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.
Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (wrist) said he is 'very' optimistic that he'll be healthy enough to play when he's eligible to return from the Reserve/Injured list in Week 12.
Fantasy Spin: There's all manner of upside with Njoku, who would make an interesting stash candidate in larger leagues.
San Francisco 49ers DT D.J. Jones (groin) is expected to miss at least one week after leaving the game Monday, Nov. 11, against the Seattle Seahawks due to a groin injury.
Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill played 51 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, in the win over the New Orleans Saints. The bulk of Hill's work came with RB Devonta Freeman (foot) out of the game.
Fantasy Spin: With Freeman expected to miss multiple games and backup Ito Smith (neck) already out for the year, Hill will have a big role in a nice matchup against the soft Carolina Panthers run defense. He should be a top waiver priority this week.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams played 72 percent of the offensive snaps in the Week 10 loss against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Nov. 10. RB Darrel Williams played just 21 percent with RB Darwin Thompson getting a total of five offensive snaps. RB LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch.
Fantasy Spin: Williams' 109 yards from scrimmage were the second-most he's racked up in a game and came on the heels of a season-high 125 rushing yards last week. He didn't find the end zone for the first time in three weeks, but it was a heavy workload and he lived up to the task. Fantasy managers who took a chance on him this year seem like they'll be rewarded down the stretch run.
Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage played 82 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Indianapolis Colts. RB Patrick Laird played just eight offensive snaps with RB Myles Gaskin playing five total snaps (all on offense).
Fantasy Spin: Ballage ran the ball 20 times but for a very disappointing 43 yards. He caught all four of his targets but for just two yards. It was the Dolphins' second straight win but it remains highly doubtful there'll be many more of these. If he wasn't successful in Week 10, it's unlikely he will be.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt played 54 percent of the offensive snaps against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 10, but starter Nick Chubb played a three-week high of 81 percent in the 19-16 victory. RB Dontrell Hilliard played just eight offensive snaps for his lowest total since Week 5.
Fantasy Spin: Chubb ran 20 times for 116 yards while catching two of four targets for just five yards. Hunt totaled 74 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches with seven receptions and four carries. It's quite possible both could be effective fantasy options in the same games, but Chubb remains the definitive No. 1 option.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has put together a solid rookie campaign with 30 receptions, over 360 yards, and three touchdowns. In Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns, Johnson will work to stay in the sights of quarterback Mason Rudolph. However, Rudolph has been favoring shorter routes recently, which puts Johnson at a bit of a disadvantage. Although Johnson's big-play ability gives him value as a touchdown-dependent WR4 in Week 11.
Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry drew criticism from head coach Freddie Kitchens Tuesday, Nov. 12, for the 15-yard taunting penalty he took Sunday, Nov. 10 against the Buffalo Bills. 'I don't like penalties,' said Kitchens. 'I don't like penalties. I want him playing with passion, though, not emotion, but passion.'
Fantasy Spin: Landry had one of his best games of the season by catching nine of 10 targets for 97 yards and finding the end zone for the second straight week, but the penalty set up the missed 48-yard extra point by PK Austin Seibert.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has just 12 receptions for 170 yards and one touchdown in his last four games. With a Thursday Night football matchup against the Cleveland Browns in Week 11, Smith-Schuster shouldn't be considered the reliable option many drafted him as. Quarterback Mason Rudolph has been favoring shorter to intermediate routes, which should favor the USC product, but the numbers haven't followed. Look at Smith-Schuster as a touchdown-dependent WR2 against Cleveland.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington is coming off the best consecutive performances of his young career. He's hauled in 10 of 11 targets for 159 yards and a touchdown in the last two games, and he seems to be redeveloping a connection with his college quarterback Mason Rudolph. He'll face off against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night and has a chance to build himself more opportunities in the offense. View Washington as nothing but a WR4 in deeper leagues, as he still has some room to prove his fantasy worth.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (shoulder) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, all but confirming he's good to go for Thursday night's road game against the Cleveland Browns. After missing the last two contests, Conner has been missed on offense, as the Steelers have combined for just 132 rushing yards in that span. Against the Browns, Conner should help open up the offensive gameplan by reassuming the lead-back role. Look at the 24-year-old as an RB2 against a defense that allows 19 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels steps away from the lead-back role with the expected return of James Conner (shoulder) in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. Over the last two games, Samuels turned 38 touches into just 123 yards and no touchdowns, so it's clear he's not suited for four-down work in this offense. Against the Browns on Thursday, the NC State product isn't very fantasy appealing as Cleveland has allowed just 40 receptions to running backs this season, the ninth-fewest in the NFL. Since Conner is likely returning, Samuels is best left on fantasy benches in Week 11.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph gets a favorable matchup for Thursday Night Football when the Steelers travel to take on the Cleveland Browns. Rudolph has been gaining more confidence with each start, and his 242 yards passing last week were the second highest of his short career. Against the Browns, the second-year signal caller faces a defense that allows an average of 23 fantasy points per game. Rudolph can be considered a low-end QB2, especially in the early game of the week. You could do worse, but you could certainly do better for a streaming option.
Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) shared a message on Twitter Tuesday, Nov. 12, addressing the previous reports of the league-arranged free-agent workout Saturday, Nov. 16. 'I'm just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I've been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can't wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,' Kaepernick wrote.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) will seek a second opinion on his reaggravated sprained ankle. Breida only accrued 25 yards on 12 touches in Week 10 before exiting in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing injured but NFL Networks Tom Pelissero believes he could miss some time to let it heal. Breidas absence would benefit third-string back Raheem Mostert who flashed promise earlier this season when Tevin Coleman was hurt. Mostert would be a risky but upside flex play in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals if Breida is inactive.
San Francisco 49ers WR Dante Pettis is running out of time to prove his worth in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. 'The more he doesn't take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets,' Shanahan said Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Fantasy Spin: Pettis, a second-year pro, has caught just 11 of 24 targets this season for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He shouldn't be on rosters in anything shallower than 14- or 16-team leagues.
Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (hamstring) has a 'legit' hamstring injury, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Seattle Seahawks TE Ed Dickson (knee) was close to being activated off of injured reserve this past week and will return for Week 12 following the team's bye, according to head coach Pete Carroll Tuesday, Nov. 12.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) are considered day-to-day and shaping up as game-time decisions in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Kittle and Sanders figure to practice minimally this week, if any. Kittle missed Week 10 and his injury appears serious but head coach Kyle Shanahan refrained from ruling out the warrior. Sanders suffered a rib cartilage injury on Monday night and the severity is unknown. Without their top aerial playmakers, the biggest gainer could be wideout Deebo Samuel. The rookie amassed 112 yards on eight catches in Week 10 and was clearly the most electric player amongst Kendrick Bourne, Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. Samuel will be a hot waiver commodity and slots as a WR3 if both Kittle and Sanders cant go.
Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers DL Ronald Blair (knee) will undergo season-ending surgery for his torn ACL, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan Tuesday, Nov. 12.