An NFC West bout is one of the NFL's major Week 16 matchups, and it could be just as crucial for fantasy owners.
The San Francisco 49ers (5-9) travel to face the Arizona Cardinals (8-6) on Saturday, with the game featuring multiple players that could make or break fantasy football teams during what, for many, is championship week.
49ers at Cardinals fantasy football: Start 'em
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
At first glance, this doesn't look like a favorable matchup for Murray; the 49ers are the No. 10 defense against opposing quarterbacks, according to NFL.com Fantasy rankings. But that doesn't tell the whole story.
Murray is currently the No. 1 overall fantasy quarterback, and he's coming off a 406-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are the No. 16 overall defense, just six spots behind the 49ers, so Murray has proven such defensive rankings don't mean much for his on-field showings.
49ers RB Jeff Wilson
Wilson isn't always a top-option for the 49ers, but fellow tailback Raheem Mostert is on injured reserve, opening up opportunities for Wilson. He suffered an ankle injury during last week's game against the Dallas Cowboys, but he's not listed on the injury report.
Despite his ranking as the No. 49 overall fantasy running back, Wilson should be in line to be San Francisco's top runner on Saturday, and fantasy owners should cash in on his newfound opportunity for some key championship-week points.
49ers at Cardinals fantasy football: Sit 'em
49ers TE George Kittle
Kittle is expected to return to action Saturday after serving time on injured reserve. With former Iowa teammate C.J. Beathard getting the start at quarterback and Kittle's prowess as arguably the NFL's best tight end, it would be easy to plug him into a fantasy lineup in the hopes he provides a spark.
That wouldn't be smart, though. Kittle is coming off a foot injury that's sidelined him for a while, and while head coach Kyle Shanahan cited him as healthy, he won't want to overuse him and risk re-aggravating the injury. Plus, starting a player fresh off injured reserve is always an incredibly risky proposition, as players, even ones as good as Kittle, usually need time to readjust.
Cardinals K Mike Nugent
After spending much of the season on the practice squad, Nugent kicked the last two weeks in place of Zane Gonzalez, who's out for the rest of the season. He hit four field goals against the Giants and one against the Eagles, and many fantasy owners might look to add him, as he's likely now owned in most leagues.
But kickers thrive on consistent opportunities; sitting for weeks, then playing, plus being moved back and forth from the practice squad, is a recipe for disaster. There are many better kicking options available for fantasy owners, as it's typically not hard to add a decent kicker from free agency. Let Nugent get more reps in before even considering starting him.Published 26 Dec 2020, 01:23 IST