Guest of the League
GSOFFL Est. 2010
FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

Football Team-Cardinals Preview

1600375013

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)


Washington Football Team defensive tackle Tim Settle (97) smiles while talking with umpire Tab Slaughter (110) and referee Brad Rodgers (126) during a timeout in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) celebrates his touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles with teammate quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7), during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona and Washington both enter Sunday's game at State Farm Stadium with something that's been quite elusive over the past few seasons: Momentum.

The Cardinals had an impressive 24-20 Week 1 win over the San Francisco 49ers, who played in the Super Bowl last season. Washington scored 27 unanswered points to knock off division rival Philadelphia 27-17.

The good news will continue for one of the teams this weekend. The marquee matchup appears to be Arizona's productive offense against Washington's defensive line, which had a big game against Philadelphia's depleted offensive line. Veteran Ryan Kerrigan had two sacks while rookie Chase Young added 1 1/2 sacks in his debut.

''It was pretty nerve-wracking watching their film - the eight sacks, causing turnovers, causing fumbles,'' Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ''They were really, really good, so we just have to have a great week of practice, and like we've done playing the 49ers, you've got to have a plan for those edge rushers.''

(For more in-depth coverage of the NFL, listen to the AP Pro Football Podcast apple.co/3iGiX8a)

Arizona's offense was balanced in Week 1, throwing for 224 yards and running for 180 more. Second-year quarterback Kyler Murray ran for 91 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown. Kingsbury's offensive reputation when he came to the NFL was spreading the field and flinging the ball through the air, but the Cardinals have run for at least 180 yards four times in his 17 games as coach.

If Kingsbury is nervous about stopping Washington's pass rush, Washington coach Ron Rivera is right there with him when watching Murray.

''He's such an elusive guy,'' Washington coach Ron Rivera said. ''He gives me anxiety. What you want to do is you want to keep a guy like that in the pocket. You want to keep that guy contained. You don't want to give him an opportunity to extend plays. With his athleticism and his arm, he can make plays.''

PHENOMENAL FILL-INS

The Cardinals got a big boost from center Lamont Gaillard and safety Chris Banjo after both had to play bigger-than-expected roles after injuries to starters. Both could see extended playing time against Washington.

The 24-year-old Gaillard was playing in his first NFL game when he came in for Mason Cole, who had a hamstring injury. He held his own against the experienced 49ers defensive line which is considered one of the best in the NFL.

''Very impressive, and that's how he's been,'' Kingsbury said. ''He's a very confident young man. He believes he could start anywhere and could be playing anywhere, and he prepares that way. So, I think when he stepped in, nobody blinked.''

Banjo played nearly the entire game after starting safety Jalen Thompson went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter. The 30-year-old Banjo had six tackles and proved he can be a solid replacement.

SPECIAL CARDINALS

The Cardinals were trailing 10-0 in the first quarter against 49ers before a special teams play turned the momentum. Zeke Turner sliced through the line to block a punt and Dennis Gardeck recovered the ball to give Arizona possession at the San Francisco 10.

One play later, Murray hit Chase Edmonds for a 10-yard touchdown pass and the Cardinals were on their way to a win. Turner and Gardeck - who was recently named a team captain - have been a big part of the special teams unit for three seasons.

VINTAGE KERRIGAN

One big reason for Washington's eight-sack showing against Philadelphia was the play of Kerrigan. He's 32 now and could be a free agent after this season, but Kerrigan displayed in the season opener he can still make life difficult on opposing quarterbacks.

Rivera called Kerrigan ''a true pro'' who works on and studies his craft.

''He understands what it takes to prepare each week, to play physically and mentally,'' Rivera said. ''Because he does that, he has success.''

NEWTON 2.0?

Scott Turner was offensive quality control coach under Rivera with Carolina in 2011 when they had Cam Newton as a rookie. Now he's Washington's offensive coordinator under Rivera with Dwayne Haskins, another first-round pick with the potential of becoming a franchise quarterback.

The Eagles game was the first chance for Haskins to play in Turner's offense, and his performance drew mostly positive reviews.

''There are probably some decisions he'd like to have back, but you're never going to be perfect in that regard,'' Turner said. ''Stuff happens really fast out there. He's got to see it out his eyes. The more he plays, the more he sees it and I think the better he's going to be at those types of things.''

WASHINGTON'S NEW LEFT TACKLE

While Trent Williams was bulldozing Arizona linebacker Jordan Hicks in his San Francisco debut, Washington turned to 2018 third-round pick Geron Christian to fill his old spot at left tackle. Things didn't go well early against Philadelphia for Christian, and Rivera expects him and left guard Wes Martin to be better as the weeks go on.

''They didn't play very well at the beginning of the game,'' said Rivera, who chalked it up to jitters and saw some progression. ''Hopefully they'll continue that trend and they'll both get better and better.''

Player Notes
Matt Ryan Oct 29 11:30pm ET

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan went 21-for-30 and gained 281 yards and one interception in the Thursday night win over the Panthers. It was a rainy game and many players were clearly affected by the conditions. Ryan finished with an average night, which he has sometimes had this season. With a high-powered offense, the QB should remain in the starting tier most weeks, but is most effective in favorable matchups.

From RotoBaller

Teddy Bridgewater Oct 29 10:40pm ET

Teddy Bridgewater, after being tripped while trying to scramble, took a shot to the head as he fell to the ground against the Falcons. Obviously, the first concern after a hit to the head is a concussion. Bridgewater's head abruptly twisted to the side and he went into the tent shortly thereafter. The Panthers' backup tonight is XFL sweetheart, P.J. Walker.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 29 10:10pm ET

Calvin Ridley has been ruled out for the Falcons' Week 8 game against the Panthers. He was tackled by a defender and his left foot got caught under the defender. Ridley immediately grabbed his left foot and went to the locker room. His status for Week 9 will now be in question.

From RotoBaller

La'Mical Perine Oct 29 9:50pm ET

New York Jets running back La'Mical Perine has been buried on the depth chart for most of the season. However, head coach Adam Gase mentioned last week that he wants to get Perine more involved. Perine was on the field for 70 percent of the offensive snaps during the Week 7 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He saw 11 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown in the loss. He'll get a decent matchup here against the Kansas City Chiefs who are average against the run this season. Perine could be worth looking at as a desperation option for owners in need of a running back.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Oct 29 9:50pm ET

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (groin) was able to go through limited practice on Thursday. That is actually an upgrade since Crowder sat out of practice the day prior. Crowder has been basically the only bright spot for this team all season long. His absence would doom the Jets chances of doing anything at all on offense versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8. Crowder has seen 10 or more targets in each game that he has played in this season. He'll be a reliable WR2, assuming he suits up here.

From RotoBaller

Frank Gore Oct 29 9:40pm ET

New York Jets running back Frank Gore has seen a significant role in the backfield this season. The departure of Le'Veon Bell has opened up lead back duties for Gore over the last few weeks. Sadly, the Jets offensive line and team as a whole is horrible this season. Gore has done what he can, but will likely see his role decrease going forward. Head coach Adam Gase wants to see La'Mical Perine more involved in the offense. That means, Gore is going to be a tough option to trust versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Oct 29 9:30pm ET

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold showed no signs of life during the loss to the Buffalo Bills last week. Darnold returned after a two-game absence, but was torn apart by the Bills Defense in Week 7. He finished with 120 passing yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. To be fair, Darnold doesn't have many weapons on the Jets, but his play under center has been difficult to watch. It won't get any easier for Darnold as he'll face off with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8. A secondary that has allowed the ninth fewest amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. There is no reason to start Darnold unless you absolutely have no other options. Hopefully Ben DiNucci is available because he's a better fantasy option this week than Darnold.

From RotoBaller

Calvin Ridley Oct 29 9:30pm ET

During the second quarter, Calvin Ridley was tackled from behind and immediately grabbed his left foot. Common injuries in the foot and ankle include lateral ankle sprains, high ankle sprains, mid-foot sprains, and turf toe. His status to return to the game is unknown at this time but considering this is a divisional game, the Falcons will do everything in their power to get him back on the field. His practice availability leading into Week 9 will be worth monitoring.

From RotoBaller

Gabriel Davis Oct 29 9:20pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis has put together a few decent performance this season. Sadly, his production has been inconsistent and it's tough to predict when he's going to see a significant role in the offense. Last week, Davis saw three targets and caught one of them for 11 yards in the victory over the New York Jets. Davis is not expected to be a reliable streaming option against the top-10 secondary of the New England Patriots in Week 8. Fantasy owners might be able to use him as a low-end desperation deep league option, but that's about it.

From RotoBaller

Chris Carson Oct 29 8:30pm ET

The Seattle Seahawks will have a running back active Sunday versus San Francisco, although whether it's any of the trio of Chris Carson (foot), Carlos Hyde (hamstring), or Travis Homer (knee) remains to be seen. None of the aforementioned trio practiced in any capacity Thursday, furthering the notion that DeeJay Dallas may be heavily relied upon for the game versus the 49ers. Of the three, Carson seems the most likely to miss the contest after initially being deemed week-to-week with a foot injury. Should Hyde or Homer suit up (with the other being ruled out), they'd immediately garner RB2/Flex intrigue due to the lack of depth in the Seattle backfield. Check back over the coming days to get a better idea of how the Seahawks' backfield woes will shake out.

From RotoBaller

Trey Burton Oct 29 8:30pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton has emerged as a legitimate weapon over the past two games. Over the last two games, he has nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown on 11 total targets. However, he is matching up against a Lions Defense that ranks second against opposing tight ends. Burton is also sharing snaps with Jack Doyle, but Burton is seeing many more targets in the passing game. The Lions have one of the worst run defenses in the league, so there's a chance that the Colts will not have a heavy passing attack unless they get behind early. Burton has been productive, but all this data points to him having some bust potential this week. He may have TE2 or flex potential, but he is certainly a risky play.

From RotoBaller

Chris Jones Oct 29 8:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin) was able to record a full practice session Thursday, a likely sign that he'll ultimately be given the green light to play Sunday against the Jets. The Chiefs Defense was already in a golden spot even with Jones' availability up in the air, but having the reigning Pro Bowler patrolling the line only enhances their value. Having accrued 21 tackles, nine quarterback hits, and 4.5 sacks in six games, Jones' presence should wreak havoc against a Jets offense that has struggled to muster much lightning in 2020. Despite Kansas City's struggles at stopping the run (149.9 yards per game) this year, they should be rostered in all season-long leagues on a streamer basis with the news of Jones likely being in the mix.

From RotoBaller

Emmanuel Sanders Oct 29 8:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) will be absent from Sunday's contest versus Chicago, marking his second consecutive game out of the mix. Prior to hitting the COVID-19 list, Sanders reeled off his best performance of the year with a 12-catch, 122-yard outing versus the Chargers, with his absence creating an opening in the WR ranks for the Saints. With Michael Thomas (hamstring) returning to practice Thursday, New Orleans may have some reinforcements against a stout Bears Defense, but Sanders' next chance to return to action comes next Sunday against Tampa Bay. The nature of the virus puts Sanders' availability up in the air, so check back for updates on his status as they emerge.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Oct 29 8:10pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has been unreliable so far this season, so it may be difficult to insert him in a fantasy lineup against the Lions this week. Philip Rivers threw the ball for over 370 yards in Week 6 against the Bengals, but Hilton caught just one pass for 11 yards. He has just one game all season with more than five catches. He also has not been able to salvage any poor fantasy days by finding the end zone. Rivers seems to have a new receiving option he likes to go to every week, so it has been incredibly difficult to find any bright spots for Hilton. It is hard to consider him a fringe flex option at this point, so he is probably best suited on the bench in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Kareem Hunt Oct 29 7:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (ribs) and wide receiver Jarvis Landry (hip/ribs) were both limited during practice Thursday, marking the second consecutive day that their workload was managed. Despite the limited practice time, there's no reason to believe that either is in danger of not suiting up Sunday against the Raiders for what should be an advantageous matchup for both. With Nick Chubb (knee) still out of the equation, Hunt should remain the bell cow out of the backfield, while Landry should see an increase in targets in the wake of Odell Beckham Jr.'s (knee) season-ending knee injury. Check back prior to kickoff Sunday just to make sure that both eventually get the green light, but something would have to go sideways over the coming days for either to be held out.

From RotoBaller

Jonathan Taylor Oct 29 7:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor will have a great opportunity to put up a good fantasy performance against the Lions this week. The Lions rank 30th against opposing running backs, and Taylor continues to improve on his yards per carry. The Lions Defense is giving up 4.5 yards per carry and have surrendered nine rushing touchdowns so far this season. Taylor is averaging 16 carries per game since being name the starter, and he has picked up three rushing touchdowns in those five games. He has mostly put up respectable fantasy performances, and he should be able to again this week. Taylor is a must-start option in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Oct 29 7:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) is in line to play Sunday against Dallas, making his first appearance since Week 2. Reagor sustained a torn UCL in his right thumb, but is expected to revamp the team's wide receiving corps after losing DeSean Jackson (ankle) to injured reserve. Taken with the team's first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Reagor combined to make five catches for 96 yards in his first two games, logging 60 snaps in his final outing before hitting IR. With limited consistent options in the passing game for Carson Wentz to target, Reagor carries WR3/Flex potential this Sunday, especially when considering his matchup against an exploitable Cowboys secondary.

From RotoBaller

Mason Crosby Oct 29 7:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (calf/back) was held out of practice Thursday for the second consecutive day, a worrisome note that may force Green Bay to get creative Sunday against Minnesota. Crosby has been the team's kicker for every game since Week 1 of the 2007 season, continuing to excel this year while going 9-for-9 on field-goal attempts. Special teams coach Shawn Mennenga is confident that he'll have Crosby at his disposal, but even if that's the case, current weather projections have the wind gusts in Green Bay expected to approach 40 MPH. The combination of injury concerns and bad weather opens the door for season-long fantasy managers to consider another placekicking option Sunday despite Crosby's sustained excellence.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Oct 29 7:20pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (concussion) was able to practice in a limited capacity Thursday, leaving the door open that he could be cleared from the league's concussion protocol in time to suit up Sunday against the Chargers. Lindsay has reclaimed his prior form over his last two games, having compiled 180 yards rushing on 32 carries. The return of Melvin Gordon III is sure to complicate Denver's backfield situation moving forward, but when given the green light, Lindsay holds RB2/Flex appeal due to past success. With that being said, his matchup Sunday against a Chargers Defense that has allowed just one rushing touchdown all year -- when combined with his injury -- makes for an avoidable DFS spot. Check back to get updates on Lindsay's status as they become available.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Oct 29 7:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers will face off against the Lions in Week 8. Rivers is coming off his best performance of the season against the Bengals, but he will likely to revert back to what he was prior to Week 6. The Lions Defense has actually been fairly good against the pass, currently ranking ninth against opposing quarterbacks. They are allowing less than two passing touchdowns per game, and opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of just 94. Week 6 was the only game of the year where Rivers threw multiple touchdown passes, and that is largely due to them falling behind early. Fantasy owners can feel comfortable with Rivers on the bench this week.

From RotoBaller