Kickoff Sunday, Oct 17th 4:05pm Eastern

Cards (
22.5) at

Browns (

Over/Under 48.0


Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
31st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
21st DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
31st DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
26th DVOA/13th Yards per pass
Browns Run D
5th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
8th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
2nd DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
25th DVOA/29th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Different game, same story here with respect to key injuries, primarily on the Browns side of the ball.
  • Although this game carries a high game total, the spread nature of each offense leaves us with less “outs” than public perception will dictate.
  • Since each offense is so spread, the best way to attack this game is to attack the game environment, similar to what we saw in last week’s Browns game.

How arizona Will Try To Win ::

The Cardinals have added an extra gear to Kliff Kingsbury’s horizontally-spread offense with the addition of wide receivers AJ Green and Rondale Moore, and running back James Conner. Conner gives the team an additional red zone rushing threat to pair with quarterback Kyler Murray, while the presence of an additionally viable intermediate threat in AJ Green has allowed the team to attack downfield with greater precision and frequency. Rondale Moore is being used like a Swiss Army knife, frequently being schemed the ball in the open field over multiple levels. And let us not forget about DeAndre Hopkins, who retains his status as one of the most dynamic playmakers at the wide receiver position. Overall, the offense is built to play with pace and stretch an opposing defense horizontally, creating space over the middle of the field while wearing down the defensive unit.

The ground game for the Cardinals can best be described as a situational split, with holdover Chase Edmonds acting as the primary between-the-twenties back, while newcomer James Conner is utilized as the change of pace, short yardage, and primary red zone back. Standard range of outcomes as far as opportunities go typically leaves Edmonds in the 10-12 rush attempt range and four to six target range, with at least four targets in every game so far. James Conner’s workload is more dependent on game flow, but he typically resides in the 12-16 rush attempt range with minimal pass game work. As was discussed two weeks in a row on the Saturday pod, quarterback Kyler Murray has seen less designed rush attempts this season when compared to his earlier career, with between five to seven attempts in every game this season. We’ll circle back to this thought later.

The spread nature of this passing game (both from a theoretical standpoint and actual target distribution) has meant no pass-catcher has seen double-digit looks in any game this season. The likeliest outside influence to change that fact would be an injury to one of the primary pass-catchers (Maxx Williams doesn’t count) or a negative game script which would require an increase to the overall pass volume. Since neither of those is the likeliest case this week, we’re left with yet another week of six to nine expected targets for Nuk, five to seven for all of AJ Green, Christian Kirk, and Rondale Moore, and four to six for Chase Edmonds. The pace-down nature of their opponent is likely to keep the total number of offensive plays run from scrimmage below 70 here, leaving only a negative game as an outside driving force for increased volume.

How cleveland Will Try To Win ::

Note: This was written before Nick Chubb was ruled out. We are leaving this in here for the related thoughts explored…

It’s no secret that Cleveland would like to slow things down on offense through slow pace of play (30th) and heavy rush rates (2nd). A very bend-but-don’t-break zone heavy defensive scheme completes the game plan, which like the offense, has been largely successful up to this point. The Browns have allowed only 298.8 total yards of offense per game, which ranks fourth in the league. And while Cleveland ranks third in opponent completion percentage, they are all the way down at 23rd in yards allowed per completion at 11.5. So while their defense has been largely successful in maintaining their end of the bargain, they have also been rather susceptible to splash plays against to start the year.

Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have yet to practice this week (as of Thursday), an interesting development for a team that relies so heavily on their services. The Browns attempt the most rushes per game in the league at 35, so an absence from either back would be a big deal here. The matchup on the ground yields the week’s top net-adjusted line yards value of 4.83, one of the largest disparities you will see this late in the season (after these metrics have time to normalize). In addition to the running backs, tackle Jack Conklin has yet to practice this week with a knee injury, possibly denting the matchup slightly. A standard week sees Chubb and Hunt split work in a 60/40 strict committee, with Chubb a good bet for 20-22 rushes (and minimal targets) and Hunt a good bet for 16-18 running back opportunities, with four to six of them being through the air. Should either miss here, it is fair to expect the remaining healthy back to see an uptick to his expected opportunity totals, with the most drastic likely to be Kareem Hunt should Chubb miss. Lots of moving parts to pay attention to here. With how poorly the Cardinals have performed along the offensive line, it may come as a surprise to find out they have allowed only one rushing score against the entire year, likely a case of the regular negative game flows they have forced from their opponents thus far (only 96 rush attempts against through five weeks). Basically, the lack of rushing production against is less relatable to actual performance than it is the pressure on opposing offenses created through their own scoring.

We pretty much know what to expect by now from the pass game as well, with Baker Mayfield typically capped in the 30-32 pass attempt range in even the most negative of game scripts. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry is expected to miss another contest, leaving Odell Beckham, Jr, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Rashard Higgins as the primary wide receivers on an offense that utilizes multiple tight end sets at the highest rate in the league. As such, expect significant snaps from each one of Austin Hooper, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant, assuming Njoku plays after a limited session on Thursday. No member of this pass-catching corps has seen double-digit looks in a game this season, with Kareem Hunt actually leading all pass-catchers in total targets through five weeks at just 21. Arizona cut down on the league’s average completion rate allowed by about 5% and rank in the top half of the league in yards allowed per completion.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

We’re likely to see a closely contested game throughout here. If this game were played at a neutral site, it would be a pick ‘em, but since it is in Cleveland, the Browns are currently installed as 3.0-3.5-point favorites. Injuries to the Cleveland run game are the biggest story here, which is likely to have a large influence on the fantasy utility of players from this game. Assuming both Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills play, in addition to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, we’re likely to continue to see a ground-based attack built on established efficiency, behind the league’s second-ranked offensive line, per PFF. Considering each team is likely to experience some level of success in their preferred way to attack, we’re left with a scenario where we know pretty much what to expect from each team here. As such, primary players from each side should be utilized in rosters that play to the game environment erupting as opposed to one-offs.



Tributaries ::

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Dwprix >>

Note: This was written before Nick Chubb was ruled out. We are leaving this in here for the related thoughts explored…


  • As of Wednesday evening, this has the 4th highest total (49.5) on a ten game slate
  • It opened as the highest total on the week but has dropped 4.5 pts 
  • ARZ hasn’t started 5-0 since 1974
  • CLE & ARZ matched up in 2019 w/ the same QBs, ARZ winning 38-24
  • ARZ had scored 30+ in every game until last week in which they scored 17
  • ARZ pt totals: 17 // 37 // 31 // 34 // 38
  • Cleveland offensive point totals: 47 // 14 // 26 // 31 // 33
  • ARZ (31.4) and CLE (28.4) rank fourth & sixth in pts/g
  • When Baker Mayfield & Kyler Murray faced off in 2019, they combined for 62 points 
  • 2021 Points allowed rank: CLE-11th (22.8) // ARZ-6th (19.0)
  • CLE D ranks T-third in sacks (16) while ARZ ranks T-tenth (12)
  • ARZ has a +5 TO differential while CLE has a 0 TO differential
  • CLE D allowed LAC to go 4/4 in the RZ last week & gave up 3 4th down conversions

Baker Mayfield:

  • Mayfield has yet to top 33 pass attempts this season 32 // 33 // 31 // 21 // 28
  • His highest yardage output (321 yds) came Week 1 against KC who rank in pass yds allowed/g (291.8)
  • Last week, CLE put up 42 pts & Mayfield threw for his second highest yardage total of the season w/ 305 yds
  • Due to low pass atts & also spreading his tgts out, no CLE player has a game with 10+ tgts
  • Mayfield targeted players/week: 7 // 9 // 8 // 10 // 10
  • Mayfield DK pts: @LAC-26.0 // @MIN-9.3 // vs CHI-16.9 // vs HOU-18.5 // @KC-16.6
  • ARZ allows the ninth least DK pts/g to QBs (18.0) having faced Trey Lance-15.58 // Matthew Stafford-20.30 // Trevor Lawrence-11.46 // Kirk Cousins-25.26 // Ryan Tannehill-17.18 
  • Mayfield was hit just once last week // ARZ D ranks T-18th in pressure rate

Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt:

  • CLE ranks first in rush atts/g (35) and yds per rush (5.4)
  • Team Rush %:Team Target %: Chubb-51%:4% // Hunt-31%:15% 
  • Hunt is now first on the team in tgts (21), second in rec yds (149), & first in total TDs (4)
  • Chubb has 4 TDs & avgs 104.6 rush yds/g after last weeks 21:161 yd game
  • Chubb is second in the NFL in rushing (523 yds) behind Derrick Henry (640)
  • ARZ allows the ninth least DK pts/g (20.5), give up the fourth most yds/g, and second most yds/carry (5.4) to RBs


  • Mayfield has yet to target any player on the team 10+ times in a game
  • In three games, Odell Beckham has 19 tgts but caught just nine
  • OBJ team tgt share in those three: 10% // 23% // 31% 
  • CLE WR season tgt share: OBJ (3 games)-14% // Rashad Higgins-12% // Donovan Peoples-Jones-7% // Anthony Schwartz-7% // Landry (IR)-4% 
  • Peoples-Jones has played the most snaps on the team outside four lineman & Mayfield
  • ARZ allows the least DK pts to TEs (5.6)


  • TE snaps have been split between Austin Hooper, David Njoku, & Harrison Bryant
  • Hooper-67% // Njoku-62% // Bryant 41%
  • TE targets: Hooper-16 // Njoku-17 (third on team, seven last week) // Bryant-10
  • Bryant ran ten routes last week but was not targeted
  • ARZ allows the least DK pts to TEs
  • The most any TEs have scored against ARZ was Tyler Higbee’s 4:36 yd effort Week 4
  • Njoku went 7:7:149:1 TD

Kyler Murray:

  • CLE has allowed the 6th most DK pts/g to QBs (24.1) having faced Justin Herbert-45.82 // Kirk Cousins 11.12 // Justin Fields-3.92 // Tyrod Taylor/Davis Mills-23.48 // Patrick Mahomes-36.28
  • Until last week, Kyler Murray was averaging the most QB DK pts/g (29.5)
  • After last weeks 13.70 pt outing against SF, he ranks fourth among QBs (26.3)
  • His price ($7.9k) went down $100 this week and is second highest on the slate (Patrick Mahomes-$8.3k)
  • Murray DK pts: vs SF 17 // @ LAR-22.6 // @ JAX-22.5 // vs MIN-38.1 // @ TEN 34.6
  • Rush atts/g: 6.0 // Rush yds/g: 22.0 // 3 Rush TDs
  • Last season Murray avg 31.5 rush atts/g & had 11 rush TDs
  • Murray leads the league in completion % (75.2) 
  • Despite passing just 33 times/g (25th), ARZ is seventh in pass yds/g (285.2)
  • CLE D ranks first in QB hits (43)
  • They allows the 11th least pass yds/g (223.2) but the ninth most yards/completion (11.5)
  • Murray vs CLE 2019: 19:25:219 yds:1 TD:1 INT // 8:56 rushing

Chase Edmonds/James Conner:

  • Rush Share: Edmonds-32% // Conner-42% (Murray-20%)
  • Edmonds is tied for second in team tgts (26, 17.0%) but is the only ARZ player not to score a rec TD (besides Conner who has seen just 4 tgts)
  • Conner has 15 RZ rush attempts (only one last week) (8th in NFL) w/ five TDs (tied for second in NFL) (Henry has seven) // Edmonds has six (zero last week) w/ zero TDs (Murray has six w/ two TDs)
  • These two only rushed a combined 16 times last week while Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk, and Murray took 11 rush atts.
  • Conner has five TDs in his last three games
  • CLE allows the fifth least DK pts to RBs (16.9) having faced LAC, MIN, CHI, HOU, & KC

ARZ Receivers:

  • ARZ WR Routes Run (of 194): DeAndre Hopkins-190 // AJ Green-171 // Christian Kirk-137 // Rondale Moore-88
  • Team tgts: Hopkins-34 // Green-28 // Moore-24 // Kirk-23
  • WR TDs: Hopkins-4 // Green-2 // Kirk-2 // Moore-1
  • ARZ WRs have scored 20+ DK pts five times
  • Maxx Williams is the only ARZ TE to get any targets this season (17 tgts, one TD)
  • CLE allows the 12th least DK pts to WRs (37.8) and a middling 10.9 DK pts to TEs
  • CLE allowed to WRs: Week 1-Tyreek Hill-40.10 // Week 2-no HOU WR/TE over 10.0 DK pts // Week 3-no CHI WR/TE over 5.0  // Week 4-Justin Jefferson-20.4 // Week 5-Mike Williams-39.5, Keenan Allen-13.5