Last updated: November 27th at 9:15am ET
Team Totals: Rams 25, Cardinals 22
If any matchup were to springboard the Rams back into offensive success – their point totals are 12, 17, and 6 since Los Angeles’ Week 9 bye, and Jared Goff hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 8 – this is the one. Allowing the NFL’s third-most points per game (28.8), Arizona has been drilled for top-ten fantasy quarterback outcomes in 9-of-11 games, including to Andy Dalton, Kyle Allen, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, and Jimmy Garoppolo (twice). Goff is a leap-of-faith play on the road without a start-worthy fantasy score in over a month, but Sunday’s matchup gives him some DFS-tournament appeal. … Although he emerged with nearly nothing to show for it, Todd Gurley logged his highest snap rate of 2019 (96%) in last week’s blowout loss to Baltimore and has been above 70% in all three games since Los Angeles’ bye. Gurley has still finished below 100 total yards in 9-of-11 games as a touchdown-or-bust RB2 option. Sunday’s matchup remains favorable; backfields facing the Cards have averaged 147 yards from scrimmage and the NFL’s sixth-most catches per game (6.1). Unfortunately, Gurley has amassed just seven receptions for 46 yards over the last five games in a sad Rams offense.
Goff’s Week 12 target distribution: Cooper Kupp 10; Robert Woods 9; Tyler Higbee 6; Brandin Cooks 4; Gurley 3; Gerald Everett and Josh Reynolds 2. … Defenses clearly keying on him and preventing run-after-catch chances, Kupp has 53 yards or fewer in five of his last six games. Yet you couldn’t dream up a better bounce-back spot; the interior of Arizona’s secondary has been lit on absolute fire by permitting 1,050 yards and 11 touchdowns on 102 slot targets (10.3 YPA!). Kupp is a strong fade-recency-bias DFS-tournament play. … Woods can also get in on the action as a 37% slot player. With 80-plus yards in three of his last four games, Woods is a shout-it-loud positive-TD-regression candidate without a single end-zone receiving trip all year. The Cardinals happen to have allowed a league-high 29 passing touchdowns. … The Rams deployed a four-man WRBC in Cooks’ Week 12 return with Kupp running a team-high 39 routes, Woods and Cooks (29) tied for second, and Reynolds (20) staying involved. A vertical receiver in an offense that struggles to go vertical due to shoddy pass protection and Goff’s overreactive impulses under duress, Cooks has devolved into a boom-bust WR3 option. He’s reached 75 receiving yards once in his last 14 regular season games. Cooks is also the Rams’ likeliest receiver to command Patrick Peterson’s shadow coverage. … Higbee will offer matchup-based streamer appeal if Everett (ankle, knee) sits against the Cardinals, which he seems likely to do. Arizona has allowed the NFL’s most fantasy points to tight ends by a wide margin, while Higbee drew six targets with Everett hobbled last week.
On a short week following Monday night’s bout with Baltimore, this is a dangerous spot for the Rams on the road facing a frisky Cardinals team coming off its bye. Kliff Kingsbury’s squad has scored 25 or more points in six of its last seven games, while Kyler Murray has logged top-seven fantasy scores in five of his last seven and shown a big-sample high floor with top-15 marks in 8-of-11 starts. Taking the Rams’ D/ST out of Week 13 play, Murray has incredibly committed just one turnover since Week 4. His supporting cast at near-full strength following Arizona’s open date, Murray warrants DFS-tournament consideration and is a top-12 QB1 play in season-long leagues. … The Cardinals’ running back corps offers much less clarity with Chase Edmonds (hamstring) due back, David Johnson healthier following the week off, and Kenyan Drake having made a legitimate case to keep playing ahead of both. The Rams have stonewalled enemy backs for 3.76 yards per carry and the NFL’s eighth-fewest receiving yards per game (35.0). In a tough draw with a three-way RBBC possible, Drake is Arizona’s lone back I’d be willing to flex against L.A.
Murray’s Week 11 target distribution: Christian Kirk 9; Drake 7; Larry Fitzgerald 5; Andy Isabella and Pharoh Cooper 4; KeeSean Johnson 2; Charles Clay and Darrell Daniels 1. … Averaging 8.8 targets over his last four games, Kirk is Arizona’s only pass catcher we can play with true confidence against the Rams. Now a full-time outside receiver, Kirk does face some risk of being shadowed by Jalen Ramsey, although Fitzgerald is also in play for such treatment since Ramsey has shuttled into the slot at times for Los Angeles. Kirk is a boom-bust WR2. … Fitzgerald is a PPR-specific WR3/flex option who’s exhibited minimal upside with 71 yards or fewer in nine straight games and been overtaken by Kirk as Arizona’s clear-cut No. 1 wideout. … Isabella deserves a full-time perimeter receiver role averaging an otherworldly 18.0 yards per target, but he hasn’t gotten it yet. He’s yet to play 40% of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps in a 2019 game. Isabella’s game is built on big plays, while the Rams have permitted the NFL’s third-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (23). With Fitzgerald and Cooper inside, Isabella is competing with Johnson, Damiere Byrd, and Trent Sherfield for outside receiver snaps across from Kirk.
Score Prediction: Cardinals 24, Rams 23