October 21, 2022, 12:58 pm
Saints 34, Cardinals 42 (Cardinals covered -1, O44.5)
Pregame: The Week 7 Thursday Night Football game features a pair of teams desperately in need of a won, capable offenses and vulnerable defenses. The Cardinals were unable to muster anything against one of the worst defenses in the league during their Week 6 matchup against Seattle, so they will be looking to make up for that with their revamped WR core. One the other side of the ball, the Saints are coming off a heartbreaker against the Bengals. The Saints also have some turmoil in the receiving room, with their three top options missing last week’s game. Injuries on both sides of the ball at the skill positions will substantially dictate how this game will play out, with the losing team very much sealing their playoff demise when they fall to 2-5 on the season. The winning team will sneak back into the hunt at 3-4, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
Postgame: Somehow in a game that combined for 76 points, neither team’s offense looked overly impressive. A pair of pick-sixes before half by Andy Dalton on back-to-back drives really cemented the path for how this game played out. Those gifts, along with a pair of scoring drives, allowed the Cards to score an absurd 25 points in the second quarter alone. The Cardinals offensive line gave Kyler Murray no time to pass, so he continuously forced passes to DeAndre Hopkins or else he was scrambling for his life. On the other side of the ball, the Saints offense was missing both Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas, so it was the Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara show. It was the first time in well over a decade that the Cardinals put up over 40 points in a victory, which came at a very crucial part of the season. The victory put them in the division-title hunt, as all teams in the NFC West currently have three wins.
Pregame: The expectation is for Jameis Winston to be named the starter for the Thursday night game, especially considering that he was dressed for their Week 6 matchup against the Bengals. The Saints have been nurturing his injuries in order to preserve him for the long season, but if Saints are going to want to make a run to the playoffs, they will need to string together some wins when he returns. Andy Dalton has played fine during Winston’s three-game absence, only throwing one interception during that span and keeping the Saints competitive in all three contests. Whichever QB is eventually named the starter, they both have streaming upside against one of the NFL’s worst defenses.
Postgame: On Tuesday, Winston was trending towards being the starter, but once again it was Dalton leading the charge. Dalton looked substantially better in the second half than the first, where he threw all three of his interceptions, with two being returned for touchdowns. He completed 30-of-47 passes for 361 yards and four touchdowns. Outside of the three picks, this was a very nice line for the veteran QB. The Saints must be very concerned about Winston’s injury or think that they have a better chance to win with Dalton because Winston was dressed again and watching for the sidelines. Neither QB should be owned in redraft leagues for the foreseeable future, as they do not offer consistent quality games for fantasy GMs.
Pregame: Alvin Kamara has been carrying the Saints on offense while they are without Winston and their stud receivers. He has been given 25 and 29 touches over the past two games and should be in line for another massive workload against the Cardinals. Over those two games, Kamara is the RB6 in PPR formats and he should have no concerns producing similar numbers against the vulnerable Cards defense.
Postgame: Kamara was never really able to get much going on the ground as the Saints were in catchup mode for the vast majority of the game. He rushed the ball 11 times for 49 yards, adding seven catches on nine targets for 56 yards. His nine targets were second to Olave’s 14. Kamara continues to be a beast for his fantasy GMs in PPR leagues and is a must-start in all formats. Both QBs like to check the ball down and with the Saints defense being soft, Kamara will feast in the passing game all season with their offense always playing from behind.
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