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Ryan Lindley: Fantasy Outlook for Cardinals QB Replacing John Skelton

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Quarterback Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IINovember 18, 2012

The Arizona Cardinals are now on to their third starting quarterback this season, and rookie Ryan Lindley will try to find success in the passing game.

The Cardinals have put both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton under center this year, but neither has had much success. Kolb has not played since injuring his ribs against the Bufallo Bills in Week 6, and as ESPN’s John Clayton reported via Twitter, head coach Ken Whisenhunt has had enough of Skelton.

Curious move. Ken Whisenhunt benching John Skelton despite a 13-point lead. Rookie Ryan Lindley takes over. Skelton 2 for 7

— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) November 18, 2012

Lindley was a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft out of San Diego State. He was a four-year starter for the Aztecs and passed for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of his last three seasons in college.

Here are his fantasy prospects broken down and analyzed.

 

Why He Will Succeed

Lindley will likely see more time under center if Whisenhunt so willingly pulled Skelton out of the game.

With Kolb’s health still a problem and Skelton being on a short enough leash that he was benched while the team was ahead 13-3, Lindley may end up as the starting quarterback by default.

Whisenhut, who is an extremely knowledgeable offensive coach, may see an opportunity to mold Lindley as his quarterback for the future.

Ultimately, Lindley stands an excellent chance to start games going forward, and as long as Larry Fitzgerald is on the field, he also has a chance to succeed in certain matchups.

 

Why He Will Not Be a Fantasy Factor

Kolb had marginal fantasy success during his time as a starter, and Skelton was mostly irrelevant. Both of these quarterbacks faced the difficult challenge of staying composed and accurate despite their offensive line’s atrocious blocking.

Lindley is being thrown into a situation in which he will be hit constantly. This will lead to mistakes and turnovers.

To make matters worse, Arizona came into this week ranked last in rushing yards per game. Throwing a rookie quarterback into a situation in which he has no running game and terrible blocking is not a recipe for success.

Unfortunately for Lindley, his NFL career is starting under terrible circumstances.

 

Prediction

Lindley will not be worth fantasy consideration at any point during the season.

Arizona’s protection issues are far too concerning to allow him to have any sort of success, and his fantasy production will not turn any heads.

It is difficult to draw up a scenario in which it would be more difficult for a rookie quarterback to start his career. Lindley is not Tom Brady, and the 2012 Cardinals are certainly not the 2001 New England Patriots.

There will be no Cinderella story for Lindley this season, and the fantasy outlook for the rookie signal-caller is not promising.

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