With the 2015 fantasy football season rapidly approaching you want to know what to expect from each NFL team. I can't blame you.
Let's start here with the Arizona Cardinals where I'll explore the fantasy value of anyone I deem relevant.
For the record, I think they overachieved last year and expect them to win less games in 2015. That may not be a bold statement, but it's my statement nonetheless.
All ADP's are from Fantasy Football Calculator based on PPR, 10-team leagues.
The Fantasy Quarterback Position
Let's set the record straight, Carson Palmer is the only QB to talk about in Arizona.
He suffered a knee injury last season and missed several games in 2014. It's been said that he's ahead of schedule in his recovery, which is great news for everyone.
It's fair to wonder how he'll bounce back from his second-career knee reconstruction as he approaches 36. I can't even imagine how that feels.
At the moment he's the 17th QB being drafted with an ADP of pick 4 in the 13th round.
He's actually climbed nearly a full round over the past month...which is kinda surprising to me.
When healthy in 2014, he was a productive fantasy quarterback for owners. Expecting a bounce back to that level of play in 2015 seems a tad unrealistic in my eyes.
According to Evan Silva, of Rotoworld.com, Bruce Arians offense isn't typically conducive to prolific stats. He tells us that Big Ben has thrown 60 TD's and averaged 4,607 yards under Todd Haley the last 2 seasons. When Ben spent 5 years with Arians he had only 1 season over 26 TD's and only 2 years with more than 3,500 yards.
I'll look elsewhere for my QB2, although in a 10-team league, I suppose you could do worse with your 2nd choice. I just don't see the upside here that some other guys may offer.
The Fantasy Receiving Game
There are three very interesting fantasy names here for the Arizona Cardinals. The classic, Larry Fitz, last years pre-season love affair, Michael Floyd, and Mr. John Brown.
In 2014 he missed 2 games and was banged up in a few others. While he's showed signs of decline, I think he's worth looking into.
He should remain the favorite to lead the team in targets (he had 103 last year despite missing games).
Based on Evan Silva projecting Carson Palmer and Fitz's stats from 2014 you're looking at a 109.3 target, 85.3 catch, 1,288 yard and 5.3 TD season. With Fitz having 70 or more yards in 4 of Carson's last 5 games, they seem to have some sort of connection.
To give you some perspective, here are the WR's going in the same area.
He's going at nearly the same ADP as Larry Fitzgerald, which seems odd to me. It's lower than I've seen his ADP elsewhere, but still isn't inspiring me.
In 2014 he was used to stretch the field, albeit inconsistently.
With trade rumors this past offseason I can't buy into the notion that the Cardinals are suddenly ready to change his role.
I think for a redraft league I won't target Floyd. I don't buy the rhetoric that was used last year to support his rising ADP. I was once a believer. One that's finally turned his back.
This guy started off the season with a bang. Quite frankly, he was what I hoped and dreamed Michael Floyd would be.
When Palmer was healthy (carrying his stats with Brown across the full season), Brown was on pace for a 53.3 catches, 840 yards and 8 TD's, per Rotoworld. Now that's pretty fantastic.
Brown seems to have it all despite being only 5' 10" and 179 lbs.
The problem with Brown is that too many fantasy owners are beginning to see the potential here. He's seen quite the rise in ADP over the past three months and is sitting as an 11th round pick at the moment.
I'm still totally cool with his ADP. In fact, I'd say he's the WR to own in Arizona based on his ADP and upside.
Fantasy Running Backs
You can argue that Andre Ellington is the only fantasy relevant running back on the Arizona Cardinals...but the way the Cardinals have conducted business should make you think twice.
For PPR owners, Andre Ellington delivered in 2014. At least for a little while.
Before going down with a sports hernia and other injuries he average 22 touches a game and saw his YPC fall to 3.28.
History would suggest that he isn't built to be an every down back. He could be extremely efficient and useful to fantasy owners in a committee approach.
Perhaps one with David Johnson, one of the Cardinals 2015 draft picks.
Ellington's ADP seems high to me right now. I know that the running back position gets ugly fast, but there are some guys in the neighborhood I'd prefer more (cough *Alfred Morris & Jonathan Stewart* cough).
I won't pretend to know much about David Johnson.
In fact, I know practically nothing. But....according to Evan Silva he's "a legitimate playmaker in the passing game that may be used at the goal line, where the team tends to pull the smaller Ellington off the field."
That statement is enough to make me worry about Ellington. It also shows me I don't know nearly enough about David Johnson to make a recommendation on him.
His current ADP is 12.05. That's a climb of nearly a round over the past month. Keep an eye on that trend as we move closer to draft day.
The 2015 Fantasy Value of the Arizona Cardinals
I'm not sure the Arizona Cardinals have as much fantasy value to offer as some people think.
I worry that Palmer can't be what he was forming into before his injury last year.
I think John Brown is the best value at WR and will be a great pick at his current ADP.
I'm scared away from the Arizona running game based on Ellington breaking down under the workload. Without a solid run game to fall back on if the passing game falters, things could get ugly in Arizona.
This photo is courtesy of and copyrighted by sheadaygraffix via Flickr. This is used in accordance with Creative Commons laws and all rights are reserved by sheadaygraffix.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.