GLENDALE AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Runningback LaRod Stephens-Howling #36 of the Arizona Cardinals returns the opening kick-off for a 102 yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 26 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 24-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Your fantasy football tips for the Cardinals-Chargers game.
The Cardinals head to San Diego this week to take on the Chargers and your fantasy football strategy regarding this game is simple: don't play any Cardinals players and get as many Chargers players in your lineup as possible.
On the Cardinals offense, Chris "Beanie" Wells did show flashes next week, but the Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 2.6 YPC, Justin Forsett to 3.7 YPC, and Thomas Jones to 3.5 YPC. The only RB to have success against SD was Jamal Charles, who had 12 carries for 91 yards and 53-yard touchdown run.
I don't like Tim Hightower or "Beanie" this week against the Chargers. I think the Cardinals are going to fall behind early and we are going to see a lot of Derek Anderson winging the ball around the field.
This brings up an interesting option. The Chargers' biggest struggle this season has been special teams. Last week, they gave up two kick-off return TDs to Leon Washington and, in Week 1, a punt return TD to Dexter McCluster. With the amount of points I'm expecting the Chargers to score against a below average Cardinals defense, LaRod Stephens-Howling is going to get a ton of kick-off return opportunities. If you're in a deep 12 team league with a couple guys on byes, LSH isn't a terrible play in a league where you get points for KO return yards.
It's also possible we could see LaRod Stephens-Howling on the field more if the Cards fall behind and they want the threat of the big play out of the backfield.
Even with the Cardinals slinging the ball around, I shy away from playing any of their receiving targets. None of their tight ends are involved in the passing game on a significant basis. With Steve Breaston and Early Doucet out, Larry Fitzgerald is going to be double- and triple-covered at all times. Plus, Derek Anderson hasn't completed a pass over 35 yards all season. The most effective play for Anderson so far has been defensive pass interference.
The Cardinals have allowed 100 yard rushers in two of their three games (Darren McFadden and Jason Snelling). Michael Turner also had nine carries for 75 yards, which isn't too shabby. It's only Wednesday and I'm not sure what the injury situation is with Ryan Mathews' high ankle sprain, but whichever RB is slated to get the majority of the carries between Mathews and Mike Tolbert is a great play.
For receiving, TE Antonio Gates is a must play. Wide Receiver Malcolm Floyd is a good play and Legudu Naanee, who was targeted eight times by Rivers last week, is a solid play.