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2018 Handicapping Chat Week 7 (TNF): DEN at ARI (+2.5)

October 18, 2018 6:16 PM
October 18, 2018 6:45 PM

Savage: In case anyone thought they saw the worst offense in the league in last week's TNF game, we get this gem to show us what bad offenses really look like. There's some public love for Denver, who has been bet up to a 2.5 point favorite. Even with the line under 3, I think the points might really matter here... we could see something like a 17-16 final score. If you're looking for a reason to back the Cardinals, the Broncos run defense has been absolutely gashed the last 3 weeks (although two of those games were against the Rams and Chiefs). Is this the week David Johnson finally gets going?

Rabbitt: Better question... is this the week Vance gets fired?  The Cardinals are a bad football team.  When they absolutely smack Denver here, Elway will have to do something.

Katz: Back to back 200 yard rushers against Denver. If DJ can't crack 100 year, I give up. But either way, Arizona is winning this game. What exactly has Denver done to warrant being road favorites here?

Skol:  I’m going to start digging tonight but I’m guessing the line move is due to the Broncos playing the Rams close?  Arizona lost to the Bears and Seattle at home...neither of those losses are terrible and they were by 2 and 3 points.  I’m certainly thinking points and money line on the Cardinals here.  So hard to win on the road and even bad teams usually get 2-4 wins at home.  I’m with you guys on the Cards.

RC: I don't know how anyone could be on this game for real. Two weaker teams that are going to try to out-run/not make mistakes. As a fan of the tape, Denver has looked much better this season than Arizona has.

Internal's even considering ARI gets a 'home' bump.

My gut tells me DJ doesn't go off and runs into 10-man boxes with absolutely no change by McCoy...he then gets fired early season, for the second year in a row, and Arizona uses the 10 days off period to get the new O-C installed and the players up to speed. As much as I need DJ this week to take advantage...I need McCoy fired more big picture.

Rabbitt: Usually I bet the broncos because of my love for the broncos. Now I kind of want to bet against them as the more losses the quicker vance goes away...

Katz: I'm actually upset I can't include Arizona in my blazing five as they are my favorite bet of the week. But I'll also be watching with nervous apprehension when it comes to David Johnson. If he can't pop off a true RB1 performance tonight, it's never happening. Arizona has the better QB, the better RB, and, probably, the better defense. They're slightly worse at WR and both of these coaching staffs are horrendous. I just love taking home dogs in primetime.

Savage: Katz makes a solid point about Arizona likely having the better QB and defense, but I think their offense is so poorly coached that it doesn't matter. And I don't know if firing Mike McCoy will solve anything.  You think he's not using David Johnson in the passing game enough? Johnson's target share is just under 20%, right where it was in 2016. The real problem is that they went from one of the most pass-happy teams in the league under Arians to bottom 5 in the league in pass attempts. I suspect Steve Wilks, not McCoy, might be the one pushing this antiquated philosophy. McCoy has shown some willingness to throw the ball in his history as an OC or HC, we haven't seen him commit to the run like this since the Tebow days in Denver. Unless they fire McCoy and re-hire Arians as the OC, I don't see this changing until Wilks gets canned too.

I'm liking Denver more and more as this line moves back toward a pick. I think they deserve to be a 2.5 to 3 point favorite because they should at least be able to move the ball consistently. Their offense has quietly snuck into the top 10 in yards and yards per play - their issue is Keenum keeps turning it over. The run defense is a concern, but it should improve when they're able to stack the box against obvious run plays.

Then again, I don't think I've gotten a TNF pick right since week 1, so take this with a grain of salt.

Katz: The target share isn't the problem - it's what that share is of that's the problem. Arizona is on pace to finish bottom five all time in plays run over a full season. In addition, the plays to DJ, both runs and passes, are so poorly conceived. They just pound him up the middle against stack boxes or they throw it to him on flares or dump offs. None of the plays are designed to allow DJ to make something happen. That's on McCoy. They all need to go. But even so, the antiquated offense might actually work tonight against Denver.

Skol: I heard the Denver is planning to be aggressive tonight...load the box so it sounds like they either bottle the Cardinals up or give up big plays.  I took Kirk over 53.5 yards but have no idea about the game.  I guess I’ll take the home team and the team not coaches by Vance Joseph.

RC: I'm searching for a pregame report in the history of football that the defensive was planning to be passive for their upcoming game  :)

My fear on Kirk is -- if he's going to draw Harris. The Vikes didn't even pay Fitzgerald any Rhodes respect hardly last week. I remember Rhodes just staying on one side a lot and playing whatever came his way...they were so unconcerned about ARI's passing game. If Harris goes on Kirk, game over for Kirk...which means Vance will put Harris on Ricky Seals-Jones.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 


Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>