What could be sweeter than a Thursday Night Football (TNF) showdown between two of the three teams that are tied for 1st place in the NFC West Division of the NFL?
Not since the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans, 34-20 in the inaugural TNF game of 2020 have there been two teams as equally matched as the Arizona Cardinals (6-3) and the Seattle Seahawks (6-3). Both teams are blessed with more than one “Surefire Starter” in fantasy. Just look at the following list of highly valued and productive fantasy football players.
- Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals quarterback, is the leading scorer in fantasy football according to the ESPN standard scoring system with 263.4 fantasy football points (FFP). He has run for 10 touchdowns and thrown 17 touchdown passes. Murray should have a stellar game against the Seahawks below-average secondary.
- Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, could not get comfortable behind an offensive line that was overpowered by the L.A. Rams defense in week 10. It was Wilson’s poorest performance of the season as he eked out just 9.92 FFP points in a 23-16 loss to the Rams. Wilson will have to return to his MVP-type form from earlier in the season. To beat the Cardinals, he will need to score at least 25 FFP.
- DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona wide receiver, probably made the touchdown catch of the year at the end of Cardinals’ 32-30 win over Buffalo in week 10. In typical Hopkins fashion, he caught 7 passes for 127 yards against the Bills and scored 25.9 FFP. Facing a weak Seattle defense, Hopkins should score about 25 FFP in the TNF game.
- D. K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, was surprisingly seldom targeted in Seattle’s loss to the Rams. Prior to week 10, Metcalf was the fastest climbing wide receiver on the fantasy football scoring chart. He should be to Russell Wilson what DeAndre Hopkins is to Kyler Murray. Expect Metcalf to keep pace with Hopkins in pass receiving in this game.
Riding the Bench
- Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals running back, is dealing with an ankle injury and at best will see limited action against the Seahawks. Drake has been one of the fantasy football disappointments this year, averaging just 11.9 FFP per game.
- Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks running back, has a lingering foot injury that has affected his mobility. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll was not optimistic on Monday that Carson would be healthy enough to play on Thursday.
- Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, leads his team in touchdown receptions with 6. In Arizona’s pass-oriented scheme, he has become the WR2 ahead of Larry Fitzgerald. Kirk also has 27 catches for 427 yards to go with all those TD catches. He averages 13.3 FFP per game.
Sleepers of the Week
- Chase Edmonds, Arizona running back, has served as the Cardinals multipurpose back with 302 yards rushing and 261 yards as a pass receiver. Edmonds only has 3 touchdowns, but he could be the difference in a tight game.
- Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, is considered day-to-day as he battles through a knee sprain. When he’s healthy, Lockett is Russell Wilson’s favorite target. It explains why there is only a 4-point difference in FFP between D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
- The two teams met in week 7 in Arizona where the Cardinals won, 37-33. Though this game is being played in Seattle, the 12th man won’t help the Seahawks as I expect Arizona to win 36-28. The Rams will have to beat Tampa Bay on Monday night to remain tied with Arizona for 1st place in the NFC West.
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