GLENDALE, AZ: Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals dives into the endzone against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Arizona won 21-19. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 15: In Larry Fitzgerald We Trust

Fantasy football projections, rankings, and analysis on who to sit and who to start for Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 15: In Larry Fitzgerald We Trust

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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Arizona Defense
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

SIT

Seneca Wallace
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.

Peyton Hillis
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.

John Skelton
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.

 

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 14: Beanie Wells Piloting Your Playoff Push

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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Frank Gore
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Alex Smith
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.

Vernon Davis
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.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 13: DeMarco Murray Storms The Desert

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.

START

Laurent Robinson
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

DeMarco Murray
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.

Tony Romo
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.

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 12: Brandon Lloyd And Larry Fitzgerald Duel In St. Louis

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 JacksonLarry FitzgeraldBeanie 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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Brandon Lloyd
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.

Steven Jackson
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.

SIT

John Skelton
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

Sam Bradford
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".

 

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 11: Frank Gore, Beanie Wells Battle Injuries

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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Frank Gore
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.

SIT

Beanie Wells
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.

John Skelton
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.

Alex Smith
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.

Vernon Davis
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.

 

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Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 10: Michael Vick And LeSean McCoy Prepare To Feast

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.

START

Michael Vick
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

LeSean McCoy
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.

SIT

John Skelton
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

Jeremy Maclin
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.

 

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Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 9: Beanie Wells And Steven Jackson Duel In The Desert

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 WellsSteven 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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Steven Jackson
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.

Brandon Lloyd
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.

Cardinals Defense
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.

SIT

John Skelton
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?

Beanie Wells
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".

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 8: Larry Fitzgerald Is All Alone

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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

Early Doucet
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.

Todd Heap
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?

Cardinals Defense
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.

Jay Feely
numberFire.com Projections: 0.78 field goals, 0.67 extra points, 3.32
fantasy points
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings, Week 7: Start Beanie Wells And Larry Fitzgerald

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.

START

Beanie Wells
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Early Doucet
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.

Jeff King
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?

Cardinals Defense
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.

Jay Feely
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Projections, Week 5: Start Kevin Kolb At All Costs

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. 

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Beanie Wells
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.

Kevin Kolb
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.

Jay Feely
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.

SIT

Early Doucet
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.

Todd Heap
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.

Cardinals Defense
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week Four: Beanie Wells Injury Status Dangerous

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.

START

Kevin Kolb
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Jay Feely
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.

SIT

Beanie Wells
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.

Early Doucet
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.

Todd Heap
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.

Cardinals Defense
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week Three: Beanie Wells Tops Rankings

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.

START

Beanie Wells
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.

Cardinals Defense
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Jay Feely
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.

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Early Doucet
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.

Todd Heap
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week Two: Kevin Kolb A Sleeping Giant

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.

START

Kevin Kolb
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.

Larry Fitzgerald
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.

Todd Heap
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.

Cardinals Defense
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.)

This one comes down to whether you believe the Redbirds can trick old Sexy Rexy into a mistake or three. In some bizarre Cardinals fashion, I think it's bound to happen.

SIT

Beanie Wells
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.

Andre Roberts
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. 

Jay Feely
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week One: Beanie Wells Primed To Surprise

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.

START

Larry Fitzgerald
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?

Beanie Wells
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.

Cardinals Defense
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?

SIT

Kevin Kolb
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.

Andre Roberts
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.

Todd Heap
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.

Jay Feely
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.

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Larry Fitzgerald Projected For A Revival

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.

Yahoo! Sports:

ESPN:

  • 25th ranked overall player
  • 6th ranked wide receiver
  • Notably ranked behind Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, A. Johnson, C. Johnson, and White
  • Projected for 100 receptions, 1,270 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns

CBS Sports:

  • 6th ranked wide receiver
  • Notably ranked behind Jennings, Nicks, A. Johnson, C. Johnson, and White
  • Projected for 98.1 receptions, 1,318.3 yards receiving, 7.6 touchdowns, .6 fumbles

SB Nation's Fake Teams:

  • 4th ranked wide receiver
  • Notably ranked behind A. Johnson, C. Johnson, and Roddy White

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

For all your fantasy football needs from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's fantasy hub and blog Fake Teams.

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