What can the Arizona Cardinals do for you this fantasy season? Check out Athlon Sports' team report as we break down the rookies, veteran players to watch and avoid, fantasy playoff schedule and more to help you get ready for the 2012 season.
Inside the Locker Room
with Scott Bordow, Arizona Republic
We break down the Cardinals chances at making a Super Bowl run this season.
It seems patently unfair to say this is a critical season for Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. After all, Whisenhunt led the moribund Arizona franchise to the Super Bowl just three seasons ago.
But NFL fans have short memories, and Whisenhunt’s botched handling of the quarterback situation last year has some folks wondering if that Super Bowl run had more to do with quarterback Kurt Warner than the Cardinals’ coach.
• Inside the Locker Room
With Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic
Can we trust any Arizona RB this year? *
Don’t spend a high draft choice on any Cardinals running back, because it’s uncertain if any of their backs will get the majority of the touches. Arizona loves Williams’ potential, but he’s a rookie, and the club wants to give Wells one last shot to see if he can prove he was worth a first-round pick. Also, LaRod Stephens-Howling could be the third down back, further limiting the fantasy value of the others. *analysis prior to Williams season-ending injury
Is the Cardinals defense worth a look as a starting defense in fantasy football this season?
The defense is worth a look only if it picks up a pass-rusher in free agency and top pick Patrick Peterson proves to be a shutdown corner. If the DBs can bottle up the receivers, Arizona’s pass rush — while not the best in the league — could still rack up a few sacks.
• Fantasy Playoff Run — Weeks: 14-16: SF, CLE @CIN
Larry Fitzgerald was third in targets (173) and fourth in catches (90) without a QB and now gets Kevin Kolb. Fitz should have a strong stretch run as he goes against the pass defenses of the 49ers (24th), Browns (18th) and Bengals (14th). All three opponents surrendered at least 96.7 yards rushing per game, as well.
• Athlon Best Bets
Sleeper: Beanie Wells, RB Deep-Sleeper: Rob Housler, TE Overvalued: Kevin Kolb, QB Top Rookie: Patrick Peterson, DB Bounce-Back: Larry Fitzgerald, WR Top IDP: Kerry Rhodes, DB
• Try to Avoid Todd Heap, TE
The tight end class is one of the deepest it’s ever been, and Heap is on the back end of it. He still has momentary flashes of greatness, but we would rather play for the upside at this position. WAIT UNTIL: 19th Rd
• Draft Class Fantasy Impact(analysis prior to Williams season-ending injury)
Williams was a surprising selection in the second round, especially with Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells already in the mix. Barring injury, Williams will likely hold only RB4 value with the Cardinals using a committee approach on the ground. Arizona tight ends caught only 25 passes last season, which could open the door for Housler to play soon. However, the acquisition of Todd Heap may hinder that plan.