With barely analyzing this matchup, Arizona is an excellent play yet again, as they’re at home against an offense that sputtered out in week eight.
Breaking it down a little further, we see that these Cardinals are the number three unit against the run and boast the number four scoring defense. They do tend to give up production through the air, but with the Rams being on the road and unlikely to run the ball effectively, the matchup plays right into Arizona’s favor.
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