Arizona Cardinals Team Breakdown

A quarterback competition yet again in the desert.  For the third straight year the Arizona Cardinals are struggling to find the best quarterback out of a batch of bad quarterbacks.  They were fleeced last season by the Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid, conned into giving away a talented physical corner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round draft pick for Kevin Kolb.  They then signed Kolb, still unproven, to a 6 year $65 Million dollar deal.  Kolb has yet to show that he can learn Ken Whisenhunts system, or stay out of the trainers room for that matter.  The pundits have all said that John Skelton will be the starter this year, but that’s really not all the much better.  Increased concern over Cardinals quarterback health came when starting left tackle Levi Brown went down for the season with a triceps tear.

The running game in Arizona is not safe from the medics either, both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams are returning from leg injuries suffered last year.  Beanie and his collection of hamstring, knee, ankle and other aches is a constant question mark.  Ryan Williams, last years second round draft pick, is recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his knee last season.  Williams is the back with the most upside, he cannot be considered a injury concern simply because of one freak injury, and has looked smooth in his cuts this preseason.  Beanie has shown over the past three seasons that he can put up good numbers, his problem is he is without a doubt the definition of an injury risk.

In the receiving corps you have Larry Fitzgerald, need I say more.  Fitz may be the best receiver in football (Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson), however having sub-par quarterback play has limited his red zone touches and touch downs substantially.  Fitzgerald received some help in the passing game during this years draft when the Cardinals selected Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame in the first round.  Floyd has been slow to learn the offense in the preseason and has struggled finding his spot, he is a talented receiver with natural skills similar to Fitz, because of that we expect him to blossom during the season, but is not fantasy viable at this time.  Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are currently listed above Floyd on the Cardinals depth chart, but we all expect Floyd to move into the number 2 role by the end of the season.

The Arizona Defense and Special Teams units are a possible surprise for a lot of people this year.  Adrian Wilson is 100% healthy again, and has been playing with a renewed sense of ferocity.  Second year corner Patrick Peterson is not only a lock down, perennial pro-bowl cover corner, but one the leagues bright and shining punt returners.  The front seven has completed its transition to a 3 – 4 system and the linebacker corps that struggled so much last year is moving well in space together and flocking towards ball carriers in the running game.  They are not a top tier San Francisco style defense for Fantasy owners, however in a weak division they are good for 3 or 4 spot starts a year.

FANTASY FOOTBALL IMPACT

Arizona Cardinals players, minus Larry Fitzgerald, have very little fantasy value.  Beanie Wells has been going as early as the 5th round in some leagues, way to high for a player who most likely will miss 3 – 5 games this year, if history repeats.  The better play maybe Arizona back, Ryan Williams, he’s quick, has great hands, and more importantly has shown a stronger heart and more fight in games then Wells has.  As said before the Defense/Special Teams is worth a few spot starts through out the season, but not worth drafting.  Deeper leagues can look at Andre Roberts as a possible #3 wide out, he’s big, strong and should have single coverage more often than not.  If you were curious where Kevin Kolb or John Skelton need to be drafted at, you have too many problems for this single article to solve (good luck).

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