J.J. Nelson is now a starting wide receiver in Arizona, supplanting Michael Floyd as the WR3. Floyd was originally expected to emerge as a reliable receiving threat this year for the Cardinals. However, Floyd has been injured and inconsistent throughout the entire season, leading to Nelson’s promotion. Starting alongside Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown, there are certainly other mouths to feed. However, Nelson’s distinguishing factor is his blazing speed. Running a 4.28 40-yard dash, he has the wheels to burn all secondaries in the NFL. Look for him to continue that success this week.
Consensus Ranking and Projected Stats
For week 10, Nelson is ranked as the 67th Flex PPR player overall, and the 38th wide receiver. His projections for the week:
Receiving: 3.0 catches, 43.2 yards, 0.3 TDs
Rushing: 0.3 carries, 1.7 yards, 0 TDs
Total Points: 9.1 PPR points
Current Week Match-up
This week, the Arizona Cardinals host the San Francisco 49ers. The total Vegas over/under is set at 48, a middling total on the week. San Francisco has an atrocious defense, ranking dead last in run defense and giving up the 6th most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. While David Johnson should have an absolute field day against San Francisco (read: 500 yards, 5 TDs, and an ascension to fantasy heaven), Arizona will still try to produce via their passing game. Carson Palmer has looked “off” recently, he righted the ship against Carolina last week. Look for Arizona to establish the run early and often, but have Palmer make some deep throws to keep the defense honest. This is where Nelson should shine, as he is the deep ball specialist and can get open on a flat “go” route.
Nelson’s target share has increased over the past two games, with 7 and 12 targets respectively. Coming off their bye week, Arizona should be rested and healthy to blow up the soft 49ers defense.
Comparable Flex Starters
I’ve analyzed some comparable flex starters, along with a brief description of why I like them more or less:
WR Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets. Projected PPR points – 10.6 points
The New York Jets have been struggling recently on the offensive side of the ball. Notably, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been wildly inconsistent this year. Enunwa has been a victim of the erratic play of Fitzpatrick. While Enunwa does have some good weeks, his scores have been long routes where he had to generate the yards after the catch. Against a strong LA Rams secondary, I don’t think Fitzpatrick breaks out of his funk this week. Enunwa can be viewed only as a boom/bust WR3 again the Rams.
Conclusion: Start Nelson over Enunwa
RB Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings. Projected PPR points – 8.5 points
Matt Asiata is a plodding back, who’s fantasy relevance relies solely on the fact that he’s the goal line back for the Vikings. The Vikings have moved to a very murky running back by committee, with Asiata sharing carries with McKinnon and now Ronnie Hillman. Despite him getting early down carries, Asiata has failed to turn any of those touches into meaningful fantasy stats. Owners starting him are praying for a short yardage TD, as he will not likely generate any significant yardage.
Conclusion: Start Nelson over Asiata
Record to Date:
Player Projections: 3 – 5, 1 N/A
Start/Sit Recommendations: 10 – 5, 3 N/A