The Arizona Cardinals might be in some trouble. They're off to an ueexpected 1-2 start and facing a Rams team that has won it's last two games at home. Will Arizona's offense bounce back or will they continue to struggle versus what's looked like a decent Rams team? Let's take a look!
Start of the Week: Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis
With Arizona giving up yards left and right to LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor last week, it's tough to know if their front seven will bounce back or if they will continue to struggle.
Considering the tone from some Cardinals beat writers and the fact that the team's starting linebackers met with their defensive coordinator during the Bills game to try and figure it out, it doesn't look as good. That said, they did button down in the second half.
But this Rams offense is built completely around Todd Gurley: their offense is 32nd in the NFL in total and passing yards per game, but 22nd in rushing yards through three weeks. Gurley will get the ball early and often.
Cards Start of the Week: John Brown, WR
While Floyd has been the #2 target as far as receptions go, he's been behind the likes of David Johnson and Jaron Brown in receptions. And with John Brown's 6 catches for 70 yards last week, he seems to finally be his old self again.
And that's going to be key for the Cardinals because John Brown has abused them numerous times in the past with his deep speed. If the Cardinals can keep Palmer upright, I would expect the Rams to key in on Fitzgerald and Johnson, which might leave AZ's tight ends and John Brown able to roam about.
Cards Sit of the Week: Michael Floyd
I almost put Carson Palmer here. After last year's home loss to open, Arizona came back to win 27-3 at the last game the two former St. Louis franchises in the NFL might ever play against each other there. But, do note, that the team only had a 10-0 lead at halftime before a turnover and touchdown in the 3rd quarter put the Rams away for good.
But that first game, Palmer was under duress constantly and had nowhere to throw to all day. It's possible that it might be another day like this. But I don't think so. The Cardinals under Bruce Arians have never lost back-to-back games since 2013 and if there's one player who hasn't been performing to the point of benching, it's been Floyd.
Floyd has been dropping passes and is behind Jaron Brown this year in fantasy points. If you have a better option, play them until he can prove himself. (Now, he might have a game where he goes off for 100 yards and 2 TD's like versus Seattle or Cleveland last year, but the trend has been him losing targets versus gaining them).
Rams Start Of The Week: Rams Defense
With their return game always deadly (and never shy of trickery) and a poor showing from Arizona's offensive line this week, I would throw caution to the wind and start this defense. Even if Palmer manages to have some success, the Cardinals O-Line is on pace to give up almost 50 sacks this year and the Rams defensive line has looked still dominant.
Arizona is also playing a new long snapper and punter this week, and if something goes awry and a special teams play is made, it could be a bonus for their defense.
If the Cardinals turn in another performance like they did versus Buffalo, it'll be a long day for Palmer and Rams defense owners will rejoice.
Other Quick Hits:
Start: Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs
The Steelers defense couldn't seem to contain the Eagles passing and running attack last week in Philly. While there is room to adjust, they still have such a low sack total on the season, it's preposterous to think that they will get enough pressure on a mobile Alex Smith where he won't be able to hurt them. By this, I think the pass will set up the run and Ware could find the endzone twice as Jamaal Charles is still slowly making his way back to health.
Sit: Eli Manning, QB, Giants
Maybe it should be a rule now to sit any fantasy QB who's playing the Vikings this year. Already Minnesota has faced Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton and held them to some of their smallest fantasy outputs in recent years. With Eli facing that defense this week, it might be time to look at other options at QB if you have them (as someone with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham...I regretfully have no other choice)
Start: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
While Russell Wilson's health may be iffy, Baldwin's targets and a pitiful Jets passing defense means that Baldwin has a good chance to go off this week despite Seattle's offensive woes. With Revis Island becoming a port for weary travelers these days, start Baldwin with confidence knowing that Seattle will have a tough time running the ball early on in this contest.
Sit: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
This one might be tough to do, except for one thing: T.Y. is going to be blanketed by Jalen Ramsey. With no Donte Moncrief and the Jags defense (while inconsistent) still playing well for most of the season, i would bank on less targets and few catches for Hilton this week as Luck looks to other targets in the passing game. Ramsey has been a force through the first three weeks.
Any other questions for me specifically, comment below or hit me up at @blakemurphy7 on Twitter!