Cowboys vs. Cardinals Fantasy Football Preview: Santa, Was I Bad This Year?
Merry Christmas everyone. As a present, the NFL presents Jon Kitna vs. John Skelton! Who could ask for anything more!?
This is definitely the equivalent of coal in the stocking.
Thankfully, Christmas Day is normally the "coming out" day for the NBA, so nobody is expecting a top-notch game. Still, Roger Goodell had to be hoping for something better under his tree.
For many leagues, we've entered the championship week, and for other leagues, it is the semifinals, so times are tense and there is no room for error. Thankfully, or at least hopefully, you aren't depending too much on the players in this game.
Let's start with Arizona...basically nobody is a starter. The revolving door that is the QB situation in Arizona has completely destroyed all value for Larry Fitzgerald (while children around the world go to sleep dreaming about Santa, I'm sure he dreams about the good old days of Kurt Warner, and to a lesser extent, Matt Leinart).
Larry Fitzgerald might be the most talented receiver in the league and against a terrible Dallas passing defense, he might be worth a gamble. After a huge Week 14, it looked like Tim Hightower might crack into that semi-starter/flex-player option, but he humiliated himself against a weak Carolina Panthers team, so unless you are desperate, he's out.
You can't trust anyone on the Cardinals; if you have Larry Fitzgerald you might feel obligated to start him against the team that gives up the most points to opposing wide receivers. The Cowboys' 31st-ranked defense against QBs brought "Sexy Rexy" Grossman back from the dead, but I'm not sure Skelton has the ability to take advantage of this juicy matchup.
This Dallas team is trying to finish strong during a complete train wreck of a season. They started with Super Bowl hopes, and now they are jockeying for draft position and trying out a new coach. The silver lining: the always-smug Jerry Jones doesn't get his "home" Super Bowl game.
Jon Kitna has been a revelation this year. Despite a late start to the season, he sits as the 22nd-ranked QB and could finish the season in the top 15.
The Cardinals are surprisingly good against opposing QBs as they rank No. 8, but part of that can be attributed to large, early leads built by the opposition, who then turn to the run game. The numbers bear this out, as they are No. 31 against the run.
Felix Jones has been surprising consistent since Week 10—receiving enough carries each week to make him a worthy flex option. The problem with the Cowboys though is that Marion Barber and Tashard Choice will also get touches. The Cowboys as a team will probably put up gaudy rushing numbers, but whether or not that will translate into a good fantasy day for any single RB is a pure gamble.
Despite huge expectations and lofty draft status, Miles Austin has been more Grinch than Santa, especially after Jon Kitna burst on the scene and decided that Dez Bryant was the better receiver. Well, Dez is gone, and we are waiting for Miles to take advantage as he sits as the 15th-ranked WR. He hasn't had more than nine points in three weeks and hasn't eclipsed four catches in nine of the last 10 weeks—those are not No. 1 receiver stats. Still Miles is tough to sit because he can find the end zone at any time.
In a terrible year for tight ends, Jason Witten is a must-start (he's No. 2 in points for TEs for the season) and the Arizona defense is not going to do anything to scare you away.
At the end of the day, Dallas has more talent and more fantasy stars, but let's hope you get something nice under the tree, because this game won't be much of a present. Merry Christmas everyone!
Written by Chris Summers exclusively for thefantasyfix.com.
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