Kickoff: Sunday, November 6th at 4:05 PM ET
Location: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ
Betting Odds: ARZ -2, 49.5 Total on Oddsshark
Writer: Justin Herrera (@semtexmex93 on Twitter)
Geno Smith (Start, QB2)
Geno Smith has exceeded expectations this year in Seattle and is looking at another juicy matchup against the Cardinals in Week 9. The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. This defense has given up back-to-back QB1 weeks to Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins. Seattle and Arizona have met once this year, and Geno came back down to earth in that game after reeling off three straight QB1 weeks. Geno posted 197 yards and 0 touchdowns; that game was also only the second time Smith had posted a completion percentage of fewer than 70%. Smith has been top 10 in True completion, deep ball, pressured, and play action completion percentage, which means Smith is not going to make mistakes. What he needs to do this week is throw more touchdowns and tally more than 200 yards to be a QB1 this week. I see him as a start, but I give him a QB2 designation this week.
Kenneth Walker (Start, RB1)
Kenneth Walker has been a stud since taking over the Seattle backfield. Last week Walker was having his worst game as a starter, with only 30 yards on 18 touches before breaking off a 22-yard touchdown run to remind everyone that he can score at any time. Walker currently is seventh in the league in evaded tackles (44) and has the third most breakaway runs (9). Last time against the Cardinals, he had 110 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in his first start. The Cardinals have been middle of the road against the run game, allowing 18 fantasy PPR points to RBs. I expect a repeat performance this week, as Seattle will always give RBs carries, whether behind or ahead. Walker should be a start as an RB1 this week.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
DK Metcalf (Start, WR2), Tyler Lockett (Start, WR3), Noah Fant (Sit)
DK Metcalf played through a knee injury last Sunday and caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. In the first meeting with the Cardinals, Metcalf was covered well by Byron Murphy. Murphy only allowed two receptions for 34 yards. Metcalf can recover this week as the Cardinals will likely be more productive this week than in Week 6. Metcalf is a WR2 this week.
Tyler Lockett also had a rough game against the Cardinals in Week 6, only putting up 3.7 fantasy points. Lockett had a good game last week, catching five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Both are options for big games against a defense that has been middle of the pack against wide receivers (19.5). Look for Lockett to be startable as a WR3.
Noah Fant has not been productive this year, with his only 10-point game this year coming against the Cardinals. He was good against the Cards in Week 6, and to date they have allowed the second-most points to tight ends. I’m going to sit Fant because consistency counts with tight ends, and if you can’t offer that or big upside, then it’s not worth it.
Kyler Murray (Start, QB1)
Kyler Murray is looking like a stud with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. Last week Murray had his second-best outing with 26.6 points, ranking him as QB3 in Week 8. The Seahawks have allowed the 24th most fantasy points per game to the quarterback (17.1). Last time against Seattle, Murray didn’t have Hopkins and had to rush for 100 yards to finish QB14. Look for Murray to find the end zone in this game and finish this week as a QB1.
James Conner (Start, RB2), Eno Benjamin (Sit)
James Conner was limited this week with a rib injury and has been out since Week 5. Conner has not had an RB1 week this year and only has one RB2 performance this season. If Conner plays, then he’ll have a great welcome-back matchup against the Seahawks. Seattle allows the second-most receiving yards (438) and the sixth-most fantasy points per game to RBs (20.9). If Conner plays, he’s got the matchup to make him an RB2 this week.
Eno Benjamin had 65 total yards against a porous Seahawks defense the last time they met. Benjamin has had three top-24 performances without Conner, but if he’s relegated back to the RB2 role on the Cardinals, then he’s a sit this week. The one bright spot for Benjamin is the receiving work I discussed in the Conner blurb. Benjamin ranks 15th among RBs in receptions (23) and receiving yards (169).
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
De’Andre Hopkins (Start, WR1), Rondale Moore (Start, High-End Flex), Zach Ertz (Start, TE1)
De’Andre Hopkins has a 37% target share since his return in Week 7. Hopkins has had an obscene stat line over his first two games. He’s been targeted 27 times, catching 22 receptions for 262 yards and a touchdown. This has to lead to back-to-back WR1 weeks for the 10-year veteran. The Seahawks have been very stingy this year against wideouts allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game (16.4). Hopkins’s volume alone makes him a start as a WR1.
Rondale Moore was great last week against the Vikings, catching seven passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Moore has only taken 39% of his snaps out of the slot receiver position. This misuses Moore’s talent, as he has the best games when AJ Green can man the perimeter. When Moore gets targeted eight or more times, he has finished as a WR3 or better. This week I’m starting Moore as a high-end flex.
Zach Ertz has been a different tight end since the return of Hopkins. Before Week 7, Ertz had more than five targets in five out of six games. Since Hopkins’ return, he’s had five or fewer in both games. Last week he caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. Ertz has seen three red zone targets in two weeks and will still be an option to score every game. Fortunately, that’s all you need from a tight end in fantasy. I recommend starting him as a TE1.