So far if you’ve owned any Arizona Cardinals players in fantasy, your season is....probably not going well.
Can their offense get it back on track with Bradford (and possibly Rosen) at the helm?
Guess we’ll find out.
Start of the Week: Chicago Bears, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 44 return yards
The Bears bring one of the top performing NFL defenses against the Arizona Cardinals who have been the poorest performing offense.
If Sam Bradford plays the entire game, these numbers might be even bigger as Arizona has struggled to score and has only 1 touchdown on the year as well as so few snaps and first downs it’s a pain to mention them.
Start the Bears defense and it wouldn’t shock me given Bradford’s arm and the desire to push the ball down the field more if he throws a pick-6.
Outside of Josh Rosen coming in with some second half heroics, I’d expect that the Bears have a dominant defensive performance on Sunday.
Cardinals Start: Ricky Seals-Jones , 4 catches, 1 TD, 60 yards receiving
While Arizona has struggled on offense, one player who’s received a lot of targets as a result is one Ricky Seals-Jones.
Most targeted pass catchers when their QB is under pressure, through two weeks (& TNF). pic.twitter.com/vV88UE0Lvq— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) September 23, 2018
Basically, in doing the math....
Khalil Mack = Good at football
Khalil Mack + AZ’s offensive line + Scared Bradford = Pressure
Pressure on Sam Bradford = Ricky Seals-Jones targets
Expect Seals-Jones to get looks in this game, and I even think that if Arizona either sees some success on offense or puts Josh Rosen in the game, he might even grab a score against Chicago’s safeties.
Bears Start: Trey Burton, TE, 1 TD, 85 yards receiving
The Cardinals have a linebacker problem. Budda Baker will be covering a wide receiver likely on 3rd down. The Rams hit a few tight ends last week and Alex Smith hit Jordan Reed for a touchdown in Week One.
Expect the Bears to come out and Trubisky to hit a scoring play to his favorite receiver so far this year.
Cardinals Sit: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, 3 catches for 33 yards
Call me crazy, but I think there will be two things the Cardinals will come out and do this week.
One: They’ll focus on getting the ball to David Johnson in the passing game.
Two: They’ll work on running the football more (with David Johnson)
Three: They’ll design ways to get the ball out of Bradford’s hand quickly to the tight ends or backs. That won’t be getting it to Larry Fitzgerald who’ll be in the slot down the field, and I do believe the Bears will try to take him out of the game and force AZ’s young outside corners to be the ones to beat them.
That means that Fitzgerald might not be much of a factor if Bradford plays the whole time. Now if Josh Rosen takes over at some point (possible) then he will hold onto the ball longer, look deeper and Fitzgerald’s routes will probably mean he gets some throws his way. But until Rosen is in the game, it’s foolish to assume that’ll be the case.
Bears Sit: Jordan Howard, RB 16 rushes for 55 yards, 0 TD’s
Seems crazy to sit Howard a week after Todd Gurley scored three touchdowns, right? But looking at the rest of the stats, Gurley only gained 42 yards on the ground as Wilks’ defense clamped down on the run game. It was through the air they got burned.
I’d guess that this is the week Tarik Cohen gets involved given how badly Chris Thompson abused the Cardinals in Week 1 and guess that AZ will sell out to stop the run
Sleeper: Jermaine Gresham, TE
If Gresham plays, it’s unknown what his impact could be, but he’s a more reliable pass-catcher than Seals-Jones and might take over the TE1 role. Perhaps it’s him who Bradford starts looking to, and unlike Seals-Jones, Gresham was the 3rd overall in receiving yards for Arizona in 2016 and 2017 (behind David Johnson and Jaron Brown).
He’s a solid, if unspectacular receiving threat and if he looks back to form, perhaps Sam Bradford looks his way just like he did back at Oklahoma all those years ago.
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