The NFL concludes its international game series as the Cardinals and 49ers head south to Mexico City. The 49ers are -8.5 “road” favorites with the availability of Kyler Murray (hamstring) and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) in jeopardy. While Murray is listed as a game-time decision, it’s worth noting this was also the case last week when he was ultimately ruled out. Hopkins looks more likely to suit-up after logging a limited practice on Friday. The Cardinals may be outmatched if Colt McCoy gets the start under center. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Week 11 MNF Showdown!
49ers vs Cardinals Odds
49ers -8.5 (-105)
Over/Under 43.5 (-112/108)
Moneyline 49ers -360/Cardinals +290
Jimmy Garoppolo has never been one to fill the stat sheet but has been reliable nonetheless. Garoppolo has been on a bit of a roll in recent weeks, having tossed two-plus touchdowns in four straight games entering Week 10. Although the streak came to an end, he was able to salvage last week’s performance with a rushing touchdown. Garoppolo profiles as a higher-end QB2 here facing a Cardinals defense that has allowed the No. 3 most Passing Attempts and No. 4 most Passing Yards to quarterbacks. Garoppolo has fared well historically against the Cardinals, sporting a crisp 112.7 QBR.
Rushing and Receiving
What was more unexpected than Christian McCaffrey‘s struggles against a beatable Chargers rush defense was the time-share he appeared to be a part of. In Elijah Mitchell‘s return from IR, he proceeded to out-carry the aforementioned McCaffrey 18 to 14. The situation is sure to frustrate fantasy managers as the team will likely rely on both backs moving forward. I’m still firing McCaffrey up though as a solid RB1. His impressive 23-percent Target Share and 5.2 Receptions Per Game rank No. 1 and 2 at the position.
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The emergence of Brandon Aiyuk and the addition of McCaffrey have been dampers for Deebo Samuel. No longer the overt focal point of the offense, Samuel has had a string of rough performances. He has eclipsed 100 yards just once this season and hasn’t scored since Week 5. His team-high 24.8-percent Target Share helps his outlook though as a fair WR2. Aiyuk has been more reliable, having posted four straight games of 80-plus Receiving Yards. Kittle possesses overall TE1 upside in this matchup. The Cardinals have allowed a league-high seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Kyler Murray‘s hamstring injury kept him out of Week 10’s loss to the Rams. With the division up for grabs, the Cardinals can’t afford to lose back-to-back in-division games. If Murray plays, he may need to make something happen on the ground as the 49ers have been considerably stingy with his position. The 49ers have limited opposing quarterbacks to a lowly 13.9 fantasy points per game average. A career backup, Colt McCoy, will be the team’s contingency plan if Murray misses the game. While McCoy is a replacement-level talent, he does what is needed to not torpedo DeAndre Hopkins‘ outlook.
Rushing and Receiving
James Conner is coming off his best game of the season after touching up the Rams for a pair of touchdowns. His 84-percent Rushing Share bested more notable rushers such as Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor in his Week 10 romp. I’m expecting his return to earth though as the 49ers have limited opposing rushers to a league-low twelve fantasy points per game. Despite the difficult matchup, Conner remains a volume-sustained RB2.
DeAndre Hopkins has been “en fuego” since his return from suspension. Since his Week 7 return, Hopkins leads the receiver position in Targets Per Game (11.75) and Receptions Per Game (9). Hopkins’ peerless 33-percent Target Share makes him a candidate for WR1 overall. Though Marquise Brown was elevated from IR on Wednesday, he has not been cleared to play. Brown commanded a 26-percent Target Share in his time as the team’s alpha wideout before a foot injury interrupted his season. Expect Brown to be eased into action if he does in fact make his return, especially with the recent emergence of Rondale Moore. Moore has posted back-to-back 30-plus Target Share games (WR16 finishes in both weeks) himself. Trey McBride is a radar-blip TE streamer after handling 91-percent of the team’s Week 10 Snaps despite turning the opportunity into just one catch for seven yards.