Last week the Arizona Cardinals got some surprisingly productive games out of Blaine Gabbert, Jaron Brown and Ricky Seals-Jones.
But they face a more daunting task against the red-hot Rams offense and Aaron Donald. Who should you start and sit? Let’s begin:
Start of the Week: Jared Goff, QB
You should, at this point, be starting Goff as a QB1 every week so I would think this move would be a no-brainer.
But after Leonard Fournette struggled against an improved Cardinals defense, I can’t say that this is a game in which Todd Gurley will go off. Goff will be the offensive focus and it’s also worth noting that his point total is more than DOUBLE the next highest from any Arizona Cardinal player in fantasy over the past four weeks. Expect another big game from Goff as this Cardinals defense isn’t playing Blake Bortles this week.
Rams Start: Josh Reynolds, WR
Reynolds is a fellow Texas A&M alum along with Ricky Seals-Jones, but unlike Jones Reynolds has a touchdown record at his school, while Seals-Jones never clicked as a wide receiver.
Also like Jones, Reynolds had a touchdown last Sunday, and I think that with Patrick Peterson covering Sammy Watkins that the large Reynolds will have a nice game and a touchdown against the Cardinals. If Peterson is playing zone and Watkins moves, I think Sammy might have a shot for a decent statline but as long as Peterson is on him, it won’t be the case.
Maybe Arizona’s defense turned a corner last week.
But comparing the Rams offense that’s firing on all cylinders to a Jags offense that had its longest plays of the day on Blake Bortles rushes, I would lean toward the Rams scoring some points on this defense.
Cardinals Start: D.J. Foster, RB
With Adrian Peterson (at the time of writing) seeming to be all set for the Cardinals game after missing practice with a neck injury and Kerwynn Williams hurting, it falls on D.J. Foster to carry more of the load.
Foster should see his role increase in the passing game and if for some reason Peterson can’t go, he becomes a must-start. I would expect that if the Cardinals are unable to run the football against the Rams that you see a lot of passing plays to Foster in 3rd and long.
Rams Sit: Cooper Kupp, WR
Tyrann Mathieu has been returning to form slowly and Kupp will likely either draw him or Budda Baker in coverage. I would expect that Goff utilizes Todd Gurley or his big receivers on the outside more and that means that Kupp, who’s been a PPR darling, might see his number of completions drop somewhat this week.
Cardinals Sit: Ricky-Seals Jones, TE
Yes, Seals-Jones has been a force the past two weeks. But he was up against a pass-happy Texans defense and a Jaguars defense that has been middling to tight ends and was without Telvin Smith in the game.
The Rams have only let up at most about 40 yards to tight ends and I would expect that their defense tightens up now with film on Seals-Jones. Perhaps I’m wrong and he finds yet another touchdown and becomes a matchup-free guy down the stretch entering your fantasy playoffs but it’s tough to see his hot streak continuing against one of the toughest teams to play a tight end, and at some point his stock has to come down.
I’m betting it will be this week. I hope I’m wrong.
Sleeper: Adrian Peterson, Cardinals RB
I was tempted to pick Tavon Austin as he’s given Arizona fits at times, but he’s just been so inconsistent.
Speaking of inconsistent, Adrian Peterson’s yardage totals when Arizona has been at home vs. on the road has been pretty crazy, as outside of a game against the hapless Niners, he’s played better at home and had high yardage totals. I don’t know if he’s a must-start but as a RB3 if you need it I could see this result at home being very different than the outcome to the Rams in London a few weeks ago and Arizona’s offensive line seems to have settled with Jared Veldheer back at left tackle.
If Peterson can do what he did last week in averaging 4 yards per carry, but breaks a long run this time, expect a nice fantasy day for him in the midst of a tough stretch for Arizona.