Welcome to Week 8 of the NFL schedule. SB Nation Arizona is your source for all Arizona-related fantasy football analysis. Need some last minute predictions, help setting lineups, or info on who to sit and who to start? We're here for you. This week we take a look at Max Hall, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Beanie Wells, Tim Hightower, Josh Freeman, and LeGarrette Blount.
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I find myself uncertain how to handle this situation.
At what point does a continuous string of letdowns and frustrations become a pattern? When can we throw in the towel, stop making excuses, and understand that things may be exactly how they appear?
I really don't know how to answer these questions.
All I know is that the whole Cardinals lineup has officially reached "unstartable" status. I'm not the only one; Bryan Gibberman echoed a similar sentiment Wednesday in his fantasy football round-up. It really is sad what we have come to. Even the Cleveland Browns have more viable options than the Cardinals. This offense used to be the stuff of legends in fantasy circles. Now even Larry Fitzgerald can't be trusted. Cross that off my list of things I thought I would never write.
Still, we here at SB Nation Arizona are here for you, dear reader. If you are either: A) a gigantic homer, B) a really really bad fantasy player, or C) in the deepest 20 team league in the history of the internets, no need to worry. Papa's got your back. How bout some predictions!
Max Hall: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Actually, no, not really. Something to the tune of 'oh, how the hype train has crashed and burned' is more appropriate. It was only a matter of time before the undrafted-rookie side of Max Hall exposed itself in all its unproven glory.
The Stormin' Mormon's first start away from the plushy confines of University of Phoenix Stadium proved to be, how do you say, unmemorable. The BYU-product came away the proud owner of a Rex Grossman-ian 13.5 quarterback rating.
Still, Whisenhunt seems determined to stick with the youngster. A return to comfortable surroundings, along with a middling Buccaneers' defense should at least provide some semblance of mediocre quarterback play.
Fantasy Prediction: 14-24, 178 yards, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Larry Fitzgerald: If you have Larry Fitzgerald on your fantasy team, you need to follow these directions.
Quickly, and I mean quickly, figure out who the stupidest, most oblivious, uninformed person in your league is. Offer him Fitz for some sort of package of second-tier players, and hope that he proudly accepts it solely on name recognition. If it works, congrats on the fleecing. If it doesn't, eh, maybe you're that guy and you just don't really know it.
Don't get me wrong, I love Fitzy. Guy's a freak of nature. But he is wasting away on a historically incompetent offense right now. Still, you never quite know in the fickle world of fantasy.
Fantasy Prediction: 5 receptions, 52 yards, 1 touchdown
Steve Breaston: Throughout last week Whisenhunt spoke of nothing but Steve Breaston finally coming back and rejoining the wide receiver corps. We heard all of it; how Breaston will help acclimate the rookie quarterback, how Stevie will space the field, and all the openings that he will create for Fitzgerald.
And what happens when the Cardinals finally take the field? Andre Roberts is starting. Huh? Apparently the wet conditions made Whisenhunt reconsider his sentiment, as Breaston sat out his third consecutive game.
This week promises to different, as Whiz has stated that there is positively no doubt that Steve will start the game. So come rain or shine, Breaston will at least give you something. How much that something will be still remains in question. Once again, it all depends on how Max Hall rebounds from his first appallingly poor performance. Don't expect a big outing from Breaston's first day back on the job.
Fantasy Prediction: 7 receptions, 61 yards, 0 touchdowns
For the second straight week he got a majority of the carries and posted a respectable 3.9 yards per carry. Plus he captured the rarest of all desert species, an offensive touchdown.
Whisenhunt has been committing to the run game more and more as the quarterback situation worsens. Sunday should be no different.
Fantasy Prediction: 17 carries, 68 yards, 3 receptions, 14 yards, 1 touchdown
Tim Hightower: Poor Timmy. For everything the man does so right, one monster always rears its ugly head, seemingly just to spite him. Hightower's fumble issues again bubbled up last Sunday, and, like always, it came at the worst possible situation.
With the Cardinals down 3-0 in the second quarter, the offense was actually functioning, working on a 5 play, 57 yard drive. Then it all came crashing down, as the ball was ripped from Hightower and recovered by the Seahawks. At that point Tim had 6 rushes for 59 yards. Excellent numbers. He ended up with... 6 rushes for 59 yards.
Point is, Whisenhunt has made it clear that he won't tolerate this problem any longer. Throughout the week he spoke quite frequently about Hightower's need to fix this hole in his game, and fix it fast. The bond between NFL coaches and running backs is all about trust. Whisenhunt is losing his trust in Tim.
Fantasy Prediction: 5 carries, 34 yards, 0 receptions, 0 touchdowns
And now some bonus forecasts, Tampa-style.
Josh Freeman: Freeman has scored over ten fantasy points in five out of his six weeks of action. In four of six weeks he has scored over sixteen fantasy points. Point is, Freeman is quickly establishing himself within the fantasy community. While he has not yet reached the rank of an every week starter, the Kansas State alum certainly provides a level of consistency that the Cardinals have yet to personally see all year.
The youngster's accuracy is the big discussion right now. Freeman has thrown the least interceptions out of any signal caller in the NFL with at least a hundred passing attempts. Also, he has yet to have a multi-interception game this season. The Cardinals are going to have to work for every turnover they get on Sunday.
As the season has progressed, head coach Raheem Morris has slowly trusted the second-year quarterback more and more. The past two games have seen Freeman throw the ball over forty times each. As it stands, this game looks like it has the makings of a nail-biter. The Bucs will be in it in the fourth quarter, and Josh will be slinging it until the final whistle is blown.
Fantasy Prediction: 21-39, 265 yards, 1 interception, 2 touchdowns
LeGarrette Blount: Last week may have served as a precursor to Blount's coming-out party. After rushing for 72 yards on 11 carries, Blount became a hot waiver-wire pick-up as it seems that Oregon-product may have usurped Cadillac Williams' job. Raheem Morris has spoken glowingly about the rookie the whole week, and though he has not publicly named him as the starter, the general feeling is that LeGarrette will be receiving the majority of the carries in Arizona.
His match-up looks quite favorable this week, as Blount will face a Cardinals defense that has been gashed by the likes of Mike Tolbert and Jason Snelling. If Blount is still available in your league, go out and grab him. A career day on Sunday would not surprise anyone.
Fantasy Prediction: 14 carries, 89 yards, 0 receptions, 1 touchdown
Note: All point totals are based off of YahooSports.com's default fantasy scoring system.