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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2010
*MIA at NE OAK at KC *CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
*TB at NO TEN at IND *MIN at DET *SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS *STL at SEA
*Updated *DAL at PHI *CIN at BAL *PIT at CLE ARI at SF

Prediction: ARI 6, SF 20

Just a close out on the futility of being in the NFC West. The Cardinals come to a merciful end having lost their last six road games and also losing 6-27 when they hosted the 49ers just five weeks ago. The 49ers are short one permanent coach but that should serve to scare the players and yet make interim head coach Jim Tomsula think he can make a run for the job by winning here. Both teams are shells of their former glory.

Arizona Cardinals (5-10)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL W 17-13 10 SEA L 18-36
2 @ATL L 7-41 11 @KC L 13-31
3 OAK W 24-23 12 SF L 6-27
4 @SD L 10-41 13 STL L 6-19
5 NO W 30-20 14 DEN W 43-13
6 Bye - 15 @CAR L 12-19
7 @SEA L 10-22 16 DAL W 27-26
8 TB L 35-38 17 @SF -
9 @MIN L 24-27 - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB John Skelton - - 170
RB Beanie Wells 30 - -
RB Tim Hightower 30 10 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 50 -
WR Steve Breaston - 40 -
WR Andre Roberts - 30 -
WR Early Doucet - 20 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG XP -
Pregame Notes: The Cardinals came up with two wins here at the end of the season to prevent a ten game losing streak but both were at home and trap games of sorts. The Cardinals have seen a bad year only get worse, from not being able to decide who the quarterback should be until now when there is only one man standing and he's just another rookie in over his head. The rushing game has been horrible the entire year. Basically the Cardinals would rank 32nd in every offensive category were it not for Larry Fitzgerald.

QUARTERBACK: John Skelton has started three games and finally has one touchdown to his credit though he has yet to break 200 pass yards in any game. Derek Anderson was still the starter in week 12 against the 49ers when he passed for 196 yards and one interception. On the road this week there is no reason to consider Skelton for a fantasy start.

RUNNING BACKS: If Beanie Wells is not the biggest running back bust, he at least eats lunch at the same table as the guy. Wells has been more of a liability than anything this year and the bruiser whose size suggests a workhorse is more of a change of pace back for when the Cardinals want to only gain one yard. Wells only has two touchdowns on the year and has not gained more than 47 yards since midseason.

Tim Hightower has filled in and been marginally better than Wells but even he only matters against the worst of defenses and for some reason the Cardinals rarely throw the ball to him despite his being a terrific receiver.

Expect marginal stats this week like every other one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: When Kurt Warner was there, Steve Breaston made the slot a productive place to be. Now he cannot even make being the starting flanker worth more than 50 yards or so each week with no scores. Breaston only has one touchdown this year and that was back in week three. Larry Fitzgerald has been depressing to his owners but his five touchdowns and 79 catches for 1012 deserves a medal since it was only he who prevented this team from being the consensus worst team in the league. Fitzgerald is not about a bad game on occasion, but he has come through far better than any of the other receivers even though he has been doubled covered since training camp.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 31 32 19 31 22 1
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 21 10 29 1 24 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ARI -10 -22 10 -30 2 19


San Francisco 49ers (5-10)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SEA L 6-31 10 STL W 23-20
2 NO L 22-25 11 TB L 0-21
3 @KC L 10-31 12 @ARI W 27-6
4 @ATL L 14-16 13 @GB L 16-34
5 PHI L 24-27 14 SEA W 40-21
6 OAK W 17-9 15 @SD L 7-34
7 @CAR L 20-23 16 @STL L 17-25
8 DEN W 24-16 17 ARI --
9 Bye - - - -
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 200,2
RB Brian Westbrook 40 40 -
RB Anthony Dixon 40 - -
TE Vernon Davis - 50,1 -
WR Josh Morgan - 30 -
WR Ted Ginn Jr. - 10 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 40,1 -
PK Jeff Reed 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers get a gift to end the season with this home game and they have won four of their last five games in San Francisco. They just never win on the road and never beat a really good team. The firing of Mike Singletary will carry into this game that should be a win no matter what. I am assuming Alex Smith starts but that remains to be named. The 49ers ran Frank Gore into the ground and since then have had almost no rushing game to speak about. This season is ending no better than it started and 2011 will be just another rebuilding year by the bay.

QUARTERBACK: Troy Smith was benched last week and the only reason he got the start was because he had a big game when the 49ers hosted the Rams. Even then it was only one touchdown and Troy never had more than that single score in any start. He also immediately fell below 200 pass yards every week and never improved. Troy only passed for 129 yards and one score in Arizona.

Alex Smith has done more with the wideouts and Vernon Davis and posted three games with multiple scores and five games over 200 yards. Alex is as good as it gets but that never was good enough this year. Alex was promising at the end of 2009 but never picked it back up this year.

RUNNING BACKS: The rushing game has been marginal since losing Frank Gore in the previous meeting with the Cardinals. Brian Westbrook rushed for 136 yards and a score in that game and Anthony Dixon added 54 yards and a touchdown as well. But since then - nothing. Westbrook has never gained more than 40 yards in a game and is rarely used as a receiver.

While there is always the chance for a short score, neither running back has been effective or reliable.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Crabtree scored once on his two catches for 48 yards against the Cardinals and all other wideouts were held to less than 30 yards in that game. Crabtree remains a work in progress but is the best wideout for the team and has six touchdowns this year. No other wideout has more than two and Josh Morgan has been highly inconsistent this year though tends to the sub-50 yard efforts.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis only had two catches for 32 yards in the Cardinals game since Troy Smith was having a problem connecting with him. Davis has been far more productive when paired with Alex Smith and is a must start each week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 24 25 30 4 29 26
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 11 31 15 18 32 28
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SF -13 6 -15 14 3 2

WEEK 17
2010
MIA at NE OAK at KC CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
TB at NO TEN at IND MIN at DET SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS STL at SEA
  DAL at PHI CIN at BAL PIT at CLE ARI at SF
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