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FANTASY FOOTBALL: What’s in the Cards for Arizona’s offence?

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Even before his explosion last week, James Conner was looking like an excellent week-to-week fantasy option. Now, with Chase Edmonds sidelined for at least a month due to a knee injury, Conner could be a league-winner down the stretch.

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Conner leads the league in touchdowns and has six double-digit fantasy hauls this season. If he gets anything close to the workload he had last week after Edmonds went down, he’s a surefire RB1.

He’ll be backed up by Eno Benjamin, a seventh-round pick that has 11 carries this season and should be in for an expanded role.

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The Cardinals’ biggest concern right now isn’t the running game, though, it’s Kyler Murray’s ankle. The MVP candidate missed last week’s game against San Fran and Colt McCoy filled in just fine, but is reportedly making “crazy strides” in the positive direction despite missing practice this week.

Murray is likely to be a game-time decision again, so have a backup option, but bears watching leading up to kickoff.

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The Cards’ other star game-time decision last week, DeAndre Hopkins, is in the same boat as Murray. While missing practice this week due to a hamstring injury, he doesn’t necessarily need to take part to suit up on Sunday. With A.J. Green off the COVID list and playing this week, that at least should ease some pressure on Hopkins.

FREE-AGENT FRENZY

It’s not too often that you see two big-name free-agent signings mid-season, but that’s the case and they even came on the same day.

Cam Newton returns to the Panthers after being cut by the Pats before the season started and Odell Beckham Jr. joins the Rams after making a big enough nuisance of himself in Cleveland.

Newton might get in on a few packages this week, but look for him to start beginning next week. Quite frankly, the only player in fantasy that Newton benefits, is Newton. His best days as a passer are long behind him, as demonstrated last year in New England. While he offers value with his running and goal-line ability, his week-to-week ceiling is fairly low.

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OBJ goes from a situation where he was the top option in the passing game, but wasn’t getting a lot of quality targets, to a high-quality offence where he’s third in line for targets, at best. With Cooper Kupp (who is having literally one of the best WR seasons ever) and Robert Woods firmly established as the top two options in the passing game, Beckham targets are likely going to be those freed up by the release of DeSean Jackson, but also at the detriment of Van Jefferson Jr., who has 20 targets over the past three games.

The move will likely be a small boost to OBJ’s stock, his biggest value is in his name alone and should be nothing more than a WR3/FLEX option.

RUNNING BACK BEDLAM

If you’ve got a top running back in your lineup that doesn’t have some sort of injury designation, you’re beyond lucky this week. No fewer than five potential RB1s are questionable at best for this week’s slate of games.

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-After missing practice all week, the Saints made it official and ruled superstar running back Alvin Kamara out for Sunday’s game against the Titans. Mid-season addition Mark Ingram II will step in as the feature back and, while he’s not going to provide all the value Kamara does in the passing game, he should be a good startable option.

-A COVID-19 outbreak in Cleveland has decimated their RB corps, with top RB Nick Chubb ruled out for Sunday’s game. The only Browns RB currently cleared to be on the field against the Pats is D’Ernest Johnson, which should spell a massive workload in their run-heavy offence.

-Zack Moss has yet to clear concussion protocol and is questionable to face the Jets. While he did take part in practice on a limited basis, it means nothing unless he passes his test. Devin Singletary could be in for a massive role if Moss can’t play.

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-The Patriots have twice the concussion issues, with both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson in protocol. Brandon Bolden would likely be the lead back, but don’t sleep on J.J. Taylor while reports are that TE Jonnu Smith could even be used out of the backfield.

-Chris Carson has been designated to return from the IR, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play this week. The Seahawks RB is coming back from a neck injury and is a game-time decision, but they do have a wealth of options at the position.

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SIT/START

Start Matt Ryan, QB, ATL at DAL

The Cowboys have allowed the sixth-most points to opposing QBs and Ryan is coming off a 28-point outing.

Sit Mike White, QB, NYJ vs. BUF

Let’s not get too cute with this Jets folk hero. The Bills defence has allowed the fewest points to QBs.

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Start J.D. McKissic, RB, WAS vs. TB

Running against the Bucs is a fools’ errand, but passing to RBs against them can work well.

Sit Adrian Peterson, RB, TEN vs. NO

He got the volume in his Titans debut with 10 carries, but wasn’t as effective as their other two RBs.

Start Hunter Renfrow, WR, LV vs. KC

Has become the No. 1 WR for the Raiders with 14 catches over his past two games and a good matchup this week.

Sit Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN vs. PHI

In games without Jerry Jeudy, Sutton averaged 16.9 points, but with him in the lineup, he has 12.3 total points in three games.

Start Pat Freiermuth, TE, PIT vs. DET

Has three TDs over the past two weeks and has become a reliable target for Big Ben.

Sit Dalton Schultz, TE, DAL vs. ATL

With Michael Gallup returning from the IR without limits, he should eat into Schultz’s role and targets.

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STAT CORNER

In Week 9, three of the top 12 tight ends in terms fantasy points played for the Los Angeles Chargers. They were Stephen Anderson (11.9 points), Donald Parham Jr. (11.4) and Jared Cook (8.8), who is the most rostered of the trio.

ADD OF THE WEEK

Elijah Moore, WR, NYJ

Rookie produced a breakout game in prime time last week with a third-string QB under centre. He has 13 catches on 14 targets over the past two games, becoming a key part of the Jets passing game.

DROP OF THE WEEK

Kadarius Toney, WR, NYG

Giants rookie heads into the bye after a poor outing, getting just one target in Week 9. His target rate continually takes hits with the team getting healthier and also passing less.

WAIVER WIRE DEFENCE

Tennessee Titans DEF

Have put up 45 points over the past three weeks thanks to a defensive line that has been applying tons of pressure without blitzing and a matchup with the Trevor Siemian-led Saints should produce another decent haul.

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