In a 18-15 game that was all but determined by field goals, who would have thought that it turned out to be a tasty fantasy matchup despite the lack of field goals?
Palmer threw for 375 yards and a score.
Andre Ellington and Jaron Brown ended up with over 100 yards.
John Brown looked healthy and almost had a TD on the day and was denied several balls through a few pass interference calls.
Yet for all of it, Carson Palmer was still sacked 6 times, the Cardinals couldn’t run the ball and their defense, despite playing lockdown, wasn’t able to up the sacks or create a truly game-breaking turnover.
There’s some concern as to Arizona’s offense as it currently seems to reside on Carson Palmer’s health as they have the worst run game in the NFL right now. Yet, as Arizona goes to face an Eagles defense that has a great front-seven but has given up an average of 285 passing yards per game, there should be a few fantasy picks for you this week.
Let’s get into them:
Start of the Week: Andre Ellington, RB
The natural answer here would seem to be Larry Fitzgerald, after his TD against San Francisco and his history against the Eagles.
Yet savvy fans will see that it’s Andre Ellington who’s taking over David Johnson’s role in the offense as the main pass-catcher on 3rd down. Sure he everaged 2.77 YPC on Sunday but with the front-seven of the Eagles being as good as they are against Arizona’s (again) patchwork O-Line, Ellington will be relied upon a ton in the passing game by Palmer. Look for Arizona to try to use a quicker game with more screens or lining Ellington up on a linebacker as it’s tough to know how much time Palmer will get on Sunday.
Cardinals Start: Jaron Brown, WR
Arizona’s wide receivers are going to be awfully tough to predict each week outside of the fact that Larry Fitzgerald is going to be a red zone target.
But Jaron Brown is showing to be a consistent WR2 in the offense. He’s had 3 potential touchdowns in 2 games and is showing up as a big play AND red zone threat on the team. If the Cardinals hadn’t been penalized on his TD reception, he might have had one of the biggest games of any wide receiver in the NFL last week.
And while it’s John Brown who’s killed the Eagles before, I think that Palmer could find Jaron again for a score this week.
Eagles Start: Carson Wentz, QB
This might go against some recommendations, as Arizona this year has given up only 211 yards and a TD to opposing quarterbacks the last three weeks.
However...two of those quarterbacks were Brian Hoyer and Jacoby Brissett in his first start. The Eagles are a far more talented team with a more talented quarterback, and while Wentz hasn’t put up the points he did in the first two weeks, there’s one big thing that Arizona’s defense will help him with.
They dominate against the run.
Philly tries to be a balanced offense but Wentz will be put into situations in which he’ll have to throw. And when you add up Arizona’s poor offensive line against a strong Eagles DL and the fact that it’s an east coast game, all the dominoes seem to fall into place for Wentz to attempt a high amount of passes again, and potentially see a short field in case of a turnover.
I think that Sunday, one way or another, could end up a shootout between teams and I think Wentz ends up with his first 3 TD game of the year on Sunday.
Cardinals Sit: J.J. Nelson, WR
Poor J.J. Nelson. Dude has an amazing week against the Colts and then can’t get healthy enough to make an impact against the Cowboys and Niners the following two weeks. John Brown took the bulk of his snaps and I’d expect this to continue for another week.
It’s possible J.J. burns the Eagles for a long touchdown with how much their corners are giving up but my gut tells me that it’ll be John Brown who Palmer goes to, with Nelson being a decoy on some of the deeper routes.
Eagles Sit: Alshon Jeffrey, WR
The Eagles “sit” is a tough category to figure out. Arizona’s defense does great against Tight Ends (see Jason Witten’s 1 catch) so does that mean Ertz should sit? Should the RB Blount sit due to Arizona’s dominance against the run?
In the end, I’m going to stick with what I know, and what I know is that Patrick Peterson is having an unbelievable year. He’ll draw Jeffrey and unlike with a guy like Golden Tate, he’ll draw him all game long.
Torrey Smith should benefit as a result, but Jeffrey owners will be frustrated by the trip to “Peterson Peninsula” (okay, that one’s bad, I know)
Sleeper of the Week: John Brown, WR
While Larry, Jaron and J.J. have all put up dominant weeks in fantasy, only John Brown has not. Look for this to potentially have him get a lot of targets on Sunday if he’s healthy against a weak Eagles secondary.
He looked fine enough last week against the Niners and it wouldn’t surprise me if Arians draws up a touchdown pass for him or finds a way to utilize him on an end-around while J.J. Nelson draws the attention with his speed.
It’s possible, and perhaps my pick for Jaron to be a solid start ends up meaning I just chose the wrong Brown in the end...
What are your fantasy picks for this week?
Sound off in the comments section!