By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)
The NFL draft has come and gone which means it is now time to take a
look at all the teams heading into the 2015 season from a fantasy
football perspective. What each team did (or didn't do) last season is
now irrelevant as the slate is wiped clean and each team starts with the
same record. It's time to take a look at our first team, the Arizona
Cardinals and some of the key players with regards to fantasy football.
Carson Palmer- Quarterback- The former USC signal caller began his 2014
season averaging over 21 fantasy points per game but an ACL injury
derailed his last 10 games and subsequently the Arizona Cardinals
season. Before the injury, Palmer passed for over 1,600 yards and 11
touchdowns to only three interceptions. Head Coach Bruce Arians believes
Carson Palmer will be ready for the start of the 2015 season and if
he's right, fantasy owners can count on drafting Palmer later in their
drafts. He will make a more than adequate backup to slot in on a bye
week or a starting quarterback if you wait to grab your quarterback in
Andre Ellington- Running Back- Some fantasy owners may see Andre
Ellington's 2014 season as a disappointment where other may look at it
as the start of something big. Either way, Ellington was highly
effective in the passing game accounting for 46 receptions for almost
400 yards on 64 targets. Most fantasy owners are going to expect the
number of targets and receptions to rise in the coming season in order
for Ellington to remain an early round target on draft day. He did have
six games with double digit fantasy points in 2014 and was battling a
foot injury since before the season even started so there is plenty of
optimism for Ellington heading into 2015.
Larry Fitzgerald- Wide Receiver- The days of Fitzgerald being an elite
fantasy receiver are behind him. In 14 games played in 2014, he averaged
a pedestrian 6.5 fantasy points per game and had only three games where
he scored double digit fantasy points. Fellow receivers John Brown and
Michael Floyd have surpassed Fitzgerald as the top wide out on the team.
Michael Floyd- Wide Receiver- Deemed a major disappointment to fantasy
owners expecting Floyd to break out in a major way in 2014, he averaged
only 7.5 fantasy points per game and finished the season with 47 catches
on only 99 targets. He didn't have his biggest game of the season until
week 17 where most fantasy owners had already finished up their season.
2015 will be a make or break year for Michael Floyd.
John Brown- Wide Receiver- Clearly the top wide out for the Cardinals in
2014, John Brown finished his rookie season averaging over six fantasy
points per game and a team leading 103 targets and five touchdowns. With
a healthy Carson Palmer throwing passes to him, fantasy owners can
expect bigger and better things from the second year receiver in 2015.
Patrick Peterson- Defensive Back- For those fantasy owners that play in
Individual Defensive Players leagues (IDP for short), Patrick Peterson
averaged five fantasy points per game and finished with three
interceptions and 44 solo tackles. He also added two games of double
digit fantasy points to his 2014 resume. It's difficult to trust a
defensive back each week in fantasy football seeing how their points are
awarded mainly by interceptions but Peterson also returns punts/kicks
on occasion and is one of the better defensive backs in the NFL.
D/ST- As a team, the Arizona Cardinals were ranked in the top ten of
fantasy defenses last season. While the defense played well versus the
pass, they really stood out versus the run allowing only a single
touchdown all season. The loss of Antonio Cromartie could hurt their
backfield this season as well as their former defensive coordinator
leaving to coach the New York Jets. The Cardinals may not have the stand
out defense they had last season, but it should be a defense fantasy
owners can count on later in their drafts.