Kickoff Sunday, Dec 19th 1:00pm Eastern

Cards (
30.5) at

Lions (
17.5)

Over/Under 48.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
14th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
5th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
30th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
12th DVOA/18th Yards per pass
Lions Run D
24th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
16th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
19th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
24th DVOA/10th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By HILOW >>
  • Linebacker Alex Anzelone, tight end TJ Hockenson, and running back D’Andre Swift started the week with a “DNP” after missing last week’s contest. Additional notable injuries include guard Jonah Jackson (back) and center Evan Brown (COVID), outside linebacker Julian Okwara (ankle), and four members of the secondary that are all on the COVID list.
  • The Cardinals are still waiting on Chase Edmonds to return from his ankle injury, James Conner did not participate in practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury, and DeAndre Hopkins will reportedly miss the remainder of the regular season with a leg injury.
  • The Lions have allowed almost 30 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields and also struggle with deep passing (deepest aDOT allowed and second-highest average yards per completion allowed).

How Arizona Will Try To Win ::

The Cardinals have upped their situation-neutral pass rates over the previous five weeks of play (past the mid-point of the season), checking in with an 11th-ranked 60% pass rate over that time. They are still playing with an elevated situation-neutral pace of play and also run one of the league’s fastest offenses in the first half of games (fifth-ranked 26.63 seconds per play in the first half), but we have to consider what has happened over the last month in order to get a clear picture of what to expect here. First off, Chase Edmonds suffered an ankle injury on his first touch in the Cardinals’ Week 9 game. Next, both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins sat out three weeks in a row with various injuries, returning after the Week 12 bye, and AJ Green also missed a few weeks as well. Lastly, tight end Zach Ertz began integrating into this offense further, upping his weekly snap rates to around the 80% mark. When we pair those findings with the same general offensive philosophy shown from Kliff Kingsbury (a horizontally-spread offense built around the power run game and layered receiver route trees – designed to attack multiple areas of the field), we’re left with an offense that has looked very similar to what we have seen over the previous two seasons but that has now shown an increased propensity to tailor the offensive game plan to the opponent. The most glaring reasons for these findings are due to a defense that has done a great job at limiting opponents (third in points allowed per drive, fourth in turnovers generated per drive, fifth in yards allowed per drive, and ninth in overall drive success rate allowed) and the offensive additions of James Conner, Zach Ertz, and rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore, allowing this team to be more dynamic and layered.

Questions abound with this run game this week, as Chase Edmonds still has two weeks before his 21-day practice window expires and James Conner emerged from their Week 14 game with an ankle injury that apparently required an MRI. Keep an eye on the respective statuses of these two this week as the matchup could not be better on the ground. The matchup yields a slightly below-average 4.26 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Lions defense allowing 29.7 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, including 22 total touchdowns. And since we know the Cardinals have been much more apt to lean on the run game in games they control this season, and since Kyler Murray has not been stealing rushing scores at the same rate this season, and since Nuk will miss this contest, we start to see a viable path to one of the more bankable fantasy outlets this week should one of these backs miss and one play. There’s obviously more reason for skepticism should they both play, so the respective health of Edmonds and Conner could have a large impact on this slate.

The last time either DeAndre Hopkins or AJ Green missed a contest (the two primary perimeter wide receivers in this offense), Antoine Wesley almost directly stepped into their snaps (a three-week stretch of 76-77% snap rates). Expect the same this week with Nuk now expected to miss the remainder of the regular season. That leaves Wesley and Green on the perimeter, Christian Kirk primarily in the slot, and Rondale Moore in his short area, gadget-style role. Zach Ertz has hovered around an 80% snap rate for five consecutive weeks and is typically used in a short-to-intermediate role with viable yards after catch upside. Overall, don’t expect the pass game design to change much in the absence of Nuk, instead keeping a more spread nature in both production and spacing. The final piece of note here is how poor the Lions have been this season at defending the deeper areas of the field, ceding the deepest average depth of target and second-most yards per completion. On top of that, four members of the secondary (including three regular starters), popped on the COVID list this week. This primarily benefits Christian Kirk as the only player to consistently be schemed deep area work, while AJ Green should be considered a secondary beneficiary.

How Detroit Will Try to win ::

Without sounding like a broken record with these Lions, we know how this team would like to try to win games (power run game and deep passing built off of it) and we know how this team has been forced to try to win games (a largely ineffective power run game with short-to-intermediate passing built off of it, due in large part to the shortcomings of their starting quarterback). We also know that the Lions will start games with a slow pace of play and hefty rush rate, but are forced into second-half aerial aggression through an increased pace of play and increased pass rates more often than not. While this is good news from a “target teams against the Lions” perspective, it should be noted that we can’t always take that line of thinking – more on this below. Furthermore, a massive chunk of “how Detroit will try to win” here depends on the game day statuses of D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, and TJ Hockenson, who all failed to practice on Wednesday (injuries to Swift and Hockenson and COVID list for Williams).

The normal backfield split between lead back D’Andre Swift and backup Jamaal Williams was thrown out the window last week when Swift missed his second consecutive game and Williams hit the COVID list late in the week. In their absence, Godwin Igwebuike and Craig Reynolds split the backfield work almost down the middle. The talk of the week last week was “which Detroit running back could see increased usage,” and from what I saw on the field, their answer was Jermar Jefferson. Craig Reynolds came in and saw the first running back opportunity in the game and threw everything out the window. We’ll need to keep an eye on this backfield this week for a few different reasons (which we’ll cover below). The matchup on the ground yields a moderate 4.325 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Cardinals defense allowing just 22.2 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields on the backs of only five total touchdowns allowed to the position (second-fewest in the league behind only the Patriots).

Similar to the backfield, a lot of this passing game is changed via the status of TJ Hockenson. Rookie slot-man Amon-Ra St. Brown has grown into the primary option in Hockenson’s absence, seeing 12 targets in consecutive weeks. Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond man the perimeter in moderate-aDOT roles, while Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra split the snaps at tight end. The hyper-aggressive and back-to-front Cardinals defense has really put a clamp on opposing passing attacks this season, particularly against the lower efficiency teams, meaning all members of this offense are likely going to have to rely on volume for fantasy purposes.

Likeliest Game flow ::

It is highly likely the Cardinals are able to control this game from start to finish, primarily through their defense and emphasis on the run game. This should lead to the Lions increasing their pace of play and pass play rate in the second half, as we’ve grown accustomed to, but is less likely to influence the overall game environment as much as we’ve seen against other opponents this season. The Cardinals decrease their second-half pace of play and pass rates in games they control at comparable rates to the increase from the Lions, meaning neutral-to-negative impact to the game environment and total offensive plays run from scrimmage. That said, expect the Cardinals to force ample short-field opportunities through their defense, which should provide additional opportunities for points to be put up on the scoreboard. The clearest route for touchdowns to be scored for the Cardinals is on the ground, which could be influenced by available personnel. Expect the Lions to return aggression primarily through the short area pass game, effectively being forced to march the field (against a defense that has largely been effective in getting off the field).


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • 47.5 Vegas total is the second highest in Week 15
  • ARI’s implied total of 30.5 is the highest
  • DET’s implied total of 17 is tied for second lowest
  • 13.5 pt spread is the widest
  • ARI is 4-3 in the last seven games, scoring fewer than 24 pts in all three losses
  • DET has allowed an average of 27.2 ppg (fifth most)
  • DET has scored 20+ pts just once in the past seven weeks
  • ARI ranks fourth in ppg allowed (19.5)
  • DET allows a 74.4% red zone TD% (second worst)
  • Per numberFire, ARI ranks fourth in adjusted seconds per play (28.5) and 13th in adjusted pass rate (60.3%)
  • DET ranks 23rd in adjusted seconds per play (30.5) and 31st in adjusted pass rate (50.6%)

Kyler Murray

  • Ranks first in PFF passing grade
  • 8.7 YPA ranks first and 8.6 ADoT ranks 10th
  • Career high completion percentage (71.6%), TD% (5.9%), and INT% (2.8%)
  • Career low in rushing yards per game (26.7)
  • Scored 4x his Week 15 salary ($7,900) twice this year, out of 10 games
  • 24.4 DK ppg ranks fourth
  • DET ranks 12th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (19)
  • Only one opposing QB has scored 30+ vs DET (Matthew Stafford’s 30.16 pts in Week 7)

ARI Passing Attack

  • Snap share: AJ Green 73.4% // Christian Kirk 71.6% // Zach Ertz 68.2% // DeAndre Hopkins 63.6% // Rondale Moore 46.8% // Antoine Wesley 27.8%
  • Target share: Kirk 16.7% // Ertz 16.4% // Green 15.7% // Hopkins 15% // Moore 14.8% // Wesley 2.6%
  • Remarkably, there have only been three times that any ARI offensive piece saw double digit targets (Moore had 11 in Week 11, and in Week 14 Hopkins had 12 while Green had 10
  • Among all qualified WRs, Hopkins ranks 21st in air yard market share (per Koalaty Stats)
  • He is now out for the remainder of the regular season
  • When he and Murray missed Weeks 9-11, Wesley’s snapped jumped from a high of 12 (he had 31 in Week 8 when Hopkins only lasted 15 snaps) to 54, 42, & 63 snaps
  • His only targets of the year came in Weeks 8-11: 3 // 3 // 1 // 4
  • Green saw a season high in targets last week, and produced his first 20+ score
  • On the season, he’s averaging 11.19 DK ppg
  • His DK salary began the year at $3,800, hit a high of $5,100, and is $4,900 in Week 15
  • Kirk has seen at least three targets in all but one game
  • His DK salary has been in a range of $4,500 – $5,700 ($5,300 in Week 15)
  • He’s averaging 11.86 DK ppg, with one 20+ score
  • Moore is seeing a remarkable low ADoT of 1.5
  • His DK salary debuted at a stone minimum $3,000, has been as high as $5,000, and is now $4,400 in Week 15
  • He’s averaging 8.39 DK ppg, with just one 20+ score
  • DET ranks 10th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (35.3)
  • Notable WR scores: Darnell Mooney 20.5 // Mooney 21.5 // Justin Jefferson 22.4 // Davante Adams 23.1 // Deebo Samuel 35.9 // Jefferson 38.6 // Cooper Kupp 40.6
  • Ertz is averaging 5.3 targets per game
  • As a Cardinal, he’s averaging 11.21 DK ppg (out of seven games)
  • He’s had two double digit scores: 16 vs. HOU in Week 7 // 28.8 @ SEA in Week 11
  • DET ranks 17th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (13.4)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: Tyler Conklin 12.6 // Dallas Goedert 13.2 // Robert Tonyan 14.2 // Cole Kmet 14.5 // Albert Okwuegbunam 15.1 // Mark Andrews 18.9

ARI RBs

  • As of Wednesday night, Chase Edmonds is expected to return from IR while James Conner underwent an MRI, has yet to practice, and is considered day-to-day
  • Edmonds leads in targets per game, 4.1 to 2.4
  • Conner leads in touches per game, 16 to 11.8
  • Edmonds has averaged 11.34 DK ppg (in nine games), with a high of 20.9 @ LAR in Week 4
  • His $5,100 DK salary is his third lowest mark of the season
  • Among all qualified RBs, Conner ranks 25th in rush share, 15th in goal line share, 25th in target share, 22nd in WOPR, and 22nd in RBOPR
  • His 17 DK ppg ranks 12th
  • DET ranks 29th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (29.9)
  • Nine different RBs have scored 20+ vs. DET: Najee Harris 20.3 // Javonte Williams 21.3 // Alexander Mattison 21.4 // Nick Chubb 25.4 // David Montgomery 25.6 // Melvin Gordon 26.1 // Joe Mixon 26.3 // Mattison 30.3 // Aaron Jones 41.5

Jared Goff

  • Ranks 28th in PFF passing grade
  • 6.4 YPA ranks tied for 31st and 6.8 ADoT ranks 36th
  • Lowest TD% (3.2%) since his rookie year
  • Lowest INT% (1.8%) since his first Pro Bowl selection in 2017
  • Career low in yards per catch (9.6)
  • DK salary range of $5,000 – $5,400
  • Averaging just 14.45 DK ppg
  • ARI ranks fourth in DK ppg allowed to QBs (16.6)
  • Notable opposing QB scores: Matthew Stafford 20.3 // Jimmy G 23.34 // Stafford 23.48 // Kirk Cousins 25.26

DET Passing Attack

  • Snap share: TJ Hockenson 77.6% // Kalif Raymond 71.8% // Amon-Ra St. Brown 71.1% // Brock Wright 37.1% // Josh Reynolds 35.4%
  • Target share: Hockenson 17.9% // St. Brown 16.4% // Raymond 12.5% // Reynolds 7.1% // Wright 2.4%
  • St. Brown has led the team in targets for back-to-back weeks, with 12 each week
  • He scored 24.8 and 15.3 pts
  • His DK salary debuted at $3,000 in Week 1
  • Season high $5,200 in Week 15
  • Raymond has seen five or fewer targets in each of the past four weeks
  • On the season, he averages 10.55 DK pts
  • Reynolds has seen at least three targets in each game as a Lion
  • DK log: 0 // 16 // 10.9 // 8.2
  • ARI ranks 17th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (37.2)
  • Only four opposing WRs have scored 20+ vs. ARI: KJ Osborn 20.1 // Van Jefferson 21 // DPJ 29.1 // Cooper Kupp 34.3
  • Among qualified TEs, Hockenson ranks fifth in target share, fifth in air yard market share, and sixth in WOPR
  • His 12.1 DK ppg ranks seventh
  • He’s tentatively expected back in Week 15
  • Hockenson’s salary has dropped from a high of $5,800 in Week 4 to $5,200 in Week 15
  • Wright saw five targets filling in for Hockenson in Week 14
  • He caught three of them for 20 yards
  • ARI ranks fifth in DK ppg allowed to TEs (8.8)
  • George Kittle’s 24.1 pts in Week 9 are the only instance of a double digit score

DET RBs

  • Among qualified RBs, D’Andre Swift ranks 15th in rush share, 21st in goal line share, second in target share, third in WOPR, and fifth in RBOPR
  • His 17.8 DK ppg ranks 11th
  • HC Campbell is “hopeful” that he returns in Week 15, although he’s yet to practice
  • Swift’s $6,300 Week 15 DK salary is $1,000 lower than his season high
  • Jamaal Williams hasn’t scored 15+ DK pts since Week 1 (25 vs. SF)
  • His Week 15 salary is $100 short of a season high
  • ARI ranks 16th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (23.3)
  • Four RBs have scored 20+ vs. ARI: Aaron Jones 24 // James Robinson 25.4 // CMC 26.1 // David Montgomery 28.1