Kickoff: Sunday, December 18th, at 4:05 PM EST
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Betting Odds: ARI +3, 36.5 total via Oddsshark
Writer: Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)
Colt McCoy (Sit)
Enter Colt McCoy for the rest of 2022 – for now – as Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL scrambling in the third play of the game Monday night against New England. It’s a huge blow to the Cardinals offense, who has been a disappointment this season with a 4-9 record. In relief, McCoy completed 27 of 40 attempts for 246 scoreless yards and one interception in the home loss to the Patriots. He holds zero fantasy appeal the rest of the way.
James Conner (RB1)
James Conner gave fantasy owners, and the Cardinals, a scare on Monday, as he exited the game briefly in the second quarter with an injury. He quickly returned and found the end zone on one of his 15 carries. He had a big fantasy night on top of the rushing score, adding six receptions for 29 yards on seven targets. Look for McCoy to rely heavily on Conner this season, pegging Conner to be a strong RB1.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, WR3), Marquise Brown (Sit), Trey McBride (Sit)
Down goes the ‘Zona WR ship. In theory, Murray and the Cardinals offense have been severely underwhelming all season, but now with Murray out, the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown are sure to take a hit in their production the rest of the way. Nuk has put together a pretty strong season, considering he missed the first six weeks due to a suspension, racking up 574 yards on just 49 receptions and three touchdowns. The reality is, McCoy will target Hopkins because he has to, but that will also impact his touchdown upside most weeks. It doesn’t help either that Hopkins is set to face a Denver defense that has been a top-two fantasy defense all season against wide receivers. That reason alone is why you should consider sitting Hollywood this week. Rookie tight end Trey McBride could see an uptick in targets, but he isn’t fantasy relevant at this stage in the game.
Russell Wilson (Sit), Brett Rypien (Sit)
Of course, this was a game where Russell Wilson was cooking, and then he suffered a gruesome concussion that knocked him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Wilson completed 23 of 36 attempts for 247 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The concussion came on one of his four carries, on which he was able to total 57 yards on the ground. He remains in the concussion protocol, and should he sit this week, Brett Rypien will get the call. Even if Wilson clears in time to play against the Cardinals, it’ll be hard to trust him to “cook” again when he quite frankly hasn’t at all this season on a consistent basis.
Latavius Murray (Sit), Marlon Mack (Sit)
In a bit of a blast-from-the-past, Marlon Mack had himself a productive fantasy day, all because of a 66-yard touchdown off a catch and run in the first half. Otherwise, he turned three carries into 15 yards and had just one more catch other than the TD. His 15.7 full-PPR points were his most since 2019 but you aren’t going to trust him this week to repeat that output. The same can be said for fellow journeyman Latavius Murray, who turned eight carries into 32 yards. With no teams on BYE, you can certainly find a better option.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Jerry Jeudy (Start, WR3), Greg Dulcich (Start, TE2)
Have a Sunday, Jerry Jeudy! In easily his best game of the season, Jeudy caught all eight of his targets for 73 yards and three touchdowns. With Courtland Sutton dealing with a hamstring injury, Jeudy is poised to finish 2022 off strong, even if it’s with Rypien under center for a week. He can be relied upon as a WR3 this week as one of Denver’s only reliable pass catchers. Rookie tight end Greg Dulcich has seen 16 targets between the last two games (eight in each), though last week against the Chiefs, he only caught three of them for 42 scoreless yards. His involvement can’t be ignored, and that should continue against a Cardinals defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to the position this season. On MNF, Arizona allowed New England’s Hunter Henry to catch all three of his targets for 70 yards.