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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 9

The Minnesota Vikings are becoming a true contender. Even though the Vikings air raid looked strong with quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing for 285 passing yards and wideout Stefon Diggs eclipsing the 100 receiving yard mark in a 19-9 win over the Washington Redskins, running back Dalvin Cook stole the show with 171 total yards and a score.

As the only bright side on the other sideline, Adrian Peterson pushed through a high ankle sprain in a superhuman fashion to total over 100 yards from scrimmage in his return to Minnesota.

In order to remain as one of two undefeated teams in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers will need to find a way to win away from home in an NFC West tilt with the Arizona Cardinals. Let's dive in to Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 9!

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San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

Date and Start Time: October 31 at 8:00 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:


Offensive and Defensive Rankings in 2019:

49ers Cardinals
Passing Yards 24th 19th
Rushing Yards 2nd 14th
Pass Defense 1st 29th
Rush Defense 11th 25th


Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Tevin Coleman / Matt Breida (RBs, SF)

Fantasy owners will need to pay close attention to Breida's ankle injury as start time approaches on Thursday night. Nonetheless, the Cardinals are giving up over 130 yards on the ground per game (the eighth-most in the NFL) and the 49ers are averaging the most rush attempts, giving Coleman and Breida enough work to go around. Both should be characterized as RB2s with RB1 upside should either find the end zone.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

Death, taxes, and the Cardinals being exposed by tight ends in 2019 fantasy football are three certainties that have come to be established over time. Arizona has given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this season and Kittle should feast in a glorious matchup. Keep him locked and loaded in your lineups.


Solid Options and Potential Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF)

If there was ever a week to consider streaming Garoppolo, now is the time. With limited production through the air and a QB-23 fantasy quarterback ranking this season, the 49ers signal-caller isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. However, Arizona has given up a league-leading 24.3 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position and Garoppolo's upside will be higher than what we are accustomed to.

Solid Option: Emmanuel Sanders (WR, SF)

Sanders' debut performance in 49er red last week would have been immensely disappointing but for his four-yard touchdown catch. That said, he should continue to be more involved in the offense as he gets more acclimated to the playbook and avoid stud corner Patrick Peterson on Thursday, as he ran routes out of the slot on 18 of his 53 snaps against Carolina.

Sleeper: Raheem Mostert / Jeffery Wilson (RBs, SF)

The usage for Mostert and/or Wilson will invariably depend on the injury situation in the 49ers backfield. To reiterate, the 49ers are averaging the most rush attempts in the league and the backup for Tevin Coleman could be a beneficiary.


Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Marquise Goodwin / Dante Pettis (WRs, SF)

San Francisco has seldom had to throw the football with their dominant rushing attack and defense carrying the team to victories. The duo of Goodwin and Pettis has combined for six receptions on nine targets for 20 yards in their last two games. Until either player shows signs of life, they should be relegated to your bench.

Kyler Murray (QB, ARI)

Murray completed 19 of his 33 pass attempts for 220 yards last week against a New Orleans Saints Defense that ranks 12th against the pass. It's hard to see much room for improvement when this year's No.1 overall pick in the NFL Draft takes on the top-ranked passing defense, meaning a poor fantasy showing is the likely end result.

Arizona Cardinals Running Backs

With the depth of Arizona's running back room becoming paper thin due to injuries, the Cardinals acquired Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins for a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick. Although head coach Kliff Kingsbury has said Drake's workload will be "manageable", it's impossible to think that Alfred Morris and Zach Zenner won't contribute to a committee backfield situation with very little time for him to learn the offense. Factor in the 49ers stout run defense and you have a recipe for disappointment.

Christian Kirk / Larry Fitzgerald (WRs, ARI)

The 49ers haven't allowed more than 200 passing yards to an opposing offense since Week 2. In a game where quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to struggle, it is hard to see either Kirk or Fitzgerald returning WR4 value.

Charles Clay (TE, ARI)

You might think that San Francisco might have a soft spot for tight ends even though they have smothered opposing wide receivers. That is not the case, as the 49ers have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to the tight end position. Clay shouldn't be on anyone's streaming radar.

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