Predicting the Fantasy Value of Key Arizona Cardinals in 2013

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Predicting the Fantasy Value of Key Arizona Cardinals in 2013
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Should owners target Carson Palmer in 2013?

The 2013 NFL offseason has brought sweeping changes to the Arizona Cardinals organization.

Ken Whisenhunt is out. Bruce Arians is in. There is a legitimate signal-caller under center for the first time since the departure of Kurt Warner in 2009. An overall feeling excitement hovers over the valley as the season nears.

While there is no doubt the Cardinals are in position to make huge improvements in 2013, will they make an impact in the world of fantasy football? Let's take a look at the players who will find themselves on fantasy rosters this season.

 

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer

Had a very good year in 2012 for the lowly Oakland Raiders, throwing for over 4,000 yards and completing 61.1 percent of his passes. Fits in well with Bruce Arians' vertical attack offense. With Larry Fitzgerald, an improving Michael Floyd and the addition of Rashard Mendenahll in the backfield, the only thing stopping Palmer from putting up another solid statistical season is injury.

Look for another year in the vicinity of 4,000 yards with 23 TDs to go along with 16 INTs.

Verdict: Solid QB2.

 

Running Backs

Rashard Mendenhall

This tough north-south runner was signed as a free agent this offseason. He's had some injury issues during his career, but Mendenhall is still young. If he can avoid injury, he should be able to fend off Ryan Williams and carry the load for the Cardinals' running game.

Fantasy owners need to be wary of his injury history. Do not draft Mendenhall as one of your starting running backs.  

Verdict: RB3 with some RB2 upside.

 

Ryan Williams

He will start the season as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart. If he stays healthy, this very talented runner could steal some carries from Mendenhall and may even hold some value as a late-round handcuff. Unfortunately, staying healthy is a big if.  

Verdict: RB4 with tremendous upside. 

 

Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald

Not much to say here. Fitz is a stud. As stated in my previous article, Larry Fitzgerald Will Be a Fantasy Stud Again in 2013, look for a big rebound from a lackluster 2012 season.  

Verdict: WR1.

 

Michael Floyd

Arizona's first-round pick in 2012, Floyd started his rookie campaign slow, but picked up steam as the season went on. He capped off the season with a 166-yard, one-TD performance against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.

Expect Floyd to start opposite Fitzgerald heading into the season. He should benefit from the extra coverage Fitz will draw.

Verdict: Solid Flex option. 

 

Tight Ends

Rob Housler

Housler was Arizona's best receiving tight end in 2012 after Todd Heap went down with an injury. He's a very athletic TE with the capability of being an effective receiver in Arians' offense.

Verdict: Late round flyer/Sleeper

 

Kicker

Jay Feely

A solid kicker who hasn't missed an extra point since 2003, Feely has the leg to kick 50-plus yard field goals. One thing to look at is the Cardinals ranked only 30th, 28th, 29th and 28th in attempted kicking points over the past 4 seasons.

Maybe that will change with the new regime, maybe not.

Verdict: Seriously, he's a kicker. The highest a kicker should go in a draft is your last pick. Even then, it's arguable.

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