Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football Team Outlook: Arizona Cardinals

Studs: Andre Ellington
For most of 2013, Andre Ellington was an underused weapon by Bruce Arians only registering over 11 rushes twice, he had 15 both times. He simply wasn't touching the ball enough to be a reliable option.  However, heading into his second year, Bruce Arians claims that Ellington is going to get 25-30 touches per game as the lead back in the Cardinals offense. Owners shouldn't trust this for a second, it sounds like music to our ears, but a guaranteed 15-20 touches is much more likely.  The most obvious comparison for Ellington in 2014 is similarly dreadlocked superstar Jamaal Charles. In 2009, Charles touched the ball 230 times to go along with over 1400 totals yards and eight touchdowns. That seems like a much more reasonable outlook instead of 25-30 touches per game which is Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson territory.

Wannabe Studs: Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald is somewhat far removed from being a guaranteed 1400 yard receiver and 10 plus touchdowns. He is still entrenched as the Cardinals number one receiver but Michael Floyd is breathing down his neck for more touches and Carson Palmer isn't getting any younger. Fitzgerald is good value in the late fourth or even third round but he isn't a surefire stud anymore. 

Solid starters: Michael Floyd
At this point Michael Floyd is probably a better, more explosive receiver than Larry Fitzgerald. However, Fitzgerald is still the number one option and even though both had over 1000 yards, it's though to categorize them both as 'wannabe studs.' For the most part, unless it is a Peyton Manning led team, I'd prefer all of my three starting receivers to be number one options.  Floyd is a stud in his own right but is more of a low-end WR2 or WR3.

Reliable backups: Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer is an aging gunslinger that will soon be saddling up and riding into the sunset. However, until then he is the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. There really isn't much to be said about him, by now owners know what they are getting into. He'll throw the ball a lot get quite a bit of yards, touchdowns and interceptions. He is nothing more than a bye week filler or some risky owners could use him as a QB2 in two quarterback leagues.

Sleepers: Stepfan Taylor, Any Tight End
As stated before, Bruce Arians said Andre Ellington will be the workhouse running back, which just doesn't seem realistic. If Arians is just trying to torment fantasy owners then Stepfan Taylor could be an option as a short-yardage back that poaches five or so touchdowns.  

Tight end hasn't been the best position for the Cardinals for the past few years and Rob Housler failed to live up to the infamous basketball player to tight end excitement. So, the Cardinals went out and signed John Carlson and drafted Troy Niklas. Whichever one builds chemistry with Palmer could be in for a 500 yard season with five touchdowns.

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