The Arizona Cardinals‘ fantasy football preview looks at the value of Kyler Murray after making his season debut in Week 10, while the Houston Texans‘ fantasy outlook dives into what you should expect from their trio of receivers.
Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans
- Spread: Texans -4
- Total: 47.5
- Cardinals implied points: 21.8
- Texans implied points: 25.8
Kyler Murray: We got the whole Murray experience in his return to action, and frankly, I missed it. Some iffy moments with his arm, a chaotic scramble to save the game, a rushing TD vulture by Clayton Tune, and a big play late to set up the game-winning field goal.
Murray’s managers experienced every emotion last week, and that’s what I think we can expect moving forward.
This team lacks the supporting cast to make Murray a consistent fantasy option, but his athletic gifts are too much to ignore in what could easily be a back-and-forth game. I expect the passing game to improve exponentially as he works with the young talent. That could make him an interesting option in a key week in most fantasy leagues (Week 16 at Bears).
We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but for Week 11, Murray is my QB11, one spot behind the Rookie of the Year favorite that he will be sharing the field with on Sunday.
C.J. Stroud: The encore performance from his historic Week 9 against the Bucs was a ho-hum 356-yard outing without his WR1 against a good Bengals defense.
The game did feature a bad interception that served as a reminder that Stroud still has under 200 completions on his NFL résumé, but as long as those blips don’t turn into bad halves and games, fantasy managers should be all systems go!
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He’s making decisions with conviction and has the trust of the coaching staff behind him. Combine that with an underrated pass-catching corps and a run game that (before last week) struggled in a significant way, and Stroud checks almost every box you could ask him to.
There are a few tough tests left on his rookie exam (Jets in Week 14 and Browns in Week 16), but with the Titans twice over the final month of the season, Stroud might not only be the reason for your late-season surge to the playoffs, but he could also be the reason you win the whole thing!
James Conner: If you watched last week’s game, you know what I’m about to say. If not, feel free to be happy with what Conner gave you in his return to action.
With under a minute left, the Falcons (up by one point) were begging Conner to waltz into the end zone and give their offense the ball back with a chance to win. Conner, however. elected to pull up short.
It ended up being the right decision because Arizona converted the game-winning chip shot field goal, but I’m not so sure it was the right play — and not just because I have a few shares of Conner.
In a tie game, I’d 100% back the move. But in a trailing situation and turning down the opportunity to take the lead by more than a field goal with under a minute left and Desmond Ridder on the other sideline felt… well, it felt like playing with fire.
No harm, no foul in the end for the Cardinals, but that coin-flip decision ended up being a 6.3-point swing for Conner managers, which could loom large.
In any event, Conner held a decisive 41-14 snap edge over Keaontay Ingram in his return, an advantage I expect to grow with time. He didn’t see a single target last week, which is worth monitoring, but his bell-cow role lands him in starting lineups across the board.
Dameon Pierce: A bulky ankle cost Pierce a second straight game, and Devin Singletary went bonkers (161 yards and a touchdown on 31 touches). The Texans scored 69 points in those two Pierce DNPs, 17 more than they scored in their last three with him healthy.
I’m not saying those two things are correlated, but there’s no denying that more has been put on Stroud’s plate with Pierce banged up, and that he’s made the most of it.
If Pierce returns to action this week, I’d give him a slight edge over Singletary in carry count and a slight disadvantage in terms of routes. In that event, I’d have Singletary ranked higher by a few spots, but neither would crack my top 25 at the position.
Editor’s note: Pierce is OUT for Week 11.
Devin Singletary: One week after letting down the fantasy community, Singletary dominated the Bengals, likely turning this into a true committee when Pierce returns to action.
Should this be his backfield alone again this week, he’d elevate to a low-end RB2 against a below-average defense in both yards per carry and red-zone TD rate.
Marquise Brown: We spent all week talking ourselves into the Murray/Brown connection and … one catch on four targets for 28 yards.
Per the Week 11 Cheat Sheet, Hollywood hasn’t reached 50 yards in over a month, and while I still think there is potential here, I want to see more from Murray through the air (19/32 with zero TDs) before putting Brown into my starting lineup.
Brown sits just outside of my top 30 — give me the scoring savant that is Courtland Sutton or Tank Dell in this game over him.
Michael Wilson: The 6’2” rookie saw six targets in Murray’s debut and had a 15-yard touchdown called back (ruled down inches short after review), a reasonable showing for a player with upside in his profile.
In a perfect world, you’re not counting on any member of this passing game in a significant way. That said, I do think Wilson is worth stashing in deeper leagues. He posted a 91.7% route participation rate, and the Cardinals have the motivation to feed him opportunities in an otherwise lost season.
Wilson is more of an option in the DFS streets than anything as we come down the stretch. I don’t love him in this spot, but next week against a Rams defense that ranks bottom 10 in pressure rate and has the sixth-highest average depth of opponent throw? (Sorry not sorry about giving you an early DFS lean for Week 12.)
Editor’s note: Wilson is OUT for Week 11.
Rondale Moore: I’m slightly interested in Moore, having led the WR room in targets during Murray’s season debut, but those eight targets netted just 43 yards, and he wasn’t handed the ball for the first time since Week 4.
I understand wanting to have a cheap bet on Murray’s impact on this offense — I don’t understand doing it by way of Moore. He’s never going to be near my starting lineup, so why roster him?
Nico Collins: The presumed top receiver in Houston got a relatively small piece of the pie in Stroud’s explosion in Week 9 (three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown) and was then unable to play last week (calf).
While I believe Collins is the top threat in this burgeoning passing game when fully healthy, there is no denying the risk that he carries. True alpha pass catchers in pass-heavy offenses (think Stefon Diggs or Travis Kelce types) can produce strong fantasy numbers even when they don’t find the end zone.
That’s not in Collins’ profile right now — his fantasy point totals in his past four games without a score:
- Week 8 at CAR: 5.0 fantasy points (WR70)
- Week 6 vs. NO: 10.0 (WR32)
- Week 5 at ATL: 5.4 (WR52)
- Week 3 at JAX: 4.4 (WR75)
That sort of floor is scary, especially when building in health concerns after missing a game. I still have Collins ranked as a WR2 thanks to how this offense is functioning and a plus-matchup, but I can’t lie to you — there’s a wide range of outcomes to take into consideration.
Tank Dell: I’m very confident that Dell’s 32.5% target share from the past two weeks isn’t going to prove sticky (Robert Woods missed Week 9 and Collins last week), but his ability to earn targets is certainly ahead of where I thought we’d be at any point in his rookie season, let alone before Thanksgiving.
Dell has proven to be a legitimate deep threat (15.0 yards per catch this season, drew a 42-yard pass interference last week), and with Stroud’s aDOT up 42.5% over the past two weeks, that’s a skill set that will carry significant fantasy appeal.
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Keep an eye on the health of this pass-catcher room as a whole. If a receiver sits, Dell will move inside my top 30 at the position.
Right now, with that not expected to be the case, I have him outside of that tier, understanding that a dip in target share combined with a matchup against a defense that has allowed one completion of more than 31 yards over their past four games is a dangerous mix (below average opponent aDOT for the season).
Noah Brown: I understand that we’ve had a DJ Moore spurt, a historic run from A.J. Brown, and amazing consistency from Stefon Diggs/Amon-Ra St. Brown. However, I’d argue that all things considered, this two-game run from Brown — 13 catches on 14 targets for 325 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 9 and 10 — is as impressive as anything we’ve seen this season.
Maybe it’s his size compared to cornerbacks or possibly sharing a huddle with Dell, but whatever the case is, Brown (6’2”, 215 pounds) looks the part of a consistent fantasy option. Of course, before this run, he had eight catches for 114 yards in three games, so let’s not go overboard.
My concern for Brown is similar to what I voiced about Dell: What does his role look like when everyone is healthy?
That said, he did run seven more routes and earned five more targets than Woods last week, a sign that points to him as the team’s preferred option as the WR3.
He is worthy of a roster spot but proceed with caution in a week when many of the viable receivers are in action. Brown checks in outside of my top 35 at the position — ranking in the same tier as receivers like Gabe Davis and Zay Flowers who play for potent offenses but also carry a wide range of outcomes.
Editor’s note: Brown is OUT for Week 11.
Trey McBride: I don’t care who you are or what position you play, any three-week stretch where you are constantly on the field and being targeted on one of every three routes is a thing of beauty.
That’s what this super sophomore has pulled off, and it put a bow on the impressive run by setting up the game-winning field goal last week against the Falcons with a 33-yard grab (eight catches for 131 yards).
Arizona needs stability when it comes to pass catchers, and with Murray back under center, that role sees a massive uptick in fantasy potential.
For that keeping track at home, McBride, for this week at the very least, has moved out of the tight-end blob and onto the “I feel good about playing this guy” tier at the position. He certainly looks the part, and the Cardinals haven’t been shy about scheming things in his direction.
Dalton Schultz: I know Brown has been getting the love of late and that Dell looks like a real receiver, but Stroud’s growth has had the greatest fantasy impact on Schultz.
After opening the season with three straight finishes outside of the top 25 at the position, Schultz has finished five of his past six games inside the top 10. Let me say that again, five out of six are inside the top 10.
The list of TEs to do that isn’t a list. It’s a single name, and that name is Dalton Schultz. He has elevated into the second tier at the position, which locks him into lineups across all formats with confidence.
Should You Start Justin Fields or Kyler Murray?
For the rest of the season, I have Fields a spot higher than Murray. But for Week 11, I prefer the mobile QB who proved his health last week over the one set to come back from injury.
Murray flirted with 40 opportunities last weekend, and with Stroud likely to force Murray to be aggressive, that number might be higher this weekend. Both are fine plays that offer high-end upside, but I lean toward Murray this week.
Should You Start DJ Moore or Tank Dell?
The return of Fields is great news for Moore, but with him coming off of a thumb injury, I think it’s fair to be pessimistic about how effective he can be through the air.
Dell’s upside has shined through over the past month, and with Stroud unlikely to be under pressure this weekend, his primary deep threat should have plenty of time to open up throwing lanes down the field.
Moore holds a slight edge on the floor, but Dell’s upside advantage is more than enough to get him the start in this decision.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!