The Week 7 TNF Showdown features the Saints at the Cardinals. I’ll be guiding you through the important aspects to watch in each Thursday night matchup. Without further ado, let’s see what New Orleans and Arizona have in store for us in what should be another slow and ugly Thursday night matchup.
Advanced stats and analytics will be utilized to identify favorable matchups and players to avoid. The purpose of this article is to paint a picture of how the teams play and match up with one another in less than 1,000 words.
As the season continues, less emphasis will be put on last season and early season’s stats. Vegas trends will also be implemented to help predict the game flow. I’ll conclude the article with a Cliff Notes section and give the readers my prediction for the game.
- New Orleans is 2-1 ATS in their last 3 games following a loss.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Orleans’ last 6 contests.
- New Orleans is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games.
- Arizona is 2-1 ATS in their last 3 games following a loss.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arizona’s last 6 contests.
- Arizona is 0-8 (!!!) SU in their last 8 games at home.
- Chris Olave (Head, ACTIVE)
- Jameis Winston (Back/Ankle, ACTIVE)
- Andy Dalton (Back, ACTIVE)
- Michael Thomas (Foot, OUT)
- Jarvis Landry (Ankle, OUT)
- Adam Trautman (Ankle, OUT)
- Marshon Lattimore (OUT)
- Andrus Peat (OUT)
- Marquise Brown (Foot, OUT)
- James Conner (Ribs, Doubtful/GTD)
- Darrell Williams (Knee, OUT)
- Justin Pugh (Knee, OUT)
- Rodney Hudson (OUT)
- Matt Prater (Hip, Questionable)
The New Orleans Saints
The Saint’s 2022 QB Carousel has been frustrating for fantasy gamers, and the picture isn’t getting any clearer this week. On another short weeks rest, head coach Dennis Allen states that he wants to get Jameis Winston “…fully healthy and go from there,” and appeared pleased with Andy Dalton‘s performances. The likely event is that Winston is active again as an “emergency quarterback” and Dalton gets the start. The human Red Panda is an effective real-life game manager but not an effective fantasy quarterback. He’s posted a season-high 13 fantasy points, so it’s best to look for other options even in 2QB leagues. If Winston gets the nod, you can cautiously roll him out as a QB2.
TNF Showdown Prop Play No. 1: Alvin Kamara Any Time Touchdown Scorer
Fate has broken the way of Alvin Kamara as of late. He returned from his rib injury to a depleted receiving core and a backup quarterback desperate for a security blanket. Compiling 318 total yards on 42 carries and 15 targets in the past two games, Kamara is returning to his true form. He’s receiving the heavy usage required to be a top-5 back. Kamara earned a 20.5-percent (No. 3) Target Share and 20.1 Weighted Opportunities per Game. Despite the success, he has yet to find the endzone this season. That ends tonight. The engine of the offense, Kamara, will score in a dominant performance.
Players with a running back rush share per game of 70% or better and a target share per game of 20% or better:
1. Christian McCaffrey
2. Alvin Kamara
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) October 16, 2022
Rest easy Chris Olave managers. The rookie standout is returning to the lineup tonight. As everyone expected, the former Buckeye leads all receivers with a 41.8-percent Air Yards Share, 754 Air Yards, and 423 Unrealized Air Yards. More so, the newly crowed prayer yards king is earning a 25.8-percent (No. 21) Target Share and is being targeted on nearly 30-percent of his routes. Start Olave with confidence against a struggling Arizona secondary.
Without Adam Trautman in the lineup, Juwan Johnson finally earned the trust of Andy Dalton. Johnson corralled four passes on six targets for 41 yards. Johnson, earning 92 (No. 4) Slot Snaps and a 9.9 (No. 5) Average Depth of Target, has the potential to shine tonight. The athletic specimen lines up against the second-worst defense against the tight end position who will have their hands full attempting to bottle up Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara. If you’re streaming tight ends, take a shot on Johnson tonight.
It’s unlikely that either Michael Thomas or Jarvis Landry suit up tonight. This makes Tre’Quan Smith the next man up in the receiving core. Although it may be enticing to play the Week 3 hero in deeper leagues, he has a limited ceiling with Andy Dalton at quarterback and is best kept away from your lineups.
The Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray is currently the QB7 in fantasy football. That is not to say that he is playing good football. His passer rating and completion percentages have been mediocre, the Cardinals’ offense ranks No. 26 in DVOA (per ProFootballReference), and the team itself seems broken and uninspired. Murray is not the guy who energetically rallies the troops to rise to the occasion, but he will carry on and continue to provide your teams with plenty of fantasy production. A must-win contest against a Marshon Lattimore-less Saints is a recipe for a 30 points outing.
TNF Showdown Prop No. 2: Kyler Murray OVER 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
Noted Underworld Toutee Eno Benjamin faltered in the spotlight in Week 6. He ran for a dismal 37 yards on 15 carries. His three receptions on as many targets kept his head above water in PPR leagues, but the disappointing showing against the No. 32 ranked rush defense is a troubling sign. With that being said, he earned 85.7-percent of the backfield opportunity and looks to earn a similar share tonight sans James Conner. We don’t know how game-ready DeAndre Hopkins is going to be. This means we could see more involvement for Eno in the passing game. Bet on the opportunity and roll out Eno in your lineups. In deep leagues, stash Keaontay Ingram who saw three carries last week, and see if he pops.
Don’t look now, but Rondale Moore is becoming an integral part of this offense. He’s set consecutive career highs in Snap Share and Routes Run in all three games he’s played this season, and he’s gathered at least five receptions in each of the last two games. The Saints get burned by speed, and without Marquise Brown Moore will be heavily relied on in the passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double-digit target outing for the sophomore speedster and am expecting a double-digit fantasy performance.
Rondale Moore is such an explosive, instinctual and smart player. Does everything. The long TD was nice, but plays like this stand out. In a league of athletic players, Rondale just moves differently.
Special talent. pic.twitter.com/told0gK8Fw
— TheOGfantasyfootball (@TheOGfantasy) September 21, 2021
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing Marquise Brown suit up for a few weeks. The exit was somewhat timely for Arizona as DeAndre Hopkins returns to action this week following his PED suspension. Hopkins opens his 10th season at the ripe age of 30 years old. He hasn’t played a snap of football since December 13, 2021. No, I’m not calling him washed. I am pointing out that the veteran will have zero full-speed practices prior to tonight’s matchup. Facing a Saint’s secondary missing Marshon Lattimore, he’s sure to see at least five targets and will see some red zone looks as well. You’re firing up Hopkins as a mid-to-low WR2 understanding a wide range of outcomes.
Zach Ertz was preparing to lose targets due to Hopkins’s arrival, but then Brown fell injured. The veteran tight end is earning a massive opportunity share thus far. He’s being peppered with 21-percent of the team’s targets and drawing at least 10 targets in four of the first six contests. He’s being heavily deployed in the slot and is being targeted downfield at an effective distance. Currently the TE3 in fantasy points per game, Ertz is a locked-and-loaded starter every week for fantasy teams.
- Alvin Kamara is back to his elite level and will find the endzone tonight.
- Fire up Prayer Yards King Chris Olave in all lineups.
- Juwan Johnson is a sneaky tight-end streaming option.
- Trust the opportunity share and deploy Eno Benjamin again in week 7.
- Rondale Moore will outscore DeAndre Hopkins in fantasy points.
- Zach Ertz is a member of the “Big Three” at the tight end position in 2022.
The Cardinals enter tonight’s matchup as 2-point favorites. They have more health on both sides of the ball and wield a better overall roster. The Cardinals have their backs against the wall. A 9th straight home loss would be a devastating blow to the team’s playoff odds and could light a fire under the seat of Kliff Kingsbury and begin rumors of a firing. I’m rolling with the team who has much more riding on this game and am taking Arizona to cover the spread.
The point total is set at 44.5 points. This is simply a trap play as most TNF totals are. However, the absence of Marshon Lattimore flips the landscape of this game on its head. The Cardinals will have no problem moving the ball against the Saints. They have too many weapons for New Orleans to shut down. While the Saint’s offense is beat up, they proved last week they can move the ball without any significant talent at the receiver position. With Olave back, they have enough talent to keep the pace up. Thus, I will (once again) ride with the over in tonight’s contest.
- Spread: 3-3
- Total: 3-3
- Props: 7-2
Prediction: Arizona 25-22