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Matchup Analysis: Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Cardinals 17, Chiefs 33

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Arizona Cardinals Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Cardinals Offense13.8 (-10.3) (31)68 (-43) (32)166 (-85) (31)
Chiefs Defense25.1 (+1.1) (20)125 (+14) (25)303 (+51) (28)

Kansas City Chiefs Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Chiefs Offense36.3 (+12.3) (1)118 (+6) (13)316 (+65) (3)
Cardinals Defense24.9 (+0.8) (18)143 (+32) (31)225 (-26) (7)

Cardinals Rushing offense

Great matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

The Cardinals rushing offense continues to disappoint as David Johnson put up a similar stat line in his recent game. Johnson has yet to rush for more than 71 yards while averaging fewer than 4.0 yards per rush in seven straight outings. The volume is there for Johnson, who is averaging nearly 18 rush attempts per game over his last five outings. The playcalling simply continues to handcuff him as Johnson is still being used too frequently between the tackles despite the shift in the offensive coordinator. The bye week may give them time to work up different ways to get Johnson involved, as this rushing offense is ranked last in the league and certainly needs a change in direction. The offensive line has been banged up, but they recently returned left guard Mike Iupati while right guard Justin Pugh looks to finally be healthy and free from a hand cast that had been hampering his effectiveness. While this offensive line is still below average, a pair of healthy starting guards will certainly improve their effectiveness.

The Chiefs own one of the league’s softest and fantasy-friendly rushing defenses. This unit is allowing nearly 125 rushing yards per game and is one of only five teams to have allowed double-digit rushing touchdowns halfway through the season. Opposing running backs are scoring the most fantasy points per game in PPR formats against the Chiefs as they have allowed at least one running back to rush for at least 50 yards in all but one of their nine games this season. Interior defender Chris Jones has done a decent job against the run, but these Chiefs linebackers have been the key to their problems against opposing running backs. While Justin Houston’s expected return will definitely help, the Chiefs look to still be without Anthony Hitchens--who was terrible against the run, to begin with. It doesn’t help that the secondary has been tackling terribly, allowing extra yards after contact. The Cardinals ground game has certainly been abysmal, but if there ever was a chance for David Johnson to get back on track, this week will be his best opportunity of the season.

Cardinals Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Chiefs defense.

Josh Rosen managed to reach season highs in pass attempts, completions, and yards last week as the Cardinals passing offense finally had at least one good half of football. Through eight games, this unit as a whole ranks 31st in both passing yards per game and per attempt, struggling to get any rhythm at all on the offensive side of the ball. Larry Fitzgerald has had a quiet season, and even a quiet first half last week, but he managed to amass over 100 yards for the first time this season while finding the end zone for the second straight game leading into the bye. While receiving volume has been far from massive for anyone in this Cardinals passing offense, a healthy Fitzgerald has led the team in targets for three straight games and will continue to be the top option for Josh Rosen. Christian Kirk remains involved with at least seven targets in three straight games with his second touchdown of the season in his last game. David Johnson is still being underutilized in the passing game even with the shift in offensive coordinator. He finished with negative air yards in his last outing as the primary action he saw through the air included just a few screen passes. The play-calling will need to improve for Johnson’s true ceiling to shine, and Johnson will need to be more involved to set this passing offense up for success.

The Chiefs secondary regressed back near the bottom last week as they allowed Baker Mayfield to pass for nearly 300 yards with two touchdowns. Coming off decent games against the Broncos and Bengals, there was hope for improvement in this passing defense. This has certainly been a tough season as the Chiefs secondary has contributed to some massive games from opposing quarterbacks. The prolific Chiefs offense certainly drives opposing offenses into a pass-heavy game script though, which never helps a defense’s numbers against the pass. Slot cornerback Kendall Fuller has actually been solid in coverage, which may help limit some opportunities for Larry Fitzgerald. Orlando Scandrick should be much more of a positive matchup for Christian Kirk on the outside. Based on the game script and the weakness at linebacker for the Chiefs, David Johnson should also be set up for plenty of success with dump-offs here. The Chiefs have given up more receiving yards and touchdowns per game than any other team to opposing running backs, which sets up nicely for Johnson. The ray of hope for this defense is the probable return of Justin Houston, who has been absent since his injury in Week 5. Houston is one of the game’s top pass-rushers and will certainly have his way with this poor Cardinals offensive line.

Chiefs Rushing offense

Great matchup vs. the Cardinals defense.

Kareem Hunt is putting together a very solid season in the shadow of this prolific Chiefs passing offense. Hunt has rushed for at least 50 yards in six straight games, averaging over five yards per rush attempt in four of those six games with five rushing touchdowns over that span, including two in last week’s game against a decent Browns run defense. With double-digit carries in each game this season, averaging just over 16 carriers per game, Hunt is the clear workhorse of this rushing offense. The offensive line has not been great for the Chiefs, playing without both their starting and backup centers for the past couple weeks after losing their starting left guard in early October. While this offensive line is a bottom tier unit, the Chiefs coaching staff certainly helps overcome it with smart play calling to get Hunt in space which has allowed him to maintain such a high level of productivity on the ground despite the shaky front five.

The Cardinals rushing defense has been one of the worst in the NFL throughout the first half of this season. They have given up a dozen rushing touchdowns and the second-most rushing yards per game, driven primarily by the run-heavy game script of opposing offenses that have rushed a league-high 268 times against Arizona. Their last game before the bye was this unit’s best outing against the run of the season, holding the 49ers running backs to just 98 rushing yards and no touchdowns. Prior to that game, running had have rushed for more than 125 yards in four straight games with five rushing touchdowns over that span. Josh Bynes has been their best run defender this season, while Corey Peters continues to disappoint on the defensive interior. There have been no significant injuries to note, but this Cardinals unit has simply underperformed given some of the talents they have available both on the defensive line and secondary. They should at least be an average run defense on paper, but they simply have not put it all together through tough game scripts during the first half of this season. Kareem Hunt should be set up to run wild in this one.

Chiefs Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Cardinals defense.

The Chiefs passing offense really is something special. Patrick Mahomes is the top fantasy quarterback this season and has now thrown for at least three touchdowns and 300 yards in four straight games. The gunslinger mentality is certainly coming out as Mahomes now has at least one interception in five straight games as well, but he has always immediately recovered after each mistake to continue amassing ridiculous numbers. Travis Kelce has seen team-leading target volume while Tyreek Hill remains a top option at wide receiver despite a groin injury that may have contributed to his limited effectiveness last week. Sammy Watkins had a scare with his ankle last week as he had to get it taped mid-way through the fourth quarter, but he is not on the injury report and must be assumed good to go. Kareem Hunt also continues to be a consistent contributor through the air with five receiving touchdowns in his last four games. The only thing that may hold back this passing offense will be game script should they shift to a run-heavy approach to protect their expected lead as the Chiefs are the largest favorites of the 2018 season in this game.

The Cardinals passing defense does not belong amongst the top-to passing defenses in the league as they currently net out on the stat sheet. They have faced terrible passing offenses to start the season, with seven of their eight games against bottom-half ranked passing offenses while four of those games were against passing offenses ranked in the bottom third. On top of this weak schedule, teams simply have not needed to pass frequently against Arizona due to the combination of jumping out to an early lead and the Cardinals’ weaknesses against the run. They do have a talented slot cornerback and safety flex defensive back in Budda Baker along with Patrick Peterson, who has been shutting down opposing receivers on a regular basis this year. While Peterson will definitely play a part in limiting production of both Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, Jamar Taylor should act as a counter-balance to Peterson as he Taylor has been terrible in coverage, due in part to how heavily he gets targeted since quarterbacks are afraid to challenge Peterson. Travis Kelce should have one of the best tight end matchups of the week though, as he has seen heavy volume and will see most coverage from Antoine Bethea, who is giving up a catch rate of over 80 percent to tight ends and matches up nearly half a foot and 60 pounds smaller than Kelce.

Chiefs vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+2.8)28 (+2.8)27 (+2.5)28 (+3.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.5)16 (-0.5)13 (-1.4)13 (-1.2)
6Tom Brady7824353401032127.227.221.825.8
7Andy Dalton5015291481100010.410.48.98.9
8Case Keenum7323342622119021.021.016.417.4
9Baker Mayfield7229422972100021.921.918.918.9

Josh Rosen (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $4800)

7vs DEN66213919413114012.
8vs SF66234025221212020.820.820.320.3
10PROJ-Dodds21362361.11.229015.915.915.9 (H=37)15.9 (H=50)
10PROJ-Tremblay20342291.11.126015.415.415.4 (H=35)15.4 (H=47)
10PROJ-Bloom21362191.71.6280171717.0 (H=41)17.0 (H=56)

Chiefs vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+7.5)32 (+9.3)32 (+9.0)32 (+9.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+6.3)30 (+7.8)30 (+7.2)30 (+8.0)
6Sony Michel37241062100022.622.622.625.6
6James White336390755309.214.211.714.2
7Joe Mixon451350053105.
7Mark Walton14410000001.
8Phillip Lindsay41189513317017.220.218.720.2
8Devontae Booker3297804423010.
9Duke Johnson351809978220.629.625.129.6
9Nick Chubb3722851115015.016.015.516.0

David Johnson (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $6800)

7vs DEN4814390333107108.510.0
8vs SF531659044410101412.014.0
10PROJ-Dodds17700.44330.113.317.315.3 (H=32)17.3 (H=41)
10PROJ-Tremblay17710.43280.112.915.914.4 (H=29)15.9 (H=35)
10PROJ-Bloom15600.54400. (H=36)18.2 (H=44)

Chase Edmonds (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $4100)

7vs DEN22590331202.
8vs SF13290211202.
10PROJ-Dodds2110.111002.73.73.2 (H=3)3.7 (H=4)
10PROJ-Tremblay3140.121103.15.14.1 (H=4)5.1 (H=8)
10PROJ-Bloom2700000.70.70.7 (H=0)0.7 (H=0)

Chiefs vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (-0.8)21 (+0.7)16 (-0.1)20 (+0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.9)18 (-0.6)12 (-1.3)14 (-1.2)
6Julian Edelman717454117012.
6Chris Hogan47447800007.811.89.811.8
7A.J. Green48147117000011.718.715.221.7
7Cody Core14333000003.
8Tim Patrick191124111309.710.710.210.7
8Courtland Sutton49437800007.810.89.310.8
9Antonio Callaway39535100005.
9Jarvis Landry73765000005.

Larry Fitzgerald (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $5400)

7vs DEN6484401000101412.014.0
8vs SF66128102100016.
10PROJ-Dodds5570.30007.512.510.0 (H=18)12.5 (H=29)
10PROJ-Tremblay5540.30007.212.29.7 (H=17)12.2 (H=28)
10PROJ-Bloom6630.60009.915.912.9 (H=28)15.9 (H=44)

Christian Kirk (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4900)

7vs DEN52635700005.
8vs SF507342100010.213.211.713.2
10PROJ-Dodds4570.20006.910.99.0 (H=16)11.0 (H=25)
10PROJ-Tremblay4510.20206.510.58.6 (H=15)10.6 (H=24)
10PROJ-Bloom4540.40007.811.89.9 (H=19)11.9 (H=29)

Chad Williams (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

7vs DEN45843400003.
8vs SF47222100002.
10PROJ-Dodds2250.10003.15.14.1 (H=5)5.1 (H=11)
10PROJ-Tremblay2290.10003.55.54.5 (H=6)5.5 (H=12)
10PROJ-Bloom2240.20003.65.64.6 (H=6)5.6 (H=13)

J.J. Nelson (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

7vs DEN1742801701.
8vs SF1710001800.
10PROJ-Dodds11100001.12.11.6 (H=0)2.1 (H=2)
10PROJ-Tremblay11100201.32.31.8 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)
10PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Chiefs vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+1.5)25 (+2.1)26 (+2.2)26 (+2.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (-0.1)17 (-0.9)19 (-0.4)17 (-1.0)
6Rob Gronkowski77439709.712.711.212.7
7C.J. Uzomah57221317.
8Jeff Heuerman6351416.
9David Njoku55545305.

Ricky Seals-Jones (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $3000)

7vs DEN29421201.
8vs SF48421201.
10PROJ-Dodds3340. (H=9)7.6 (H=22)
10PROJ-Tremblay3330. (H=8)7.5 (H=21)
10PROJ-Bloom2130. (H=2)3.9 (H=7)

Jermaine Gresham (FanDuel: $4400, DraftKings: $2600)

7vs DEN390000000.00.0
8vs SF31332202.
10PROJ-Dodds1130. (H=2)2.9 (H=4)
10PROJ-Tremblay190. (H=1)2.5 (H=3)
10PROJ-Bloom3250. (H=7)6.7 (H=20)

Chiefs vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-0.5)13T (-0.5)20T (-0.5) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20T (+0.7)20T (+0.7)20 (+1.1) (+0.0)
6Stephen Gostkowski5544191922.022.0
7Randy Bullock1111444.04.0
8Brandon McManus1222555.05.0
9Greg Joseph1100335.05.0

Phil Dawson (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

7vs DEN1111445.05.0
8vs SF1111444.04.0

Chiefs vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9T (-3.3)9T (-3.3)1 (-6.3)1 (-6.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-2.4)9 (-2.4)1 (-5.9)1 (-5.9)
6New England Patriots4044602000440.00.0
7Cincinnati Bengals4555121000440.00.0
8Denver Broncos3034021000443.03.0
9Cleveland Browns3749921000440.00.0

Arizona Cardinals (FanDuel: $2500, DraftKings: $2000)

7vs DEN45.0030921000443.03.0
8vs SF15.0026740000448.08.0
10PROJ-Dodds31.3038420.90.400. (H=13)5.2 (H=17)
10PROJ-Tremblay33.003912.310.400. (H=14)5.3 (H=17)

Cardinals vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-4.0)2 (-3.9)1 (-4.2)2 (-4.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-5.4)5 (-5.1)5 (-5.1)4 (-5.5)
6Kirk Cousins71243423311414122.
7Case Keenum5914211611144011.511.59.89.8
8C.J. Beathard6614281901059014.414.412.512.5

Patrick Mahomes (FanDuel: $9800, DraftKings: $7200)

7vs CIN70283935841445037.437.433.836.8
8vs DEN582434303412-1030.
9@ CLE64233237531218031.631.627.830.8
10PROJ-Dodds24352902.30.95180.225.825.825.8 (H=56)25.8 (H=77)
10PROJ-Tremblay22352742.414150.2252525.0 (H=53)25.0 (H=73)
10PROJ-Bloom21302962.30.8290.225.325.325.3 (H=54)25.3 (H=74)

Cardinals vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+7.5)30 (+6.4)31 (+7.4)31 (+7.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.1)5 (-4.1)13 (-1.8)6 (-3.6)
6Latavius Murray58241551213021.822.822.325.8
6Mike Boone3120000002.
7Phillip Lindsay3514901116015.616.616.116.6
7Royce Freeman181337100009.
8Matt Breida311642000004.
8Alfred Morris11628000002.

Kareem Hunt (FanDuel: $9000, DraftKings: $8500)

7vs CIN46158616555232.137.134.637.1
8vs DEN49165006536114.619.617.119.6
9@ CLE50179122150132.133.132.633.1
10PROJ-Dodds18830.94380.319.323.321.3 (H=44)23.3 (H=54)
10PROJ-Tremblay18760.72230.315.917.916.9 (H=29)17.9 (H=34)
10PROJ-Bloom16750.83310.417.820.819.3 (H=37)20.8 (H=45)

Spencer Ware (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $4000)

7vs CIN228590333008.911.910.411.9
8vs DEN90000000000.00.0
9@ CLE142120546908.
10PROJ-Dodds3120.111303.14.13.6 (H=3)4.1 (H=5)
10PROJ-Tremblay2100.111102.73.73.2 (H=3)3.7 (H=4)
10PROJ-Bloom2100.12250. (H=8)6.7 (H=13)

Cardinals vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.6)10 (-2.7)8 (-3.2)11 (-2.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+3.1)25 (+3.7)25 (+3.3)25 (+4.3)
6Adam Thielen691511123100018.329.323.832.3
6Stefon Diggs63533301904.
7Emmanuel Sanders4376102100021.627.624.330.3
7Courtland Sutton40312810008.
8Marquise Goodwin614155100011.512.512.012.5
8Kendrick Bourne541077100007.114.110.614.1

Tyreek Hill (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $7300)

7vs CIN5210768128013.620.617.120.6
8vs DEN48437000007108.510.0
9@ CLE625469021608.512.510.512.5
10PROJ-Dodds6830.728013.319.316.4 (H=33)19.4 (H=46)
10PROJ-Tremblay6810.729013.219.216.3 (H=33)19.3 (H=46)
10PROJ-Bloom4720.718012.216.214.3 (H=26)16.3 (H=34)

Chris Conley (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3200)

7vs CIN4611600000.
8vs DEN300000000000.00.0
9@ CLE34212300002.
10PROJ-Dodds2200.20003.25.24.2 (H=5)5.2 (H=10)
10PROJ-Tremblay2220.20003.45.44.4 (H=5)5.4 (H=11)
10PROJ-Bloom3410.20005.38.36.8 (H=12)8.3 (H=24)

Demarcus Robinson (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

7vs CIN11221300001.
8vs DEN2011100000.
9@ CLE1821300000.
10PROJ-Dodds1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
10PROJ-Tremblay2230.20003.55.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=12)
10PROJ-Bloom2310.20004.36.35.3 (H=7)6.3 (H=16)

Sammy Watkins (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5400)

7vs CIN60747400007.411.49.411.4
8vs DEN5598107200022.730.726.733.7
9@ CLE49556201206.411.48.911.4
10PROJ-Dodds000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
10PROJ-Tremblay1120.11302.13.12.6 (H=1)3.1 (H=2)
10PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Cardinals vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-2.1)7 (-3.2)7 (-2.6)6 (-3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-4.4)4 (-5.5)4 (-4.9)4 (-5.6)
6Kyle Rudolph60443703.
7Matt LaCosse18111201.
8George Kittle60855705.710.78.210.7

Travis Kelce (FanDuel: $8000, DraftKings: $7000)

7vs CIN60559509.514.512.014.5
8vs DEN5510679113.919.916.919.9
9@ CLE619799221.928.925.428.9
10PROJ-Dodds6750.611.117.114.1 (H=24)17.1 (H=39)
10PROJ-Tremblay6740.711.617.614.6 (H=25)17.6 (H=41)
10PROJ-Bloom6810.611.717.714.7 (H=26)17.7 (H=41)

Demetrius Harris (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

7vs CIN35211717.
8vs DEN200000000.00.0
9@ CLE231000000.00.0
10PROJ-Dodds1140. (H=3)3.6 (H=7)
10PROJ-Tremblay190. (H=1)2.5 (H=3)
10PROJ-Bloom1150. (H=2)3.1 (H=5)

Cardinals vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22T (-1.0)22T (-1.0)10T (-1.0) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.3)22 (+1.3)20T (+1.1) (+0.0)
6Dan Bailey22339910.010.0
7Brandon McManus11669910.010.0
8Robbie Gould2211777.07.0

Harrison Butker (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

7vs CIN1266999.09.0
8vs DEN1134666.06.0
9@ CLE1145777.07.0

Cardinals vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+2.2)28 (+2.2)31 (+5.4)31 (+5.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+8.6)31 (+8.6)31 (+11.4)31 (+11.4)
6Minnesota Vikings17269411008812.012.0
7Denver Broncos1022363202282832.032.0
8San Francisco 49ers18321311109910.010.0

Kansas City Chiefs (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3300)

7vs CIN10.0023921001101014.014.0
8vs DEN23.0041151100999.09.0
9@ CLE21.0038821000446.06.0
10PROJ-Dodds17.803342.51.10.900.511.211.211.2 (H=28)11.2 (H=39)
10PROJ-Tremblay16.503252. (H=36)12.9 (H=50)