Thursday Night Football

Seattle @ Arizona
Team Totals: Seahawks 23.5, Cardinals 17.5

The Seahawks’ Duane Brown acquisition didn’t stop Russell Wilson’s pass protection from remaining a Week 9 concern – he took nine hits and spent the majority of Seattle’s loss to Washington running for his life – but Wilson still emerged as last week’s fantasy QB7 and has logged top-seven finishes in five of his last six starts. Wilson’s Week 10 matchup is appealing against Arizona’s pass-funnel defense, which has yielded top-12 results to 6-of-8 quarterbacks faced while shutting down running games and forcing opponents to attack with the pass. The Cardinals’ man-coverage defense is vulnerable to dual-threat passers, having allowed Wilson to scramble for 30-plus yards in five of these teams’ last seven meetings. Arizona has given up an NFL-high three rushing TDs to quarterbacks this year. … As Eddie Lacy suffered an early-game groin injury against the Redskins, Thomas Rawls took over as Seattle’s primary back and breathed some life into the run game with 70 yards on 11 touches. C.J. Prosise (ankle) is a non-factor until proven otherwise, and scatback J.D. McKissic has yet to exceed five touches in a game. Rawls has reentered the flex-play conversation, but his Week 10 matchup is daunting against an Arizona defense that has held enemy running backs to 3.53 yards per carry and only four rushing scores in eight games. Wilson logged 77 yards on 10 scrambles last week and remains the best bet to lead Seattle in rushing.

Wilson’s target distribution since the Week 6 bye: Doug Baldwin 34; Tyler Lockett 23; Jimmy Graham 19; Paul Richardson 12; McKissic 7; Rawls 5; Luke Willson 4; Tanner McEvoy 3; Lacy and Amara Darboh 2. … Baldwin has drawn eight-plus targets in six of his last seven games and is coming off a year-best 7/108/1 line against the Redskins that would have been even bigger had a 47-yard catch not been negated by a holding penalty. As Baldwin runs 70% of his routes inside, he should mostly avoid Patrick Peterson, who covers the boundaries on 89% of his plays. PFF has charged Tyrann Mathieu with the NFL’s sixth-most yards allowed (299) in slot coverage. … Graham has topped 55 yards and/or scored a touchdown in six straight games, settling in as one of fantasy’s highest-floor tight ends. Although Arizona plays above-average tight end defense, Graham should stay locked into fantasy lineups with Wilson on pace to set or equal career highs in attempts (606) and touchdowns (34). Graham leads all NFL tight ends in red-zone targets (12) and targets inside the ten (9). … Lockett-versus-Richardson is a weekly crapshoot; both are volatile WR3/flex options. The edge since Seattle’s bye has gone to Richardson in snaps and production despite Lockett’s significant target lead. I wouldn’t expect Peterson to shadow one of them individually.

Coming off a monstrous 39-touch effort in last week’s win over San Francisco, Adrian Peterson is officially the Cardinals’ offensive focal point. His Week 10 draw is far tougher against a stout Seattle defense that has held enemy backs to a combined 98/284/2.90/4 rushing line in its last five games. It was nevertheless promising to see Peterson set or equal season highs in targets (4) and routes run (18) against the 49ers, suggesting he won’t necessarily leave the field if Arizona falls behind. Even in a bad matchup, A.D. maintains volume-driven RB2 appeal in season-long leagues. … Drew Stanton deserves kudos for playing well enough for the Cardinals to beat the 49ers, but he still missed a ton of routine throws and finished as the fantasy QB19 against a sieve-like San Francisco defense. Week 10 opponent Seattle ranks No. 6 in pass-defense DVOA and has allowed just 1-of-8 enemy passers to log top-12 fantasy results, with only 3-of-8 finishing in the top 20. Stanton is a poor two-quarterback-league play.

Stanton’s Week 9 target distribution: Larry Fitzgerald 9; Peterson and John Brown 4; Andre Ellington, Troy Niklas, Jermaine Gresham 3; J.J. Nelson 2; Jaron Brown 1. … Stanton getting Fitzgerald the ball will be a rest-of-season adventure, but I like Fitzgerald’s chances of winning his individual battles with Seattle slot CB Justin Coleman, a third-year UDFA who stands 5’11/185 to Fitzgerald’s 6’3/220. Fitzgerald remains a risky WR3 with lowered touchdown probability due to the quarterback downgrade. … John Brown emerged from Arizona’s Week 8 bye leading the perimeter receiver group in snap rate (60%) with Jaron Brown (52%) behind him and Nelson (35%) third. Every downfield throw career 52.6% passer Stanton puts up is basically a prayer, and so are the Browns and Nelson as fantasy options at this point.

Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 13

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