Thursday Night Fantasy Football Preview: Cardinals at Rams

BY Fox Sports • December 11, 2014

Just when you thought it was safe to right off the Carson Palmer-less Cardinals, they win against Kansas City. Now, Arizona has 10 wins and still leads the NFC West. However, these final three games can change that outcome drastically.

The Rams were written off quicker than Arizona. Then, St. Louis pitched back-to-back shutouts and now have won three-of-the-last-four games. At the Edward Jones Dome, the Rams have won three straight games: Raiders, Broncos, and Seahawks.

Vegas has the over/under set at 40 ½ points with the Rams as 4 ½ point favorites. That’s a projected score of about 22-18, with a realistic outcome of around 21-17, St. Louis.

Strong plays:

Both D/STs – Yet another Thursday night game where the emphasis is on defense and special teams. The Cardinals are allowing 18.3 points per game (third-best in NFL), while the Rams have dropped their total to 21.9 points per game (14th-best) after back-to-back shutouts. Both defenses are ranked in the top ten when it comes to rush defense (Cardinals are sixth, Rams are 10th). The secondaries are the biggest weaknesses for each squad, yet opposing quarterbacks are averaging less than 21 fantasy points per game.

Medium plays:

Tre Mason, RB – He’s having a hard time trying to top his three TD, 160+ total yard performance from Week 13. Last week, against Washington, Mason only tallied 66 rushing yards on 20 attempts. Unfortunately, it was his first time in the last six games that he didn’t record a catch. Mason is still in my top 12 for running backs this week.

Michael Floyd, WR – I continue to overvalue Floyd, but hear me out. Against a tough Chiefs defense, Floyd was targeted seven times and he totaled 85 receiving yards on four receptions. The week before, against Atlanta, he was targeted 10 times and caught five passes for 53 yards. Floyd is getting the looks. If Arizona wants to score, they will need to do it via the passing game.

Weak plays:

Stedman Bailey, WR – Last week, Shaun Hill threw to seven different targets and Bailey only caught two passes (on two targets). This week, Patrick Peterson will likely cover the second-year receiver instead of Kenny Britt.

Cardinals RBs – It is a complete roll of the dice when it comes to predicting the Arizona running back game plan. In Week 15, Kerwynn Williams led the team with 19 carries for 100 yards. Stepfan Taylor was the projected main RB, yet he only garnered six rushing attempts for 19 yards. Then, there is always Marion Grice who led all other Arizona running backs in yards with 16 rushing and 24 receiving.

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