Fantasy Football Week 7: Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints seat/leaving tips for Thursday Night Football

Fantasy Football Week 7: Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints seat/leaving tips for Thursday Night Football

I will be honest. I am partly responsible for the disappointing Thursday night fantasy results over the past two weeks. I’m not talking about the actual production on the ground. If I knew how things would turn out, my DFS bankroll would be very different. Anyway, I sped up every match to capture any plot. And everything sounds good until you watch Curtis-Samuel drop a touchdown.

So, I’m taking a new approach this week.

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I’ll just be cautiously optimistic about tonight’s game since we have some big storylines to follow. DeAndre Hopkins returns for the cardinals, and Chris Olave will be back in the lineup for New Orleans. There is even a controversy over the coaches on the rise. The drama continues despite any limited action. Anyway, let’s see what we can expect from TNF Week 7 from a fantasy perspective.

NFC battle with season-long implications kicks off Thursday night

Nathan Jahnke hits the mark here:

Imagine the chaos. People would definitely log on to the game for the chance to see Taysom Hill throwing, rushing or catching a touchdown. However, with Andy Dalton (return and James Winston (back/ankle) dealing with injuries, we’re likely to see more of Hill, given their offensive struggles.

The Saints are a story of two quarterbacks. They were 31st in the EPA per game with Winston, but Jameis had the third-most deep throw yards. After Dalton took over, New Orleans moved to 20th. But they lost the explosive games. It didn’t help that the injuries spread to the pass-catching body, but they did develop a small level of consistency. Tonight will be a real test, however, no matter who is under center.

Arizona has increased the pressure over the past two weeks with a pressure rating of 30.8%. Their pass rush has come home on 29.2% of those plays, with five sacks on Geno Smith in week 6 only. However, Dalton and Winston worked on their quick play. Almost half of their passes came out in less than 2.5 seconds (48.3% and 49.6%). With players like Olave back in the fold, their ability to create after capture will be key to victory for the Saints.

But the Cardinals hopefully have an answer to the New Orleans attack. Plus, Hopkins’ timing couldn’t be better. Marshon Lattimorethe absence of s opens the coverage of the perimeter of the saints for him and Kyler Murray to exploit. I don’t expect any other Ja’Marr Chase performance. Still, it’s all on Murray’s shoulders (and legs).

Considering all the questions surrounding the team, I bet you would never guess Murray was the QB6 in the fantasy. He’s been relatively quiet lately. Missing Hopkins is definitely a factor. I will even buy offensive line discontinuity as a reason. Both have contributed to Arizona’s lack of big passing plays and why the offense has stalled this season.

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is a fantastic star

It’s been a struggle this season, but Kyler Murray still brings the fantasy points. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

That didn’t stop Murray from trying, though. He is 11th in deep ball rate among his peers. The only problem is that he has trouble connecting with his receivers. Last season, Kyler’s 66.7% on-target rate was league-leading, earning him the second-most yards of any passer. Now he’s 25th in shots on target, with fewer yards than Mitchell Trubisky.

Hopkins may not be a panacea in his early days. But the Cardinals need a layered offense with options at every level to move the ball consistently. I’ll be keeping an eye on Arizona’s WR-QB duo, but I’m just as curious about the Saints’ offensive approach for tonight.

Points of Interest in TNF

Can the Saints’ Offense find another gear?

To be clear, I’m not talking about speed or explosives when I talk about gear. Surprisingly, the Saints are league average in terms of explosive play rate (running over 10 yards, passing over 20 yards). Most of them probably come from Hill. The equipment I’m talking about is an element of the attack to make it move.

More precisely, to pass it in the red zone of his adversary.

New Orleans Saints red zone play rate for fantasy.

New Orleans has the 11th-lowest six-week red-zone play rate. They still score 23.5 points per game but rely on non-reproducible parts along the way. Do not mistake yourself. These games are more than welcome. But let’s also throw some layups into the mix.

Part of the Saints’ red-zone issues can be traced back to their first-down or second-down call. They are dead last in the early success rate. Worse, New Orleans was ineffective at throwing the ball regardless of who was under center.

Winston finished 26th in the EPA per game in first practice over the first three weeks. Dalton ranks 25th in his few starts. That put them in third-and-long situations on 56.4% of their third attempts. Their misses at the start of each set of downs is why they’re 23rd in yards per drive.

I’ll be watching to see if a boost to their personnel gives them more juice on offense. Anything that moves the chains will keep them vying to win the game.

Expectations for Hopkins’ return

Fantasy managers drafted and hid Hopkins on their rosters in August. Immediately after, they circled today’s date on the calendar: the day they could finally get him into their starting XI. But I’m skeptical.


Rank (min. 20 targets)

Target share


Sharing aerial work sites


Yards per route traveled


Targets by Route Execution


Red zone target share


Hopkins was healthy and playing on 80.0 percent or better of Week 7 offensive snaps last season. And yet, his measures of opportunity are not very “Hopkinsian”. He has never exceeded double-digit goals in a game. His yardage totals in a single game have never crossed the century mark. The only saving grace was that we knew what Murray would look like in scoring position. Hopefully a similar percentage of goals will turn up in the 20s this season as well.

Kliff Kingsbury hinted they wanted to use Hopkins differently after Brown’s injury. Again, I have doubts. Hopkins has only completed 16.2% of his routes from the slot. He only caught three screen passes. Kingsbury’s appeal game is already under scrutiny. Maybe the fire under his seat is what he needs to spark some creativity.

I will be watching not only the playing time, but also how Arizona deploys Hopkins upon his return. If his role resembles last season, his return to the field could also be the time to trade him.

But don’t bench these guys

I can understand any reluctance to start fringe players tonight. The game’s 44.5 point total doesn’t inspire much confidence, and I have more questions about each offense than answers. But goodbye teams present some of the best fantasies players. So if you need a week-long filler, I’ve got a few guys to start tonight.

Mark Callaway

I have anecdotal and analytical data points to recommend Mark Callaway. I’ll start with the numbers.

Callaway has led the team in routes and targets since Week 4. Without their primary receivers, he’s been their de facto WR1 with a 26.9 percent share of air yards. But Callaway’s “last man standing” status isn’t the only reason to cast him on a short week. Arizona’s defense has funneled targets in its direction for the past two weeks. Through their respective competitions, Jalen hurts and Geno Smith totaled a completed pass in the middle of the field. Their aDOTs dropped an average of 2.6 meters.

Jalen Hurts / Geno Smith pass charts vs Cardinals for fantasy

Jalen Hurts/Geno Smith passes the cards against the Cardinals for fantasy. (Photo by NextGenStats)

Coincidentally, Callaway’s 12.5% ​​slot rate is the lowest of active receivers. And he received 47.1% of his targets in the short area of ​​the field. So, quantitatively, his workload makes him a good start in the PPR leagues.

There is also a narrative that I would like to focus on for TNF.

Callaway’s use is out of necessity, but the team might still feature him for business purposes. In an ideal scenario, the team already has its line, and Callaway will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The extra time on the pitch doesn’t guarantee him any goals, but there’s some motivation from the team for him to perform at the moment.

Rondale Moore

I’m all for swinging the fences and getting started Robbie Anderson. In Carolina, Anderson saw 47.6% of his targets in the middle and deep portions of the field. He would do damage against the Saints, who have allowed 88 ypg on passing 15+ yards in the past three weeks. However, he will probably limitedand his style doesn’t match his new quarterback.

Murray threw short or behind the line of scrimmage on 63.9% of his attempts. That’s why Arizona had the seventh most plays on third down. But effective playing volume doesn’t matter to Rondale Moore.

Moore gets the first chance to play the role full-time without Marquise Brown. Per PFF, the second has played in 94.1% of the team’s two-receiver sets. Additionally, all but six of his targets have come from within this season.

The Bengals racked up 89 yards against the Saints’ slot coverage on Sunday. Moore isn’t the same size as the Cincinnati line, but the Arizona receiver is sixth in the YAC by reception when targeted on the inside. Either way, Moore is an ideal flexible PPR option for managers going through a tough week off.

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