“THE 2015 ARIZONA CARDINALS”
ALL 32 PREVIEW
HEAD COACH – BRUCE ARIANS
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR – HAROLD GOODWIN
THE ARIZONA CARDINALS 2015 ALL 32 FILM ROOM
You just have to love Bruce Arians and how well his players respond to what he’s selling. This team took on a sleuth of injuries during the season and kept coming out swinging game after game until it finally defeated them in the playoffs. The 2014 season left the coaching staff with a lot of what ifs. We are definitely sure that they will be ironed out over the off season and this team will be ready to compete in 2015. The loss of Todd Bowles to the NY Jets is a huge piece to replace but his coaching opportunity is well deserved. We are more than confident that Bruce can find another DC to come in and pick up where Todd left off.
Bruce has always lead a vertical attacking offense everywhere he’s coached. He will take a deep shot on opposing defenses at any chance he gets. He’s not afraid of the big play. This is why he likes fast receivers on his roster. While we like the fact that Larry was resigned he is getting a little older and slower on film. Carson Palmer should be back for training camp and ready to lead another playoff season.
They have 3 huge questions going into the off season for its skill players.
1. Will Carson Palmer be ready for week one?
2. Who is the starting running back?
3. Will Michael Floyd advance?
If you look closely at this roster there are not a lot of household names and not a lot of dependable fantasy options. Let’s dig in and dig up the fantasy players you need to be drafting and keeping to help you dominate in 2015.
GAME FLOW CHART
Down Personnel Play QB What Happened
1-10P – 12 11X/15Z UNDER C Handoff to 38 for +1
2-9 – 22 11X/15Z UNDER C Screen pass to 20 in the flat +4
3-5 - 01 Trips right SHOTGUN Delay of game
3-10 - 01 Trips right SHOTGUN Pass to 89 +20
1-10 - 11 11X/15W/12Z UNDER C Quick slant to 12 wide open over throw
2-10 - 13 15X UNDER C Play action Deep shot overthrow
3-10 - 12 Trips left SHOTGUN Beautiful pocket 15 doubled incomplete
LET’S MEET THE OFFENSE
12 personnel is the Base Offense for the Arizona Cardinals in 2015
X TE2 LT LG C RG RT TE1 Z
We would like to thank:
OURLADS - Depth Chart Information
THE SCOUTING REPORT
THE OFFENSIVE LINE
While this offensive line is far from great it is better than years past. They are a better unit in pass protection than in the run game and Football Outsiders have them graded out at 25th against the run and 6th against the pass in 2014. There are still a lot of holes to fill and upgrades to make as they move forward. They get man handled during running plays and they don’t work well as a unit. When you rush three at this unit and drop the rest into coverage Veldheer and Massie will eat you alive. Cooper and Larsen switched in and out trying to keep the LG fresh. Pro Football Focus had them graded out at dead last in 2013 and 24th in 2014 but we expect a little uptick for 2015 but not a substantial jump.
FANTASY CLUE - The starting RB better be big and tough and specialize in getting skinny and weaving through small cracks and breaking tackles to be successful. They need a bruiser who is not afraid to lower his shoulder and give hits for maximum fantasy return.
68 LT JARED VELDHEER – Veldheer was the most impressive man on this unit. He kept Palmer’s blindside clean during the season. This is the piece that you keep and build your unit around.
61 LG JOHNATHON COOPER – He has been the weak link ever since he was drafted. He really needs to get fully healthy and dig in and play like the number one pick that he is and if so this would elevate their 2015 numbers immediately and make them a fairly solid unit.
63 C LYLE SENDLEIN – He was left 1 on 1 with a huge nose tackle too many times and lost the battle tremendously (which is expected). Before we call him a failure Bruce needs to adjust a few things before we go that far but he could use replacing or be an immediate back up in 2015.
74 RG PAUL FANIKA – While he missed a couple of assignments here and there he did a fair job for the season.
70 RT BOBBY MASSIE – Massie held his own with this unit and definitely not the weak link. He used his hands fairly well and kept his opponent off balance a lot. He has quick feet and power and we look forward to see if he improves in 2015.
We would like to thank:
PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS - Offensive Line Grades
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS - Offensive Line Grades
THE QUARTER BACK
CARSON PALMER - (35) 6'5' / 235 – Carson Palmer is an excellent QB at times while the other times he does not make good decisions. He tries to fit the ball into spaces he has no business trying to fit them. He will throw into double coverage a bit too much. You could say that Floyd and Fitz are not beating their match ups and gaining the necessary separation but that would not be a valid excuse. We here at Fantasy Football 1 on 1 have to call it in the middle. Some of it is Palmers because other options are open and sometimes it’s all on the WR's. You would think that a QB this far into his career would make better decisions but this is who Palmer is. A risk taker a gambler. When you review this offense and its weapons there is nothing sexy about it. Another addition to the WR group like a big fast and physical guy is needed to open up everything so this offense can breathe in 2015. We here at Fantasy football 1 on 1 can only sign off on using Palmer as a backup and bye week fill once he is healthy.
DREW SANTON - (30) 6'3' / 243 – We scratch our heads when we watched this guy fill in for Carson in pure amazement at how they won with him at QB. He does not see the field well, he locks onto his first receiver, and he holds the ball way to long. His good points are that he has a good arm and he can move around but they don’t matter if you don’t set your feet to get a good delivery to wide open receivers. If Carson goes down they are in serious trouble. We would not be surprised if they make a move during FA frenzy and get another back up QB. This will be our only time critiquing back up QB’s unless we see something special or there is an ongoing QB battle.
THE RUNNING BACKS
We here at Fantasy Football 1 on 1 strongly suggest that if you participate in a dynasty/keeper league you need to trade away Andre Ellington NOW. We mean right NOW. It is clearly evident that Arians is totally upset with his running game and it will be the first piece he fixes (even before Palmer’s backup). This team is in dire need of a quality every down back and once found there is a lot of work for him.
ANDRE ELLINGTON - (25) 5'9' / 199 – This guys is fast and shifty and excellent at making you miss which are all the attributes of a backup or third down back (not three down back). He can light you up when he hits the outside and yes there is some valuable work for him within this offense. It’s just not a RB1 type of value and workload. His body just can’t take the beating that bigger stronger backs can take during a 16 game season. That’s the only reason he can’t be considered an every down back. He does everything else very well. He runs low and has good speed and elusiveness. He can start and stop and has excellent hands but he just can’t take a continuous A – B gap pounding week in and week out. The starting RB is not on this roster yet.
STEPHAN TAYLOR - (23) 5'9' / 216 – While Stephan may be the biggest back he was the hardest to bring down after contact as well as the most elusive between Grice and Williams. He also displayed decent vision and possessed the necessary speed to get to and through what he saw. He could be an every down back but if called upon. He could carry the full load for a game or two. We like him to stay on the team and back up the starter and Andre Ellington when needed but if he gets lost in the shuffle and ends up on another roster he will be a good waiver addition if this or a team mate injury occurs.
KERWYNN WILLIAMS - (23) 5'8' / 198 – While Kerwynn did not jump off of the tape he did possess some skills needed to be a player in the NFL. He’s not a burner and he is not a between the tackle bruiser. It’s hard for him to gain short yardage but he does have good hands. Kerwynn has just enough skill to keep a roster spot in the NFL.
MARION GRICE - (22) 6'0' / 208 – Marion Grice is not talented enough to be a lead dog in the NFL at this point. Goodwin tried pitch outs, unbalanced line, trips left and trips right trying to get Grice open and in a good situation to move the football. He just could not produce. He is smaller than what we are looking for and he’s slower than what we are looking for as well. Grice needs a situation where he can get to the next level untouched due to offensive line pay. The Cardinals do not possess this kind of offensive line and it will take a skilled, big, patient, fast guy to run away with the job.
THE WIDE RECEIVERS
This wide receiver unit is tricky when look at them on paper and then watch them on film. You would think Larry “X” Floyd “Z” and John Brown in the “W” but no that’s not how Bruce deploys them. He mixes them up and Fitzgerald usually finds himself playing decoy while John Brown is the lead dog. The Cardinals tried their best to scheme plays to help John Brown not only be the chain mover but the best deep ball threat as well. John Brown is the guy to own going forward.
JOHN BROWN - (24) 5'11' / 179 – Brace yourselves for what we are about to say, John Brown will lead the Arizona Cardinals in catches and yards in 2015. He will be the best receiver on the team. Surprisingly during his rookie campaign he was repeatedly placed and motioned to the “X” and the “Z” positions. Here’s the thing, he held his own. He won his route match ups and that should only increase in 2015. He is the most reliable target that the Cardinals had in 2014 and that should continue through 2015. They are using Fitz as a “W” and decoy while Floyd is the deep guy. Make sure John Brown is in your redraft, keeper, and dynasty plans for 2015.
MICHAEL FLOYD - (25) 6'2' / 220 – The deal with Floyd is that he has still not mastered the route tree. He is a one trick pony similar to Mike Wallace. When Floyd has a good day it will be a huge day and when he has a bad day it will be a very, very bad day. He can’t be trusted therefore we suggest that you let another manager deal with this inconsistent WR in 2015. We are very well aware that Floyd is a first round pick and he is a big body WR but it seems to not matter to Bruce. He’s calling it what it is.
LARRY FITZGERALD - (31) 6'3' / 218 – Well folks the show is about to come to an end. Larry Fitz is nowhere near the old fast, catch anything Larry that we are so accustomed to. He’s slowed down and he has been reduced to decoy and underneath routes. It’s hard for Larry to gain an advantage against 1 on 1 defensive concepts. Larry used to eat those for breakfast. If you own him in your dynasty/keeper formats we suggest that you go ahead and get out from under him while you can get a return on your investment. Use the fact that they just resigned him and paid him good money to stay in Zona as your leverage. Hurry and do this while you still have a chance. Try and get a player like Allen Robinson. A guy who’s value is not even on the radar screen. Hear me now and thank me later.
JARON BROWN - (25) 6'2' / 205 – We did not find enough film on Jaron to be able to make a respectable conclusion on his talents. We will update this as we progress.
THE TIGHT ENDS
JOHN CARLSON - (30) 6'5' / 248 – The Cardinals brass really tried to get this guy going in 2014. They seemed to try and force the ball into Carlson’s hands on their first couple of possessions. He was almost always in motion trying to find the mismatch. He would have his hand in the dirt or in the backfield, then Palmer would audible and he’s moved to the “Z”. This is what you want to see from a TE on your roster. It seems as if they were using him to test the defense to try and see what type of scheme that they were going to use. There was a lot of disconnect between Carlson and the QB which lead to drops and incomplete passes. Also Carlson was a little slower than we like and he did not break tackles to get to or at the next level. Otherwise Carlson moves well and understands what the play is trying to accomplish. Truthfully we here at Fantasy Football 1 on 1 would like to see Carlson talents be used in another system with a better QB. If this happens he’s worth a flier in dynasty/keeper leagues and on the late round watch list in redraft.
TROY NIKLAS - (22) 6'6' / 270 – There was not enough film available to get a true grade on Troy in 2014. He was injured most of the season. We did come away wanting to see more from him. While he did seem a bit stiff in the open field he does have the speed and hands to be a starter in Arizona if Housler signs elsewhere. Keep a close eye on him in dynasty/keeper formats if you are weak at TE.
DARREN FELLS - (28) 6'7' / 281 – Darren Fells is a big boy. He runs well for his size. We don’t see him as a consistent fantasy threat while we do believe that he will sneak down field from time to time and make a big play.
CHANDLER CATANZARO - (24) 6'3' / 200 – It’s hard to believe that this guy was a rookie last year. He did very well in his kicking duties in 2014. He’s a great addition to dynasty/keepers rosters. This offense is good enough to get into field goal range but not successful enough to convert their red zone touches into six points. We here at Fantasy Football 1 on 1 see him as an asset in the kicking game going forward. Yes kickers are people too.
THE DEFENSE - THE RETURN TEAM
They were a decent return team last year due to the fact that Ted Ginn, Jr. very rarely took a knee. He mostly came out the end zone and tried to make the big play. We will have to wait and see who replaces him at kick and punt returner for 2015.
The defense started off rather well but as the season progressed they started getting torched in the secondary. While most call Patrick Peterson an elite corner he gets whooped way too much for us here at Fantasy Football 1 on 1. He talks too much and does not bring the big stick on game days. Don’t get us wrong Patrick makes big plays but not enough to warrant his trash talking. If he kept his mouth shut he would be perceived as a better player. We did factor in the key losses and the fact they were injured last year but most importantly with the loss of Todd Bowles we are not targeting the Arizona defenses for an every week start in all formats. We see this defense as a bye week fill from time to time and not much more than that in 2015.
THE 2015 ROOKIES
UPDATE APRIL 2015
FINAL THOUGHTS FOR FANTASY
Although this is an Ace/W Personnel offense we came away wondering how this team wins so many games. This offense should be zipping up and down the field on Sunday’s but instead this offense is nothing pretty to watch and more times than not leave you wanting to see more from them. There are not a lot of fantasy options here in Arizona. Like we said John Brown should see a significant uptick in targets and yardage to make him the best WR option. We know they are in desperate need of a big bodied RB to come in and take over. When this happens make sure you (redraft, keeper, dynasty) roster that guy immediately because there is a lot of RB work here. They need a serious RB to free up Brown down the field. Right now their play action concepts does not bring any fear into the defenses they face. We can only suggest John Brown, Carson Palmer (back up), big bodied RB, and maybe Troy Niklas if Housler moves on. If you find yourself stuck with Floyd trade him right after he has one of his monster games. If you have Fitz keep him because the offense could shift his way at any time (injury or otherwise) because he does have a couple of big plays left in him.
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