ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Derek Anderson #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Welcome to Week 11 of the NFL schedule. SB Nation Arizona is your source for all Arizona Cardinals-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 Derek Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower, and Beanie Wells. We'll also focus on a couple of the Kansas City Chiefs' primary playmakers, the explosive Jamaal Charles and a newly-revitalized Dwayne Bowe.
Derek Anderson: Anderson continued his slow march to fantasy relevance last week, finishing up with his third straight game of halfway decent numbers. D.A. has improved each week in the streak, climbing from 11.36 points, to 12.76, before reaching a season high 15.88 against Seattle.
The progress can largely be attributed to the fact that, for the first time this season, the immensely talented Arizona receiver corps is relatively healthy. Though, it certainly doesn't hurt that the Red Birds are consistently playing from behind.
While his run of performances may not have resulted in any help for the reality-based Cardinals team, if the trend continues, it could be possible that Anderson becomes a somewhat reliable fantasy starter in Whisenhunt's pass-happy offense. Still, wait to see this week's results before you even think about starting Derek.
Fantasy Prediction: 20-37, 254 yards, two interceptions, one touchdown
Larry Fitzgerald: Similar to Anderson, Fitzgerald sustained his recent streak of success last Sunday, amassing seven catches for 91 yards. As the Cardinals passing game proves to be capable in spurts, Fitz continues to be one of the primary beneficiaries.
Regardless of his (in)accuracy, D.A. always seems to look to Larry first and last weekend was no exception. The Pro-Bowl wide receiver was targeted an outstanding 15 times, pushing his total to the year to 101 targets -- third in the entire NFL.
Still, catches notwithstanding, fantasy owners are starting to get frustrated with Fitz's lack of touchdowns. Thus far in the year, Larry's trips to the promised land have been few and far between. In spite of the numbers, though, you have to figure that such an outrageous talent is capable of going off any given week.
Fantasy Prediction: eight receptions, 102 yards, zero touchdowns
Steve Breaston: Steve Breaston again showcased his potential as a big-play threat, accumulating 98 yards on only four catches against Seattle. Currently, his 15.7 yards per reception leads all Cardinals receivers. Even more impressive, the Michigan alum is already halfway to a thousand-yard season despite missing three games and only catching 29 balls.
Regardless, Breaston still sits in the same creaky boat as Fitzgerald. Derek Anderson is both a blessing and a curse to the young receiver. His inaccuracies destroy countless opportunities for fantasy points -- as Breaston having 10 targets but only four catches last week shows -- but D.A.'s tremendous arm strength allows him to make the big-play throws that the Cardinals' receivers thrive on.
Breaston will get his looks on Sunday. The question will be whether or not they are catchable. Kansas City's secondary is young and athletic -- exactly the kind that is able to feast on errant throws.
Though his lack of touchdowns is slightly disturbing, it's still always boom-or-bust with Breaston. If the Chiefs can limit Steve's big-play opportunities, he may see a slow day coming his way on Sunday.
Fantasy Prediction: four receptions, 53 yards, zero touchdowns
Beanie Wells: After sitting out a second week in a row against Seattle, Wells said that he finally feels the best he has all season. Still, only time will time whether the extended rest will help the fragile running back return to his bruising form.
What is certain at this point is that Wells will be re-acclimated into the Cardinal offense on Sunday. Straight from the horse's mouth, Ken Whisenhunt said that he didn't foresee any problems playing Wells against the Chiefs. So good news for those of you out there that spent a high draft pick on the former-Buckeye, only to grow increasingly frustrated as he rots on your bench.
Still, the Kansas City front-seven have been played relatively well against the run -- currently ranking in the top half of the league in rushing defense. It is likely that Beanie with only see 8-15 carries, so it would be wise to not expect too much from the running back in his first game back.
Fantasy Prediction: 13 carries, 44 yards, zero receptions, zero touchdowns
Tim Hightower: With the entire running back corps stuck in the doctor's office, Hightower again carried most of the load against the Seahawks. In a bizarre twist, the third-year back followed up a 13 rush, 39 yard game with ... a 13 rush, 39 yard game. Strange.
Nonetheless, fantasy owners that showed faith in the young Cardinal were somewhat rewarded, as Timothy swiped a short touchdown and 23 receiving yards to boot.
However, this week is probably where his short-lived relevance ends. With Beanie Wells reinserted back into the offense, Hightower's touches figure to drop dramatically. In the five games this season that Wells was healthy, Tim's carries plummeted from 12.5 per game to 5.8 per game. The chance that he may poach another touchdown always exists, but unless you are relying on that (which you shouldn't), it's probably not a good idea for Hightower to sniff your starting lineup.
Fantasy Prediction: 8 carries, 34 yards, 3 receptions, 13 yards, one touchdown
And now we travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take a look at a pair of the dangerous offensive weapons at the Kansas City Chiefs' disposal.
Jamaal Charles: I would imagine that fantasy owners hate Todd Haley with a raging passion. Despite Jamaal Charles' apparent ability -- he is, without question, one of the most explosive running backs in the league, just take a gander at his incredible 6.0 yards a carry -- Haley and the Chiefs refuse to give the youngster the same amount of looks as veteran Thomas Jones.
After exploding through the second half of last year, fantasy owners had enormous expectations for Charles coming into his third year in the pros. One of the premier home run-threats in the NFL, his performance has not disappointed. However, the stubbornness of his situation has simply not allowed for the kind of numbers that he was projected to produce.
Regardless, the Cardinals simply cannot stop the run. They have won many a game for fantasy owners playing the tried-and-true method of starting the Arizona opponent. Even with a meager amount of carries, Charles may be in line for a huge day. Start him without any hesitation.
Fantasy Prediction: 16 carries, 124 yards, four receptions, 43 yards, one touchdown
Dwayne Bowe: Left for dead after an extremely disappointing 2009 campaign, Bowe has enjoyed an unbelievable renaissance in recent weeks. The 2007 first-round pick out of LSU has nabbed an incredible eight touchdowns in his last five contests.
This is made all the more implausible when you consider how mired in doubt his career once was. With constant public shots decrying his lazy work ethic, and a four-game suspension handed to him last year for testing positive for a banned substance, Bowe's status was facing enormous uncertainties coming into the 2010 season. However, Dwayne has proven the naysayers wrong, quickly become one of the leading receivers throughout all of fantasy football.
With the Cardinals porous secondary giving out 20-point days like they were Halloween candy, Bowe figures to continue his torrid fantasy assault with yet another big day.
Fantasy Prediction: seven receptions, 112 yards, one touchdown
Note: All point totals are based off of YahooSports.com's default fantasy scoring system.