Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DEN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DEN

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs DEN

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Prediction: ARI 17, DEN 31 (Line: DEN by 7)

Update: Carson Palmer is out this week with his shoulder/nerve issue and Drew Stanton will again get the start.

The 3-0 Cardinals are one of only two undefeated teams and come off their bye. The 2-1 Broncos are 2-0 at home and also come off their bye. The Cardinals are very good this year, but maybe not quite “win in Denver” good.

Arizona Cardinals

1 SD 18-17 10 STL —–
2 @NYG 25-14 11 DET —–
3 SF 23-14 12 @SEA —–
4 BYE —– 13 @ATL —–
5 @DEN —– 14 KC —–
6 WAS —– 15 @STL —–
7 @OAK —– 16 SEA —–
8 PHI —– 17 @SF —–
9 @DAL —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer
QB Drew Stanton 240,2
RB Andre Ellington 50 3-20
RB Chris Johnson 40 2-10
RB Stepfan Taylor 10 3-20,1
WR John Brown 2-50,1
WR Larry Fitzgerald 7-60
WR Michael Floyd 3-40
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-20
PK Chandler Catanzaro 1 FG 2 XP

The Cardinals have been very good beating both the Chargers and 49ers but those were home games where they have always played better. Aside from a couple of Seahawk matchups and a finale in San Francisco, the schedule here is lighter than most and what was once the worst division a decade ago had grown into one of the very best in the NFL and the Cardinals sit atop that for now.

QUARTERBACK : Carson Palmer was out for two weeks with nerve damage in his shoulder but has contended all along that he will be ready for this game and recently said he was close to being 100%. HC Bruce Arians would only say that he’ll be evaluated during the week. I will assume he can play and update as warranted. Drew Stanton did a nice “caretaker” job while he was out but playing in Denver means needing all hands on deck.

RUNNING BACK : Jonathan Dwyer was formally charged with felony aggravated assault which means drop him from all your teams including a dynasty league because chances are he won’t be back. Andre Ellington is only averaging 69 rushing yards per game with a couple of catches in each and still has yet to score a touchdown. Dwyer had the lone rushing score and Stepfan Taylor caught the only scoring pass to a running back but only has four catches on the year. With Dwyer gone, Taylor becomes more important as a back-up for Ellington and as part of the backfield rotation but so far this rushing attack has been the lesser part of the offense.

WIDE RECEIVER : The downside here is that Larry Fitzgerald is once again being more decoy than primary receiver and has yet to score or even catch more than 51 yards worth in any game. Michael Floyd already has two 100 yard efforts – both in home games and John Brown leads them all with three of the four passing touchdowns. But again – all at home. Despite playing just the Giants, the Cards only threw for 167 yards and no scores in their only other road game. That will be an issue this week.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Andre Ellington remains a moderate play this week against a defense that has allowed four rushing score but nothing Ellington has done suggests that he’ll do more than provide average yardage. His biggest obstacle will just be a lower volume of carries. The Broncos allow at least two scores to every opponent so far and there is a great likelihood that the Broncos get ahead and force the Cards to pass. But the only receivers to do much to the Broncos were tight ends and running backs. The Cards rarely use either in the passing game. Consider Palmer as a moderate start but Floyd should draw Aqib Talib and Fitzgerald has yet to turn in even a decent game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 23 20 18 27 3 14
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 30 26 18 24 10 5

Denver Broncos

1 IND 31-24 10 @OAK —–
2 KC 24-17 11 @STL —–
3 @SEA 20-26 12 MIA —–
4 BYE —– 13 @KC —–
5 ARI —– 14 BUF —–
6 @NYJ —– 15 @SD —–
7 SF —– 16 @CIN —–
8 SD —– 17 OAK —–
9 @NE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Emmanuel Sanders 5-50
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-80,1
TE Garrett Graham 5-60,1
PK Brandon McManus 1 FG 4 XP

The loss in Seattle hurt but at least it showed that the Broncos could certainly compete with the Seahawks and even on their turf. Manning never got his chance to win in overtime. The upcoming schedule looks very nice with three of the next four at home and really the only major road block left is all the way in week 16 in Cincinnati. Otherwise the Broncos are certain to be favored in all other games.

QUARTERBACK : The yardage is a little lower this year – 271 yards per game – but Peyton Manning is throwing two or three touchdowns and that with only one interception and no more than one sack per game. Manning’s been good for three touchdowns in the other two home games this year.

RUNNING BACK : Montee Ball hasn’t set the NFL on fire so far but then again he’s had no incriminating photos or videos, hasn’t been arrested or been injured and has yet to gain fewer than 80 total yards in a home game. This year – that is success. Ball scored once in the season opener against the Colts and catches a few balls per week. The early part of the schedule is tougher on the run game with the Cards this week and then the Jets.

WIDE RECEIVER : Everyone is back now including Wes Welker. Demaryius Thomas is light on the production so far with only one score and never more than 62 yards in any game. Emmanuel Sanders has been far more productive with no worse than 77 yards every week and two efforts that topped 100 yards. While the offense is moving well, it has not needed Thomas as much, particularly with Sanders getting all the single coverage.

TIGHT END : Can Julius Thomas not score? He leads the NFL with five receiving touchdowns and topped 100 yards in the season opener. His yardage since has been scant but the scores keep coming. Even Jacob Tamme scored in the last two games and he only has three receptions on the season.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals have been good against the run though less so away from Arizona. Montee Ball won’t have a big game here but he should turn in decent total yardage with a nice shot at a touchdown. The Cards have only played in one road game and that was against Brother Eli who passed for 277 yards and two scores. Patrick Peterson will match on Emanuel Sanders unless they change his natural position. This is a better than average defense but no reason to bench any of your normal Denver starters.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 5 30 15 2 28 20
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 16 4 21 23 1 7

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