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Somehow the Arizona Cardinals are still alive in the NFC playoff race. As surprising as it may sound, the Redbirds have won five of their last six games to head into a Week 15 contest against the Cleveland Browns with something at stake besides your fantasy playoffs. That being said, between Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Peyton Hills, Sunday's game carries a tremendous amount of weight in the virtual realm. So, with the help of numberFire.com, we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this anticipated matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.64 receptions, 66.41 yards, 0.38 touchdowns, 9.03 fantasy points
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald has 489 yards and five touchdowns over the last six weeks, easily eclipsing his best run since the 2009 season. Cleveland's secondary may rank last in the league in fantasy points allowed to wideouts, but Fitz has proven he has what it takes to get it done, regardless of which quarterback is throwing him the ball.
numberFire.com Projections: 20.75 points allowed, 2.53 sacks, 1.77 turnovers, .21 touchdowns, 8.26 fantasy points
Analysis: Cleveland's offense is god-awful, and Seneca Wallace taking Colt McCoy's spot probably won't help matters. Meanwhile, the Cardinals defense is improving by the week and could be poised for a breakout game. Keep an eye on this match-up.
numberFire.com Projections: 13.45 rushes, 59.51 yards, .52 touchdowns, 2.39 receptions, 22.09 receiving yards, 12.14 fantasy points
Analysis: Despite his sore knee, Wells appears to have struck fantasy gold this week against a Browns' frontline that's given up double-digit games to eight backs in seven weeks. Unless the Cardinals stray from their gameplan, Beanie should be in for a big workload on Sunday.
numberFire.com Projections: 182.07 passing yards, 1.04 touchdowns, .86 interceptions, 10.86 fantasy points
Analysis: Seneca Wallace hasn't smelled significant playing time since early 2010, and even then he was unremarkable. If you're depending on the former Cyclone to put you over the top this week, there's a good chance you're not playing for a title.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.90 rushes, 25.55 yards, 0.19 touchdowns, 1.20 receptions, 9.52 receiving yards, 4.82 fantasy points
Analysis: In a season of injuries and disappointments, Peyton Hillis may be the biggest bust of them all. The Madden cover-boy has racked up just 346 yards and two touchdowns on 101 attempts, good for a paltry 3.4 yards per carry. Any fantasy owner that took Hillis in the first few rounds has surely looked elsewhere by now.
numberFire.com Projections: 189.40 passing yards, 1.04 touchdowns, .88 interceptions, 11.24 fantasy points
Analysis: The Browns have been fantasy poison for quarterbacks the entire season, allowing only five signal-callers to cross the ten-point threshold. Expected John Skelton to be the one that breaks the mold would be foolish.
The Arizona Cardinals offense is not exactly a place to go and find additional players for your team if you're looking to win your fantasy football league. But if you're scraping for options, there are a few possibilities that can bolster your squad.
John Skelton isn't a great option. In general, it's not a good idea to rely on a Cardinals quarterback who completes half his passes and throws more interceptions than touchdowns. If you're desperate, keep an eye out for if KEvin Kolb misses their next game. Since they're playing the deficient Cleveland Browns, it might work out for you.
When it comes to Cardinals receivers, Andre Roberts is a deep option. He's not a great deep option, but he has some upside. Same with Early Doucet. Both of those receivers are guys you should look at if you suffered an injury to someone crucial, although don't expect these guys to change the complexion of your playoff matchup.
To discuss the Cardinals and the potential fantasy football waiver options, head to Revenge of the Birds.
As the Arizona Cardinals look to put a bit of a damper of the San Francisco 49ers epic season thus far with a win at University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday, fantasy owners around the globe are wondering whether or not they should start wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. According to our friends over at Numberfire.com, Fitz won't be having himself a career day against their NFC West rivals, though could still manage to score you some decent points this week.
Fitzgerald is projected to earn 8.66 points with 4.39 receptions for 62.38 yards and 0.38 touchdowns. In other words, expect the Niners to be on Fitz like white on rice in a snow storm, keeping him relatively quiet this Sunday. The only score the Cards managed against these Niners back on November 20 was a Fitzgerald TD in the fourth quarter, and I'd expect the San Francisco defense to be on point once again, even if Patrick Willis is sitting out.
Here's a look at all the notable Cardinals' projections for week 14.
The Arizona Cardinals have been playing very well as of late, winners of four of their last five matchups who now host the division leading San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix stadium. Unfortunately the the Cards the Niners were there last loss, and according to Numberfire.com, quarterback Kevin Kolb likely won't be leading the charge against them this Sunday for Arizona.
Kolb is projected to scored a shade under 12 points at 11.94, throwing 1.02 touchdowns, 0.76 INT's and 187 yards passing, nothing to write home to Mommy about that's for sure. THe 49ers defense has been stifling to most this season, holding Arizona to only seven points their last time out. They do give up a decent amount of yards in the air, currently ranking 29th in the league in that regard, but are filled with ball-hawks and have racked up 16 interceptions already this season.
If you have no one else, than Kolb is your guy, but another option would probably be a good idea. Here's a look at how the rest of the notable Cardinals will fare.
Who'd of thought. Somehow, someway, the Arizona Cardinals head into Week 14 of the NFL season having won four of their last five contests (ruining their draft stock in the process, but that's neither here nor there), and now look for revenge against the division-leading San Francisco 49ers. Between Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Vernon Davis, there's guaranteed to be a tremendous amount at stake for your fantasy football playoff push during Sunday's game. With the help of numberFire.com, we've we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this NFC West divisional matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.39 receptions, 62.38 yards, 0.36 touchdowns, 8.66 fantasy points
Analysis: Fitzgerald is just 57 receiving yards away from a franchise-record sixth straight 1,000-yard season. Expect him to get what he needs, plus a little extra, breaking his recent touchdown-less streak in the process.
numberFire.com Projections: 18.41 rushes, 85.60 yards, 0.62 touchdowns, 1.69 receptions, 12.79 receiving yards, 13.70 fantasy points
Analysis: To be blunt, the chances of holding Frank Gore to consecutive down days are pretty slim. Arizona was able to contain Gore to just 88 yards in Week 11, but don't expect lightning to strike twice.
numberFire.com Projections: 9.87 rushes, 43 yards, .39 touchdowns, 1.72 receptions, 17.14 receiving yards, 8.39 fantasy points
Analysis: Beanie Wells has taken fantasy owners for a roller coaster ride this season. First he was great, then he was hurt, then he was great again, then he was hurt again, and now he's back to being great. My heart can't take it. Ultimately, this week is a bad match-up, but ride the hot hand for as long as it's there.
numberFire.com Projections: 187.02 passing yards, 1.14 touchdowns, .76 interceptions, 11.94 fantasy points
Analysis: Kevin Kolb can't be trusted, especially in the midst of a playoff run. Simple as that. The fact that John Skelton got eaten alive by the 49ers defense the first time around doesn't really help matters either.
numberFire.com Projections: 239.32 passing yards, 1.44 touchdowns, 1.10 interceptions, 14.42 fantasy points
Analysis: Crazily, the same cannot be said about Alex Smith. With him you know exactly what you're going to get. Solid double-digits numbers, perhaps a touchdown or two, and limited mistakes. Still, unless you're in emergency mode in a deep league, you can probably do better.
numberFire.com Projections: 3.73 receptions, 41.83 yards, 0.34 touchdowns, 6.21 fantasy points
Analysis: True, Vernon Davis had his second-biggest game of the season the first time around the Cardinals. Since then, however, Davis has been dropping passes, picked up an uncharacteristic fumble, and has yet to top the 40-yard mark. It's far too late in the season to pin your hopes on a player breaking out of such a significant slump.
The Arizona Cardinals take on their old friends, the Dallas Cowboys, on Sunday for Week 13 of the NFL season. Between DeMarco Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Laurent Robinson, Sunday's game features a smattering of important fantasy names for your last-second playoff push. With the help of numberFire.com, we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this NFC matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.15 receptions, 62.74 yards, .34 touchdowns, 8.41 fantasy points
Analysis: To say Laurent Robinson has been on a tear would be doing him a disservice. Seemingly out of nowhere the 26-year-old has exploded for seven touchdowns in the past five weeks and is averaging a ridiculous 14.82 points per game over that span. Ride this hot streak for as long as it lasts.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.28 receptions, 64.39 yards, 0.44 touchdowns, 9.34 fantasy points
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald will do what he does, catch a few passes, nab a late touchdown, and all will be right with the world.
numberFire.com Projections: 19.57 rushes, 87.27 yards, .66 touchdowns, 2.08 receptions, 16.26 receiving yards, 14.42 fantasy points
Analysis: Raise your hand if you thought DeMarco Murray would be this year's Peyton Hillis. The 23-year-old has run roughshod over the NFL since a midseason injury sidelined Felix Jones, breaking records and carrying countless fantasy teams to the promise land. To put things in perspective, Murray has rushed for 761 yards over the last six games, snapping the franchise mark of 744 set by Emmitt Smith in 1995. There's no way you can sit him in the midst of such an extraordinary run.
numberFire.com Projections: 218.73 passing yards, 1.42 touchdowns, 15.86 fantasy points
Analysis: Somewhere after his early season meltdown Tony Romo shifted from over-hyped to criminally underrated. By all accounts the Cowboys' signal caller has pieced together a fantastic season, ranking seventh among all quarterbacks in spite of an injury-riddled receiving corps. It's been a while since the Cardinals secondary was carved up, but this could be the week.
numberFire.com Projections: 200.47 passing yards, 1.24 touchdowns, 12.24 fantasy points
Analysis: Over the last four weeks the Dallas secondary has faced the likes of Tavaris Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rex Grossman, and Matt Moore. Not exactly world-beaters. As you would expect, each man -- with the exception of Grossman -- failed to deliver any semblance of a helpful fantasy day. Like it or not, Kevin Kolb fits in perfectly with that list. Sit this one out.
numberFire.com Projections: 11.60 rushes, 49.59 yards, .36 touchdowns, 2.58 receptions, 24.31 receiving yards, 10.40 fantasy points
Analysis: Without question, Beanie Wells was incredible last week. Still, we all knew he was capable of something like that; the issue has always been consistency. The Cowboys' frontline will present a much broader challenge than the Rams did, so it'll be interesting to see how the youngster holds up. Watch this one from the sidelines if you can.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to rival St. Louis for Week 12 of the NFL season after crashing back to earth against the San Francisco 49ers. Between Steven Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Brandon Lloyd, Sunday's game features a litany of relevant fantasy names as the playoff push lingers in the air. With the help of numberFire.com, we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this NFC West divisional matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.28 receptions, 74.13 yards, 0.56 touchdowns, 10.90 fantasy points
Analysis: Fitzy has four touchdowns in the last three weeks, one of which came against the Rams in their Week 9 match-up. Since then the St. Louis secondary has only maintained its generous nature, ranking in as the fifth most-giving unit against wideouts. As if you needed me to tell you to start Fitzgerald.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.70 receptions, 85.61 yards, .28 touchdowns, 10.21 fantasy points
Analysis: Similar to Fitzgerald, Lloyd has been on a tear of late, nabbing three touchdowns and 10.7 points per game over the past four weeks. The 30-year-old has quickly emerged as Sam Bradford's go-to target in St. Louis, and a struggling Arizona secondary fresh-off a 120-yard thrashing from Michael Crabtree should pose no threat to end that streak.
numberFire.com Projections: 20.16 rushes, 90.38 yards, .64 touchdowns, 2.04 receptions, 15.08 receiving yards, 14.61 fantasy points
Analysis: Since recovering from early season injury, Jackson has rallied off an average of 14.7 points per week, including a 14.2 spot against the Arizona frontline in early November. There's no reason to think he won't repeat the favor on Sunday.
numberFire.com Projections: 186.98 passing yards, .98 touchdowns, 10.56 fantasy points
Analysis: Needless to say, John Skelton fell back to earth hard against San Francisco. After earning a surprisingly decent 40.78 points in his first two starts, the Fordham-product completed just 6-of-19 passes, with three interceptions, for a whopping .96 points in Week 9. If Kevin Kolb can't go on Sunday -- which is looking likelier by the second -- you'd need balls of steel to put your faith in Skelton.
numberFire.com Projections: 10.62 rushes, 43.64 yards, .18 touchdowns, 1.94 receptions, 15.13 receiving yards, 7.34 fantasy points
Analysis: After last week's 33-yard disgrace, Beanie Wells has now failed to cross the six-point threshold four times in his last five outings; an overwhelmingly disappointing turn of events after the youngster stormed out of the gates to kick off the season. On paper the weak St. Louis front-seven should be an excellent match-up for the embattled back, but who knows what to expect at this point. Stay away from this mess.
numberFire.com Projections: 187.56 passing yards, .98 touchdowns, 11.16 fantasy points
Analysis: Sam Bradford's sophomore season isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. The 24-year-old has battled everything from injuries to an offensive line that gives sacks away like it's going out of style. Making matters worse, the loss of starting left tackle Roger Saffold means it's open season on Bradford's blindside. Everything about this situation screams "sit".
The Arizona Cardinals don't yet know who's starting at quarterback this week, but considering the St. Louis Rams are coming to town, either might be worth a look if you don't have any other options on your fantasy football team. If you need an extra offensive spot, Kevin Kolb or John Skelton might be worth putting in your lineup depending on who gets the start this week. The Rams are a struggling defense, so whichever is starting is a solid play.
If you need other new players to take a look at, Early Doucet is a solid pickup if he isn't punished for his incident with Dashon Goldson. WR Andre Roberts is a decent pickup as well as he's also shown that he can get catches. It's not a bad week to experiment with the Cardinals since the Rams have proven they are far from being a good football team, and will need a lot of patching.
For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to rival San Francisco for Week 11 of the NFL season, inexplicably in the midst of a two-game winning streak. Between Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Vernon Davis, there's guaranteed to be a tremendous amount fantasy football variables in play during Sunday's game. With the help of numberFire.com, we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this NFC West divisional matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.32 receptions, 74.68 yards, 0.56 touchdowns, 10.85 fantasy points
Analysis: If you benched Larry Fitzgerald last week in fear of Nnamdi Asomugha, you learned an invaluable lesson: regardless of the surrounding circumstances, always start the Cardinals' star. Fresh off a seven catch, 146-yard, two touchdown trashing of the Eagles, Fitz is the safest fantasy play in the NFC West.
numberFire.com Projections: 15.48 rushes, 66.12 yards, 0.54 touchdowns, 3.69 receptions, 27.91 receiving yards, 12.95 fantasy points
Analysis: Fantasy owners who witnessed Frank Gore's six-carry, zero-yard performance last week against the New York Giants have to be nervous. Gore's midseason breakdowns are as legendary as his early season explosions. With a sore knee still hampering him, we'll err on the side of optimism this week against a weak Arizona front line, but all owners should be well-aware of his fleeting status.
numberFire.com Projections: 10.27 rushes, 41.28 yards, 0.31 touchdowns, 1.34 receptions, 9.93 receiving yards, 7.00 fantasy points
Analysis: It's almost time to hop off the Beanie Wells bandwagon. After an explosive start, Wells has collected just 82 yards over the last two weeks while nursing lingering injuries. With his health in doubt, and John Skelton emerging as a competent passer, the former Buckeye is a shaky play for any fantasy owner. San Francisco's standout frontline -- which hasn't allowed a 70-yard rusher all year -- won't help matters.
numberFire.com Projections: 227.24 passing yards, 1.05 touchdowns, .96 interceptions, 11.88 fantasy points
Analysis: How ridiculous would it be if John Skelton beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting job? It seems crazy to say, but it could become a reality if the youngster turns in another surprisingly effective week. Through two starts Skelton is averaging 20.39 fantasy points in standard leagues, an extraordinary number that no one saw coming. Still, the San Francisco defense is a tough nut to crack, so we'll hold off crowning the Fordham-alum until after this week.
numberFire.com Projections: 217.53 passing yards, 1.22 touchdowns, 1.04 interceptions, 13.26 fantasy points
Analysis: What does it mean when Alex Smith is the seventh ranked passer in the NFL? To be honest, I have no idea. After six years of ridicule and turnover plagued play, the former number-one pick has seemingly turned over a new leaf under head coach Jim Harbaugh, limiting mistakes while remaining effective in the short passing game. Still, while the success has translated nicely to the real world, the carry-over to the fantasy realm has been has been limited. Smith is the 26th highest scoring QB in the game, and a shaky start in everything but the deepest leagues. Against an erratic Cardinals defense, it would take a ballsy leap of faith to place your trust in him.
numberFire.com Projections: 3.83 receptions, 42.44 yards, 0.34 touchdowns, 6.28 fantasy points
Analysis: No one has suffered from the 49ers' change in philosophy more than Vernon Davis. After consecutive standout seasons, the 27-year-old has suffered a shrinking role in Harbaugh's hybrid West Coast attack. The past four weeks have seen Davis' output drift downward to an average of 3.9 points per game. Until that trends reverses, it would be wise to turn your gaze elsewhere.
The Arizona Cardinals play the San Francisco 49ers this weekend, which probably means that you should avoid using any of their players as your backup fantasy football options. That is, unless you're really comfortable in Arizona scoring a dramatic upset this weekend and believe the Cardinals can move the ball on a strong 49ers defense.
For the Cardinals, quarterback John Skelton is worth a look against a shaky 49ers secondary. 49ers secondary doesn't give up a lot of points, but does give up decent passing yards. Early Doucet is a decent option as he had a touchdown against the Eagles as well. But the thought of either player getting a lot of touchdowns is unlikely. Use them as backup options if you have no one else to rely on in your fantasy depth chart.
Otherwise, there's not a whole lot really there to pick up for this weekend. Kicker Jay Feely is an option if you think the Cardinals offense can put up yards but can't finish drives. Otherwise it might be best to stay away.
To discuss the Cardinals and fantasy football, head over to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals travel to Philadelphia for Week 10 of the NFL season, hoping to sustain their momentum after rallying off one of the most dramatic wins in recent franchise history. Between Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Larry Fitzgerald, and Beanie Wells, Sunday's game is guaranteed have a tremendous impact on your fantasy football league. With the help of numberFire.com, we've we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this primetime NFL matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 238.24 passing yards, 1.36 touchdowns, 1.06 interceptions, 39.24 rushing yard, .18 rushing touchdowns, 17.75 fantasy points
Analysis: We'll keep this short and sweet. Michael Vick will feast on the nonexistent Arizona pass rush. You couldn't "start" this pick any harder if you tried.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.25 receptions, 64.06 yards, 0.34 touchdowns, 8.55 fantasy points
Analysis: This is a hesitant start at best. We all know what Fitz is capable of, but we also know that John Skelton isn't the most ideal option to be on the opposite end of the QB/WR relationship. The matchup against Nnamdi Asomugha isn't what you'd hope for, but Fitzgerald could be in line for another three-catch, 51 yards, one touchdown day.
numberFire.com Projections: 17.00 rushes, 85.98 yards, 0.58 touchdowns, 3.61 receptions, 33.03 receiving yards, 15.94 fantasy points
Analysis: Lesean McCoy was good last season. This season, he's an absolute monster. The 23-year-old is the top scoring non-QB in the entire NFL and the gravy train doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Benching him would be silly.
numberFire.com Projections: 141.50 passing yards, .53 touchdowns, .80 interceptions, 9.39 fantasy points
Analysis: If last week did anything, it was confirm that John Skelton is who we thought he was (sorry Denny). The second-year man from Fordham ended the day with solid fantasy numbers, but the performance didn't exactly inspire confidence, to say the least. The Philly defense can be soft at times, but I just don't see Skelton getting the better of Nnamdi and his crew.
numberFire.com Projections: 14.80 rushes, 59.31 yards, 0.56 touchdowns, 2.62 receptions, 20.06 receiving yards, 11.36 fantasy points
Analysis: Beanie Wells makes no sense. Huge day against the vaunted Ravens defense. Abysmal day against the Charmin-soft Rams front-seven. Until he can start to regain some of his early season consistency, I'm not buying on Wells.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.19 receptions, 71.08 yards, 0.50 touchdowns, 10.31 fantasy points
Analysis: Through eight games it appears this is the season Jeremy Maclin finally makes the leap to "top-shelf fantasy receiver". The 23-year-old has emerged as a far more consistent weekly threat than his pal DeSean Jackson, and is leading the Eagles in receiving yards to boot. Still, something about the way Patrick Peterson played last week makes me leery. I want no part of a hot rookie in the midst of a breakout run.
The Arizona Cardinals continue to struggle offensively, so if you really need a fantasy football offensive option from these guys, your team is probably in serious, serious trouble. That being said, if you just need to squeeze some points while one of your main starters is sitting out a bye week or is recovering from injury, there are some decent players to consider.
WR Early Doucet and WR Andre Roberts are coming off solid performances against the Rams; even if neither ended up hitting the end zone, you figure that with defenses focusing on Larry Fitzgerald, both of them become strong secondary options.
With Beanie Wells dealing with injuries, either Alfonso Smith or LaRod Stephens-Howling can be stashed on your bench if Wells goes down. But really, neither of them should be used unless you really have no other options at running back, because you are likely to be sorely disappointed.
For more on the Cardinals, go to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams Sunday in a battle to get out of last place in the NFC West. The Cardinals are struggling through a six-game losing streak, while the Rams snapped their own losing streak with a huge upset of the New Orleans Saints. The Cardinals will be without quarterback Kevin Kolb, leaving John Skelton to engineer their second win of the season.
From a fantasy perspective, the two best fantasy options in this game are the usual suspects: Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells. Fitzgerald is a must-start every week. Even with Skelton taking the snaps, Fitzgerald is always a good play. It is entirely possible he will emerge as the emergency blanket for Skelton, which could mean an even bigger day.
Beanie Wells has been limited in practice this week but is expected to start. He faces one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL in the Rams. Wells is dealing with a persistent knee issue but has vowed to battle through it. He grinded his way to 83 yards and a touchdown last week. He should be good for at least that against the Rams.
Beyond those two, the Arizona Cardinals don't provide much in the way of viable fantasy options. Skelton is nothing more than a desperation play if nothing else is available in free agency. Todd Heap is questionable and even if he starts (game-time decision), he has struggled mightily this season. Early Doucet is the only other legit wide receiver option, but with Skelton in the game, he takes a hit in his viability.
The Arizona Cardinals' roller-coaster presses on into Week 9 of the NFL season. Fresh off another uniquely stunning loss, the Redbirds travel back home to take on fellow floundering division affiliate, the St. Louis Rams. While there may not be much star power to display on Sunday, viable fantasy options will be prevalent with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, Steven Jackson, and Brandon Lloyd. With the help of numberFire.com, we've we've put together a comprehensive list of sit/start projections for this NFC West matchup.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.26 receptions, 74.22 yards, 0.56 touchdowns, 10.83 fantasy points
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald is inherently frustrating because of who he is and the situation he's trapped in. Each week it gets harder and harder to recommend Fitz because of the Cardinals' inconsistent offense, yet somehow just three or four catches ends up pushing him into double-digits by the end of the day.
Even still, this week is different. You start him without hesitation. The Rams secondary has given up huge days to wideouts in five of seven weeks. Fitzgerald will make that six of eight.
numberFire.com Projections: 20.47 rushes, 88.09 yards, 0.70 touchdowns, 1.46 receptions, 9.87 receiving yards, 13.91 fantasy points
Analysis: Until last week, Old Reliable had been one of the sneaky steals of the 2011 fantasy football season. Just as he always does, S-Jax had pulled double-digit points in every healthy start but one, handedly paying back any owners who believed the aging workhorse had another good year in him.
But that all changed after last week's 31-point romp over the New Orleans Saints. Now the fantasy football world is back on notice of Jackson, who heads into Arizona for what could be the easiest matchup of the year. The Cardinals frontline has gifted monstrous days to backs of late, handing out three touchdowns apiece to Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. Another big performance could be right up Jackson's alley.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.07 receptions, 78.63 yards, .36 touchdowns, 9.99 fantasy points
Analysis: Do you want to know how bad the Cardinals secondary is? The team has given up double-digit outings to eight opposing receivers in just seven games. That's a whole different level of awful.
In the meantime, Brandon Lloyd's future has shined much brighter since leaving the tepid mess that is the Denver Broncos. In two games with St. Louis, Lloyd has collected 25 targets and the gravy train doesn't look like it'll stop anytime soon. Hitch your wagon to B. Lloyd and revel as it rains points on Sunday.
numberFire.com Projections: 25.78 points allowed, 1.95 sacks, 1.73 turnovers, .19 touchdowns, 6.50 fantasy points
Analysis: This decision doesn't even have anything to do with the Cardinals. Fantasy defenses are averaging an astounding 13.57 points per week against St. Louis. Other than Seattle, no other team even comes close to approaching that level of ineptitude. The Rams offense is that bad. It's rare to hear this, but have faith in the Cardinals D.
numberFire.com Projections: 227.40 passing yards, 1.26 touchdowns, 1.12 interceptions, 13.05 fantasy points
Analysis: With Kevin Kolb listed as doubtful, the starting reins fall to second-year man John Skelton. By all accounts Skelton has improved since his underwhelming four-game run at the end of the 2010 season. Still, even with a generous Rams secondary across with him, can you really put your faith in the former-fifth round pick?
numberFire.com Projections: 16.47 rushes, 70.29 yards, 0.60 touchdowns, 3.68 receptions, 29.91 receiving yards, 13.57 fantasy points
Analysis: This is a gut call; nothing more, nothing less. The Rams have been gracious to virtually every opposing running back they've played, giving up huge days to the likes of Ryan Torain and DeMarco Murray. Still, something about Wells' lingering knee injury is unsettling. If you have confidence in the youngster, go for it. As for me, I'm sitting this one out.
Sam Bradford/A.J. Feeley
numberFire.com Projections: 226.40 passing yards, 1.32 touchdowns, 14.44 fantasy points/163.90 passing yards, 1.75 touchdowns, 13.03 fantasy points
Analysis: Regardless of who plays, neither of these guys should touch your starting lineup. Bradford has been shaky all year and the ankle injury probably won't do any favors for his regression. Meanwhile, Feeley's season-high is nine points. Nothing about this screams "good decision".
The Arizona Cardinals might not be winning many football games, but at least they're starting to move the football a lot more (last week against the defensively potent Baltimore Ravens) and get the offense going. This does give the Cardinals some more legitimate offensive weapons that might be nice fantasy fill-ins
Wide receiver Early Doucet got targeted a lot but never really caught the ball, However, he did find the end zone on one of his two catches. He could be a decent option in deep fantasy leagues. Jeff King was the primary tight end option last week, and he and Todd Heap remain good bye-week options. If your best options aren't playing, it might make sense to try one of these guys out.
I wouldn't recommend taking any of these guys long-term though, unless every other good receiver is taken. This offense isn't to be trusted.
For more on the Cardinals, go to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals stumble into Week 8 of the NFL season on a dreadful five-game losing streak and unfortunately things may get worse before they get better. The schedule-makers were not kind to the Redbirds, as the team travels into Baltimore to battle the 4-2 Ravens this Sunday. With the help of our friends at numberFire.com, we've analyzed the (extremely limited) prospects for the Cardinals' primary fantasy football options, including Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolb, and Beanie Wells. So join SB Nation Arizona as we present our Week 8 Sit-or-Start projections.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.85 receptions, 70.64 yards, 0.45 touchdowns, 9.72 fantasy points
Analysis: The Baltimore secondary has given up four double-digit fantasy games this year to the likes of Jacoby Jones and Brandon Gibson. While Fitzgerald may not be having a world-beating season, he's still Larry Fitzgerald. If you have the cajones to bench the human highlight reel, then by all means go for it. I, on the other hand, do not share that courage.
numberFire.com Projections: 149.63 passing yards, 0.82 touchdowns, 0.74 interceptions, 9.97 fantasy points
Analysis: Even after last week's two touchdown performance, it's hard to feel safe with Kolb as your starter. The former-Eagle is enormously inconsistent, splitting three games apiece over-under the 15-point threshold through seven weeks. Add to the fact that the Ravens have held opposing quarterbacks to an average of 8.51 points per game -- tops in the league -- and Kolb looks like a shaky play at best.
numberFire.com Projections: N/A
Analysis: How quickly things change. Just last week we were singing Beanie's praises as the sole contributor to the Cardinals offense, and now he barely earns a spot on this countdown. Hampered by a sore knee, Wells is listed as a game-time decision on the official injury report. Even so, with the Ravens second-ranked rushing defense glaring across the sidelines, neither Wells nor his replacement, Alfonso Smith, should even come close to touching your starting lineup.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.72 receptions, 31.43 yards, .22 touchdowns, 4.55 fantasy points
Analysis: Early Doucet has actually turned himself around over the past two weeks. After a disappointing slump to start the season, the youngster has emerged with back-to-back games of at least nine points and five catches. Were it not for an uncertain quadriceps injury, he would likely be in the "Start" column. Monitor this situation closely if you're pressed for receivers.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.46 receptions, 17.74 yards, .19 touchdowns, 2.95 fantasy points
Analysis: After a one week absence, Todd Heap makes a glorious return to the rankings, even if he is a game-time decision. But it really shouldn't matter much because were you actually going to start him? The Ravens give up a league-low two points a game to tight ends. Heap is projected to get two points. Need I say more?
numberFire.com Projections: 16.33 points allowed, 1.41 sacks, 1.19 turnovers, .10 touchdowns, 5.40 fantasy points
Analysis: The Arizona defense has collected point totals of 4, 2, and 1 in their last three games. Meanwhile, the Baltimore offense comes in off an abysmal performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. Reason stands to believe the purple birds are going to be fired up while the red birds are their usual selves. Stay away.
numberFire.com Projections: 0.78 field goals, 0.67 extra points, 3.32
Analysis: Jay Feely has yet to crack the double-digit mark this season and it doesn't look like he'll do it anytime soon. We've said it before and we'll say it again -- the Cardinals offense is too unpredictable to depend on and, unfortunately, the kicker will always suffer as a byproduct in that situation.
The Arizona Cardinals don't have many great fantasy football options considering how inconsistent their offense looks from week to week. But there are a few potential offensive weapons that could be used this week if they're still available.
Early Doucet looks like the best wide receiving option if you really want an available Cardinals receiving target. He doesn't get many touchdowns, but he generally gets catches, which makes him a nice emergency receiver if you need him.
With Beanie Wells down, the Cardinals running backs could be a potential pickup. Of course, the big issue here is that neither Alfonso Smith or LaRod Stephens-Howling is really distinguishing themselves, and both end up shouldering a similar number of carries. You might need to monitor the progress of each tailback in practice before coming to a decision on utilizing either one as your starter.
For more discussion of the Cardinals, hit up Revenge of the Birds.
Week 7 of the NFL season is here and the Arizona Cardinals are sitting pretty with a 1-4 record. While the slow start isn't exactly what we hoped for in the Valley, the team can still maintain some relevance in the 2011 fantasy football campaign. This week the Redbirds travel home to host the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who are in the midst of a 4-1 run over the last five weeks. A Redbird victory may not be in the cards, but that doesn't mean Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and Co. can't help out in the push for your league's title. Like always, we here at SB Nation Arizona have put together a helpful compendium of rankings, projections, and analysis of which Cardinals to sit and which to start as the Steel Curtain heads into town.
numberFire.com Projections: 12.75 rushes, 54.37 yards, 0.26 touchdowns, 2.76 receptions, 27.14 receiving yards, 9.79 fantasy points
Analysis: File this one under things we didn't expect to say two months ago -- Beanie Wells is the entire Arizona Cardinals' offense. The 23-year-old has been stellar all season, scoring a touchdown in every game while amassing at least 12 fantasy points per week. If the Cardinals are going to hit the scoreboard against Pittsburgh, it'll most likely be through Wells. Start him at all costs.
numberFire.com Projections: 4.48 receptions, 66.16 yards, 0.44 touchdowns, 9.53 fantasy points
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald gets a starting nod in name only this week. No opposing wideout has topped 82 yards against the repowered Steelers secondary thus far in the season, and with the Redbirds' anemic offensive flashes drifting farther and farther apart, the chances of Fitzgerald being the one to break through seems slim. Then again, the moment you count him out, Fitz will bust out for 30 points. When in doubt, roll with your stars.
numberFire.com Projections: 155.72 passing yards, 0.99 touchdowns, 0.74 interceptions, 10.95 fantasy points
Analysis: The Steelers have stifled opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 8.92 fantasy points per game since Joe Flacco's week one explosion, becoming the number one pass defense throughout the NFL in the process. At the same time, Kolb has yet to top seven points in either of his last two starts. Unless you're a gambler, stay away from this situation.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.77 receptions, 25.41 yards, .21 touchdowns, 3.98 fantasy points
Analysis: With the way the Steelers secondary is blowing teams out of the water, it's difficult to recommend any wide receiver lining up against them not named Larry Fitzgerald. Doucet's four game streak without a touchdown reception doesn't exactly help matters. Start him at your own risk.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.66 receptions, 21.33 yards, .17 touchdowns, 3.12 fantasy points
Analysis: It finally happened. Todd Heap fell so far out of favor that he was supplanted by the spectacular Jeff King in the rankings. King, by the way, is expected to grab a whopping one catch. Decimals don't count. Does that mean two catches would be a good day?
numberFire.com Projections: 22.83 points allowed, 1.84 sacks, 1.74 turnovers, .12 touchdowns, 6.07 fantasy points
Analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers have given up a scant five fantasy points over the last two weeks to opposing defenses. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals defense has collected just six fantasy points in the same time period. Either one of these trends alone would be worrisome. Together, there couldn't be a bigger red flag.
numberFire.com Projections: 0.61 field goals, 1.32 extra points, 3.38 fantasy points
Analysis: Here's how far the Cardinals' offensive stock has fallen -- their kicker isn't even projected to get one whole field goal. This is ridiculous. It's a depressing thought, but isn't it starting to look like 2010 all over again.
The Arizona Cardinals head into Week 5 of the NFL season with lowly 1-3 record that no one could have expected. Yet sunshine may not be far from the horizon, as the schedule-makers gifted the Redbirds a shot at the 0-4 Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. With the help of our friends at numberFire.com, we've broken down the prospects for the Cardinals' leading fantasy football options, including, Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolb, and Beanie Wells. So check in with SB Nation Arizona as we present our Week 5 Sit-or-Start projections.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.27 receptions, 73.91 yards, 0.50 touchdowns, 10.41 fantasy points
Analysis: Larry Fitzgerald can flat-out ball, though you didn't need me to tell you that. You wouldn't even dream of sitting him, I understand. But just in case you're in a four-team league and just weren't quite sure which of your eight All-Pro wideouts to start, keep in mind that the Vikings have allowed a splendiferous 215 yards and three touchdowns to number-one receivers in last two weeks. Fitzy has a chance to top that himself.
numberFire.com Projections: 13.79 rushes, 56.05 yards, .51 touchdowns, 3.19 receptions, 30.06 receiving yards, 12.40 fantasy points
Analysis: It's official. Beanie Wells is a monster. After last week's three-touchdown explosion, it's getting harder and harder to doubt the former Ohio State standout. And while the Vikings don't give much up on the ground, they have showed a penchant for allowing multi-touchdown games to featured backs, including Mike Tolbert's Week 1 trifecta and LeGarrette Blount's Week 2 romp. Look for Wells to join that list on Sunday.
numberFire.com Projections: 217.92 passing yards, 1.54 touchdowns, 1.22 interceptions, 8.23 rushing yards, 13.69 fantasy points
Analysis: Through four weeks Kevin Kolb has proven himself to be an average quarterback. No more, no less. That's alright though, as through four weeks the Minnesota Vikings have proven themself to have a horrific secondary. The Vikings are ranked among the bottom-five teams in the league at air protection, and have given up double-digit fantasy games from opposing quarterbacks in each game. Kolb will make it five straight.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.00/1.19 field goal attempts, 1.57 extra points, 4.96 fantasy points
Analysis: Minnesota has allowed two of the highest scoring games for fantasy kickers in consecutive weeks -- Jason Hanson's 17-point gem and Ryan Succop's 21-point masterpiece. In doing so, the Vikings displayed the perfect mixture of ‘floundering offense' versus ‘decent-enough-defense' to be continuously forced into positions where giving up a field goal means they did a good job. Expect more of the same from Jay Feely and the Cardinals.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.18 receptions, 36.99 yards, .21 touchdowns, 4.92 fantasy points
Analysis: Mark my words. Doucet's time will come. With 21 targets already in hand this season, and six in each of the last three games, the 25-year-old has ingrained himself as the number-two receiving option on the Cardinals. While his stats have yet to bloom, it's only a matter of time until Kevin Kolb and the still green Arizona offense can finally lock in a rhythm and find some success. It won't happen this week, but it'll happen soon enough.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.79 receptions, 30.70 yards, .22 touchdowns, 4.36 fantasy points
Analysis: This is as much of a lock as there is. Heap, when healthy, has yet to find his niche in the Cardinals offense, rendering him a relatively useless fantasy player through four games. Because of this, we'd normally tell you to sit him anyway, but now that he's a game-time decision with a mysterious hamstring injury, don't even think about touching him.
numberFire.com Projections: 24.08 points allowed, 2.05 sacks, 1.53 turnovers, .11 touchdowns, 5.76 fantasy points
Analysis: While the Vikings may be mired in a 0-4 hole in the real world, it surely hasn't benefited teams in the digital realm. Despite their early struggles, Minnesota has allowed five or less points to opposing defenses in each of the four weeks, due in part to having just three turnovers to their name, tops in the NFL. If history repeats itself, stay far, far away from this matchup.
The suddenly struggling Arizona Cardinals aim to right the ship in Week 4 of the NFL season, as they host a renewed New York Giants squad within University of Phoenix Stadium. With the aid of our partners at numberFire.com, we've analyzed the Cardinals' top fantasy football options leading into the do-or-die Sunday matchup. While Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Kolb remain interesting options, Beanie Wells' mysterious injury status continues to cast doubt into owners stressing over last-minute projections to find out who to sit and who to start.
numberFire.com Projections: 211.14 passing yards, 1.22 touchdowns, 0.98 interceptions, 9.02 rushing yards, 13.04 fantasy points
Analysis: The New York Giants have allowed two 300-yard passers in three games this season, while struggling to prevent the big-play. After what we saw last week against Seattle, it's quite likely the Cardinals will be down early on Sunday and quickly find themselves trapped in a shootout to play catch-up. While all this is a bad indication for Arizona fans, it could mean a big game from Kevin Kolb.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.82 receptions, 82.24 yards, 0.47 touchdowns, 11.12 fantasy points
Analysis: Last week marked the 24th time of Larry Fitzgerald's eight-year career that he nabbed touchdown passes in consecutive regular season games. That's ridiculous. In all, with 15 catches, 259 yards, and two touchdowns already to his credit through three weeks, Fitz is on pace to far eclipse his disappointing 2010-2011 campaign. Don't even think about benching him.
numberFire.com Projections: .85/1.07 field goal attempts, 1.55 extra points, 4.43 fantasy points
Analysis: In the past two weeks the Giants have given up 20-points to opposing kickers, due in part to the nature of their bend-but-don't-break defensive approach. Look for that to continue on Sunday, as the Cardinals are becoming quite adept at the stall-around-the-forty-yard-line approach. Good news for Feely owners, but bad news for everyone else.
numberFire.com Projections: 12.95 rushes, 49.70 yards, .54 touchdowns, 1.42 receptions, 12.76 receiving yards, 9.56 fantasy points
Analysis: This one all depends on the status of Beanie Wells' injured hamstring. In two games this season, the former first round pick has proven himself worthy of featured back status, yet his questionable designation is worrisome. Fresh of a smashing at the hands of LeSean McCoy, the New York front seven is the most venerable they've been in years, but it's hard to believe that Wells -- if he even plays -- will receive the lion's share of the carries. Wait and see on this one.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.61 receptions, 33.36 yards, .19 touchdowns, 4.68 fantasy points
Analysis: At this point it's almost impossible to recommend any Cardinal wide receiver except for Larry Fitzgerald. After a disappointing two-point performance in week two, Doucet came back in week three with a five-point afternoon. Not what you want from a starter. Eventually someone in the tandem of Doucet and Andre Roberts will step up and claim their spot in the offense, but until then stay away.
numberFire.com Projections: 3.24 receptions, 37.77 yards, .22 touchdowns, 5.07 fantasy points
Analysis: Last Sunday was somewhat of a breakthrough for Heap, who increased his reception total on the season by 200 percent with a six-catch, 61-yard performance. Still, until the former Sun Devil can maintain some kind of consistency, it's hard to deem him worth starting. The fact that the Giants have given up just 4.30 points to opposing tight ends in the past two games doesn't help either.
numberFire.com Projections: 24.70 points allowed, 2.13 sacks, 1.80 turnovers, .15 touchdowns, 6.64 fantasy points
Analysis: Outside of a first week thrashing from Washington, the New York Giants have been fantasy kryptonite for opposing defenses, allowing just seven total fantasy points to the position via dominating victories over the St. Louis Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. With the way the Arizona defense has been playing thus far in the season, expect that trend to hold up.
The Arizona Cardinals head home for Week 3 of the NFL season, taking on Pete Carroll's struggling Seattle Seahawks team within the raucous confines of University of Phoenix Stadium. With the help of our friends at numberFire.com, we've evaluated the Cardinals primary fantasy football options leading into the first divisional matchup of the 2011 season. From Kevin Kolb, Beanie Wells, and even Larry Fitzgerald the Redbirds carry some interesting options for owners still pouring over last-minute rankings and projections to find out who to sit and who to start.
numberFire.com Projections: 12.24 rushes, 49.16 yards, .32 touchdowns, 1.91 receptions, 12.94 receiving yards, 8.39 fantasy points
Analysis: After a strong opening game against Frank Gore, the Seattle defense fell back to earth in week two, crumbling at the hands of the Steelers' tailback party. Both Pittsburgh running backs -- Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman -- rushed for a touchdown on route to amassing double-digit scoring days early in the game. Meanwhile, through two weeks Beanie Wells has looked like one of the best players in Arizona, and has historically had some of his best games against the Seahawks. Start him.
Injury Update: Wells was limited in practice on Wednesday with a tight hamstring. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said resting him was precautionary and also allowed backup Chester Taylor to get more reps in practice. On Friday, Whisenhunt was typically vague and when asked if Wells was a game-time decision said, "that's fair to say".
Wells himself said he was confident he would play and said they pulled him from practice to get extra rest.
numberFire.com Projections: 20.72 points allowed, 1.79 sacks, 1.51 turnovers, .12 touchdowns, 6.54 fantasy points
Analysis: While the Arizona defense may not be world-beaters, this one's about as easy of a matchup there is. Led by the ineffectual Tavaris Jackson, Seattle has scored just two offensive touchdowns in the opening two weeks, while gaining a league low 191.5 yards per game. With such a vast dearth of talent on the offensive side of the ball, that ineptitude doesn't appear to be changing any time soon. Start the Cardinals with confidence.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.85 receptions, 81.43 yards, 0.63 touchdowns, 11.94 fantasy points
Analysis: At this point we're done doubting Larry Fitzgerald. Last week's seven catch, 133-yard, one touchdown explosion was a masterpiece to watch. All this guy needs to thrive is a competent quarterback and now he has one. Don't even think about sitting him.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.12/1.33 field goal attempts, 1.54 extra points, 5.33 fantasy points
Analysis: Seattle has given up the fourth-most points in the NFC and the fourth-most fantasy points against opposing kickers. Arizona should run away with this one, giving Jay Feely plenty of opportunities to ratchet up the scoreboard.
numberFire.com Projections: 191.51 passing yards, 1.08 touchdowns, 0.74 interceptions, 7.91 rushing yards, 11.89 fantasy points
Analysis: This one isn't a case of dooming Kevin Kolb to poor play against Seattle, but rather, believing Arizona will eventually amass a large lead and render the passing game obsolete, as was the case for Ben Roethlisberger last week. Big Ben still ended up with a marginally good day (298 yards, one touchdown) and Kolb could be in line for something similar, but in this age of fantasy QB dominance, you need more than that from your signal caller.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.38 receptions, 30.24 yards, .23 touchdowns, 4.41 fantasy points
Analysis: Due to Andre Roberts' complete ineffectualness in the Kolb-led offense thus far, the more viable Cardinals second-option seems to be trending towards Early Doucet. Still, the 23-year-old followed up a breakout 105-yard, one touchdown breakout opening week with a two catch, 20-yard clunker against Washington. Until someone can show some consistency, stay away from this whole group of ancillary receivers.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.98 receptions, 37.85 yards, .31 touchdowns, 5.65 fantasy points
Analysis: If there's one thing that the Seahawk defense has done well, it's lock down the tight end position. Seattle has allowed just 62 yards receiving and zero touchdowns from the position despite facing extremely capable players in Vernon Davis and Heath Miller through the first two weeks. At this point, Todd Heap has yet to establish himself (and may somehow be overshadowed by Jeff King) so in no way is he a safe start.
The Arizona Cardinals hit the road for Week 2 of the NFL season, traveling to FedEx Field to take on the bizarrely revitalized Rex Grossman and the undefeated Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon. With the aid of our pals over at numberFire.com, we've evaluated the Cardinals chief fantasy football options leading into the second game of the 2011 campaign. From Kevin Kolb, Beanie Wells, and even Larry Fitzgerald, the Redbirds carry some painstaking question marks for owners still agonizing over who to sit and who to start.
numberFire.com Projections: 173.92 passing yards, 0.98 touchdowns, 0.72 interceptions, 9.01 rushing yards, 10.94 fantasy points
Analysis: If we learned anything from last weekend's spectacle against the Carolina Panthers, it was that: A) Kevin Kolb is the most capable quarterback the Cardinals have started since Kurt Warner (doesn't really say much), and B) The Arizona defense is absolutely atrocious.
In the real world those two factors don't make for a happy camper, but fantasy football is quite different. A porous defense means only one thing. If the Cardinals are going to win games, it's going to be through high-scoring shootouts.
Last year the Washington Redskins gave up the third-highest weekly average to quarterbacks, and this year figures to be no different. Expect this one to be a back-and-forth affair that'll have Kolb throwing the ball upwards of 40 times.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.37 receptions, 72.88 yards, 0.48 touchdowns, 10.23 fantasy points
Analysis: Bear in mind that this is a ‘start with extreme reservation.' Fantasy owners of Fitzgerald should fear the very real prospect that last week was no accident. As we witnessed against Carolina, Ron Rivera's entire defensive game plan was focused around ‘put everybody on Fitz and dare someone else beat us.'
In the past, coordinators invoking that plan did so with extreme trepidation, due to the team's legitimate accompanying threats -- Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. But now, with the not-so-fearsome tandem of Andre Roberts and Early Doucet flanking the All-Pro, defenses appear less nervous about loading the coverage over to Fitzgerald. Last week the plan backfired with Early Doucet's 70-yard scramble. Still, it seems unlikely that one play would be enough to convince coordinators around the league that the Cardinals' ancillary cast of wideouts is the real deal.
Start him only because his name is Larry Fitzgerald. But be wary that this fluke could quickly become a trend.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.97 receptions, 38.22 yards, .21 touchdowns, 5.11 fantasy points
Analysis: Call this one a gut pick. Last Sunday Heap caught two passes for 20 yards each. Not a great debut, but not necessarily a bad one either. Still, owners should be encouraged because the two-time Pro Bowler appeared to be fully recovered from the thumb injury that hampered him throughout the preseason.
All indications are that Heap's workload will increase as the coaches learn how to better utilize his skills. Look for that to begin this week. Last year the Washington Redskins allowed the 13th-most points in the league to opposing tight ends. A sixty-yard, one touchdown day isn't out of the question.
numberFire.com Projections: 19.09 points allowed, 1.65 sacks, 1.39 turnovers, .11 touchdowns, 6.11 fantasy points
Analysis: This one is the riskiest pick of the bunch, especially after what we saw last week. Everyone who started the Cardinals defense under the guise that Arizona would rip Cam Newton to shreds in his NFL debut was undoubtedly shell-shocked, and screaming at the TV screen by the middle of the third quarter (myself included). Luckily a last second Patrick Peterson return touchdown saved the day and gave us all a decent point total, but still -- what the hell kind of defense was that?
Yet isn't that exactly what this team did last year? Arizona had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2010, but a top-6 fantasy unit purely because of defensive and return touchdowns -- the most unreliable of all pretend currency. So here we are again, facing the exact same situation, with the exact same result thus far. But after a certain point, if the unreliable happens reliably, doesn't that make it fairly reliable? (I swear that sentence made sense in my head.)
numberFire.com Projections: 10.22 rushes, 38.52 yards, 1.05 touchdowns, 1.05 receptions, 5.55 receiving yards, 6.34 fantasy points
Analysis: Last week Beanie Wells went a long way to proving that he could be a legitimate starter in this league, gashing the Carolina front line for 102 total yards and a touchdown. Yet, the reality is as the game tightened-up due to the porous Arizona defense, the former-Buckeye's opportunities became fewer and fewer. When it was all over, Wells ran the ball just eight times in the second half for 19 yards.
A similar situation could play out this week against a much more capable Washington attack. If the Cardinals fall behind early, Ken Whisenhunt has shown his willingness to turn to the air and completely abandon the run. Stay away from Wells this week, as a repeat performance is unlikely.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.41 receptions, 30.50 yards, .14 touchdowns, 3.96 fantasy points
Analysis: Right now Andre Roberts looks like the odd man out. With Early Doucet inserting his name into the fray, and Larry Fitzgerald just generally being Larry Fitzgerald, the youngster's opportunities were few and far between last Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Now facing a Washington Redskins secondary that held firm against the New York Giants, it would be wise to wait on Roberts until he can develop a more defined role within the Cardinal offense.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.03/1.22 field goal attempts, 1.42 extra points, 4.92 fantasy points
Analysis: Thus far the Cardinals offense has proven its ability to seal the deal within scoring range. What that means is less field goals and more extra points. Not bad in real life, but definitely not good for fantasy owners.
The Arizona Cardinals open up Week 1 of the NFL season within the familiar confines of University of Phoenix Stadium as they host number-one draft pick Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. With the help of our good friends over at numberFire.com, we've analyzed the Cardinals primary fantasy football options leading into the big game. Larry Fitzgerald remains a chief fantasy contributor, but the rest of the Redbirds offer some daunting decisions for owners still pondering who to sit and who to start.
numberFire.com Projections: 5.17 receptions, 68.85 yards, 0.47 touchdowns, 9.69 fantasy points
Analysis: After a down year in 2010, Fitzgerald appears poised and ready to reclaim his title as a top-5 fantasy receiver in the NFL. With a competent quarterback finally at the helm, the All-Pro is primed for a bounce-back season, and it all begins against Carolina.
Fitz has dominated the Panthers throughout his time in the league, collecting 44 receptions, 631 yards, and two touchdowns in just six games against the franchise. Last year Fitzgerald had one of his best games of the season in Carolina, exploding for 125 yards on nine receptions. You don't really need me to tell you to start him, do you?
numberFire.com Projections: 10.49 rushes, 39.33 yards, 0.37 touchdowns, 1.13 receptions, 7.75 receiving yards, 0.07 receiving touchdowns, 7.30 fantasy points
Analysis: If it's been said once, it's been said a thousand times. This is Beanie Wells' year. With the starting job finally in hand, and no competent threat breathing down his neck, Wells strolls into the season as one of the NFL's lone featured backs. That isn't a point that can be understated. The guarantee of 20 carries a game is a fantasy goldmine in this age of backfield-by-committee.
For his part, Wells has done all he can to prove that he deserves the trust of the coaching staff, piling up a string of excellent performances in the preseason. Now he'll get his shot on the big stage, against one of last year's worst rushing defenses. Do big things Beanie.
numberFire.com Projections: 19.34 points allowed, 1.67 sacks, 1.41 turnovers, .11 touchdowns, 6.17 fantasy points
Analysis: Last year, despite all their shortcomings, the Cardinals' defense ended the season as a top-6 fantasy unit. How? They were opportunistic to a fault, collecting a league-high seven touchdowns throughout the sixteen game campaign.
Now they get a treat in week 1, as struggling rookie Cam Newton travels into town for the first start of his NFL career. Who's to say that the Redbirds can't lure the number-one pick into a sloppy turnover or two?
numberFire.com Projections: 156.78 passing yards, 0.80 touchdowns, 0.80 interceptions, 7.39 rushing yards, 8.81 fantasy points
Analysis: Kevin Kolb's time will come, just not yet. Historically quarterbacks in their first game with a franchise tend to play poorly, whether it's because of personnel unfamiliarity or the inherent pressure of the moment. Expect the same from Kolb early, especially because the team missed so much valuable offseason acclimation time. He could still play decently on Sunday, but the numbers won't show it. Go with a different option if you have one.
numberFire.com Projections: 2.66 receptions, 35.40 yards, .23 touchdowns, 4.94 fantasy points
Analysis: Andre Roberts could be a massive sleeper this season. Or he could be a gigantic bust. That's the thing, nobody can know for sure. At this point he's just too big of a gamble to wager a precious starting spot on. Give it a few weeks so we can see what kind of role he develops within the offense, and then we'll have this conversation.
numberFire.com Projections: 3.30 receptions, 40.29 yards, .36 touchdowns, 6.22 fantasy points
Analysis: Todd Heap falls into the exact same category as Roberts. At this point, nobody can know for sure what to expect out of the former-Sun Devil. The Cardinals have traditionally shied away from a tight end orientated attack, although it's fair to say that they've never really had a tight end like Heap. Give it some time so we can see how the big man fits into this offense, then give him a look.
numberFire.com Projections: 1.04/1.24 field goal attempts, 1.44 extra points, 4.98 fantasy points
Analysis: The Cardinals' offensive reservations hold true to Jay Feely as well. This early in the season it's difficult to gauge how well this unit can really work together, and kickers depend on explosive offenses that can put up points in bunches. For all we know the Cardinals could possess one, but allow a test run first before you rely on the real thing.
As you get primed and ready for the 2011 fantasy football season, it goes without saying that the most vital pre-draft preparation is spent attempting to unearth the year's ever-enigmatic fantasy sleepers. These are the men that can take you to the promise land. Receiving first-round value from a seventh-round pick is how legends are made and championships are won.
Yet, that's the thing. Each and every year we venture out into this world blind because no one can truly anticipate a sleeper. Hindsight is 20-20 -- of course Arian Foster was supposed to lead the league in points last year -- but to see it before it happens, that is the true test of a fantasy owner's mettle.
But to uncover this issue, we must challenge the true nature of the term. Inherently, fantasy sleepers are individuals that outperform expectations to a level that is beyond all anticipation. This usually happens in one of three ways.
Well that's all well and good, but what does it really mean?
Enter your 2011 Arizona Cardinals. The Redbirds are littered with potential sleepers, running across the full gamut of opportunity. Let's take a look.
Hell, even the Cardinals' team defense might be worth a look. Take a gander at the schedule. Within the first five weeks the team gets: Cam Newton's first NFL start, the combined efforts of John Beck and Rex Grossman, the Tarvaris Jackson experiment, and the last legs of Donovan McNabb. Not exactly a murderers' row there.
So when the time comes, and you reach the rounds in your fantasy draft where value and potential trump middling talent, consider the Arizona Cardinals. Who knows, it could take you to the promise land.
Last year the Arizona Cardinals submitted a offensive caricature for the ages, dropping from 12th in total passing offense to 31st throughout the entire NFL. Needless to say, the sudden plunge crumbled any semblance of fantasy football relevance the franchise carried, even dragging down the team's once unassailable star wide receiver.
After thee straight seasons of double-digit touchdowns, Larry Fitzgerald had become a name synonymous with consistency. But even he could not escape from the offensive black hole that was the Cardinals unproven slew of replacement quarterbacks. While his numbers certainly didn't appear terrible on paper -- 90 catches, 1137 yards, 6 touchdowns -- they were a far cry from those that fantasy football owners had become accustomed to in the magical days of Kurt Warner.
Fitzgerald yielded ten weeks under the double-digit point mark throughout the '09-'10 fantasy football season -- including four showings with five points or less -- finishing the year with his worst stats since 2006. It goes without saying, but if you were an owner that spent a first or second round pick on Fitzy, you probably didn't win your league.
But now that nightmare is over, for the time being, and Kevin Kolb has marched into town to save the day. While Kolb is certainly no Tom Brady, he still provides a much more capable face to the Cardinals' offensive attack, thus pushing Fitzgerald back into the discussion of elite fantasy receivers. Let's take a look.
SB Nation's Fake Teams:
For once the national media is probably right. Fitz is Fitz, he'll get his, regardless of who's throwing the ball. And hey, if they're competent -- like we all hope -- then that's even better.
With Kolb in the mix, it's safe to expect Fitzgerald's numbers to experience a significant bounce back. While hoping for Warner-era levels of production is probably unrealistic, settling on a happy medium between that and last year's campaign isn't out of the question.
Besides, the 27-year-old has a shiny new eight-year, $120 million contract to live up to, and from what we know about Fitzgerald, he's not exactly one to rest on his laurels.
SB Nation Arizona 2011 Fantasy Football Prediction: 99 catches, 1,312 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns
It's almost here. The 2011 NFL season is just weeks away and inching closer at this very moment. Now is the time for fantasy football owners to comb over every mock draft, player projection, and position ranking to ensure they emerge out the other side, trophy in hand.
And as all self-proclaimed fantasy gurus know, there is one particular, time-tested means to achieve that goal: the hallowed "fantasy sleeper." This time of year everyone is scrambling to dig through the dregs and discover the next Arian Foster; the impossible-to-predict player available in the mid-to-late rounds with the potential to carry a team to the promise land.
The former-Buckeye heads into his third NFL season with a lot left to prove. After accumulating just 1,190 yards over two unremarkable years -- including a miserable sophomore slump that saw the back pick up just 397 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games last season -- Wells enters a vital make-or-break year.
Heading into the 2011 preseason with a new starting quarterback under center, and a rookie running back nipping at Wells' heels, many within the Cardinals organization felt this was the Ohio-native's last shot to carry the offensive load. Add in a devastating ruptured patellar tendon that'll keep first round pick Ryan Williams out indefinitely, and Wells has an unparalleled chance to fulfill the expectations placed on him out of college.
First let's take a look at what the national media thinks:
SB Nation's Fake Teams:
Just by glancing at the numbers, it's clear pundits don't think highly of him. And who could blame them? Wells royally burned everybody that took an early round flyer on him last season.
But let's not let the past cloud our judgment. This season and last season are entirely different beasts. Wells will no longer be forced to differ to Tim Hightower, who, for all intensive purposes, was the starting running back throughout the last two years. Likewise, Wells will -- hopefully -- no longer be forced to rush against nine large men stacked in the box because of a passing game that resembles Tecmo Bowl-levels of erraticism.
Really it all boils down to one thing: opportunity. Wells has an opportunity that few backs in league ever get. In the age of runner-by-committee, 300-carry backs are few and far between. With no real competition, Wells has a chance to enter into the workhorse conversation.
Besides, it's important to remember that the kid is still only 23. Even with the split-second lifespan of NFL running backs, 23 is inexplicably young.
Everyone that claimed Wells was washed-up or a bust after last season is missing the boat on this one. How quickly we forget the end of the '09-‘10 campaign, when he steamrolled for 483 yards and six touchdowns in limited action over the final eight games, including a monster day at Detroit where he exploded for 110 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries.
Wells hasn't received that level of involvement since the aforementioned '09 rally. He recorded over 15 carries just twice last season, one of which resulted in a decent fantasy performance of 64 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. He can perform if given the opportunity.
Basically, Wells is as prime an example of a low-risk, high-reward target as there is entering into the 2011 fantasy football draft. And isn't that always the case with the big-time sleepers?
SB Nation Arizona 2011 Fantasy Football Prediction: 1,312 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 201 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
After a complete team restructuring following last year's debacle, is it safe to say that Arizona Cardinals could actually make an impact on the 2011 fantasy football season?
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