It's been a wacky Week 7 with a few unlikely stars (Kirk Cousins - 30.18 fantasy points, Nate Washington - 24.70 fantasy points) and some usual faces making hay (Todd Gurley - 28.30 fantasy points, Tom Brady - 29.70 fantasy points). But before we can close the book on Week 7, there is one more game to go. The Ravens face the Cardinals on Monday night. We let you know what to expect from every fantasy relevant player in our matchup preview below.
Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Flacco has been his typical erratic self in the regular season, with three 20-plus point outings mixed in with two single-digit performances (and one 17-pointer). While he's suffered from a lack of playmakers around him, he's also just made poor decisions (seven interceptions) and missed some throws. His job will be tough this weekend against a Cardinals defense that leads the league interceptions and interception percentage (per opponent pass attempt). The Cardinals should prey on Flacco this week, meaning you should look elsewhere for a fantasy signal-caller.
After a rough start to the season, Forsett has bounced-back with three straight double digit fantasy outings. He ran more effectively, but part of his recent surge was pure volume -- he touched the ball 76 times over the last three weeks, compared to 51 over the first three. However, his upside this year has been capped by his troubles getting into the end zone, as he has scored on just one percent of his carries (lowest in the league among backs with 50-plus attempts who have scored at least once). Forsett is on the RB3 radar this week, though, as the Cardinals have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per attempt to opposing rushers (0.694) and have conceded a meager 3.72 ypc average -- and that includes Toddy Gurley gashing them heavily a few weeks back.
Steve Smith never ceases to amaze us. He missed Week 5 with a bad back injury, only to return in Week 6 and post seven catches (on 10 targets) for 137 yards and a touchdown. We don't mind Smith as a WR3 or flex this week, but aside from Martavis Bryant, the Cardinals defense has done an pretty good job of shutting down opposing pass-catchers. Still, weren't never comfortable with
Aiken filled in nicely with Steve Smith out, but now that the wily old veteran is back, Aiken loses a little of his luster as a starting fantasy commodity. Given the number of wide receivers on bye weeks, though, Aiken could be a desperation WR3, as he's averaged eight targets per game over his last three.
Gillmore finally returned to the starting lineup last week after missing a handful of games with a calf injury, but he still didn't look 100 percent and split targets with Maxx Williams. Until we see Gillmore return to seeing a higher volume of looks in this offense (which might not be the case anymore), he'll be tough to trust in fantasy.
Palmer and Andy Dalton are the only quarterbacks with over 190 passing attempts to average 9 yards per attempt or more. The Cardinals passing offense has been one of the league's most explosive with Palmer under center, as Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown are the NFL's leading receiving duo through the first six weeks of the season. Palmer himslef has been efficient in fantasy scoring, too, averaging .601 fantasy points per pass attempt (sixth in the league). He also gets to face a Ravens defense that just allowed Josh McCown and Colin Kaepernick to post a combined 58.08 fantasy points against it. Palmer is one of the top QB options this week.
Despite Andre Ellington returning to health and David Johnson scoring touchdowns like it's his job (well, it kind of is, but you get our point), this backfield still belongs to Chris Johnson. CJ2K has owned over 60 percent of the touches the last two weeks, inlcuding 65 percent of the rushing attempts. He's the safest flex play as he'll be able to grind out yardage in between the 20s, though his upside is limited as he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3. The touchdown-upside play is the other Johnson, though his volume of touches is seriously disconcerting. Ellington isn't a startable asset until we see him more involved in the game plans than his current average of three touches per game since returning from injury.
Fitzgerald has been a model of consistency this season, with at least five catches and 50 receiving yards in every game. He's a must-start against the Ravens porous secondary.
While Fitzgerald has received all of the headlines this seaosn (justifiably so), Brown has quietly been putting together a breakout season. In fact, Brown leads the Cardinals in targets, red zone targets, catches and yards over the last three games. Like Fitzgerald, he's a must-start this weekend against the Ravens. And despite having a questionable tag heading into Monday with a hamstring injury, Brown is offically listed as active for the game, so you can start him with confidence.
The forgotten one in the Cardinals passing attack, Floyd has been getting back on track after a hand injury in August cost him basically the whole preseason and some early-season action. He only played on 40 percent of the team's snaps in the first three weeks, but over the last three has seen that number shoot up to 72 percent. Every Cardinals WR has a chance for a big day on Monday Night Football, giving Floyd some appeal as a WR3 or flex option in deeper leagues or for those in a bye week pinch.