Cardinals Fantasy News

Monday, July 28, 2014, 6:14pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

The Panthers didn’t really need sixth-round running back Tyler Gaffney this year anyway, so when he was injured recently, stashing him on IR made sense.

But the Patriots had other ideas.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots claimed Gaffney off waivers, even though he needs season-ending knee surgery.

It’s similar to their 2012 claim of injured Giants tight end Jake Ballard, meaning one of these days those unwritten rules are going to have to be written down.

Fantasy Impact:

This time a year, if a player is placed on IR he must first clear waivers before heading to IR. It's an unwritten rule, but perfectly in a team's right to make a claim on an injured player. It's likely why the Colts have yet to place Vick Ballard on IR. The Panthers tried to sneak Gaffney through waivers to sign another player, which turned out to be Fozzy Whittaker...

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Sunday, July 27, 2014, 4:21pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The Cardinals are losing a dangerous playmaker on offense and punt returns. Patrick Peterson will no longer field punts or line up wide, the star cornerback revealed Sunday, per the team's official website. Peterson said the move will allow him to focus on becoming an even better cover corner, via AZCentral.com. He'll remain on call to return punts in a reserve capacity.

Cardinals RB Andre Ellington added 8-10 lbs of muscle

Friday, July 25, 2014, 3:14pm

Mike Jurecki, Twitter - [Full Article]

Cardinals GM Steve Keim said that RB Andre Ellington has gained 8-10 pounds of muscle to increase his durability.

Fantasy Impact:
Rashad Mendenhall retired, and the Cardinals didn’t do much of anything at RB in free agency (outside of signing Jonathan Dwyer), so the path is clear for Ellington to become a feature back. HC Bruce Arians says he wants to build the offense around the diminutive RB, but that they’ll be careful not to overwork him, implying that they may limit his short-yardage work. He was the #25 RB in 2013 on 10.4 touches per game, but averaged 12.4 touches in his last 11 games. In that span, he averaged 9.3 FP, which are low-end RB2 numbers. Arians’ offenses don’t utilize the running back heavily in the passing game, but with the way he has been gushing about Ellington’s skill set, that may change. Ellington averaged 0.771 fantasy points per touch in 2013, so if he can maintain that production at a 15-touch workload, he’s looking at an average of 11.6 FP per game. Those are high-end RB2 numbers.

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 12:30pm

Detroit Lions - [Full Article]

Expect to see a lot of two tight end sets by the Lions, which will give them an opportunity to mix things up pre-snap and move pieces around. Ebron can play in-line, in the slot and outside, which will give offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback Matthew Stafford a lot of options after reading defenses. Ebron gives Stafford something he hasn’t had from that position in his five years in Detroit. In Ebron, Stafford has a tight end that can take a five-yard pass and turn it into an 80-yard touchdown. He also has a player who can run by defenders down the seam and create mismatches from the tight end position.

Fantasy Impact:
The Lions want Ebron to fill the Jimmy Graham role in new OC Joe Lombardi’s offense, so he should see playing time immediately despite the presence of Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Of the 21 tight ends who have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, 14 have managed to play at least 14 games. They averaged 35-371-2.6, or #31 TE numbers. (Oddly enough, that's where Brandon Pettigrew finished in 2013.) It usually takes a while for a young tight end to make a fantasy impact, though there has been the occasional exception. Jeremy Shockey (#3 TE in 2002), Heath Miller (#11 in 2005) and Dustin Keller (#14 in 2008) all posted TE1 or fringe-TE1 numbers as rookie first round picks. Cam Cleeland, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and John Carlson all had a TE1-type impact as rookies even though they weren't drafted in the first round. Ebron is an intriguing TE2-type in a potent offense, but he's no shoo-in to make a big fantasy impact in his first season, especially if he’s struggling to learn the offense, which was the case in OTAs.

Beat: Cardinals want Andre Ellington at 'around 20' touches per game

Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:41pm

AZCentral - [Full Article]

Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers on the potential workload of RB Andre Ellington: "I think they'd like to keep his touches around 20."

Fantasy Impact:
We currently project Ellington for 15.3 touches per game and he's our #15 RB in standard formats (#12 in PPR). If he actually gets 20 touches per game, he'll likely finish as a solid fantasy RB1. Only eight running backs averaged 20-plus touches in 2013, so Ellington is more likely to finish under than threshold.

Sunday, July 20, 2014, 11:00pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Cardinals beat writer Josh Weinfuss on RB Andre Ellington's potential for goal line carries: "I think Andre Ellington is capable of being a short-yardage workhorse, but I don't see Cardinals coach Bruce Arians using him there all the time. I think Ellington will certainly get the call on a few occasions, but I can see Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer getting more of the short-yardage carries. And don't be surprised if Robert Hughes -- if he ends up making the roster and staying healthy -- will be responsible for some of those situations as well."

Fantasy Impact:
HC Bruce Arians says he wants to build the offense around the diminutive RB, but that they’ll be careful not to overwork him, implying that they may limit his short-yardage work. He was the #25 RB in 2013 on 10.4 touches per game, but averaged 12.4 touches in his last 11 games. In that span, he averaged 9.3 FP, which are low-end RB2 numbers. Arians’ offenses don’t utilize the running back heavily in the passing game, but with the way he has been gushing about Ellington’s skill set, that may change. Ellington averaged 0.771 fantasy points per touch in 2013, so if he can maintain that production at a 15-touch workload, he’s looking at an average of 11.6 FP per game. Those are high-end RB2 numbers.

Panthers are 'better' at receiver

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.

Fantasy Impact:
We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:34am

ESPN - [Full Article]

DeMarco Murray, who is coming off his first 1,000-yard season, and Lance Dunbar are locks to make the Dallas roster. Joseph Randle has the inside track for the No. 3 job and would likely take over the every-down role if something were to happen to Murray. He will be pushed by Ryan Williams, who is a former second-round pick. He was unable to stay healthy in his time with the Arizona Cardinals but he has natural ability that could push him by Randle, a fifth-round pick last year.

Fantasy Impact:
Murray's handcuff could be an important roster spot on your fantasy team as he often struggles to stay healthy for a full season. It looks like Randle has the inside track but Williams could be an interesting name to watch in camp.

Friday, July 11, 2014, 9:59pm

Jaguars.com - [Full Article]

There are several reasons Mike Brown is in Minnesota this week, but the biggest one is simple. There’s really nowhere else he would rather be. The same is true of Cecil Shorts III, who – like Brown, his teammate in the Jaguars’ wide receivers corps – is in Minneapolis, Minn., with a slew of NFL wide receivers and quarterbacks at Larry Fitzgerald’s annual offseason workout camp at the University of Minnesota.

Slim Kyle Rudolph looks to play big role

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 2:45pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

It generally isn't until about now, with training camp just around the corner, that Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph starts keeping a close eye on his weight. He has always worked out in the offseason, with an eye toward getting ready for the season, but Rudolph will admit he has also used his training regimen as justification to cut some nutritional corners. Rudolph started keeping a closer leash on his diet in February, with an eye toward slimming down before the Vikings' voluntary veterans' minicamp in April. He is now about 260 pounds, he said, after playing at 275 last season, and with a more active role in the Vikings' passing game likely awaiting him this season, Rudolph has been working to refine his skills as a receiver.

Fantasy Impact:
Rudolph is working out at Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's training camp this week, training with Fitz and a group of receivers for the fourth year. He has been drilling his speed in and out of his cuts with Fitzgerald's trainer, Bill Welle. In a scheme that has traditionally rewarded tight ends, Rudolph could see the payoff this season. We currently rank Rudolph 9th among our TEs with an ADP of the 10th round, but outside of the top-three, everyone can look the same when it's time to draft that position. Perhaps Rudolph is a name to keep in mind as someone to step up this season among a large group of second tier players.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 12:27pm

azcardinals.com - [Full Article]

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerlad wears gloves — post practice. Usually, in practice, he just tapes up his thumbs. “Every day after practice I put gloves on — they are these really tight, stiff mitts, and they make you work extremely hard to close and open your hands,” Fitz says. “It strengthens my hands, especially the thumbs — your thumbs are really what control your grip.” “I’m obsessed with my craft,” he said. “I just want to squeeze every single drop out of the lemon that I possibly can. I don’t want to have any regrets, and to this point I can sleep at night.”

Fantasy Impact:
Fitz's days as a top-five fantasy WR may be behind him, but he's shaping up to be a solid WR2. We have him ranked 14th and he has an ADP of the fourth round. With WR Michael Floyd on the other side, and the electric Andre Ellington at RB, there is plenty of talent surrounding Fitzgerald, but that could end up being a good thing.

Beat: Andre Ellington to be the 'featured back'

Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11:23am

USA Today - [Full Article]

Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers on RB Andre Ellington: Last year, the Cardinals limited how much they gave Andre Ellington the ball. They weren't sure the 5-9, 199-pound rookie could take a pounding. But he was more durable than they thought and as explosive as they expected. With the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall, Ellington becomes the featured back. Arians said he would like to get Ellington the ball 25 times a game. That's a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea. Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer are the main backups.

Fantasy Impact:
Rashad Mendenhall retired, and the Cardinals didn’t do much of anything at RB in free agency (outside of signing Jonathan Dwyer), so the path is clear for Ellington to become a feature back. HC Bruce Arians says he wants to build the offense around the diminutive RB, but that they’ll be careful not to overwork him, implying that they may limit his short-yardage work. He was the #25 RB in 2013 on 10.4 touches per game, but averaged 12.4 touches in his last 11 games. In that span, he averaged 9.3 FP, which are low-end RB2 numbers. Arians’ offenses don’t utilize the running back heavily in the passing game, but with the way he has been gushing about Ellington’s skill set, that may change. Ellington averaged 0.771 fantasy points per touch in 2013, so if he can maintain that production at a 15-touch workload, he’s looking at an average of 11.6 FP per game. Those are high-end RB2 numbers.

Thursday, July 3, 2014, 10:56am

ESPN - [Full Article]

It's Cardinals TE John Carlson who's impressed the most during organized team activities and minicamp. "John has done a really, really good job," HC Bruce Arians said. "First off, he's extremely bright. He picked up the system extremely quick. He plays full speed all the time and has got outstanding hands. His issue in the past ... he's not an overwhelming blocker but he's more than adequate." Each new addition to the tight end room brought more competition. While some players wilt at the first sign of having to play for their job, Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer said that hasn't happened yet with the Cards. "It's been phenomenal to have John here for a number of (reasons)," Palmer said. "Mainly, he's really pushed that tight end group. He's really brought the best out of [Rob Housler]. Bringing competition to that spot has really helped Robby improve."

Fantasy Impact:
The tight end position isn't a big part of Bruce Arians' offense, but if Carlson wins the starting job, he may be useful as a TE2 or as part of a streaming strategy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 10:26am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The sudden retirement of last year’s starting running back, Rashard Mendenhall, didn’t throw the Cards’ running game into a brief bout of turmoil. Andre Ellington was calmly promoted to the starter while Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer, who was signed in the offseason, were given the chance to battle for the second and third running back spots. The signing of Robert Hughes has been hailed internally, and it also has given the Cardinals a likely steady back at the fourth spot who can play running back, fullback and tight end, according to Arians. “It’s a good battle going on,” Arians said. “There’s a ton of talent with Stef and Jonathan. Robert Hughes is an outstanding player.”

Fantasy Impact:
Arians made headlines early in the offseason when he said he’d like to give Ellington 25 to 30 carries per game. While many feel that's still too much for a back his size, it at least opens the door that he'll make a fantasy impression this season with not a lot of competition. Ellington led all eligible rushers with 5.53 yards per carry. We rank Ellington 12th among RBs on our PPR list and he's got an ADP of the early 4th round.

Monday, June 30, 2014, 8:10pm

Philly.com - [Full Article]

Former Eagles, Cardinals and Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb was arrested on Saturday for boating while intoxicated in Willacy County, Texas, according to a report by 956sports.com.