So far if you’ve owned any Arizona Cardinals players in fantasy outside of taking a late flier on Christian Kirk you’re probably ready to storm Mike McCoy’s door for the misusage of Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson.
But let’s stick with the positives here and see if Josh Rosen can spark the Cardinals offense this week at home against the Seahawks in his first NFL start.
Who are the top fantasy performers and sleepers? Let’s take a look:
Start of the Week: Rashaad Penny, RB, 21 carries, 5 catches for 134 total yards and 2 TD’s
The Cardinals have been inconsistent against the run and while they only surrendered 42 yards on the ground to Todd Gurley they got torched through the air.
Last week they gave up 122 yards on the ground to the Chicago Bears despite Mitchell Trubisky not being as much of a passing threat. While the Seahawks offense has struggled under Brian Schottenheimer they seemed to find a rhythm last week and it wouldn’t surprise me if they see a lot of checking down to Penny against AZ’s weak linebacker unit in the passing game.
Cardinals Start: WR Christian Kirk, WR 6 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD, 30 yards punt return
While the addition of Josh Rosen should benefit Larry Fitzgerald maybe more than any other, Rosen has a connection with Kirk that dates all the way back to college and one that we even saw in the preseason with a touchdown pass. Expect Kirk to pick up another one of those today in his first 100 yard game as a pro as well.
Seahawks Start: QB Russell Wilson 300 yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 1 INT
I’m expecting a quieter game from Russ than what he’s capable of due to the poor offensive playcalling but ultimately with Doug Baldwin back, I think he’ll have a strong, strong game in Arizona if Steve Wilks works to sell out on the run to stop it, and Arizona did struggle against a mobile QB in Alex Smith, particularly in the shorter passing game earlier this season. Russell also hasn’t used his legs as much but I have a feeling that changes this sunday as Chandler Jones and a healthier Markus Golden and Robert Nkemdiche get to face this Seahawks offensive line.
Cardinals Sit: Jermaine Gresham, TE, 1 catch for 4 yards
Gresham barely practiced in the preseason and despite a catch last week he has no rapport with Rosen whereas Ricky Seals-Jones does.
I would think also that Mike McCoy will scheme up a plan to keep Rosen upright and that will include a lot of running the football (with Gresham) and either chip or extra tight end protection (also with Gresham).
Seahawks Sit: Jaron Brown, WR, Seahawks 1 catch, 13 yards
Call me crazy but I don’t see a revenge game in sight. I think that the Cardinals have been susceptible on the deeper end as we saw from Brandin Cooks and with how AZ plays zone, it’ll mean they will take advantage of getting Tyler Lockett matched up against AZ’s slot or 2nd corners, meaning Jaron will draw Patrick Peterson.
As a teammate of his for years, Peterson should know his former teammate well and I’d expect that the Seattle gameplan won’t go his way this week.
Sleeper: Chad Williams, WR
Williams has only been targeted when it’s been Rosen and not Bradford for the most part this season. If he gets a few targets and can burn some CB’s on Seattle perhaps he escapes for a deep ball. Or maybe it’s JJ Nelson who should be here instead in that case, as he was a Seahawks killer in both ‘16 and ‘17.
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