GLENDALE AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Wide receiver Stephen Williams #14 of the Arizona Cardinals will be an integral part of this week's game plan with both Doucet and Breaston out. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Last year the Cardinals were a virtual treasure trove of fantasy points. With Kurt Warner at the helm, and Larry and Anquan splitting wide, the lovable Red Birds were the gifts-that-kept-on-giving for fantasy owners.
This year... eh, not so much.
Truthfully, at this point in the season, no a single person on this offense can be fully trusted on a weekly basis. It is a sad state of affairs for this once-mighty pillar of fantasy football.
This week the Cardinals will face-off against the San Diego Chargers. The Bolts defense has consistently shown up to play, and is currently the ranked fourth in terms of yards allowed per game. They also are tied for second in the league with five interceptions.
These stats do not bode well for D.A. and the Cardinals' offense.
Our inspirational fantasy reporter, Bryan Gibberman, has already outlined the Cardinals' weekend to come. Here are our predictions for the Cardinals' five most relevant fantasy players this Sunday.
Derek Anderson: In the past three weeks, the quarterbacks opposing the Chargers have put up 7, 6, and 12 points on the board. Meanwhile Derek Anderson is averaging a mere 9 points a game. Solely based off of those numbers, this just looks like it's going to end in disaster. The Chargers will force D.A. to throw all day with unfortunate results.
Prediction: 243 yards, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown.
Larry Fitzgerald: If I had a dollar for every time I've seen this process happen in the first three games: Fitz burns a defender, gets wide open, watches the throw sail miles over his head, gets a crazy-eyed, incredulous look on his face... well I'd probably have at least fifteen dollars. Fitz, more than anyone, is beginning to understand that Derek ain't Kurt, and his frustration is starting to leak through. Unfortunately, this week's game looks like another Sunday of Anderson throwing to Fitzy ten times and Larry only ending up with a couple of catches, especially since he will be facing double and triple coverages all day lining up across the rookies.
Prediction: 4 receptions, 62 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Stephen Williams: The undrafted rookie out of Toledo is the key to this game. Honestly. (How bad is this season right now that I just typed that sentence?) With Early Doucet and now Steve Breaston sidelined because of injury, the Cardinals must now place their faith in the rookie trio of Williams, Komar, and Roberts. Still, it is possible this may be a mini-breakout game for Williams, out of necessity more than anything. With Fitz taking up a whole side of the field, Stephen will get plenty of opportunities to perform.
Prediction: 7 receptions, 89 yards, 1 touchdown.
Beanie Wells: Beanie had a good showing last week against the tough Oakland front seven, racking up 75 yards on 14 carries. Though, it certainly helped that the Cardinals were in the game throughout all four quarters. This week may be a little different; if the Cardinals drop behind early, they will be forced to abandon the run game in an effort to catch up. However, it is possible that Beanie will be able to bust a ten or fifteen yarder to paydirt before this happens.
Prediction: 12 carries, 53 yards, 1 reception, 6 yards, 1 touchdown.
Tim Hightower: Timmy finds himself in a very similar position as Beanie this week. It all depends if the Cardinals manage to dig themselves into an early hole. Though there is one thing that makes Hightower a slightly more valuable fantasy play: his ability to catch the ball. Tim is a fantastic option for screen passes and check-downs. Dink & Dunk offense is just about all the yardage Cardinals have been able to manage thus far, so it is easy to see the pattern continuing.
Prediction: 10 carries, 39 yards, 4 receptions, 35 yards.
Note: All point totals are based off of YahooSports.com's default fantasy scoring system.