Thursday Night Football Fantasy Breakdown: Cardinals vs. Seahawks

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We have another divisional clash set to take place on Thursday night, this time it’s between the Seahawks and Cardinals. While the loss of Carson Palmer and David Johnson for Arizona makes this matchup less enticing than it was at the beginning of the season, there are still some solid fantasy options in play here. Let’s get right into the Thursday Night Football Fantasy Breakdown.

Spread: Seahawks -5.5
Projected Total: 41.5
Seahawks Implied Total: 23.5
Cardinals Implied Total: 18

Seattle

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Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($7,400) enters this game averaging 24.7 DK points on the year and having posted at least 25 DK points in five of his last six starts. With Seattle’s O-Line issues Wilson has been asked to run more himself of late and comes in averaging 33.9 rush yards per game on the season. Arizona has now given up the fifth most fantasy points per game to the QB position on the season, making this another big upside spot for Russ. With the Seahawks decently-sized road favorites here, he’s worth the price of admission this week and should be considered in all formats.

Since Chris Carson went down in Week 4, no Seattle running back has rushed for more than 39 yards in a game. With Eddie Lacy already ruled out for this game, the starting job will fall to Thomas Rawls ($3,400) vs. Arizona. Rawls is actually coming off his best game of the year where he posted 39 yards on nine rushes and two receptions for 31 yards. The Cards have only allowed one 100-yard rush game all season, but they did allow 17 receptions to RBs over their last two games. Rawls will likely lose some passing game work to J.D.McKissic ($3,300) in this game, who played 32% of the snaps last week. However, based on what he did on 54% of the snaps against Washington, Rawls’ floor doesn’t look bad for his price. If he scores, he could easily exceed 5x-value in this spot.

The Seahawks have some question marks at receiver this week as WR Paul Richardson ($5,200) missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s walk through with a groin issue and is very questionable to suit up. Richardson’s absence could be a boon for the rest of the receivers on Seattle, however, including TE Jimmy Graham ($5,700) who practiced in full on Wednesday. Graham hasn’t topped 60 yards receiving in his last four games, but he is averaging 4.5 receptions and a TD over that span. The possible increase in volume here makes Graham a good target, especially now that his own health has been confirmed.

While it’s possible the Cardinals move CB Patrick Peterson around for portions of the game to shadow Doug Baldwin ($6,400), Peterson’s presence hasn’t meant all that much to Baldwin in the past as he’s put up over 130 yards and a TD in two of his last four matchups against Arizona’s secondary. His price is actually at its lowest point of the year here, so Baldwin is certainly worth thinking about as a stacking candidate if you’re using Wilson. As for Richardson, if he misses, you can expect Tyler Lockett ($4,900) to soak up a few more targets, but likely at the expense of seeing more of the aforementioned Peterson in coverage. Lockett has seen eight targets in each of his past two games but is still waiting on his first TD of the season.


Arizona

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The Cards are starting QB Drew Stanton ($4,800) again this week. Stanton threw for two TDs last week against the depleted 49ers, but he still only completed 50% of his passes. Seattle is still pretty dominant against the pass, having allowed just two 300-yard passers on the season (Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson) and are giving up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Stanton isn’t a viable option in my opinion.

The Cards gave RB Adrian Peterson ($5,900) the biggest workload for a 30+ year-old RB in the history of the NFL last week, as he carried the ball 37 times and caught two passes for 167 all-purpose yards. The Seahawks’ rush defense has been much improved since the start of the season, as they haven’t allowed a running back to gain more than 54 yards in a game since Week 3. It’s likely that ‘All-Day’ would have to find the end zone here to matter for fantasy purposes, and with the Cardinals sporting such a low implied total, that is anything but a sure thing. Andre Ellington ($3,800) returned last week and actually played on 14 snaps. Ellington only saw three targets vs. San Fran, but with Drew Stanton likely being forced into more passing situations late in this week’s game, that target size could increase exponentially in this spot.

At WR, Larry Fitzgerald ($5,400) led the way as expected last week for the Cardinals, catching five passes for 70 yards on nine targets. With Drew Stanton averaging just 6.3 yards per completion, Fitz will likely have to catch a bunch of passes to pay off, but with Arizona likely to be trailing late in this game, there’s certainly a possibility of 10+ targets coming his way. After Fitzgerald, John Brown ($4,000) led the way in terms of offensive snaps played last week for the Cards at 46. He saw the second most targets on the team as well (with four) and did connect on a 52-yard pass play. There’s a possibility he and his QB connect for another big play here, but given Stanton only connected on 50% of his passes last week, John Brown is a risky DK play to say the least. As for Jaron Brown ($3,700) and J.J. Nelson ($3,300), they only saw three targets combined last week and just aren’t worth considering given Stanton’s connection rate. TE Jermaine Gresham ($2,500) actually saw more targets than either Jaron Brown or Nelson last week and caught his first TD of the year. At the stone minimum, he’s TD dependant, but still a better DK play than either of the aforementioned WRs given Stanton’s limitations.

 


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.