Arizona plays host to Detroit Sunday afternoon, hoping to redeem the tie against the Lions last season. Kyler Murray had his coming out party against this team week one of last year, showing he was as good as advertised. Expect an even better performance in this game for a multitude of reasons:
For starters, Murray is absolutely on fire right now for fantasy owners. He has finally started to use his legs, bringing that second dimension to his game. Through two games, he’s scored three times running the ball. In fact, Murray is a top ten fantasy quarterback but has yet to throw for more than 300 yards. Not only that, he’s tossed just two touchdown passes. A monster game is coming, and this pitiful Lions defense offers him the perfect opportunity. Kyler Murray is giving off the same vibes Lamar Jackson did with his break out last year, meaning this train could roll for months. DeAndre Hopkins is an absolute lock to stack with Murray, and it needs little explanation. Hopkins is one of the best receivers in the league and leads his team in targets by far. The Lions simply have no one talented enough to cover him. If Murray hits his ceiling, Hopkins will certainly have 100-yards receiving at a minimum and at least one score. While he is a no-brainer to stack with Murray, the Cardinals other options are much trickier.
As of right now, the Arizona offense has been the Murray/Hopkins show. Larry Fitzgerald has seen a decent target share, but his upside is extremely limited at this point in his career. Save for a triple-touchdown day, Fitz isn’t winning anyone a tournament. Instead of gambling with these secondary options, I prefer to use Kenyan Drake. Drake has been getting the volume that many had hoped for, but the results have been underwhelming; Detroit presents him the recipe he needs for a nice outing. The Lions rushing defense is just as bad as their secondary, and the Packers exposed them last Sunday. Aaron Jones absolutely trashed the Lions, and Drake could have a similar performance. He has a similar skill set as Jones, though he is not being targeted at the same level. Regardless, Arizona should hold a comfortable lead in this game. That will bode well for Drake when he is given the chance to grind out the clock. He is a dynamic back, and could easily break off a big run for a score.
If you have interest in making this a game stack, keep an eye on Kenny Golladay. He returned to practice this week, meaning there’s a great chance he suits up Sunday. Golladay will come at a discount, and will be heavily targeted by Matthew Stafford. Tight end T.J. Hockenson can also be considered, especially if Golladay sits once again.
New England Patriots
Cam Newton, Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd/N’Keal Harry
Watching Cam Newton on Sunday Night Football was a sight to behold. He reminded us all why he’s a former MVP, and there’s no doubt injuries held him down recently. It’s rare to have a quarterback throw for nearly 400 yards and only have one passing touchdown. Newton made up for it with two rushing touchdowns, and had a chance for a third. Unfortunately, he was stopped at the one-yard line. Seattle had problems containing him on the ground, and they are much more talented on defense than the Raiders. There’s a good chance Cam could flirt with 100-rushing yards in this contest. Las Vegas has struggled over the years against opposing wide receivers, which is a trend that has continued into this season. They did a decent job of limiting Drew Brees, but that was mostly due to Michael Thomas’s absence. Meanwhile, New England has a receiving core at full strength. Cam will have a solid passing floor against this soft unit, and should see his touchdown numbers increase. When his rushing numbers are factored in, the upside here is incredible. He will be an absolute slate-breaking play if he can put the total-package together.
Perhaps even more impressive than Newton was Julian Edelman’s performance against the Seahawks. Edelman suddenly looked 5 years younger, hauling in deep-shots downfield and making some spectacular catches. His yards-per-catch was a staggering 22.4, and he finished with 178 yards on 8 receptions. While a similar performance should not be expected, reaching 100-yards is certainly a reasonable assumption. Given the positive matchup, there’s a strong possibility Edelman will find the end zone for his first touchdown of the season. Eventually, teams will begin selling out to stop Cam around the goal line. This will open up Edelman on short play action routes, and the reliable vet should convert on his opportunities.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Patriots receiving core is unpredictable. Because of that fact, I can only recommend taking a shot on one of them in tournaments; these aren’t players I’d fool around with in cash games. Both N’Keal Harry and Damiere Byrd finished Sunday night with similar stat lines, as Newton didn’t hesitate to target them when Edelman wasn’t open. For that matter, I’d prefer Harry over Byrd. He’s more talented than Byrd, and Cam seems to like targeting him downfield. Byrd plays more offensive snaps, but Harry has seen more targets. With so much attention on stopping Newton and Edelman, don’t be surprised if he breaks off a few big plays.