TNF Fantasy Preview: Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawksby Mike Fanelli November 19, 2020 0 comments
Tonight we have a battle between two of the top teams in not only the NFC West but the entire conference as the 6-3 Arizona Cardinals head up north to take on the 6-3 Seattle Seahawks. These two teams played a few weeks ago, with the Cardinals winning 37-34 in overtime. Tonight’s game will be high scoring and full of fantasy points. If you don’t like either, watch paint dry instead. Now, let’s dive into this week’s Thursday Night Fantasy Fantasy Preview.
Quarterback – Kyler Murray
Barring a complete meltdown, Murray should finish the year as the QB1 and have a season on par with what Lamar Jackson did last year. Murray is tied for 11th in the league with 17 touchdown passes and is second (first among quarterbacks) in rushing touchdowns with 10. Furthermore, Murray has scored at least one rushing touchdown in all but one game this season and has thrown for two or more touchdowns in five of his last seven games. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, giving up 24.9 per game. In their Week 7 matchup, Murray scored 37.1 fantasy points and had four total touchdowns. He is the QB1 this week.
Drake missed Week 9 with an injury but returned on Sunday and scored 9.9 fantasy points compared to 10.7 for Edmonds. Much like their fantasy points, the duo split snaps almost an even 50-50, with Drake playing two more snaps than Edmonds. However, Drake out-touched Edmonds 17-11. Furthermore, Drake had twice as many rushing attempts as Edmonds (16-8) and only two fewer targets (3-1). It appears that this backfield might be heading for a close 50-50 split, with Drake earning the work on the ground while Edmonds takes over as the receiving back.
That said, tonight’s matchup should offer enough opportunity for both backs to be startable in standard size PPR leagues. The Seahawks are giving up an average of 25 fantasy points per game to running backs. Furthermore, they have given up six rushing touchdowns over their last three games, including three to the Los Angeles Rams last week. When these two teams faced off in Week 7, Drake got hurt during the game and only played 40 percent of the snaps. However, the duo still combined for 26.6 fantasy points without a rushing touchdown. Both backs are safe floor flex options, but if forced to pick between the two, I would go with Edmonds given his role in the passing game.
First off, just wow! How Hopkins came down with that game-winning catch last week is still mind-blogging. As if you needed more proof to start Hopkins this week, he is the WR4 on the year, averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game. Hopkins has four games this season with 12 or more targets, including the Week 7 matchup. In those four games, he is averaging 23.9 fantasy points per game. He is a plug and play WR1 week in and week out, especially when he has a great matchup like tonight.
After starting the season slowly, averaging 8.2 fantasy points per game over his first four games, Kirk has turned things around. He had put together three games in a row with 20 or more fantasy points, including 20.7 against the Seahawks in Week 7 before scoring only 6.7 fantasy points last week. The good news is it was the fourth time in five games that Kirk saw six or more targets. Meanwhile, Mr. Reliable Fitzgerald has made some critical plays for the Cardinals this season, but he’s not fantasy-relevant most weeks. However, Fitzgerald had a season-high eight targets and 14.2 fantasy points against the Seahawks in Week 7. While part of that was the overtime period, the Seahawks give up fantasy points in bunches to wide receivers.
The Seahawks are the worst team in the league defending wide receivers. They give up an average of 57.2 fantasy points per game to the position, almost 21 fantasy points more than the league average. Furthermore, the Seahawks have given up at least 60 fantasy points to wide receivers in about half of their games this season, including in Week 7 against the Cardinals. This week Hopkins is a must-start as he could finish the week as the WR1 while Kirk is high upside WR2, and Fitzgerald is a bye week filler for deeper PPR leagues.
Tight End – Dan Arnold
Entering the season, Arnold was a popular late-round tight end sleeper. However, he is averaging 2.2 targets per game. Meanwhile, Maxx Williams and Darrell Daniels have a combined total of 11 targets this season. Furthermore, the Cardinals have targeted a tight end only 32 times this year, and the Seahawks are holding tight ends to an average of only 9.2 fantasy points per game this season.
Aside from their dominant Week 6 game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Cardinals D/ST has scored an average of 3.9 fantasy points per game this season. Furthermore, they have scored a total of four fantasy points over their last three games, including zero against the Seahawks in Week 7 despite forcing three interceptions. Meanwhile, D/STs are averaging only three fantasy points per game against the Seahawks this season. Aside from the Rams last week, D/STs have scored more than six fantasy points against the Seahawks only once this season. Don’t get cute and think because the Seahawks turned the ball over three times last week that you should start streaming D/STs against them.
Quarterback – Russell Wilson
Over the first three games of the season, Wilson was setting the fantasy world on fire, averaging 34 fantasy points per game. Unfortunately, Wilson has struggled with the turnovers the last two weeks, throwing four interceptions and fumbling three times. Furthermore, over his last two games, Wilson has only three total touchdowns. However, Wilson is still a must-start every week. The Cardinals are giving up an average of 19.9 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks but gave up a season-high 29.9 fantasy points to Wilson in Week 7 and have given up 21 or more fantasy points in three straight games. This game will be a shootout, and Wilson has a good chance to finish the week as the QB2, just behind Murray.
Running Back – Chris Carson
Reports are that Carson won’t play tonight; however, if he does, he belongs in your lineup. Before the injury, Carson had scored 19.8 or more fantasy points in four of his first five games this season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are giving up 21.6 fantasy points per game to running backs, including 26.5 in their Week 7 matchup despite Carson playing only 18 percent of the snaps after leaving early with an injury. If Carson is active and there is no report about a time split or easing him back into the lineup slowly, he is a mid RB2 with upside.
With Carson out of the lineup, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Alex Collins all had some good moments filling in. However, none of the three have separated themselves from the other two. To make this backfield even muddier, Carlos Hyde, who hasn’t played since Week 7, appears on track to play tonight. This backfield is either Carson or bust. Do not start any other Seahawks running back, as at best, it’s a blindfolded dart throw.
The Seahawks are the only team in the league with two wide receivers ranked in the top-15 this season. Furthermore, Metcalf and Lockett are the WR5 and WR6 respectfully, both averaging over 18.5 fantasy points per game. Part of their fantasy success has to do with Wilson and the defense. However, there aren’t many wide receivers playing better than Metcalf and Lockett right now. The question on everyone’s mind is who will Patrick Peterson cover tonight?
Metcalf has been unstoppable this season, scoring 14.5 or more fantasy points in all but two games. Those two games were against Jalen Ramsey last week and Peterson in Week 7. In those two games, Metcalf had a total of four catches on nine targets for 51 receiving yards. As much as the matchup screams to bench Metcalf, he is still a star wide receiver, and all it takes is one big play downfield for him to get going. He is a risky WR2 with upside this week that is hard to bench.
Meanwhile, Lockett is dealing with a knee injury but should play tonight. However, he comes with some risk as well. Lockett has scored a total of 168.1 fantasy points this season, but he has scored 90 of them (54 percent) in two games. One of those games with Week 7 where Lockett had a season-high 15 catches on 20 targets for 200 yards, three touchdowns, and 53 fantasy points. Assuming he plays, Lockett is a WR1 with the upside to finish as the top wide receiver this week as Wilson will likely once again target Lockett over challenging Peterson.
Tight End – Greg Olsen
Adding Olsen in the offseason was a smart move by the Seahawks as he has made several critical catches this season. However, Olsen has very little fantasy value. He hasn’t scored more than 5.5 fantasy points in a game since Week 4 and has scored nine or more only twice this season. Furthermore, Olsen has only 33 targets this season, while Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister combine for 32. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are holding tight ends to an average of 10.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, they have given up only two touchdowns to the position this season and haven’t given up one since Week 4. There are better streaming options on the waiver wire than Olsen this week.
If you need a reason why to avoid playing the Seahawks D/ST, then you need to quit playing fantasy points. They have scored a total of 15 fantasy points this (1.7 per game) and have given up 23 or more points in every game. Furthermore, they scored a season-low negative five fantasy points against the Cardinals in Week 7. Meanwhile, D/STs are averaging 0.7 fantasy points per game against the Cardinals, the third-fewest in the league. D/STs have scored negative fantasy points in three games this season and scored a total of six fantasy points over their last five games against the Cardinals. You are better off leaving your starting D/ST slot empty than playing the Seahawks D/ST.
Murray: The QB1
Drake: Safe Floor Flex Option
Edmonds: Safe Floor Flex Option
Hopkins: Plug and Play WR1
Kirk: WR2 with Upside
Fitzgerald: Bye Week Filler WR3
Cardinals D/ST: Avoid
Carson: Mid RB2 with Upside
Metcalf: Risky WR2 with Upside
Lockett: High-End WR1
Seahawks D/ST: Avoid
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