Fantasy Football Week 5 Preview: Cardinals at Rams

Contributed by: Jason Stolberg
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2012 12:51 AM

Arizona:  We’re a quarter of the way through the season, fully into October now, and the Cardinals still haven’t lost a game.  If you called that one, you should probably stop playing fantasy football and start writing a new Mayan calendar, stat. 

Now the Cardinals go on the road to face their second NFC West rival after squeaking past the Seahawks in Week 1.  The Rams are no slouches either; they nearly beat the Lions in Week 1, they defeated a Robert Griffin III-led Redskins team, and beat a solid Seahawks defense.  After the Cardinals got everything they could handle from the Dolphins in an OT victory, and facing a road game on a short week, the Cardinals days as an undefeated team might not go much further into October.

With two tough defensive squads, is there any fantasy goodness to be had?  Well, the Rams have allowed elite WR1s to have good games; Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall did just fine against them, so no reason to think Larry Fitzgerald won’t be fine here.  Andre Roberts is also coming on as a WR2, and he should also have decent enough numbers to consider playing here.

The Rams have proven to be weak against the run, as they were rolled by both Marshawn Lynch and backup Robert Turbin last week.  The Cardinals though have an offensive line that rates much worse than the Seahawks in run blocking though, so I still wouldn’t give a start to Ryan Williams until we see him actually do something under live fire.

Good Start: WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Andre Roberts

Middle of the Road:  QB Kevin Kolb

Bad Start:  RB Ryan Williams


St. Louis:  The Rams come off an impressive victory over the Seahawks in Week 4, which saw them score on a fake field goal, and let kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein kick from distances that amounted to Canada and still knock it right between the uprights every time.  The Rams pulled out all the stops to beat a solid Seahawks team, so do they have anything left on a short week and facing off against one of the best teams in the league through the first month of the season?

If the Rams are going to get anything going, they’re going to have to go the route the Dolphins did, and that’s taking to the air to compete with the Cardinals.  Ryan Tannehill tossed over 400 yards passing, and Sam Bradford does have the capability to do the same.  In fact, Bradford might have a better Wes Welker impersonator in Danny Amendola than Tannehill has with Brian Hartline, and we all know what Hartline did to the Cardinals' secondary.

The problem with the Rams is starting stud RB Steven Jackson is hobbled with a groin injury, and he’s still gritting through the pain and playing.  This ends up depressing his numbers, and making it so that neither he nor backup Daryl Richardson has any value.  Since this is a short week though, Jackson may not be able to make the start; if that happens, Richardson becomes a solid alternative.

Normally we don’t mention kickers here, but Greg Zuerlein is just too good not to mention.  This guy is an automatic start every week, and he’s not only the number one kicker in fantasy, but he’s outscoring guys like Calvin Johnson.  So, let’s give a salute here, at least for one week.

Good Start: K Greg Zuerlein, WR Danny Amendola

Middle of the Road:  QB Sam Bradford, RB Steven Jackson (if he plays), RB Daryl Richardson (if Jackson doesn’t play)

Bad Start:  WR Brandon Gibson, TE Lance Kendricks 

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