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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Team Talk: Arizona Cardinals

By Adam Filadelfo (@Frostt24):

Clearly, the Arizona Cardinals play in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. It isn't easy playing in the same division as the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, the 49ers, as well as facing off against a team with an up and coming defense in the Rams. But somehow, the Cardinals managed to hold their own in 2013 and even knocked off the eventual champions Seahawks late in the season.

They may make some noise again this year, so let's take a look at some of the fantasy relevant players on the Cardinals roster heading into 2014:

Carson Palmer- Palmer had a good stretch for a few weeks but reverted back to his old self finishing the 2013 campaign with 250 fantasy points. He ended last season as a top 25 fantasy quarterback but couldn't and still shouldn't be relied upon as a starting fantasy quarterback. On a positive note, Palmer did throw for over 4,500 yards and 25 touchdowns.  He also stayed healthy for all 16 games. The downside to Palmer's 2013 is he managed under 15 fantasy points per game which will not cut it coming from the most important position in all of football.

Andre Ellington- Ellington could have had an even better fantasy season had the Cardinals not held him back. Ellington isn't the biggest running back in the game but proved he could get the job done when given the chance. Ellington was even more valuable in PPR formats totaling 41 receptions for 381 yards and a touchdown. When the ball was thrown his way, he averaged over nine yards per reception and scored over seven fantasy points each game on average on limited touches. If the Cardinals give Ellington more touches in 2014, he could be in store for a monster season.

Larry Fitzgerald- 2013 was a bounce back season for Fitzgerald. He finished with 84 catches for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns in 16 games played. There is no doubt that when he gets consistent play from his quarterback, he can be a productive receiver for fantasy owners. I look for Fitzgerald to have another solid fantasy season in 2014.

Michael Floyd- Michael Floyd took another step forward in 2013 finishing with 72 receptions and over 1,100 yards and five touchdowns. He did give fantasy owners single digit fantasy points each week on average but there isn't any reason to believe that those numbers couldn't improve in 2014.

Ted Ginn- Ted Ginn's 2013 with the Panthers saw him finish with 36 receptions for 556 yards and five touchdowns. Fantasy owners can expect those numbers to improve now that Ginn is on a pass heavy offense as opposed to the run heavy offense in Carolina. He can also provide fantasy owners with value in the return game. Ginn could be a great compliment to Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.

D/ST- The Arizona Cardinals had one of the most underrated defenses in all of fantasy in 2013. With stud players like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and adding Antonio Cromartie to the secondary, the Cardinals defense could surprise some fantasy owners looking to draft their D/ST a little later come draft day.