Thursday Night Football: Denver Broncos (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5)
What to Watch For:
This is the Thursday night games we’ve been accustomed to over the years. The battle between teams that had higher hopes heading into the season, before plummeting to the near cellars of their respective divisions. In Arizona, the future is here. This is Josh Rosen’s team now, and he has shown some flashes, but he’s not ready to take over the NFC West just yet.
On the other side, the Broncos solved their quarterback riddle by signing Case Keenum to a free agent deal in the offseason. The same Case Keenum that nearly took Minnesota to the Super Bowl a year ago, can’t seem to get out of his own way in Denver. With the surplus of talent around him (Demaryius Thomas & Emmanuel Sanders), they can’t seem to live up to the preseason hype.
This is going to be a battle between teams that will manage to make an explosive play or two on offense apiece, and then punt it back and forth. The epic “field position battle” type of game. What team makes the crucial turnover near their own endzone? This has Von Miller strip sack in the 4th quarter written all over it.
Prediction: Broncos win 23-17.
RB David Johnson
Overall Johnson has been underwhelming this season. I had very high hopes for him, personally, predicting him to be the comeback player of the year. He still has the opportunity but he’s not at that level yet. That’ll change, at least for the night. I can see Josh Rosen being under siege by this Denver front causing him to look for the checkdown option early and often. Enter David Johnson. He’ll amass his fantasy value tonight in the passing game, with 7+ catches and a score.
RB Phillip Lindsay
Lindsay has been the breakout star in this Denver backfield. A lot of preseason hype surrounding rookie Royce Freeman, but Lindsay has taken the reins as the most productive back thus far. Against a team that ranks last in the league allowing 29.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running back groups. Phillip Lindsay will be the back that benefits the most and will see the endzone tonight, perhaps twice.
WR Demaryius Thomas
Thomas is another player that has been a bit underwhelming so far this season. He has already been passed by Emmanuel Sanders as the clear-cut #1 receiving option in the offense. I see that continuing tonight. Arizona ranks 3rd in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers and he will likely spend most of the night lined up across from Patrick Peterson.Expect Denver to get most of their work done on the ground and find Sanders out of the slot for the majority of the night.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald hasn’t seemed to make any sort of connection with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. Either that, or Father Time is finally catching up to one of the most reliable pass catchers the game has ever seen. In three games together, they’ve completed just 10 passes on 16 target for 102 yards and no scores. The fact that Fitzgerald is the only legitimate receiving threat in the offense outside of David Johnson in the backfield could also be contributing to this. Either way, don’t expect much out of Larry Fitz tonight.