“THE ARIZONA CARDINALS 2013”
by “THE FANTASY TYPHOON”
Arizona has made some serious upgrades on offense this year and we still have yet to enter the draft. If the defense can keep playing lights out like Ray Horton had them playing last year, then the other 31 teams have a problem on their hands. This is just an overview of what I see happening to the Arizona Cardinals in real life and in fantasy.
The number one addition throughout the off season was not Carson Palmer or any player by that matter. The number one addition was Bruce Arians. Bruce Arians is an offensive mastermind. He left an Ace/W personnel offense in Indianapolis and came to that very same offense in Arizona. Yes, Arizona is an Ace/W Personnel offense as well. This offense is designed to get everybody involved whether it’s fantasy or real life. The QB spreads the ball around and also has the option of running it full throttle through the “No Huddle” command. The running backs get a lot of touches mostly by handoff and not too many passes out of the backfield. This is why Rashard Mendenhall will fit perfect in this scheme. He’s just what Bruce asks for. A runner that can break it outside occasionally with the ability and vision to run between the tackles. This offense does not call for tier 1 RB production to stay on schedule so I do not expect tier 1 fantasy production from Mendy. I do expect round 4 fantasy value though (1,000+/8).
The quarterbacks in this system do very well and they are projected to produce 3,800+/32 TD’s to keep Bruce happy. Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck all run the same Ace/W Personnel system. So as you can see Palmer is in some great company fantasy wise. The ability to read defenses will be demanded of Palmer in Arizona way more than in Oakland or Cincinnati. Can Palmer produce up to standards? I say yes. He still has enough gas left in the tank to get the job done. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports had this to say about Palmer on twitter-"Studying Carson Palmer tape from 2011-12. The theory of his demise is greatly overdone." READ HIS ARTICLE HERE His interceptions should go down around mid-season once he builds chemistry with his big fast WR’s. You might argue that this is the best set of receivers that Palmer has ever encountered in his career. Yeah I know, T.O. and Ocho, lol. Well let’s just say the best route running receivers he has ever had. Palmer is an excellent late round pick up in your fantasy drafts. He will easily produce top 12 QB numbers in standard fantasy settings.
The WR’s in this scheme gets plenty of targets especially the “X” position. That’s considered the number one WR in this scheme. When running full throttle it can easily produce 1,300+/7. Look at Demaryius Thomas and Reggie Wayne as WR 1 examples in this scheme full throttle. The #1 WR needs to be an excellent route runner and fit the 6’1+ with speed mold. He cannot be scared to line up anywhere on the field and even go across the middle if and when needed. Larry has this hands down. He is easily worth his second round draft pick once again in 2013 fantasy drafts. Larry will benefit the most from Bruce. Bruce will line him up all over the field just like he did Reggie Wayne. Fitz and Palmer will be looking for the mismatch on each and every play. We all know what Fitz can do in 1 on 1 coverage! Also the problem with Fitz last set of QB’s was not arm strength, it was being scared to throw him open or throw to him when he was covered. Palmer should realize very quickly that Fitz is almost NEVER covered. He’s that talented. Palmer has never been scared to fit the ball into tight windows and this is where Palmer matches Fitz playing style the most. I look for Fitz to go back to his 80+/1,300+/8 days. Draft accordingly.
ROOKIE DRAFT WATCH AND TRAINING CAMP BATTLES
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The WR2 position will be won in training camp. This receiver will be at least an 800+/5+ candidate. This is worthy of a 6th round fantasy draft grade. All signs point towards Michael Floyd getting the opportunity over Andre Roberts. It seems to be Floyd out wide and while Roberts is in the slot on passing downs. We will not know for sure until after camp. Keep your eyes open to this situation and see how it plays out in camp and draft accordingly. Please be advised that this section will be updated regularly once information is confirmed.
While Bruce did not draft Floyd he does say good things about him but he has also stated on NFL NETWORK "Total Access" CLICK HERE that he really wants 4.2 speed at that position or the slot. So this could quickly change come draft time. Watch this year’s draft and see if he follows through on this and if he does make sure you scoop them up in your fantasy drafts because they will produce.
The TE’s in this scheme can be fantasy worthy and make big plays for the team depending on a couple of factors. The TE is tricky when it comes to this scheme. The TE distribution depends upon the talent at the WR2 and 3 position. Example – In Carolina the Panthers have basically 1 talented WR and that’s Steve Smith. He is the “X” receiver (like Wayne, Thomas, Fitz) meaning he is the number one option on Sunday’s. Now the “W” and the “Z” are being filled by underachievers in Carolina or should I say NOT number one type talent, so this benefits Olson as far as production is concerned. Olson fills up the holes the the “X” and the “Z” receivers leave on the field. Olson will get WR 2 targets and production due to the lack of talent at the WR 2 and 3 position. Now in Arizona things are a little different than Carolina. Rob Housler is a bit more talented than Olson but Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts are talented enough to be targeted more than Housler. Which means Housler will see less activity by default. There are plenty of other TE options to choose from besides Housler. Housler will have his days but he will not be consistent enough for your fantasy squads. Only pick up Housler off of the wire if Floyd or Roberts gets injured. Please visit my complete TE article by CLICKING HERE.
FANTASY DRAFT WATCH 2013
QB Palmer - 3,800+/32+
RB Rashard Mendenhall – 1,000+/8+
WR Larry Fitzgerald 1,300+/8+ - Michael Floyd 800+/5 – Andre Roberts TBD
TE Rob Housler TBD
PK Top 15
DST Top 10
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TAGS- #Carson Palmer, #Larry Fitzgerald, #Bruce Arians, #Arizona Cardinals, #Rashard Mendenhall, #Demaryius Thomas, #Reggie Wayne