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Ultimate Fantasy Football Championship Est. 2011
FFL: Playoff Week 2 | NFL: Week 15

Cardinals-49ers Preview

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Players: Emmanuel Sanders, Marquise Goodwin, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Dante Pettis, Andy Isabella, Kyler Murray

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (99) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) After nothing but success the first eight games of the season, the San Francisco 49ers now are learning to deal with failure.

The Niners' perfect season was derailed last week with an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks when San Francisco was unable to overcome a litany of offensive miscues.

The 49ers (8-1) will look to get back on the winning track Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals (3-6-1) for the second time in three weeks.

''I think we have a good mindset with it,'' said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had his worst day of the season in the 27-24 loss. ''Everyone was in here yesterday working on the day off. Today it's just a sense of urgency in the building. It's good to see that.''

San Francisco committed three turnovers, allowed five sacks and struggled to get much of anything going consistently on the ground or through the air against Seattle.

The 49ers had season lows in yards rushing (87) and yards per attempt passing (4.7) on a night that star tight end George Kittle was out with an injury and No. 1 receiver Emmanuel Sanders left with injured ribs in the first quarter.

San Francisco is using that performance as a teaching tool for the rest of the season.

''You learn from the good and you learn more from the bad,'' tackle Mike McGlinchey said. ''It's a huge step in the right direction for us to be able take as many blows as we did and play as poorly as we did and still have a chance, not only one chance but multiple chances to win that game. That's a testament to how our defense played. ... We need to do a better job on the offensive side of the ball to make sure we reward their work.''

The Cardinals are stumbling toward their bye week, having lost three straight games after a promising start to the first season under coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.

One of those losses was two weeks ago when Arizona fell 28-25 at home to the 49ers, a performance that gives the Cardinals confidence that if they can fix some mistakes they can compete with the first-place Niners.

''I don't think we played our best game,'' Murray said. ''I know personally, if we just go out and execute - they know what we do, we know what they do - if we go out and execute, we should be in good shape.''

MISSING TARGETS

The Niners' offense was done in by the absence of Kittle and Sanders last week. San Francisco scored 10 points on the opening two drives when Sanders was healthy and then just six more on offense the rest of the game. With no consistent receiving threats, the Seahawks were able to load up against the run and allow only 3.2 yards per carry. Kendrick Bourne had two key drops for San Francisco, while Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin combined for no catches on six targets.

ISABELLA ARRIVES

Arizona has relied on a variety of playmakers this season and the latest to make big plays is rookie receiver Andy Isabella. The second-round pick out of UMass had an 88-yard touchdown catch against the 49ers in the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 31. He has six catches for 174 yards over the past three games after not even being targeted in the season's first seven games. Kingsbury said Isabella has been improving steadily all season.

''It's been trending that way for a while,'' he said. ''We've had him inside, had him outside, and I think now the comfort level, having him outside more so, has really helped his development recently.''

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

The defensive star of the game for the 49ers last week was middle linebacker Fred Warner, who stepped up his performance in his first game since fellow starting linebacker Kwon Alexander suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle. Warner had 10 tackles, the first two sacks of his career, one forced fumble and a pass defensed.

''He gets us in and out of everything,'' coach Kyle Shanahan said. ''He has to make a ton of calls. He's definitely our quarterback out there and I think he does it as good as anyone I've seen.''

DEFENSIVE TROUBLES

Arizona's defense ranks 31st out of 32 teams in points allowed (281), total yards allowed per game (412.5) and passing yards allowed per game (286.5). The Cardinals have given up at least 21 points in all 10 games this season but never have given up more than 38. Linebacker Chandler Jones has been one of the bright spots with 11 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles. Three-time All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson returned from a six-game suspension last month but hasn't had much of an impact. Kingsbury said the Cardinals had bouts of poor tackling in last week's 30-27 loss to Tampa Bay.

''There were some shoulders being thrown,'' Kingsbury said. ''We have to be better in those situations.''

BLIND SIDE

The 49ers again will be without starting left tackle Joe Staley, who will be out a couple of weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken finger. Staley broke a bone in his leg in Week 2 and missed the next six games. He then got hurt in his return to the lineup. With Staley unable to go, rookie Justin Skule is expected to move back into the lineup.

''I thought he did a very good job,'' Shanahan said of Skule. ''He came in there and stepped it up right away. Did a good job in his first game and I thought he got better each week.''

Player Notes
Miles Boykin Dec 13 1:30am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin caught his only target for a five-yard touchdown in Thursday night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Boykin is just one of the several receivers that quarterbackLamar Jackson chooses to throw touchdowns to in any given week and can't be trusted as a fantasy playoff asset. Baltimore faces the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. Boykin caught all three of his targets for 32 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns.

From RotoBaller

Willie Snead Dec 13 1:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead caught his only target for 15 yards in Week 15's win over the Jets. Snead's numbers are too erratic to be trusted as a starting option at this point. He has failed to put up more than 15 yards in a game in his last eight games played, although he did catch two balls for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Browns in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown Dec 13 1:00am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown caught all four of his targets for 45 yards and a 24-yard toe-tap touchdown in Thursday night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Brown was the second-highest targeted receiver in the game, trailing tight end Mark Andrews, who had seven. Hollywood plays a Cleveland Browns Defense in Week 16 that he caught four balls for 22 yards against in Week 4. Despite the good game on Thursday night, the rookie doesn't play many snaps and is a touchdown-dependent deep threat as a WR4 for fantasy owners.

From RotoBaller

Tyrell Williams Dec 13 1:00am ET

Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that wide receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) is still bothered by his plantar fasciitis. "Plantar fasciitis, its a pretty significant injury, but hes battling through it. Hes taking medication before every game trying to manage the pain," Olson said. The first-year Raider opened the year like gangbusters with five straight games finding the end zone. He predictably fell off from there and has just six catches for 62 scoreless yards the last three games against the Jets, Chiefs and Titans. He hasn't gone over 100 yards in a single game this year and also doesn't have more than seven targets in a game in 2019. Williams is a low-upside, low-volume, touchdown-dependent WR3/4 for fantasy owners. Throw in his lingering foot injury and you have a player to avoid.

From RotoBaller

Mark Andrews Dec 13 12:50am ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews caught four of seven targets for 52 yards and a one-yard touchdown early in the second quarter in Thursday night's win over the Jets. Andrews' eighth touchdown broke the Ravens franchise record for touchdowns by a tight end in a season. He at least doubled all other receivers in targets except for receiver Marquise Brown. QuarterbackLamar Jackson's highly coveted tight end will have a rematch against the Browns in Week 16. Andrews caught four of eight targets for 31 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns. He's a high-end TE1.

From RotoBaller

Seth Roberts Dec 13 12:40am ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Seth Roberts led the team in receiving in Thursday night's win over the Jets. Roberts caught all three of his targets for a season-high 66 yards and a 33-yard touchdown pass just before the end of the third quarter. Roberts now has 19 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. It's tricky to predict who quarterbackLamar Jackson will throw a touchdown pass to in any given week, making it too difficult to trust Roberts as a fantasy asset against the Browns in Week 16.

From RotoBaller

Ty Montgomery Dec 13 12:40am ET

New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery had two rushes for five yards while catching his only target for an additional five yards. Montgomery's biggest impact in the game came returning kicks as he took a backseat to Le'Veon Bell in the backfield. With Bell healthy and Bilal Powell (ankle) working his way back there's no reason to own Montgomery in fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Sam Ficken Dec 13 12:30am ET

New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken missed his only field goal and made just one of two extra points in a loss to the Ravens Thursday. Ficken was the hero last Sunday with a walk-off field goal, but had a night to forget in Week 15. To be fair, the kick Ficken missed was a 49-yarder, but this is also the second week in a row he's missed an extra point. The career journeyman doesn't get enough scoring opportunities and will likely have to contend with the swirling MetLife Stadium December winds next week in a home date with the Steelers. Look elsewhere when filling the kicker spot.

From RotoBaller

New York Jets Dec 13 12:30am ET

The New York Jets Defense was unable to slow down MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson and the high-flying Ravens offense Thursday night. Baltimore's offense couldn't have done much better playing against practice cones as Jackson had all day in the pocket to do whatever he wanted, which was usually throwing to wide-open receivers running free in the secondary. The Jets defense did put up a touchdown off of a blocked punt but could get nothing else going on a night to forget. The matchup gets a little better next week with a home date with the Steelers, fantasy managers playing for a championship, however, should still have better options than this unit.

From RotoBaller

Mark Ingram Dec 13 12:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram put up his fifth multiple touchdown performance of the season in Thursday Night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Ingram rushed for 76 yards on 13 carries and a rushing touchdown on the first drive of the game. He added a reception for a 10-yard stretch touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The veteran back will look to keep his momentum moving as he heads into a Week 16 matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Ingram rushed for 71 yards without a touchdown in Week 4 against the Browns.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Brown Dec 13 12:20am ET

New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown caught just one pass for four yards in a loss to the Ravens Thursday. Brown got just two targets while filling in for the injured Ryan Griffin (ankle) who was filling in for the injured Chris Herndon (hamstring). Brown is a serviceable blocker, so there's that, but the third-string tight end won't have any appeal in fantasy football.

From RotoBaller

Gus Edwards Dec 13 12:20am ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards rushed for 35 yards on five carries in Thursday Night's Week 15 win over the Jets. Edwards was able to break free for a 28-yard gain during garbage time, but he doesn't get enough touches to push him over the hill of being Ingram's handcuff. Leave him on your bench for now.

From RotoBaller

Paul Richardson Dec 13 12:10am ET

Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson (hamstring) has been limited the last two days in practice. Richardson has been out since Nov. 24 against the Lions, but it's looking like he might be active again in Week 15's divisional tilt against the Eagles. In the season opener against Philly, Richardson had four catches for 36 yards. On the season as a whole, he's predictably disappointed in this weak offense for 28 catches (42 targets), 245 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins isn't being asked to do much in a lost season, so it's hard to trust any receiver on this squad in fantasy outside of impressive rookie Terry McLaurin. If Richardson returns, avoid him in the fantasy semifinals.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Dec 13 12:10am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder was one of few bright spots for the Jets Thursday, going for 90 yards and two touchdowns on a team-high 11 targets. Crowder got off to a hot start, making five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He cooled down after that but found the end zone on his only catch of the second half to score some garbage-time points for his fantasy owners. Crowder had been quiet three games in a row but had been getting plenty of targets so it was just a matter of time before he found his rhythm again. He'll be a WR3 in a tough matchup with the Steelers in Week 16.

From RotoBaller

Vyncint Smith Dec 13 12:10am ET

New York Jets wide receiver Vyncint Smith caught three of five targets for 40 yards in a loss to the Ravens Thursday. The 40 yards are a season-high for Smith who got more playing time with Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) missing the game in Baltimore. Smith has just three games this year with more than one catch and will not be fantasy-relevant even if Thomas misses more time.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Dec 13 12:00am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) said he's "feeling good" after being limited in practice the last two days. Fuller was a surprise inactive in the Week 14 loss to the Broncos, but he seems to have a better chance at playing this Sunday in a big divisional game against the Titans. As usual, Fuller has battled injuries in 2019, but he does have 42 receptions (62 targets) for 598 yards and three touchdowns in the nine games he's played in. If he returns to action this weekend, consider Fuller a boom-or-bust WR3 with plenty of upside as the deep threat. Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee would join DeAndre Hopkins in three-wide sets again if Fuller misses his second straight game.

From RotoBaller

Le'Veon Bell Dec 13 12:00am ET

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell rushed 21 times for 87 yards while catching both of his targets for one yard in the passing game. Bell missed the Week 14 game vs Miami and his fresh legs were leaned on heavily in this one as no other Jet had more than two rushing attempts. The 87 yards for Bell are a season-high as he can't seem to get going fully behind a questionable offensive line in New York. The good news for Bell's fantasy managers is even during this rough season, Bell usually can find average production based on how much work he gets. He shouldn't have much competition for touches next week in an ultimate revenge game vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Dec 13 12:00am ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson went on a touchdown rampage in Thursday Night's 47-21 win over the New York Jets. Jackson went 15-for-23 for 212 yards and a blazing five touchdown passes to five different receivers. The performance was the third time he has thrown for five touchdowns in a game this season. Jackson led the team in rushing with 86 yards on eight carries. Although he wasn't able to score a rushing touchdown, Jackson did break Michael Vick's 2006 single-season rushing record by a quarterback of 1,039. He now has 1,103 total rushing yards in 2019. Jackson was sacked once and did not turn the ball over. Baltimore has a rematch with the Cleveland Browns in Week 16. When they played in Week 4, Jackson threw for 212 yards, three touchdowns and two picks. That was also the last time the Ravens took a loss as they have now won 10 games in a row. There won't be a reason to move him from his starting spot next week.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Dec 13 12:00am ET

Denver Broncos rookie tight end Noah Fant (hip, foot) returned to a limited practice on Thursday after being held out on Wednesday. The talented tight end caught all four of his targets for 113 yards and a touchdown in his second game with Drew Lock under center in Week 15 against the Texans. There obviously remains plenty of volatility with the rookie, but Fant has much more upside with Lock under center. In Week 15 against the Chiefs, Fant will be an upside TE2 if he plays. He could be questionable for the divisional tilt, but we should have a better idea of his status on Friday. Jeff Heuerman would be the primary pass-catching tight end on Sunday if Fant can't go.

From RotoBaller

Gerald Everett Dec 13 12:00am ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett (knee) missed his second straight day of practice on Thursday. Everett is on his way to his third missed contest in a row if he's unable to return to practice on Friday. Tyler Higbee has stepped up in a big way for the Rams in Everett's absence, catching 14 passes (19 targets) for 223 yards and a touchdown in the last two games against the Cardinals and Seahawks. If Everett misses another game, Higbee will remain a TE1 for the fantasy semifinals against the Cowboys on the road.

From RotoBaller