Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles as Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) wear a "WVB" patch in memory of the Cardinals' late owner William V. Bidwill prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
New England Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, right, hits New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones after he released a pass in the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones passes under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise, left, and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, right, in the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, center, throws a touchdown pass to Golden Tate in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) There were some who questioned the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants for taking quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones, respectively, in the first six picks of the NFL draft.
Murray too short. Jones had a losing record at Duke. A lot of critics and fans had their opinions.
Six games into the season, the Cardinals (2-3-1) and Giants (2-4) are very happy with the picks and the rookies will be on display Sunday when Arizona comes to MetLife Stadium to face New York.
Murray, the No. 1 overall, has started every game and has the Cardinals on a two-game winning streak. He is an exceptional athlete who can beat teams with feet or his arm.
Jones, the sixth pick, replaced Eli Manning after New York lost its first two games. While not as much of a runner as Murray, he energized the offense with his ability to extend plays and throw accurate strikes. The Giants won their first two games with him starting and lost the next two to Minnesota (4-2) and New England (6-0).
But the vibes are positive and both teams are looking to the future and getting back into the playoffs at some point.
The previous matchup featuring two rookie starting quarterbacks selected in the top 10 in the common era of the draft was last year when Sam Darnold of the Jets (No. 3) faced Josh Allen of the Bills (No. 7).
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Shula said coaching staffs are simply trying to get quarterbacks to avoid mistakes.
''You watch around the league, even some of the best quarterbacks are trying to do things maybe they shouldn't be trying to do,'' he said. ''That's the beauty of the position. It's one of the most unique positions in all of sports because you have to make split-second decisions with guys trying to take your head off.''
That's what Jones and Murray will have to deal with on Sunday.
Five things to watch in the game:
The biggest question mark in the game. Last season's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has missed the past three games with a high sprain to his right ankle. The running back is expected to play after practicing all week. He adds an ability to score on any play to an offense hit by injuries recently. Tight end Evan Engram (33 catches with two TDs) also is expected back.
The Cardinals have developed a versatile and productive two-man backfield with David Johnson and Chase Edmonds.
Johnson's success was expected. The 2016 All-Pro has had at least 100 total yards in each of his past three games and has developed into an excellent run/pass threat. His 30 catches for 315 yards both rank second on the team. His three receiving touchdowns rank first.
Edmonds, a second-year player, is a surprise. He's run for 161 yards this season - a 6.7-yard average - and caught eight passes, including one for a touchdown against the Falcons last week. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is playing them at the same time more often to pressure defenses.
Former Cardinal Markus Golden is having a comeback season with the Giants. The linebacker has a team-high five sacks, with a least a half in five consecutive games. He scored his first career touchdown on a 42-yard fumble return against the Patriots. Golden is looking forward to facing Arizona left tackle D.J. Humphries. The two were drafted by the Cards in 2015: Humphries in the first round, Golden in the second. Golden had 2 1/2 sacks last season after missing the 2017 season with a knee injury.
The Cardinals welcome back star cornerback Patrick Peterson, who missed the first six games after violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers.
He should help a secondary that's leaned on several rookies, including cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. and safeties Deionte Thompson and Jalen Thompson. The Cardinals are giving up more than 281 yards passing, No. 30 in the league.
The Cardinals hope Peterson's presence allows them to move around other players to better cover opposing tight ends. Falcons TE Austin Hooper was the latest to dominate Arizona's defense, catching eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
The Cardinals are excellent on special teams. Kicker Zane Gonzalez leads the league in scoring with 58 points while Andy Lee is third overall in punting with a 44.8-yard net average. The Giants gave up a touchdown on a blocked punt against the Patriots. Kicker Aldrick Rosas has not had much work, hitting on four of five field-goal attempts.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald caught three passes for 33 yards on Thursday during the loss to the Cleveland Browns. McDonald led the team with seven targets on the night after James Conner (shoulder), Diontae Johnson (concussion), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) all suffered injuries. McDonald, who has been targeted 21 times over the last three games, could be more involved against the Bengals in Week 12 if any one of those three mentioned aren't able to go. Keep on an eye on things heading into next Sunday's matchup with Cincy.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington finished with a team-high 49 yards during the loss to the Browns on Thursday. With JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion), James Conner (shoulder), and Diontae Johnson (concussion) all getting banged up in this one, Washington received five targets while managing to catch just three of them. The 23-year-old could see his fantasy stock rise before the Week 12 showdown with the Bengals if any of those guys aren't able to suit up, especially for those playing in deeper formats.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Trey Edmunds finished with just three carries for 11 yards during the loss to the Browns. Edmunds yielded carries to Jaylen Samuels, who finished with five attempts for 26 yards, and while both men didn't fully capitalize on the ground after the premature departure of James Conner (shoulder), they were involved on the receiving end to some degree. If Conner is unable to suit up against the Bengals in Week 12, Edmunds has some value, but only as a desperation play in deeper leagues as Samuels will likely be more involved against Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels finished with five attempts for 26 yards in addition to five receptions for 19 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Week 11. Samuels stepped up after James Conner was ruled out on Thursday night after re-injuring the same shoulder that kept him out over the last few weeks. Look for 23-year-old to once again be a popular waiver wire target, especially in PPR formats, heading into Week 12 against the Bengals if Conner is forced to miss another one.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph struggled in Week 11 in the loss to the Browns, finishing with 221 yards on 23-for-44 passing to go along with four interceptions. While the 24-year-old did throw a touchdown, the four picks he threw offset any chance for an adequate fantasy performance. He hasn't played well over the last three weeks, however, compiling only 654 yards and three scores, while throwing five interceptions. There is light at the end of the tunnel for Rudolph, nonetheless, as the Steelers will look to get back on track against the Bengals in Week 12, with his stock increasing if either JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) or James Conner (shoulder) are able to play after suffering in-game injuries on Thursday night.
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has been one of the NFL's worst kickers this year, but head coach Frank Reich remains confident in him. However, in Week 11 with the fantasy playoffs looming, you can't trust him in your lineups. He's missed five field goals and six extra points this season. He's below 80 percent accuracy in both categories, and this figures to be a low-scoring game. You just can't trot him out this week, as there are likely several options available that are better than him.
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack has only cleared 100 scrimmage yards in a game twice this season. One of those was all the way back in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers. In Week 11, he has a good matchup that could see that number grow to three. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Indy's Week 11 opponent, have been decent against the pass, but they're allowing over 120 yards per game on the ground. Mack is still in the RB2 conversation every week because he gets good volume, and this week he has a fair bit of upside.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (knee) is expected to start after missing last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. After being a consistent QB2 for much of the season, he can't be trusted this week. He'll be without three of his top four wide receivers due to injuries, and he's playing against a defense that still has a fair bit of talent to make life difficult for him. With only four teams on a bye, there should be better streaming options available for this week than Brissett. Expect the Colts to lean heavily on the running game even with Brissett back in the fold.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal was quiet last week, and he'll see an uptick in his stock this week with quarterback Jacoby Brissett (knee) expected to start. However, he still can't be relied on for anything consistent. He's been boom-or-bust wideout nearly every week since he showed up on the scene in Week 3. He'll also have to deal with cornerback A.J. Bouye a fair bit in this game, which further downgrades him. Unless you have no other options, look elsewhere at wide receiver in shallow leagues. The Colts should lean more on the run this week once again.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron wanted more opportunities, and he got them last week. He saw 12 targets, but he only came down with five of them. Regardless, he remains a TE2 in Week 11. The Colts are without three of their top four wide receivers due to injury, which puts Ebron in a position to make plays every week. He has three touchdowns on the year, and with three good tight ends on byes this week, there's a short list of players that can be in front of him. If you have a better option, you can start him, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have been average against tight ends this year. Especially if T.Y. Hilton (calf) misses another game, you could do much worse than Ebron.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught 4-of-7 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Landry got wide open on the left side of the end zone for a one-yard score in the second quarter, giving him a touchdown in three straight games. The veteran wide receiver has been trending up in recent weeks and draws a cake matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. He will be a no-brainer fantasy option for that contest.
The Cleveland Browns Defense put on a dominant showing in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Cleveland intercepted Mason Rudolph four times and sacked him another four times in the win. It isn't all good news, however, as star pass rusher Myles Garrett is probably looking at a lengthy suspension for his role in a brawl at the end of the game. Garrett ripped off Rudolph's helmet and hit him with it after a sack late in the contest. Cleveland's defense will be a top option in Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins regardless of whether Garrett is available or not.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield got the job done in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Mayfield completed 17-of-32 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a one-yard rushing touchdown on the evening. The rushing score was a gift as Odell Beckham Jr. appeared to have a touchdown reception which was overturned after the scoring play was reviewed, putting the ball at the Pittsburgh one-yard line. After a rough start to the season, Mayfield is starting to trend upwards. He draws a beautiful Week 12 matchup against the tanking Miami Dolphins.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb carried the ball 27 times for 92 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Chubb was mostly bottled up by a tough Pittsburgh run defense but the 27 carries go down as a season-high as he became the first NFL player to rush for 1,000 yards in the 2019 season. He did check out near the end of the game with what appeared to be a groin issue. On the negative side, Chubb only drew one target as newly reinstated Kareem Hunt continues to cut into his passing game work. Either way, Chubb will be a lock-button play in Week 12 against a weak Miami Dolphins Defense.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt carried the ball six times for 12 yards and added six receptions for 46 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. Hunt continues to be deployed as Cleveland's passing-down back, out-targeting Nick Chubb eight to one in the contest. Chubb also appeared to tweak his groin toward the end of the game, which could lead to more work for Hunt against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12 if Chubb is unable to play or is limited. Hunt's work in the passing game has him on the radar as a flex option in PPR leagues going forward.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. caught 4-of-10 targets for 60 yards in a 21-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Beckham had a touchdown wiped off the board at the end of the first drive when official review revealed that his knee was down inside the one-yard line, right before the ball crossed the goal line. Beckham wound up settling for a 42-yard reception. He was mostly quiet for the rest of the game as he and Baker Mayfield continue to struggle to get on the same page. Despite the slow season, Beckham could very well erupt in Week 12 as the Browns take on the tanking Miami Dolphins.
Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) will visit the Philadelphia Eagles Friday, Nov. 15, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: Ajayi played well for the Eagles in 2017, but knee injuries took a toll on his production. If he does return to the Eagles, he won't have any fantasy appeal in a crowded backfield.
Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns FS Morgan Burnett (Achilles) has been ruled out for the remainder of the Week 11 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with an Achilles injury.
Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) has been ruled out for the remainder of the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after suffering a shoulder injury.
Fantasy Spin: After his shoulder injury flared up, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Conner miss additional time going forward. Jaylen Samuels would be the back to own in Conner's absence.
Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) won't return to the Week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Fantasy Spin: Diontae Johnson is currently second on the team in receptions and could be worth a flier as a desperation flex play if Smith-Schuster misses additional games.