Do the Cardinals even need Boldin?

Listen, how about you sit this one out, Q?

According to Adam Schefter via his Twitter page, the Cardinals don’t expect wideout Anquan Boldin (ankle/knee) to play against the Saints on Saturday.

As crazy as it sounds, Arizona might be better off.

The mere thought that the Cardinals are better without Boldin in the lineup sounds ridiculous. He’s an underrated playmaker that makes teams pay for double-teaming Larry Fitzgerald. He has the size and speed to win one-on-one matchups with a defender of any size and he’s a load to bring down in open space. Of course the Cardinals are better with him.

That said, over the last two seasons the Cards are 6-1 when Boldin didn’t play. And as the Wall Street Journal points out, they’ve averaged 33.9 points per game without him in the lineup, compared to the 24.5 PPG and 17-13 record with him. They also racked up 41 points in the one regular season game (vs. the Bears) that he missed this season and 51 points last week against the Packers, so the numbers would indicate that they’re better off without him.

But this is one of those times when numbers can be misleading. Arizona has survived without Boldin because they have an abundance of depth at the wideout position. Steve Breaston has shown the ability to be a playmaker when he starts and Early Doucet showed last week that he could be a star in the making. Fitzgerald aids both receivers by commanding double-teams, and having a quarterback in Kurt Warner that can deliver the ball in a timely manner so his wideouts can make the catch in stride and pick up yards after the catch is critical as well.

Can the Cardinals win without Boldin? Absolutely – and they’ve proven it. But are they better? That’s debatable. The numbers would suggest that they are, but teams are always better when they have their full complement of weapons, especially during the postseason.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Boldin doubtful for Packers game?

The Arizona Republic is reporting that Anquan Boldin has a sprained left MCL, as well as a high left ankle sprain.

Receiver Anquan Boldin — He told me he has a high left ankle sprain and a sprained left medial collateral ligament. He worked with a trainer during practice but it’s questionable if he’ll play Sunday against the Packers.

Even though the Arizona Republic reports that it’s “questionable” that he’ll play, sprains of that nature can take players weeks to recover from. That said, Boldin is extremely tough and will likely suit up. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, even if he does play, he probably won’t be close to 100%.

This bodes well for a hot Packers team that already matches up well with Arizona’s passing attack.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Boldin, Gonzalez, Morris, Jennings, Cotchery and Roy Williams

Things are looking up for Anquan Boldin. We’ll see if he practices today (Friday), but he went through a tough workout with the trainer and reportedly looked a lot better than he did on Wednesday. If he’s able to go, it’s a hit to Steve Breaston, who would be a nice play if Q sits.

HC Caldwell: A. Gonzalez “feeling really good.” Finally, there’s some sort of update on his status. The Colts’ coach was still pretty vague, not setting a timeline for Gonzalez’s return. Rotoworld suggests that Gonzalez would start on the outside with Austin Collie in the slot, so Pierre Garcon’s value would take the biggest hit. But Collie and Gonzalez are pretty similar players, so the Colts are more likely to rotate Collie and Garcon depending on the situation. Garcon is a deep threat while Collie is a possession receiver.

Sammy Morris won’t play in Week 7. He apparently wasn’t on the flight to London. What’s funny is that if this were a home game, the Patriots would be playing coy all the way up until kickoff. As it stands, Laurence Maroney has a very nice matchup against the Bucs. He looks like a solid RB2/flex play this week.

Greg Jennings practices and is expected to play. The Browns give up a ton of big plays, so Jennings is a nice start this week. In other news, James Jones is the full-time WR3, so if Jennings or Donald Driver were to miss anytime, his stock would likely jump the most. He’s worth rostering in deep leagues.

Jerricho Cotchery ruled out for Week 7. He wasn’t a particularly good start to begin with. His role opposite Braylon Edwards isn’t defined and the Jets face a tough Oakland pass defense. I’d avoid Edwards as well, though he should see enough targets to make him startable in bigger leagues.

Roy Williams might sit out Week 7. HC Wade Phillips says that Williams is in pain when he catches the ball, but that it has gotten better through the week. Miles Austin is a nice start even if Williams plays, but if he sits out, Patrick Crayton becomes pretty startable against the Falcons. (Austin usurped Crayton as the starter opposite Williams during the Cowboys’ bye week.)

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Boldin, Pierre, Berrian and more

Anquan Boldin returned to a limited practice. Boldin said, “It’s only week one. I’d rather sit out game one as opposed to sitting out four or five other games. You just have to use your discretion.” That doesn’t sound good for his prospects of playing in Week 1. Steve Breaston would be first in line to start, but he’s dealing with a sore knee, so Jerheme Urban could potentially eat into Breaston’s snaps.

Pierre Thomas has been officially ruled out for Week 1. Mike Bell, Mike Bell, Mike Bell. I wrote on Tuesday that Thomas owners (and even non-owners) should grab Bell. He’s a solid RB2/flex play against the hapless Detroit rush defense.

Cassel is questionable for Week 1. Not a big surprise here. Owners should probably keep Cassel on the bench even if he does play. The Ravens are a bad matchup for any passing game.

Bernard Berrian and Kevin Walter are both game-time decisions. It would be wise to sit both players even if they do play, assuming that you have a decent option to plug in. It’s tough to battle back from a hamstring injury and be effective right away.

Kyle Orton will start against the Bengals. It’s not a terrible matchup, but Orton’s preseason performance is not encouraging. Only use him if you’re desperate (or you’re in a 2 QB league). It does help that Brandon Marshall is behaving.

Raiders name Darren McFadden as their starting RB. He has had a very impressive preseason, so this is just a formality. Even if he didn’t start, he’s going to play a ton of snaps because he is easily the Raiders most explosive player. (And he better perform, because I started him over Santonio Holmes this week!)

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Pierre’s knee, Boldin’s hammy, and more

Pierre Thomas practices, but Week 1 status still uncertain. Whoa! This is a surprise, as everything had been pointing to Thomas sitting out this week. The day after is crucial with knee injuries, so we’ll see if it flares up or if he’s able to go on Friday. If he goes, he’d be a solid start against a bad Lions defense.

Anquan Boldin doesn’t practice, but says he’ll play. Hammys are fickle, so use caution when inserting Boldin in your lineup. Steve Breaston looks like a solid WR2/flex play in Week 1 against a suspect 49ers defense.

Jonathan Stewart not listed on injury report. I expect that he’ll still be limited, but this is a great sign for Stewart owners (and not such a great sign for DeAngelo Williams owners).

Malcom Kelly named starting WR2 in Washington. This has been the general consensus for a couple of weeks now, but it still bears watching. Kelly is big, but isn’t terribly fast. Still, big receivers can thrive in the WCO due to their ability to overpower smaller DBs on slants, so Kelly could be a worthwhile pickup in big PPR leagues.

Antonio Bryant practices fully on Wednesday. The Bucs have downgraded at QB, so I wouldn’t expect Bryant to post the kind of numbers that he did last season, but the top 20 is certainly within reach.

Steven Jackson to be used like Brian Westbrook. This is good news for owners who have Jackson in PPR leagues. He’s a versatile pass catcher and the Rams would be smart to try to get him the ball in space so that he can avoid the constant pounding inherent in between-the-tackles rushing.

Related Posts