Welcome to Week 9 of the NFL schedule. SB Nation Arizona is your source for all Arizona Cardinals-related fantasy football analysis. Need some last minute predictions, help setting lineups, or info on who to sit and who to start? We're here for you.
This week we take a look at our old pals Derek Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Beanie Wells, and new friend LaRod Stephens-Howling. Plus we'll take a peek at the Cardinals' opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, and their terrible twosome of senior citizen Brett Favre and man-child Adrian Peterson.
Derek Anderson: Here we go again; another day, another stop on this relentless quarterback carousel. Don't you just love it Cardinals fans?
For a second straight week Max Hall's hideous performance led to a quarterback switch halfway through the game. For a second straight week Arizona's favorite disaster, Derek Anderson, came out and moved the offense directly to a touchdown. And for a second straight week he promptly melted down immediately afterward. Same script, different day. Though he did do in much more spectacular fashion this time, if that counts for anything. If collapses were fantasy points, D.A. would be Phillip Rivers over here.
Still, at this point the only semblance of offense the Cardinals can muster up is when Derek is on the field, so Whisenhunt didn't really have a choice. Anderson is the starter for the time being, and hopefully D.A. v2.0 works out better than D.A. v1.0. But don't count on it.
Fantasy Prediction: 15-32, 213 yards, 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Larry Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald finally found the promise land last week, catching two touchdowns to double up his total for the year. Nonetheless, Fitz still hasn't had 100 yards receiving in a single game this season. Those numbers pale in comparison to the kind of stats the man is used to putting up - since 2007 Larry has amassed eighteen 100 yard performances. His frustration is wholly visible and is reaching levels that we have never seen before.
Of course, Derek Anderson has still shown a tendency to try and force the issue with Fitzy. Returning to his native Minnesota, the extraordinary receiver is sure to get plenty of targets. The question is whether those targets will even be within his general proximity.
Fantasy Prediction: 8 receptions, 72 yards, 0 touchdowns
Steve Breaston: While the switch from the Stormin' Mormon to D.A. affects each member of the offense, Breaston may end up as the largest beneficiary.
Steve Breaston/Max Hall relations vs. Tampa Bay: 2 catches, 16 yards.
Steve Breaston/Derek Anderson relations vs. Tampa Bay: 6 catches, 131 yards.
That's quite a large discrepancy.
Steve's two biggest days this season have come alongside Derek Anderson. Whether they compliment each other more or just have better chemistry, the developing trend is that Anderson makes Breaston a viable fantasy option. Start him without hesitation.
Fantasy Prediction: 9 receptions, 112 yards, 1 touchdown
Beanie Wells: The oft-injured Wells was once again limited all week in practice because of an allergic reaction to a lubricant injected into his right knee. However, Beanie was more active in Friday's practice than he had been all week, after which he told reporters that he plans to play on Sunday. Whisenhunt backed up the statements, saying that as long as he had no swelling, he would see action. So it looks like it should be safe to start Wells.
This is good news for owners, as Beanie has finally been provided some relief to fantasy players who took him in the first few rounds under the guise that he would be the Cardinals' featured back. After five straight weeks of injuries and underwhelming performances, the Ohio State product has finally eclipsed the ten point mark in each of the last two games.
While the Vikings' front line hasn't performed nearly as well as they have in years past, they're still only giving up 102.4 rushing yards per game. It's always going to be tough to get going on the 1166 lb combo of Jared Allen, Ray Edwards, and the two Williams.
Regardless, if Wells is healthy he should get plenty of looks, and possibly even a few goal line carries. Expect him to end the day with decent numbers.
Fantasy Prediction: 18 carries, 57 yards, 2 receptions, 11 yards, 1 touchdown
LaRod Stephens-Howling: Hyphen makes his first appearance on our list, as the former 7th round pick has claimed the role vacated by Tim Hightower's inability to hold onto the football.
The blazing fast Stephens-Howling has proven himself to be a legitimate back in limited action this year, rushing for an astounding 7.2 yards per carry. Last week's test-run in Tampa Bay worked out for the young fella, as he romped for a pivotal thirty yard touchdown that swung the momentum of the game.
One would believe that with Hightower entrenched deep in Whisenhunt's doghouse, Hyphen will continue to see increased playing time. Stephens-Howling adds a whole new dimension to the Cardinals' offense and is sure to get an increased workload after proving his ability last week.
Fantasy Prediction: 8 carries, 41 yards, 5 receptions, 32 yards, 0 touchdowns
And straight from the Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (worst stadium name ever), here are some bonus projections, Sota-style.
Brett Favre: It certainly looks like Father Time has finally caught up to the age-less wonder. After putting up some of the best numbers of his career last year, many thought Favre might still have it in him coming into the season. However, the exact opposite has been true.
The 41-year-old signal caller is leading the league in interceptions and is third-to-last among all quarterbacks with a rating of 69.8.
Owners can't be pleased, as his fantasy numbers have predictably suffered. Through seven weeks, Favre is averaging a minuscule 9.55 points per game, and has eclipsed the ten point mark only once.
While it surely would be a classic Cardinals move to jumpstart a struggling quarterback, all signs point to a crumbling Vikings offense struggling to throw the ball against a strong Arizona secondary.
Fantasy Prediction: 20-33, 265 yards, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Adrian Peterson: The Cardinals have been a virtual treasure trove of fantasy points for opposing running backs this year - ranking 29th in the NFL in rushing defense. By surrendering totals of 36.6 (Jason Snelling), 18.2 (Darren McFadden), 16.3 (Mike Tolbert), and 22.9 (LeGarrette Blount), a proven strategy this year has been to start whatever back is facing the Redbirds.
As if you needed us to tell you to start A.P.
All Day is reclaiming his title of best back in the league, leading the NFL in rushing yards through seven games. With the Randy Moss experiment having gone down in flames, the Vikings are going to need to lean on the run game to get their offense going on Sunday. Needless to say, Peterson will probably have a field day.
Fantasy Prediction: 28 carries, 127 yards, 4 receptions, 26 yards, 2 touchdowns
Note: All point totals are based off of YahooSports.com's default fantasy scoring system.