by Nick Stassi | @StassiNick |
The Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals have only played each other 10 times, with Denver leading the series with an 8-1-1 record. Denver should win again tonight, with their backfield leading the way.
David Johnson - RB (ARI)
The touches are there, although I think those that drafted him would like to see a few more receptions out of the backfield. He's got 4 TDs in his last three appearances, with 6 TDs total through six weeks. Efficiency has eluded Johnson this season, but I think that has more to do with opposing defenses he's played against and the dreadfully inept offense he plays with. Johnson has salvaged his season for owners the past three weeks, rewarding those that stayed vigilant, albeit it's not like they had much choice considering where he was being drafted this year. Johnson has an opportunity to post strong RB1 numbers tonight against Denver, who has allowed 677 yards to opposing running backs over the last three games, including 318 to the Jets. Ouch.
Christian Kirk - WR (ARI)
Kirk has come alive amidst an injury-plagued season for Larry Fitzgerald, leading the team in routes run, receptions and receiving yards. He's caught 20 passes for 280 yards and a score, posting double-digit fantasy points three of the last four weeks in PPR formats. There's something to be said about a #1 WR on a very bad team. Usually bad teams are down big in games, forcing them to throw early and often, facilitating both meaningful and garbage time production from their skill players.
Larry Fitzgerald - WR (ARI)
To those of you who keep drafting this man, I applaud your vigilance, but the injuries have really crept up to Fitz this year. His age is showing. Until this offense improves drastically, I see little opportunity for him in the next few weeks. I hope you have better options.
Ricky Seals-Jones - TE (ARI)
Seals-Jones is in line for a favorable streaming option tonight at the scarce TE position. Since Josh Rosen was named the starter, Ricky ranks second on the Cardinals in receiving yards and targets, albeit 7 catches for 121 yards in three games from a team that averages 156 a game through the air isn't anything to be giddy about. But according to ESPN, Denver ranks 22nd against opposing TEs this season, so maybe this upward trend in volume manifests into continued production tonight.
I think there is an opportunity for points via turnover, but I see Denver gashing them on the ground. Thursday games have historically been either low-scoring affairs or lopsided slaughters, but this year we've seen more from the match-ups thus far. I would rather be starting Denver's defense tonight, but the Cardinals should stay on the positive end of the balance sheet with a turnover or two.
Emmanuel Sanders - WR (DEN)
Sanders is on pace for 1300+ yards and 107 catches this . He's a must-start for me in PPR formats (even if he's your flex), but I would consider other options in standard this week if you have supreme depth at the position. I think he offers a safe floor for PPR but a low ceiling to go with it.
Demaryius Thomas - WR (DEN)
He's not the BayBay of old, but he's still managing better than I thought he would considering his declining prowess in recent years. I would not play him tonight, unless you're very desperate. I think Denver wins this game easily, but I don't think Thomas plays much of a role in the effort. He has a much more favorable game next week with Kansas City, who's defense is ranked at the bottom of the league, allowing for a potential shootout.
Phillip Lindsay - RB (DEN)
The 1A of the Denver committee could post his best numbers of the season tonight. The Cardinals have allowed 462 yards on the ground over the past three weeks. I don't see the Cardinals being able to do much on offense, which bodes well for Denver's running game in what should be a cruise control situation. Lindsay is a high-end RB2 tonight.
Royce Freeman - RB (DEN)
I'm not buying that Freeman is fading from this committee. Denver had a horrid day on the ground last week, so if anything I see them committing and using both backs frequently tonight, especially with Arizona ranked 31st against opposing RBs on the season. Look for Freeman to bounce back, posting solid flex numbers with potential RB2 upside.
Look for Denver's defense to bounce back this week against the stagnant Cardinals offense. The Bronco's haven't won on the road yet this year, but they've had a gauntlet of a schedule. This is the set it and forget it game of their calendar, before heading to Kansas City next week. Start this unit with confidence tonight.
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