Week 14 MNF Showdown: Patriots vs Cardinals

by Dookie Hogue · Betting & Props

Welcome to the Week 14 MNF Showdown! Fresh off a bye, the Arizona Cardinals (4-8) will host the New England Patriots (6-6) for a clash in the desert. Both teams are desperately vying for a chance at the playoffs. The Pats are small favorites facing a Cards team who are now 1-9 in their last ten home games. I’m expecting Bill Bellichick to have a gameplan ready to get the offense going in a beatable matchup. Both teams have some key players with injuries to monitor as well. Without further ado, let’s dig in for Week 14’s MNF Showdown!

Patriots vs Cardinals Odds:
Patriots -1.5 (-112) |
Over/Under 43.5 (-110/110) |
Moneyline Patriots -134/Cardinals +114 |

The Patriots

Mac Jones was seen visibly frustrated on the sideline amidst the team’s frustrating loss to the Bills. Jones’ low 5.4 Yards Per Attempt proved not enough to overcome Josh Allen and the Bills. The matchup with the Cardinals is less imposing, however. The Cardinals pass defense ranks No. 10 or worse in Pass Attempts, Pass Completions, and Passing Yards allowed (36/25/260 per game average). The Cards’ porous defense has also allowed a league-high two Passing Touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. I like Jones as an upside QB2 in a favorable matchup.

Rushing and Receiving

With Damien Harris doubtful (thigh) to play, Rhamondre Stevenson looks like a smash yet again. In the three games without Harris, Stevenson averaged a sizable 85-percent Snap Share. He converted those opportunities into RB2, RB9, and RB18 finishes. His season-long 23.5-percent Target Share (team-high) is second only to Christian McCaffrey amongst qualified running backs. I like Stevenson as a locked and loaded top-10 play facing a Cardinals defense that has been sliced up by pass-catching backs (No. 8 most passing yards allowed to running backs).

New England pass-catchers not named Stevenson were quiet in Week 13’s drubbing. Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry each saw five Targets but neither player surpassed 25 Receiving Yards. With Myers already ruled out (concussion), more opportunities will open up in the offense. My lean is toward Henry. The Cardinals’ defense ranks last in the league in every imaginable category against the tight end (receptions, yards, touchdowns, fantasy points). Fire up Henry as an exciting tight-end play. DeVante Parker and Nelson Agholor will see added looks but are risky WR3/4 plays given the team’s obsession with Stevenson.

The Cardinals

Things are looking up for Kyler Murray. The dual-threat quarterback had both weapons Marquise Brown and DeAndre Hopkins on the field together for the first time all season last week. He subsequently posted his third 26+ point fantasy outing as a result. In his return from a two-game absence (hamstring), Murray tossed two Passing Touchdowns and scampered for one with his legs. Though the Patriots have limited quarterbacks through the air (No. 6 lowest pass yards allowed), they have been attackable on the ground (No. 8 rushing yards allowed). I like Murray to get back to some jazz-like improvisation on the field and make some magic happen.

Rushing and Receiving

James Conner‘s 97-percent Snap Share was unmatched in Week 12 amongst his piers. He was able to turn the workhorse opportunity into a fiery 25/120/2 stat-line. Conner has been solid lately, turning in two top-three RB finishes in his last three weeks of action. While the matchup with New England is challenging (No. 2 in fantasy points allowed to RB), Conner remains a volume-secure RB2.

DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown were ball hogs in their first game together. Their combined 52-percent Target Share left little else for their teammates. Hopkins is the obvious lean here having accounted for an elite 30.7-percent Target Share since his Week 7 return. On the betting side note, Hopkins has hit the over on his Receiving Yards prop (76.5) at an 83-percent clip. With Rondale Moore already ruled out (groin), I’m rolling with the alpha tandem and fading the field.

Score Prediction: Patriots 23 Cardinals 20