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Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown: Week 5 Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Jets

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Tyron Woodley clapped back after free agent running back Le'Veon Bell slammed his boxing skills when calling on Jake Paul to make him his next opponent

The Cardinals have slipped to .500 after reeling of two straight wins to start the season. The Jets haven’t come close to victory yet this season and are trotting out a backup quarterback. Does New York stand any chance against Kyler Murray and company? For the 2020 NFL season, Matt Savoca will be providing his weekly NFL Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown column, going through every single game and offensive and defensive matchup, every week of the season. For your viewing convenience, we have broken up the matchups breakdown into several single columns, each one covering a single game. You can find links to every game right here. We have 12 games on tap for Week 5 NFL DFS and NFL Fantasy Football, so let’s dive in. The entire matchups article will be available in podcast form, every Friday afternoon on the Awesemo Podcast Network. Let’s get into the Cardinals – Jets NFL DFS picks for your NFL DFS lineups.

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Arizona Cardinals (26.25) at New York Jets (20.75)– 1:00 p.m. ET

Arizona Passing Game

It was an ugly Week 4 for the Cardinals. Traveling west-to-east for a 1:00 p.m. game as road favorites certainly put the pressure on the young team, but Kyler Murray and company came out flat offensively and couldn’t keep pace with the Panthers, who put up 31 on the struggling Cardinals defense en route to a Week 4 upset. Murray dropped back a season-low 36 times, a second straight week his dropback totals have dipped below 40. He’s well below league average in passes per game, hindering the upside of the receiving corp. Also hindering the receivers are their nagging injuries, beginning with DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was a game-time decision and ended up playing, but appeared to be far from 100% healthy. He ended with a season-low 41 yards receiving, but encouragingly, he saw his typical high usage. It was his fourth straight game with nine or more targets, leaving little doubt about Hopkins’ ridiculous weekly upside. We happened to witness a confluence of factors (injury, game script, etc.) occur in Week 4 that made Hopkins hit his floor. His probability of achieving a tournament-winning score, however, remains among the highest on the slate in Week 5, bum ankle and all. Hopkins is the highest-priced wide receiver this week for a reason.

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Christian Kirk, also dealing with injuries, returned for a rather unceremonious three receptions for 19 yards, but ended up finding the end zone, boosting his fantasy output. He’s a tough-to-trust option as the 41st-highest wide receiver on DraftKings, but the Jets secondary is by no means a force, ranking 28th in PFF’s coverage grade and in team expected points allowed per drive and 31st in points allowed per play. Larry Fitzgerald had another paltry three-target game, recording a second straight game with under five receiving yards and third game with five or fewer targets. He has no games above 50 yards and no touchdowns. Even so, it wouldn’t be the worst bet to decide this is the week Fitzgerald will get a score. His projection on Awesemo.com outpaces his salary rank this week, as he’s the 66th-highest wide receiver on the slate.

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Andy Isabella played roughly the same amount of snaps as he did a week ago. He’s now averaging 41% since Week 3, which corresponds roughly with Kirk’s 63% snap share in Week 4. Isabella ranks third on the squad in true weighted opportunity share, just outpacing running back Chase Edmonds (who had five receptions in Week 4) and tight end Dan Arnold. Both make intriguing tournament plays this weekend. The backup tight end duties will now belong to Jordan Thomas, as Darrell Daniels was placed on IR this week.

Arizona Rushing Game

The backfield still technically belongs to Kenyan Drake, but Drake is ceding plenty of valuable playing time to Chase Edmonds. The two were a mere 6% apart in opportunity share in Week 4 (with Edmonds being the only back to see targets). His 35 total yards in Week 4 was also depressingly low for fantasy gamers who rostered him. To make matters worse for Drake and those counting on consistent production from him, he exited Week 4 early with a chest injury. With the team saying he merely “got the wind knocked out of him” but also calling-up running back Jonathan Ward to their active roster from the practice squad on Wednesday, it’s possible this is a game where the Cardinals plan to either limit or even sit Drake. If the latter were the case, in a game environment that should be very conducive to running back fantasy points being scored, Edmonds could be the best play from this game. Assuming Drake plays, Edmonds is priced fairly as the 30th-highest-salary back on the slate.

New York Jets Passing Game

Though Sam Darnold returned to Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Broncos after exiting with an injured throwing shoulder, it appears that the Jets may be starting backup Joe Flacco in his stead, giving the third-year quarterback time to heal. Should he miss, it will mark the third season in a row where Darnold will be forced to miss time (foot sprain in 2018, mononucleosis in 2019). Whether it’s Darnold or Flacco Sunday, it shouldn’t change the outlook for a Jets offense that is devoid of explosive weaponry at the skill positions. The only glimmers of hope for New York are the hopeful Week 5 return of running back Le’Veon Bell, and the debut of rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims. The reinforcements are much needed, as last week’s wide receiver corps was led in terms of snaps by Chris Hogan as well as undrafted rookie and possible Madden create-a-player Jeff Smith. Jamison Crowder, who was questionable heading into the game, played the third-most snaps but went right back to receiving his typical target share. He’s now recorded 22%-plus share of targets in each of the games he’s played. The 2020 sample size is half of what most players have thus far, but Crowder currently ranks ninth in true weighted opportunity share (which takes sample size into account in its calculation). It’s a massive amount of volume on a terrible offense. If that’s your thing, Crowder’s price is right as the 20th-highest salary receiver on the main slate. Crowder shouldn’t spend too much time matched up on the Cardinals’ stud cornerback Patrick Peterson (though Peterson’s PFF grade is lacking this year), as Crowder lines up in the slot 80% of the time, whereas Peterson primarily plays outside, lining up inside only 15% of snaps this season.

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With Breshad Perriman still ailing (his status for Week 5 remains up in the air), Smith and Hogan combined for a large majority of the non-Crowder targets last week, earning 21% and 18%, respectively. They’ll both likely lose playing time and targets to Mims if he returns, but it’s hard to see any of the work being valuable regardless of their salaries. Braxton Berrios and Ryan Griffin get an inconsequential amount of this inconsequential offense. Even against a Cardinals secondary that grades out as the eighth worst defense in coverage this season, all Jets weapons remain the riskiest of plays, regardless of the signal-caller under center this Sunday.

Houston Rushing Game

The previously mentioned Bell is slated for a Week 5 return after spending the required three weeks on short-term IR with a hamstring injury. Assuming he’s close to full health, he should be in line to receive a large majority of backfield touches for New York on Sunday. He received 17% of opportunities in Week 1 but was injured in the first half. A top-10 utilization percentage isn’t out of the question. With Kalen Ballage cut and Frank Gore generating -3.4 expected points added per rush, the door is open for Bell to outpace his jarringly low (at least for a name like Bell) $5,100 salary on DraftKings this weekend. It’s still incredibly tough to bet on.

Prediction: Cardinals 23, Jets 13

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A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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