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.