Week nine of the NFL was one mired in violence. A.J. Green viciously attacked Jalen Ramsey then threw him to the ground in a series of moves typically reserved for WWE matches. Jameis Winston had one of the more bizarre pre-game speeches ever recorded and aired. Then he followed that up by instigating a defenseless shove to the back from Mike Evans to Marshon Lattimore.
You know who didn’t put up a fight? The New York Giants. That’s who. Alas, that’s a whole different article.
Fantasy Focus Week 10 Thursday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks – Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks (5-3)
Russell Wilson – Quarterback
Russell Wilson has had some ups and downs this season. The Seahawks offensive line has been just shy of atrocious and probably the biggest reason for Wilson’s struggles. His accuracy has ranged from 51 to 80 completion percentage. At times, he looks like a superstar and other times he looks like a man running for his life behind a collapsing wall of bodies.
Wilson’s ability to scramble is keeping him upright and helping to keep his team in games. He’s averaging 33.8 rushing yards-per-game which keeps his fantasy-floor safe. He’s thrown 17 touchdowns to six interceptions.
Against a beatable Cardinals defense, look for Wilson to run and pass his way to a solid fantasy performance. He’s a locked-and-loaded QB1 for this matchup and should be started in all formats.
Eddie Lacy – Running Back
Eddie Lacy exited week-nine’s game with a groin injury. He is not expected to suit up for Thursday night’s game. Remove him from lineups.
Thomas Rawls – Running Back
Thomas Rawls stepped in when Lacy left the game. He was productive, gaining 39 yards on nine carries. He consistently got chunk-yardage and ran with some power. Rawls also snagged two receptions for an additional 31 yards.
Rawls has struggled to run well behind a make-shift offensive line. The Cardinals have fared well defending the run. Rawls should suit up as the starter with C.J. Prosise sprinkling in some change-of-pace touches. Rawls will be a low-upside RB3 for week 10 in standard scoring leagues and an RB3/Flex play in PPR.
Doug Baldwin – Wide Receiver
Doug Baldwin had a solid outing in week nine with a 7/108/1 stat line. It’s an impressive stat-line by itself, only made more impressive when one factors in that Baldwin spent most of the game being shadowed by Josh Norman.
Baldwin has showcased the talent that puts him in the WR1 conversation. Consistency has been the biggest problem for him this season. This week, he may draw top coverage again, squaring off against Patrick Peterson. Baldwin is a WR1 this week and should be started in all formats.
Paul Richardson – Wide Receiver
Paul Richardson has quietly made a name for himself in this offense. He’s been consistently lining up as the number-two in two wide receiver sets. In week eight he exploded for a six reception, 105-yard, two touchdown stat-line. While he can’t be counted on for that type of production on a week-to-week basis, he’s remaining a viable option during bye-weeks.
Richardson tagged as questionable on Tuesday with a groin injury. Head coach Pete Carroll and company have always played games with the injury report, so fantasy owners should monitor the situation on a short practice week. If he suits up, he’s an interesting play this week with Peterson most likely following Baldwin. Consider him in the WR3/Flex conversation, depending on health.
Tyler Lockett – Wide Receiver
Tyler Lockett was listed on Monday’s injury report with a shoulder injury, then listed as a full participant for Tuesday’s practice. Lockett may see his fair share of Peterson as well, especially if Richardson is out or limited.
Lockett has been a more consistent option for this season, even getting the occasional rushing attempt. His versatility makes him a player for opposing defenses to be wary of. With Lockett starting to edge his way into weekly fantasy relevance, consider him a WR3/Flex play with upside if Richardson sits.
Jimmy Graham – Tight End
Jimmy Graham remained sidelined as of Tuesday’s practice with an ankle injury. His status is up-in-the-air, and may turn into a true game-time decision. Owners should make up backup plans on a short week.
If he suits up, Graham is in the TE1 conversation and worth the start in both standard and PPR scoring formats.
Arizona Cardinals (4-4)
Drew Stanton – Quarterback
Drew Stanton showed some improvement in week nine over his week seven outing. In two games this season he has thrown for a total of 267 yards on 20 attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Stanton throwing 30 attempts in week nine was mildly surprising considering the success that Adrian Peterson had on the ground. It is doubtful to expect the Cardinals game-plan against a stout defense to involve Stanton throwing for 30-plus attempts.
Against a top-rated defense, Stanton should not be started outside of two-quarterback leagues.
Adrian Peterson – Running Back
Peterson carried the ball 37 times against the 49ers for 159 yards. Peterson has been a solid addition to the Cardinals in a devastating season of injuries. It was his second game of over 100 yards rushing since joining the Cardinals.
Look for Peterson to get all the carries he can handle even on a short week. Seattle’s defense is much tougher to run on that San Francisco’s, so expectations should be tempered. Peterson is RB2 with volume upside this week. His minimal involvement in the passing game limits his PPR appeal, but he should be started this week in both formats.
Andre Ellington – Running Back
Andre Ellington is maintaining involvement for passing downs, but has seemingly taken a backseat to Peterson, who has the stranglehold on the lead-back position. The Cardinals may be playing catch-up throughout this week’s game, which could mean a resurgence in usage for Ellington.
Ellington has had little fantasy relevance in the last several weeks. He’s a tough start in an even tougher matchup. Ellington is a fringe flex play in deep PPR formats, otherwise he’s a risky start.
Larry Fitzgerald – Wide Receiver
Larry Fitzgerald still has game. He should have had a touchdown in week nine, but was badly overthrown by a struggling Stanton. Fitzgerald has maintained a high level of involvement in this offense. While his fantasy stock is held in check by who’s throwing the ball, he’s still a top option to move the chains, and a solid red-zone target.
Fitzgerald is averaging just over six receptions per game, and is the most reliable receiving option for Stanton. Fitz is a WR2 and should be started, even against a stout Seattle defense.
John Brown – Wide Receiver
John Brown opened last week’s game with a 52 yard reception. He had three more targets in the first half, but couldn’t come down with any of them. That ended up being his only reception. Brown did not see any targets in the second half.
Brown is a talented receiver, but with Stanton at the helm and against a top-five passing defense, he’s tough to trust as a start this week.
Jaron Brown – Wide Receiver
Jaron Brown made his one reception count in last week’s game. There’s nothing sexy about a one reception, three-yard, one touchdown stat line. With Stanton under-center, it removes Brown’s fantasy relevance.
J.J. Nelson – Wide Receiver
J.J. Nelson is suffering from the same ailment as the rest of the receiving core for the Cardinals; a lack of Carson Palmer. It’s difficult to trust any of the receivers outside of Fitzgerald with Stanton at the helm.
Jermaine Gresham found the end-zone for the first time of 2017 in last week’s game. That was against a swiss-cheese defense of the San Francisco 49ers. Facing the Seahawks on Thursday night, Gresham is probably on waiver-wires in most leagues and should stay there.