Kickoff: Thursday, October 28th, at 8:20 PM EST
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Betting Odds: GB +6.5, 50.5 total via Oddsshark
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers (Start, QB1)
Week 7 was an easy day for Aaron Rodgers, where he completed 27 of 35 attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns. It was the sixth-straight game in which he tossed for multiple touchdowns, and he’s been interception-free since Week 5. Holding a 15:3 touchdown to pick ratio, the task this Thursday will be to take down the undefeated Cardinals. It’s not going to be an easy one, as he’ll be down two of his top receiving options. It also does not help that the Cardinals defense has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season. Even so, we’ve seen Rodgers get it done down weaponry in the past, and so you should still anticipate a low-end QB1 finish in what should be a fast-paced game.
Aaron Jones (Start, RB1), AJ Dillon (Sit)
Last week’s win against Washington was rather a stinker for Aaron Jones, who only had six carries for 19 yards, and caught all five of his targets for just 20 yards. The lack of volume isn’t worth stressing, as clearly the game-plan was to expose the Football Team’s secondary and disappointing defense. Jones has six touchdowns on the year – two on the ground and four receiving – and the backfield remains his in comparison to AJ Dillon. Dillon was a non-factor against Washington, somehow finishing with negative fantasy points. He’s an important handcuff to hold onto, but he doesn’t have starting relevancy; especially this week where just two teams (Baltimore & Las Vegas) are on their BYE.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Randall Cobb (Start if you must, WR3), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Start if you must, WR3), Equanimeous St. Brown (Sit), Robert Tonyan (Start, TE2)
In what could have been the game of the week to kick off Week 8, its luster has taken a hit, as the Packers will be without both Davante Adams and Allen Lazard due to positive COVID results. The receiving room will see the likes of Randall Cobb, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (returning from IR, hamstring), and Equanimeous St. Brown attempt to step it up in their absence. In all honesty, because this game is on a Thursday, if you have other options, I would consider sitting them all, but the thought of Rodgers having to throw plenty to keep up with the Cardinals offense, leaves the door open to start Cobb or MVS; ESB can stay on the wire. Be cautious with MVS though, as it’s his first game back since Week 3.
Another option who will no doubt see an uptick is tight end Robert Tonyan. We all know how TE is a crapshoot, but hold confidence that his target share will be on the higher side for an offense lacking options. It is worth highlighting though the Cardinals have given up the fewest fantasy points to his position on the season.
Kyler Murray (Start, QB1)
Safety aside, Kyler Murray was efficient in the rout of Houston last week, completing 20 of 28 passes for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Sporting a pretty 17:5 TD to INT ratio, Murray is getting it done through the air more so than he has with his legs as of late, and it’s benefited him greatly. He’s spreading the ball with minimal error and should continue on that course against a Packers defense that is allowing the 15th most fantasy points to QB’s on the year.
Chase Edmonds (Start, RB3), James Conner (Start, RB2)
In the offseason, the departure of Kenyan Drake to Vegas seemed like great news for Chase Edmonds, but then James Conner was brought in. Through seven games, Conner has been trending as the preferred red zone/goal line option, as he has six rushing TD’s on the year to Edmonds’ zero. The lack of scoring on the ground has hurt his value some, and it’s clearly raised Conner’s. However, Edmonds still holds it down in the passing game, out-targeting Conner 33 to 5 through seven games. That volume alone can keep Edmonds in your lineup still.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, WR1), A.J. Green (Start, WR3), Christian Kirk (Start, WR3/FLEX), Rondale Moore (Sit), Zach Ertz (Start, TE1)
As consistent as they come, DeAndre Hopkins remains in the WR1 picture despite his yards per game total on the downside in comparison to years past. He’s yet to amass 100 receiving yards in any game this season, but has four touchdowns in the last three games. The frequent scoring is what’s saving his fantasy stat line the past few weeks to be honest, but no one will complain as long as the points come. A.J. Green has found new life in Arizona this season, operating as an every-down player, and producing at that. His target share was down last week (only three), but we know Murray likes to spread the ball, and so as long as Green remains healthy, he has the potential to contribute each week. Both he and Christian Kirk, who he himself has scored in back-to-back games, are fine starts this week and can be treated as WR3’s.
Welcome to Arizona, Zach Ertz. In his first game since the trade from Philly, Ertz caught three of five targets for 66 yards (leading the offense) and a touchdown in the win against the Texans. It figures his touchdown was the longest of his career too, a 47-yard strike in the middle of the field. As the Cardinals TE1 the rest of the way, Ertz could play himself into a major role, and reward for fantasy owners who stuck by him on an up-and-down final stint with the Eagles before his departure.
-Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)