Cardinals-Rams kicks off Week 15: TNF fantasy preview

Disclaimer: This Thursday Night Football fantasy preview is brought to you by the word "desperate" so please, proceed with caution.

If you're reading this it means a couple of things. First of all, you're still alive in your fantasy league in Week 15 which is a feat it its own right. And second, if you're starting some of the players in the Thursday Night Football game between the Cardinals and Rams, you either play in an extremely deep league or your roster has been decimated by injuries and you're in need of some help from some of these lesser-owned guys. Really only two of the players below were drafted with somewhat high expectations back in August in standard leagues, and the others are waiver-wire pickups who have produced at some point this year. So bear with me because this game doesn't exactly project fantasy potential.

And hey, if you're out of your fantasy league's playoffs, I know, it's depressing but you can't win them all. You can still try your hand at our TNF Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win a trip to a Thursday Night Football game next season. So who are you picking: Drew Stanton or Shaun Hill? Kerwynn Williams or Tre Mason? Get to it!

Cardinals:

**[Drew Stanton](/player/drewstanton/2495748/profile), QB** 

It's tough to advocate for Stanton in fantasy unless you play in a two-quarterback league. In the four games that he has started since Carson Palmer went out with a knee injury, Stanton has thrown four touchdown passes, five interceptions and has averaged just 12.96 fantasy points per game. The Rams have allowed just 11.44 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the last month so the matchup isn't favorable either. If Stanton can post 250 yards and a touchdown, consider it a win.

**[Kerwynn Williams](/player/kerwynnwilliams/2539980/profile), RB** 

Williams introduced himself to the NFL in Week 14 with the first 100-yard rushing performance for the Cardinals since last season. It seems like he's earned a prominent spot as the lead back in somewhat of a committee for Arizona and will be an intriguing option at running back down the stretch with Andre Ellington done for the season. Just tread lightly as Williams faces a Rams defensive unit that has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, and keep in mind he only played on 36 percent of Arizona's offensive snaps last week in a timeshare with Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice.

**[Larry Fitzgerald](/player/larryfitzgerald/2506106/profile), WR** 

In his first game back after suffering an MCL sprain, Fitzgerald was targeted a team-high nine times in Week 14 but caught just four passes for 34 yards. The nine targets are nice but his season-long inconsistency makes him hard to trust on Thursday night in what is a must win week in fantasy leagues.

**[Michael Floyd](/player/michaelfloyd/2532841/profile), WR** 

Floyd led the Cardinals passing game in Week 14 with 85 yards on four catches but didn't manage to score. He has just four touchdowns all season and has been just as inconsistent as the other Arizona receivers in terms of fantasy production. With Drew Stanton slinging the rock, it's tough to trust any of the Cardinals' pass-catchers on a weekly basis unless the matchup is oozing with goodness, and this one simply is not.

**[John Brown](/player/johnbrown/2543847/profile), WR** 

The rookie wideout has had flashes of greatness this season, but those flashes have been few and far between. He's got all the upside in the world as a dangerous deep threat but since Drew Stanton has taken over, Brown has been limited to just one double-digit fantasy game in the last month. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record but it's the truth, none of the Cardinals' receivers have been consistent enough this season to rely on in the fantasy playoffs.

**[Stepfan Taylor](/player/stepfantaylor/2539315/profile) and [Marion Grice](/player/mariongrice/2543690/profile), RBs** 

Bruce Arians said earlier this week that Stepfan Taylor would remain the Cardinals' "starting" running back despite Williams' success against Kansas City on Sunday. But it's hard to envision that lasting very long if Williams can keep making the most of his opportunities. It's going to continue to be a committee backfield and a "hot hand" approach. Taylor had just six rush attempts in Week 14 while Grice had three. Fantasy owners should only be considering Taylor in the most desparate of situations on Thursday. Grice is an afterthought.

Rams:

**[Shaun Hill](/player/shaunhill/2504833/profile), QB** 

Hill has been put up decent fantasy numbers in the last two weeks mainly due to extremely favorable matchups against Oakland and Washington. He's managed to win three of his last four games, has thrown just one interception in that span and managed to upset the Broncos in Week 11. Unfortunately there aren't any huge playmakers for Hill to feed off of as it seems like a different pass-catcher emerges each week. Last week it was tight end Jared Cook who led the way with two touchdowns and 61 yards. The Cardinals defense has been tough against quarterbacks this season but has softened up lately, allowing 20.29 fantasy points per game to the position in the last two weeks.

**[Tre Mason](/player/tremason/2543502/profile), RB** 

In the last four weeks, Mason has scored more fantasy points than players like DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte and has racked up 447 total yards and three total touchdowns helping his fantasy owners make a late-season push. He only managed 66 yards on 20 carries last week but he's solidified his role as the lead back in St. Louis. It will be tough sledding against an Arizona defense who has limited running backs to 13.88 fantasy points per game this season, but keep in mind that Jamaal Charles just posted two total touchdowns and over 100 total yards against them in Week 14. But he's Jamaal Charles, so there's that.

**[Jared Cook](/player/jaredcook/71265/profile), TE** 

While I want to advise you to not chase the fantasy points here following Cook's best fantasy day of the season with 61 yards and two touchdowns against Washington last week, it's hard to ignore the fact that Cook's only other touchdown of the season came against Arizona in Week 10. Plus, the Cardinals have allowed over 10 fantasy points to tight ends in the last month, so he could be an interesting matchup-based starter for those in desperate need.

**[Tavon Austin](/player/tavonaustin/2539336/profile), WR** 

Austin has scored offensive touchdowns in two of his last three games but still hasn't managed to break into double-digit fantasy points in a single game this season. He collected a season high 46 receiving yards last week against Washington and hasn't caught more than two receptions in seven of his last eight games. The volume simply isn't there to warrant a fantasy start on Thursday night.

**[Stedman Bailey](/player/stedmanbailey/2540157/profile), WR** 

Bailey, a second-year pro out of West Virginia has had a late-season surge with two double-digit fantasy games in his last three contests. He's not going to win you your Week 15 matchup and with Patrick Peterson lurking in Arizona's secondary, Baily might have a tough go on Thursday night. Still if you're in desperate need of wideout production Baily could be a sneaky play against the Cardinals.


Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @m_franciscovich. In case you weren't aware of some of the offseason MLB action, the Dodgers are offloading right now. Look into it.

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