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.
Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher made three field goals and an extra point in a Week 6 loss to the New York Jets. Maher made field goals from 50, 62, and 32 yards out, but missed a 40-yard kick. Players in long field goal bonus leagues were likely thrilled with Maher's performance in this one. He'll continue to be one of the stronger fantasy kickers going forward.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman handled 18 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams, adding two grabs for 16 yards. Coming off his second game from an ankle ailment, Coleman took the reins and out-touched backfield mate Matt Breida 18 to 13. Despite averaging just 2.5 YPC on Sunday, Colemans usage is encouraging for all fantasy investors. He could flirt with RB1 status in a cake matchup against a weak Washington Redskins rush defense in Week 7.
The Dallas Cowboys Defense didn't play very well despite matching up with the New York Jets in Week 6. They allowed 24 points in a losing effort, recording one interception and two sacks. It was considered a cake matchup, with many lists counting the Cowboys as the top defense of the week, but they disappointed as most of the Cowboys did. They'll take on the Eagles next week in a Sunday night divisional matchup.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had another fantastic day on Sunday as he not only led Seattle to their third road win, but he also upped his total to 14 passing touchdowns while still remaining free of interceptions. Wilson completed 69.7% of his passes against the Browns, and he also ran in a touchdown. Wilson has always been a model of efficiency, but he's taken his game to the next level this season. After six games, Wilson has a 14/0 TD/INT rate, three rushing touchdowns, a completion rate of 72.5%, 1,704 passing yards, and a passer rating of 124.7. He's having a phenomenal season, and if he can keep this type of performance up, he could be hoisting his first MVP trophy at the end of the year.
The New York Jets Defense had a good game against the Cowboys on Sunday, but didn't put up many fantasy points for their effort. The Jets didn't force a turnover in the game and only had one sack, even with the Cowboys starting two backups on the offensive line. The Jets defense should be getting healthier with the return of middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) and Jamal Adams is a star at safety, but they are still not a recommended start in Week 7 against the Patriots.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida toted the rock 13 times for 36 yards and caught four passes for 27 yards in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. Breida was mostly stuffed on Sunday and yielded the lions share of work to Tevin Coleman, but he still posted a serviceable line with his opportunities. With Coleman looking fully healthy from his ankle injury, Breida has become a clear first mate. But with the Niners deploying a structural rushing committee, Breidas still a recommended RB3 and has major upside in Week 7 against a terrible Washington Redskins Defense.
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold completed 23 of 32 passes for 338 yards in his return to the lineup Sunday. Darnold threw two touchdowns and one interception in his first game since Week 1. Darnold missed three games with mono, but provided a huge boost to a Jets offense that had averaged the fewest yards per game in the league coming into today. The big play from Darnold was a 92-yard touchdown to Robby Anderson after the Jets stopped the Cowboys on fourth-and-short. Darnold faces a tough matchup next week vs the Patriots, but looked good enough today to warrant consideration as a bye week replacement starter in deeper leagues or two-quarterback leagues.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup came down with four catches in Week 6, gaining 48 yards. Gallup tied for the team lead with seven targets and could be in for some big games going forward if Amari Cooper (quad) is forced to miss time. The Dallas passing game just wasn't clicking in this one, but Gallup will have WR1 upside if he's leading the passing game next week against the Eagles.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten caught five passes in Week 6, gaining 57 yards. Witten was targeted seven times, tying for the team lead. The most important play involving Witten was one he didn't make though, as he was unable to come up with a last-minute two-point conversion which would have tied the game. Witten continues to be himself, making short catches fairly consistently. He'll be a low-end TE1 with a concerning floor in most games going forward.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle reeled in all eight of his targets for 103 yards in Week 6s victory against the Los Angeles Rams. Kittle didnt find the end zone but dominated target share in the passing attack once again. His long went for 45 yards. After a so-so start to the season, Kittles now posted two premium TE1 performances. Hell draw an excellent matchup against the Washington Redskins in Week 7.
New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken made a 38-yard field goal, and was 3-for-3 on extra points in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. It was a drama-free afternoon in the kicking department for the Jets with Ficken looking good on all of his kicks today. Ficken had a good day, but shouldn't be a kicker owned in fantasy. Kicking opportunities for Ficken will likely be sparse in a tough matchup against an elite Patriots Defense next Monday night.
A Dallas Cowboys wide receiver named Cedrick Wilson caught five passes in Week 6, gaining 46 yards. With Randall Cobb and Devin Smith both inactive then Amari Cooper being forced to leave with a quad injury, Wilson came out of nowhere to show up on the box score for the first time this season. Even if Cooper is forced to miss time, Wilson won't be a fantasy option in any format next week.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin made two catches in Week 6, picking up just six yards. Jason Witten tied for the team lead with seven targets, leaving Jarwin to just pick up the scraps behind him. With the Dallas passing game not really clicking, Jarwin won't be much of a fantasy option next week, even in two-tight end leagues.
New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery made three catches on three targets for 17 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. Montgomery didn't get a carry in the game as head coach Adam Gase continues to feature Le'Veon Bell. Montgomery's three targets were more than Bell today, but Bell had 14 of the 15 running back carries. Montgomery will see sparse work in the passing game, but overall he won't see enough carries or targets to be worth starting in fantasy.
Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard ran the ball just three times in Week 6, gaining 13 yards. Like usual, Pollard looked good with the ball in his hands, but he played only when starter Ezekiel Elliott needed a breather. He's still one of the highest upside handcuffs in fantasy, but Pollard won't be a starting option in most weeks that Ezekiel Elliott plays.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott played well in a Week 6 loss to the New York Jets. On the ground, he ran the ball 28 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. Through the air, he came up with five catches, gaining 47 yards. Elliott's score was a five-yard run in the fourth quarter. He's back to his pre-holdout usage, as expected, and should be a no-doubt top-three fantasy running back regardless of matchups going forward.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Tavon Austin led the Cowboys in receiving in Week 6. With Amari Cooper forced to leave the game early with a quad injury, Austin was left to make five catches and gain 64 yards on six targets. The Dallas passing game wasn't working well in general, but Austin was able to use his speed to do the most with his opportunities. He's way too inconsistent to be relied on in any fantasy formats, but if Cooper is forced to miss time, Austin may be worth an end-of-bench stash just in case his role grows.
The Philadelphia Eagles Defense struggled against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, allowing 38 points. They recorded just one interception, one sack, and one fumble recovery. Stefon Diggs ran wild all over the Eagles secondary and the Vikings had no trouble moving the ball and getting it into the end zone all afternoon. The Eagles defense will face another tough matchup on Sunday Night Football next week against the Cowboys.
New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin caught three passes, including a five-yard touchdown, for a season-high 28 yards in a win over the Cowboys Sunday. Griffin only had six catches for 17 yards on the season coming into today so this game won't make him fantasy relevant. Griffin was starting in place of Chris Herndon (hamstring) so Griffin may not start moving forward. Even if he does start, Griffin is among the lowest-ranked tight end options to stream as a bye week replacement.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott struggled in Week 6, throwing for just 277 scoreless yards. Dak completed 28 passes on 40 tries, but was able to add 11 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The New York Jets Defense somehow managed to keep the Cowboys passing game out of the end zone, partly because Amari Cooper (quad) was forced to leave the game after only making one catch. Prescott will hope for better results next week against the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles.