Arizona Cardinals 2014 Season Preview and Predictions

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Aug 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) hands the ball off in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy value:

The Cards have a huge value fantasy-wise on offense and defense.

In 10-12 player leagues, receiver Michael Floyd is a great third or fourth round pick.  I’ve even seen some stretch for the second-round.  Keep in mind though he may start out slow, he only played in one preseason game.  Also, receiver Larry Fitzgerald is always a solid pick.  He managed 10 touchdowns last season and falls in the same area as Floyd.

As for running backs, of course Andre Ellington is a great early pick up with as versatile as he is running and catching the ball.  The Cards are looking to get him 25-30 touches a game.  With all the weapons they have, I think realistically it is more like 20-25.  The sleeper pick here though is Jonathan Dwyer.  He is going to be a short down back.  Look for plenty of goal-line opportunities for him and of course that means lots of points.

The tight end is better but offer late-round pickups at best.  John Carlson is aging but has looked good with Carson Palmer in practice.  It is a case of having four tight ends that can catch, so they may spread it around too much for any one of them to really give you any value.  Speaking of Palmer, he is a guy you’ll want as your backup.  I’ve personally been in three drafts and seen Palmer be one of the first backups people shoot for.  After throwing for 24 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards last season, I don’t blame them.

As for the defense, grab them.  They are going to give up points from time to time but they fly to the ball and will create turnovers.  Yes, they lost some linebackers and that seems to be the biggest question but with Patrick Peterson and also Antonio Cromartie at starting corner and the up-and-coming safety in Tony Jefferson and return of safety Tyrann Mathieu, they will score you plenty of points.

Special teams are a crap-shoot.  The Cards go with a rookie kicker but that seems to be the going trend.  Catanzaro will give you field position but he is still a relative unknown with field goals, so proceed with caution.