Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals: Christmas Game Fantasy Analysis

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 24, 2010

Week 16 Match-up:  Dallas Cowboys (5-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-10)

Rankings based on top 25 QBs, 40 RBs, 60 WRs and 25 TEs

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Dallas Cowboys

(Cowboys Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Arizona Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 23rd - TDs Allowed T-8th

Arizona Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 30th – TDs Allowed T-29th


Dallas Offensive Cast


Jon Kitna (QB Week 16 Ranking: No. 8) 2010 Season: 197/298 – for 2,250 yards & 15 TDs

Kitna has been amazing in relief of Tony Romo, leading the Cowboys to a 4-2 record over the past six weeks while averaging 250.2 yards passing and putting up 11 TDs during that span.  Against the lowly Cardinals on Christmas Day, expect at least another 250-yard, two-TD effort.


Felix Jones (RB Week 16 Ranking: No. 27)

2010 Season: 158 carries for 642 yards & 1 TD || 46 receptions for 443 yards & 1 TD

Felix has been playing well lately and has a prime match-up with one of the worst rush Ds in the league this week, but due to his latest injury (bruised shin), there’s no guarantee he’ll get the majority of touches on Saturday…or even play at all for that matter!  If he makes a go of it, he has a chance to put up over 100 total yards in this one, but he still loses some value with Choice being the goal-line back.


Tashard Choice (RB Week 16 Ranking: No. 21)

2010 Season: 55 carries for 207 yards & 3 TDs || 14 receptions for 93 yards & 0 TDs

I have Choice ranked over Felix this week due to a couple of reasons.  First, being the goal-line back against a team giving up the fourth most rushing touchdowns gives him some nice value to begin with.  Second, with Felix being banged up yet again, Choice may actually get the majority of carries in this one.  If you’re looking for a big upside guy this week, Tashard fits the bill.


Marion Barber (RB Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 102 carries for 313 yards & 3 TDs || 11 receptions for 49 yards & 0 TDs

Barber is practicing this week, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be active on game day.  If Felix can’t suit up for this game, Barber will be active and has some decent value as the likely goal-line back over Choice.  Check the news coming out of the Cowboys camp to see what the situation is before Saturday.


Miles Austin (WR Week 16 Ranking: No. 23)

2010 Season: 61 receptions for 864 yards & 6 TDs

Austin scored a touchdown last week and has another nice, soft match-up again this Saturday.  At the very least, expect a bunch of targets in this one with the upside of coming through with high-end WR2 numbers.


Roy E. Williams (WR Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 36 receptions for 525 yards & 5 TDs

Roy will be touch-and-go again this week.  Even if he plays, you can’t expect much as the norm for this former first-round pick has become exactly that…not much.


Sam Hurd (WR Week 16 Ranking: No. 58)

2010 Season: 12 receptions for 103 yards & 0 TDs

Hurd looked decent as a starter last week hauling in four passes for 35 yards on six targets.  Against a low-end pass D in good weather, he might be able to pass as a flex this week.


Jason Witten (TE Week 16 Ranking: No. 1)

2010 Season: 82 receptions for 911 yards & 7 TDs

Believe it or not, Jason Witten has more touchdown catches in the last three weeks than he had in all of 2006 and 2009 combined!  He and Kitna are on a serious roll right now and it doesn’t look to stop against a Cardinals defense ranking in the bottom half of the league against tight ends.


Arizona Cardinals

(Cardinals Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Dallas Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 28th - TDs Allowed T-31st

Dallas Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 14th – TDs Allowed 17th


Arizona Offensive Cast


John Skelton (QB Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 35/76 – for 387 yards & 0 TDs

Skelton will get the start, but it has to be mentioned that Derek Anderson has been cleared to play again so at the first sign of real trouble, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was pulled.  Dallas’ pass D is awful, so if you play in a two-QB league and are desperate for a guy to plug in there, Skelton might be the only guy on the waiver wire worth taking a chance on.


Tim Hightower (RB Week 16 Ranking: No. 35)

2010 Season: 135 carries for 683 yards & 5 TDs || 18 receptions for 128 yards & 0 TDs

With this game possibly becoming a shootout, I’m not really expecting much from the Cards backfield in this one.  Hightower gets the nod over Wells not only because Beanie has sucked this year, but also because he’s the guy they use in passing situations.


Beanie Wells (RB Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 100 carries for 334 yards & 2 TDs || 4 receptions for 68 yards & 0 TDs

Beanie’s fumbling and pass protection problems have pushed him far enough behind Hightower at this point to not even consider him as an option.


Larry Fitzgerald (WR Week 16 Ranking: No. 12)

2010 Season: 78 receptions for 986 yards & 5 TDs

One thing’s for sure: Arizona is going to pass a lot in this game.  Because of this, one more thing is for sure: Fitz is going to see at least 10 targets, just as he has in eight of the last nine games (the one game he didn’t, he got nine targets).  Against Dallas’ sorry-ass excuse of a pass defense, ten-plus targets are enough for Ella Fitzgerald to put up some nice fantasy points, much less Larry.


Steve Breaston (WR Week 16 Ranking: No. 48)

2010 Season: 43 receptions for 692 yards & 1 TD

Breaston will have a shot to do some decent things in this one after being a pretty big disappointment so far this season.


Early Doucet (WR Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 26 receptions for 291 yards & 1 TD

Doucet has been placed on injured reserve, thus ending his 2010 season.  However, if you were counting on him for this game, you didn’t make the playoffs and so this news doesn’t really matter to anyway.


Ben Patrick (TE Week 16 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 15 receptions for 123 yards & 0 TDs

Seriously, I would love to meet this Ben Patrick guy if anyone knows who or where he is.




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