The Week 6 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers features two teams that pride themselves on their defense. We've got all the fantasy projections for you courtesy of numberFire.
Since the departure of quarterback Kurt Warner, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald hasn't had much to get excited about, as his opportunities to make an impact on a game last season were impeded by the play of quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. Luckily for Fitzgerald, the Cardinals upgraded in the off-season and acquired Carson Palmer. After scoring four touchdowns all of last year, Fitzgerald already has three scores in just five games this season. His fantasy owners will want to see him pick up a little bit more yardage as he is currently on pace to finish with less than 1,000 receiving yards for the second straight year.
Fitzgerald will be in for a tough test against a 49ers secondary that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers so far this season. That means the Cardinals may have better luck moving the football using the running game. Andre Ellington has been impressive this season and has managed over 240 total yards. When you throw in the fact that he's averaging 6.7 yards per carry in limited touches on the ground, he's got definite fantasy value in leagues that reward receptions. Teammate Rashard Mendenhall could lose his touches to Ellington as the season wears on. The veteran is getting nearly twice as many carries as Ellington, but is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry.
After struggling out of the gate, it seems that the San Francisco 49ers are starting to get their stuff together defensively, which you would think might help the offense produce fantasy numbers. That wasn't the case in Week 5, as quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed only six passes on just 15 attempts in a blowout win over the Houston Texans. The 49ers were ahead by a fair margin at halftime and could afford to spend most of the second half running down the clock with running backs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. Given how good the defenses of both teams are in this one, there is no doubt that Kaepernick will attempt more than 15 passes in Week 6.
That can only bode well for the 49ers receiving corps, who of course saw limited action in light of what transpired in Week 5. Tight end Vernon Davis caught three passes for 88 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown pass, his fourth touchdown of the season. As much as the Cardinals are known for their defense, covering tight ends would be their main weakness in fantasy terms. They give up the second-most points to that position. That's good news for Davis' owners, who could see their number one tight end get a lot of looks if the 49ers hope to walk away from Week 6 with a victory.