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What to do with the 49ers D/ST in Week 9 fantasy football

The 49ers defense has been on fire of late for real life and fantasy football. Can they keep up their great play against the Cardinals on Thursday Night?

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead celebrates with teammates after sacking Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If you watched Week 8’s destruction of the Carolina Panthers or the beat down of the L.A. Rams in Week 6, you know the 49ers defensive capabilities. But if you didn’t, here’s a quick rundown of their dominance. Against the Panthers, they held them to 3.7 yards per play, picked off Kyle Allen, who hadn’t thrown an interception all year, three times, and sacked him seven times! On the season, they’ve given up the fewest yards per game with 224.4, and this is with the Patriots putting up historic defensive stats against the dregs of the NFL.

The question this week is, just how many D/ST points will they put on the Cardinals on Thursday night?

Fantasy Football Analysis, San Francisco 49ers D/ST

So far in his young career, Kyler Murray has protected the ball well with just four interceptions and no lost fumbles, which has kept D/ST’s from putting up big numbers. Luckily for the 49ers, defenses don’t have as much trouble getting to Murray, as the Cardinals rank 27th in sacks allowed per game and 29th in adjusted sack rate allowed.

Arizona’s offensive line woes don’t match up well against a 49ers defensive line that ranks first in adjusted sack rate and second in sacks per game. Murray’s trouble moving the ball is directly due to his offensive line not giving him and his receivers enough time. When Murray has played his best is when he faces teams with inferior defensive lines that allow him to work. That isn’t going to happen on Thursday night.

Murray’s ability to keep possession of the ball will come in handy. Still, the 49ers rank third in the league at takeaways per game to go along with their excellent sack rate, making this a perfect spot for Murray to give up his first fumble and turn the ball over more than has been his norm. Add in the absence of running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds and Murray is going to have a tough time moving the ball on the ground, pushing him to drop back and likely face pressure most of the time.

Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

If you’re playing a Thursday to Monday contest, I’m of the mindset that there are cheaper options than the 49ers $4,000 price tag at D/ST that can help in roster construction. San Francisco is, of course, a strong play, and they will likely score well, but you need to take into account the rest of your lineup and the volatility of D/STs as a whole.

In TNF Showdown contests, their D/ST will be a popular play, but it will cost you. At $7,400, they sit sixth in price. Over their last four games, the 49ers have hit 19, 10, 15, and 17 DKFP. That’s the range we probably should expect for Thursday night, and when looking at projections for the other players, only Tevin Coleman should be expected to score more. Play them and even consider giving them the captain’s seat.