Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) attempts to catch a pass against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: Evaluating Cardinals Players' Fantasy Value

It’s almost fall, and football fans all over the nation are preparing for fantasy football with mock drafts, lucky underwear, and prayer that they land the first pick. A lot is on the line from bragging rights, money, and pride so it’s crucial to make sure each pick is one that will get you closer to the championship. I will breakdown which Arizona Cardinals players you should target and shouldn’t.

In a quarterback class filled with so much talent taking Carson Palmer with a 10th round pick or later is reasonable. He will be a very nice backup QB to have on your roster. Now the Cardinals face some teams that have lots of trouble with pass defense and those could be the weeks you want to plug Palmer into your starting lineup. I would suggest starting him when they play against the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans all who finished in the bottom 12 of the league in pass defense.

Tampa Bay did revamp their defense by adding Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson, but they meet up in week four which is still early in the season and they might still be adjusting to each others play.

The running back situation gets a lot tougher with Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams in competition for the starting spot. Most fantasy leagues have Mendenhall’s fantasy value higher than Williams but I believe that will not be the case at the end of the year. My suggestion is if your league is drafting before week 3 of the preseason is to stay away from Mendenhall and Williams. If you draft after the preseason and the situation is clearer, then taking a chance on either in the later rounds would be your best bet with so many unknowns at the position outside of the top 10.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Williams ends up a hot waiver wire pick up this season if he can stay healthy. Arizona has some real favorable match ups facing six teams that ranked in the bottom of the league against the run last season. Teams you might want to start a Cardinals’ running back against are the New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia Eagles.

One of the Cardinals’ strongest positions and deepest is the wide receiver spot. Larry Fitzgerald is someone you want to draft in the third round because in most leagues it’s possible he falls that low. If you feel he’s going to be gone by the third then by all means grab him in the 2nd round he will put up monster numbers this year. Other than last year Fitzgerald has been a consistent top-tier fantasy football player, but on the other side you have Michael Floyd who is projected by experts to have a breakout year this year. In my spare time this summer I’ve been doing a lot of drafts and only in one Floyd was drafted.

Floyd and Andre Roberts could breakout or they could bust so to be safe just pass on them in the draft, since it is most likely they will be available on the waiver wire. Rob Housler is someone you want to keep a very close eye on because no one will draft him and he has the potential to be that diamond in the rough. If you were to pick him up in the draft the last pick is the one you would want to use on him because typically your last pick won’t determine the outcome of how good your team will be.

Last is the Cardinals’ defensive and special teams unit. This past season that defense played a big role on my fantasy championship team, but this season there’s a new coach and new players. They have the talent to finish as one of the top fantasy defenses and it wouldn’t shock me if they did again so whether you have them starting or on the bench regardless it should be a good pick up.

Good luck and remember if it doesn’t pan out there is always next year!


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