In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Charlotte, N.C. With Cam Newton reaggravating his foot, the team is looking at the possibility of starting Kyle Allen on Sunday against Arizona, the first of four road games in the next five. Allen has just one career start. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn, File)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws to a receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) celebrate his two point conversion catch with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona's Kyler Murray and Carolina's Kyle Allen will be competing for the spotlight when the two teams face each other Sunday in Week 3.
In some ways, it's just like old times for the quarterbacks and former college teammates.
Allen will make his second career start after the team ruled starter Cam Newton out because of a mid-foot sprain he aggravated on Sept. 12. Allen is 1-0 as a starter after beating a New Orleans team in Week 17 that was already looking ahead to the playoffs.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury doesn't expect any letdown from the Panthers, even without Newton.
''Last time Kyle Allen stepped on the field they won and scored 30 points on the road,'' Kingsbury said. ''We understand we'll have our hands full.''
Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in April, has had a very promising start to his NFL career. He's just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 300 yards in his first two career games.
The other guy? Newton, who was also the No. 1 pick in 2011. Both also won the Heisman Trophy.
But now that Newton can't go, the Panthers (0-2) turn to Allen, who is in his second season. Murray and Allen played together at Texas A&M in 2015, splitting time for a team that finished with an 8-5 record.
In a strange twist, both of the highly rated recruits ended up transferring at the end of the season. The two say they got along fine, even if circumstances weren't ideal. Murray called it a ''tough situation.'' Allen said they were ''never super tight. We had a mutual respect for each other obviously.''
Now they will be on the same NFL field.
''We went to school together. We played together,'' Murray said. ''I don't really have control over who starts over there. That's their deal. I just have to get ready to play, and whoever's their quarterback is their quarterback.''
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has looked 10 years younger over the Cardinals' first two games with 13 catches for 217 yards and a touchdown.
The 36-year-old has developed a quick rapport with Murray and the connection looks like it's going to be a go-to for Arizona (0-1-1) all season. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Fitzgerald is a player - along with Panthers TE Greg Olsen - whom he encourages young players to emulate.
''He's the right kind of person, the right kind of young man who understands what it takes to be successful in this game,'' Rivera said. ''It honestly doesn't surprise me that he's still playing, and it doesn't surprise me that he's having success like he is because he works at it.''
Arizona's offense has been very efficient this year except when it gets in the red zone. That was a big issue in last week's 23-17 loss to Baltimore: The Cardinals had to settle for three field goals after getting inside Baltimore's 5-yard line. It would help to get David Johnson going in the run game. He had just 14 yards rushing on seven carries in Week 2.
KUECHLY ON A TEAR
The Panthers may be 0-2 but it has little to do with the play of linebacker Luke Kuechly, who is off to another terrific start. The five-time All-Pro selection had 17 tackles, including a tackle in the end zone on running back Peyton Barber for a safety in last week's 20-14 loss to the Buccaneers. Kuechly now has 973 tackles for his career, passing Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher for the most tackles by a player through his first eight seasons. Kuechly's average of 9.4 tackles per game is second only to Miami's Zach Thomas (9.8) in NFL history.
''They have such smart defensive players,'' said Kingsbury. ''It starts with Kuechly, who gets everything lined up and has such a great feel for the game and knows what offenses are going to run before they even run it.''
ALL McCAFFREY, ALL THE TIME
Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner said before the season he wanted to limit Christian McCaffrey's reps in the offense for fear of wearing him down. Well, that hasn't quite happened. Through two games, McCaffrey has been on the field for all 137 offensive plays. After combining for 209 yards on offense and two TDs in the season opener against the Rams, McCaffrey will look to get back on track against Arizona after being held to 53 yards by the Bucs. The Panthers scored 14 points against Tampa Bay, but it came on four field goals and a safety.
If the Panthers want to succeed on offense they will need to start with moving the chains and sustaining drives. Carolina is converting a paltry 32% of its third downs (8 of 25) and is 0 for 3 on fourth-down conversions. A big part of that is the Panthers haven't used the multidimensional Newton as a runner as they have in the past due to shoulder and foot issues. In fact, Newton has five carries for minus-2 yards with two fumbles. With Allen expected to start at QB, it could add another dimension to the offense.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton has been the biggest breakout on the Broncos roster this year, as he is continuing to solidify his role as the team's top receiver as Emmanuel Sanders starts to age. Sutton has been a consistent option at a WR2/Flex spot for owners the past few weeks, and owners can expect much of the same in Week 7. Sutton is bound to get his share of targets and should turn that into solid production against a secondary that has been torched by the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars this year.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) both missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday and could be in jeopardy of missing Week 7 against the Bears. They'll need to get in at least some limited practice on Friday. Kamara fought through his injuries last week and was noticeably not the same powerful back. If he sits out, backup Latavius Murray will have RB2 upside, albeit in a tough matchup. Cook has scored the last two games but remains on the TE1/2 borderline as a touchdown-dependent player. Josh Hill would see more action at the position if Cook cannot play.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (quadriceps) dealt with a quadriceps bruise as a rookie and was able to play the very next week. Cooper was unable to walk on Monday after suffering the injury in Week 6, but he was encouraged by his improvement on Wednesday. However, his improvement has plateaued. He thinks it's a different muscle than during his rookie season. He will practice on Friday and test it to see what his status is for Week 7 against the Eagles on Sunday night. Cooper hasn't practiced this week, making it unlikely that he plays. But he may try to gut it out in this big divisional game. He's already shaping up to be one to avoid in fantasy with the game being on Sunday night, but Cooper could be ineffective if he plays at less than 100 percent. Michael Gallup would be the team's top receiver if Cooper is out, with Devin Smith and Tavon Austin set for increased workloads. Randall Cobb is also hurt and looks likely to miss his second straight game.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant has had a rocky start to his rookie season and has been shaky to trust with any fantasy production. The one thing that Fant has going for him is his high snap count, but even that took a dip last week as he only saw action on 65% of snaps with teammate Jeff Heuerman managing a 52% snap count. The rookie tight end may be able to be stashed on rosters, but with the current offensive plan he simply isn't getting consistent enough production to justify a starting role on fantasy teams.
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby is in line for a great game against the Oakland Raiders. The Packers have needed to call upon their veteran kicker multiple times this season, with him only missing one of his 11 attempts this year. Given the struggles that the offense has had this season and the offense hit with injury this week to the receiver position, Crosby is likely to be a great kicking option for fantasy owners this week with plenty of opportunities if the offense stalls.
The Green Bay Packers Defense could be an effective streaming option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Raiders were able to deny the Chicago Bears a single sack in their last game, but that was due in part to the injury to defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. The Packers have been able to bring pressure to opposing quarterbacks this season with 37 quarterback hits and 18 sacks recorded in six games. The team is likely to continue that pressure and should force quarterbackDerek Carr into some poor throws, making them a great streaming option this week.
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay is starting to build an impressive log of games to start the year and he looks to keep the ball rolling against one of the league's worst run defenses on Thursday night. The Chiefs have been abysmal against the run, which should make Lindsay owners salivate as he has a great chance to break quite a few loose to rack up some major yardage. The sophomore back should be starting in most leagues for Week 7.
Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman continues to carve out a significant role in the Broncos passing offense as the season progresses. This allows him to hold flex value in a PPR setting, as he is seeing between four and five receptions a week out of the backfield. Expect much of the same against Kansas City on Thursday night, which will allow for Freeman to sneak into flex spots this week.
Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco has had a rough start to his 2019 season with the Broncos and at this point is finding himself on very few fantasy rosters. While his matchup with Kansas City isn't all that daunting, Flacco needs to prove that he has the ability to put up points consistently before he is a matchup based play. This is a good test week to see what the veteran quarterback can do against a weak secondary, but he shouldnt be starting on rosters this week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard could be an effective bye-week replacement this week against the Oakland Raiders. The Packers top three receivers have been severely hit by injury, giving Lazard a great opportunity this week. The Oakland Raiders are one of the worst units defending against the position, giving up an average of 27.8 points to wideouts this season. If you are in need of a bye replacement, then Lazard has the ability to have a great game in your flex position and is widely available. However, be aware that Green Bay could lean heavily on the run with their receiving corps hobbled.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow could be an effective flex option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Packers pass-catching options have been deeply hit by injury, meaning that after impressing in the preseason, Kumerow could be given a larger role against the Raiders. The Raiders have given up an average of 27.8 points this season to wide receivers, one of the highest marks in the league. With Marquez Valdes-Scantling struggling as the Packers lead receiver, Kumerow could end up having a much bigger role. But with the uncertainty on target share this far down the depth chart, that outcome can't be relied upon, making him a high-upside flex option this week if the team is short-handed.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham could prove to be an effective option against the Oakland Raiders this week. The Packers look likely to be missing Davante Adams(toe) and Geronimo Allison(concussion) this week, meaning Graham could be given more targets in this game. The Raiders are one of the worst teams at defending the position this season, giving up an average of 9.7 points to tight ends per game. While Graham has struggled to get involved in the offense this season, the fact that he is one of the most familiar pass-catching options for quarterbackAaron Rodgers, combined with the matchup, could give him starting value for fantasy owners this week.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers could be looking at an increase in snaps in Week 7 against the Jets for Monday Night Football. The Patriots are banged up at receiver right now with Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett dealing with injuries. So it is next man up and Meyers could play a prominent role. Meyers stepped up last week, hauling in four catches for 52 yards against the Giants. The rookie was one of the brightest stars of the preseason for the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady has spoken highly of him in the past. There certainly is opportunity here but Meyers will be, no more, than a dart-throw in fantasy for Week 7.
The New England Patriots Defense will head to New Jersey to take on the Jets in Week 7 on Monday Night Football. The Patriots are undefeated and the dominance of the defense has been the biggest narrative of their young season. This week they will face the Jets for a second time and their offense is allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Granted, Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold has missed time this season but the Patriots racked up five sacks and one interception against the Jets in Week 3. The vaunted unit is allowing the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and only two passers have amassed more than 10 fantasy points against them. Start the Patriots defense with confidence.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling(ankle, knee) is a borderline WR3 this week against the Oakland Raiders. He'll need to get in at least a limited practice on Friday in order to have a shot at playing. Valdes-Scantling has struggled to be an effective fantasy receiver without Davante Adams(toe) in the lineup. In the past two weeks, Valdes-Scantling has seen just six targets, catching three of them for 66 yards. The Raiders are a team that has been exposed through the air this season, giving up an average of 27.8 points to the position. However, even as the Packers lead receiver in recent weeks, his target share limits his upside in the matchup as a WR3.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams has RB3 value in deeper leagues against the Oakland Raiders this week. Williams returned from injury against the Detroit Lions, taking full advantage of the struggles of Aaron Jones. Williams finished the game with 104 yards on the ground, with an additional 32 yards and a touchdown through the air. The Raiders have been an effective unit against running backs, giving up an average of just 16.3 points to the position. However, they have yet to face a team that has had an effective running attack. While Jones has been the lead back in the games in which both players have been available, Williams is still likely to be given enough touches to be an RB3 or flex play, especially with Green Bay's top three receivers potentially inactive due to injury.
New England Patriots running back James White will be on the fantasy radar as a solid PPR play in Week 7 against the Jets. White is far off his production from last season but has been active the past three games. White has 23 receptions for 149 yards during that span and the Jets have allowed nine catches for 97 yards to running backs over their last two games. The veteran's role is mostly in the passing game for the Patriots offense and the team may look White's way with nagging injuries running through the wide receiver group at present. White will have FLEX value in Week 7 but it would be wise to deploy him in PPR leagues only.
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (foot) remains limited in practice as the team prepares to take on the Jets this Monday night in Week 7. Burkhead has missed the past two games and would certainly like another crack at the Jets Defense. In Week 3, Burkhead racked up 69 yards from scrimmage with one touchdown against the Jets. Even if the veteran suits up Monday night, Burkhead will not be fantasy viable until he can prove that he is healthy and back in the flow of the offense.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (chest) was limited during the Patriots practice on Thursday. It appears to simply be a maintenance day for the veteran after taking a couple of big shots last week. Edelman is preparing to go up against a Jets Defense for MNF that is allowing the 13th most fantasy points to receivers this season. Edelman caught seven passes for 62 yards and one touchdown against the Jets in Week 3 and should be on the WR1 map in Week 7 if he plays.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is a borderline RB1 this week facing the Oakland Raiders. Jones found himself marginalized against the Detroit Lions after failing to catch a touchdown pass. Jones watched as Jamaal Williams impressed on the field after his return from injury. The Raiders have been one of the better units against running backs this season, giving up an average of just 16.3 points to the position, but the Packers have been an effective running attack, so they could blow that points total out of the water. The difficulty in putting Jones as an RB1 is the uncertainty on the split of touches. While Jones is likely to get the majority of the work, he could slip into RB2 territory if Williams' role is increased.