Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 9:18am
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer threw 22 interceptions last season. When Bruce Arians was hired in January 2013, he talked about having six "bullets" on his play sheet, meaning he wanted to take six downfield shots every game.
As the season wore on, he didn't call as many long passes as he intended, but Palmer still led the NFL with 145 passes of 15 or more yards. He also led the league with 13 interceptions on such throws. While 13 seems like a lot -- especially when they account for 59 percent of his total picks -- they only amounted to about 9 percent of his passes of 15 yards or longer being intercepted. Still not a bad rate.
He also finished 17th in yards per attempt and 29th in touchdown-to-interception ration on deep passes.
Palmer can be a decent QB2 option in the right matchups and this week could be one of them. He's ranked 15th on our list with a pretty nice contest against the Chargers who were 23rd in allowing fantasy points to QBs last season. Palmer certainly has some playmakers to throw to in WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, so don't be surprised if he again throws a lot of 15-plus yard passes.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 8:34pm
Heading into his 11th NFL season, Cards WR Larry Fitzgerald brushes aside suggestions that his best days are behind him.
"I think it's funny people assume I actually listen to anything anybody says," he said. "The only thing you can control in life is your effort. I give my best effort every single day and try to improve my craft."
And he still figures prominently in the team's plans for the coming season.
"I don't think anybody's the same at 30 as you were at 20," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "You're a lot more experienced so you should be able to play faster — mentally."
When Arians took over a year ago, Arians moved Fitzgerald to the slot, putting big, young, athletic Michael Floyd at wideout.
"There comes a point in time in your career that if you want to continue to have success and get a lot of balls," Arians said, "then you've got to stretch your envelope a little bit."
Fitz is ranked 17th among our WRs and after a disappointing season in 2012, he bounced back nicely in 2013. He's not the top-five WR he once was in terms of fantasy numbers, but he can certainly be a worthy WR2 and he continues to look good with Carson Palmer at QB.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:39pm
On Monday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, we highlighted speedy Arizona Cardinals rookie John Brown as one of the few "hype bunnies" to successfully translate offseason praise to preseason production.
After Brown's impressive preseason debut, general manager Steve Keim raised expectations, suggesting the third-round wide receiver is capable of an impact on par with Anquan Boldin's stellar rookie season a decade ago.
After Sunday's game versus the Bengals, coach Bruce Arians estimated to TheMMQB.com's Peter King that Brown will be used on "60 percent" of offensive snaps this season.
Brown is obviously a name to keep an eye on once the season starts. He's not getting a lot of draft day action, but playing 60% of the snaps could get him noticed at least in deeper fantasy leagues. He's also drawn comparisons to former Colt Marvin Harrison.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:53pm
When Detroit WR Golden Tate says he believes he can better his 64 receptions and 898 yards from last season, it is a plausible thought even though he moved from being the No. 1 receiver in Seattle to the No. 2 receiver in Detroit.
"I think my numbers can be way better in this offense naturally how it's set up," Tate said. "I was coming from, you gotta think I was in the toughest division with the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals, defensively, with a run-heavy offense and now I'm going to a pass-happy offense where I'm on the same team as the best player in the league, one of the best players in the league who is going to draw a lot of attention, a lot of double coverage, which is going to leave me with a lot of single coverage with a lot of No. 2 and No. 3 cornerbacks.
"So mentally I think I should be able to excel and do very well here."
All of Tate's reasons are likely exactly what fantasy owners are planning when they take Tate - that teammate Calvin Johnson is likely to draw most of the attention leaving Tate in single coverage against lesser cornerbacks. We have Tate ranked 32nd on our list which puts him as a low-end WR3.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 2:41pm
And it hasn’t taken long, as he’s headed to work out for the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
If he signs there, he’d reunite with his old Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, but he’d also lend some legitimacy to a perhaps the league’s most anonymous competition.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:45am
One of the most encouraging developments has been the Bengals offense’s performance. The Bengals have gone to a more up-tempo approach under new coordinator Hue Jackson and have looked smooth in the no-huddle offense.
QB Andy Dalton has completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 372 yards with one touchdown, no sacks and no interceptions, for a passer rating of 116.3. Against the Cardinals, he was 13 of 21 for 157 yards while playing the first half.
“I’m very confident in what we have,” Dalton said. “The guys that we have on this team, the way that we’ve been playing, I think we’re ready to go for the opener.”
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:33am
Beckham hasn't been a full participant in a Giants practice since early June. He's going to need time to get up to speed and into playing shape. So, best-case scenario at this point appears to be Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals. More likely at this point appears to be even later in his rookie season.
It's reached the point where coach Tom Coughlin would settle for a single, solitary practice from his prized rookie.
"Have you seen him practice?” a seemingly perturbed Coughlin said. "How about practicing before you play?"
The Giants are hoping for Beckham to turn into Keenan Allen, who didn't see a preseason snap a year ago and then after a slow start really came on.
“It’s been an honor to play for the Arizona Cardinals,” Feely wrote on Twitter. “Michael Bidwill, thank you for your leadership and friendship. AZ will still be home!”
Chandler Catanzaro, a rookie out of Clemson, has been competing with Feely through training camp and the preseason. Catanzaro has made all of his field goals in the preseason, while Feely missed a field goal in Sunday’s preseason game.
Feeley could end up landing in Denver where Matt Prater is suspended the first four games, or perhaps Philadelphia where the Eagles may have lost confidence in Alex Henery.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:09am
If Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was going to overthrow receiver Michael Floyd in the end zone and have a miscommunication with Larry Fitzgerald lead to an interception returned for a touchdown, Sunday night in front of a national TV audience was the time for it.
That's what preseason is about, working out the kinks, figuring out what went wrong and why it happened. Arizona will spend the next few days breaking down the film of their 19-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, figuring out where its offense went.
"We had a number of things that were just off, from overthrows to missed opportunities," Palmer said. "Some funky things that happened on some routes, some drops. We didn't take advantage of some of the looks we had.
"We're just a little bit off and that's not what we wanted to do. That's not what we expected at all."
The first-team offense's sluggish start was unexpected considering how efficient the Cardinals have looked during the first two preseason games. Arizona had scored on its two opening drives this year, but the Cards' first drive Sunday stalled at the Bengals' 37 after three straight incomplete passes, including two straight to Floyd, the story said. Shouldn't be cause for a lot of concern, at the moment anyway, as the Cards offensive fantasy players like Floyd, Fitzgerald and RB Andre Ellington should continue to be legit starters.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:54am
The Bengals’ long-term future in short yardage could be seen on that third-and-one from the Bengals 34 Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Running back Jeremy Hill made his first appearance with the Bengals first-team offense this preseason and lined up behind rookie fullback. Hill followed Hewitt for five yards, a veritable football field against a Cardinals defense that until Hill came into the game and ran for three yards on an earlier play had allowed Giovani Bernard no yards on five carries.
The third-down run seemed to ignite them on their way to two field goals on drives that gobbled nearly 10 minutes of the second quarter and set up a 19-13 victory.
“I want to know who we are. There were other things on the sheet I could have called,’ said offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. “But I wanted to find out who we are and I think I’m beginning to know who we are.”
Hill has moved he chains no matter what unit he’s played this summer. He came into the game averaging 5.8 yards per carry and he matched it with four more lugs in the first half against a Cardinals front that led the NFL against the rush last season. Eventually Hill is going to take carries from BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who missed Sunday's game due to being sick. It will be interesting to see who the RB2 is once the season starts.
Giants WR Corey Washington scored his fourth fourth-quarter touchdown Friday night, and three of them have been game-winners. That matches Cruz’s scoring total from his first preseason, when he went from some guy from UMass to a star in New York.
“Anytime anybody plays in a superb fashion, it gets your attention,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. “He has one area that he has done very well, and that is he will go up and get the ball. That has been very noticeable.”
Washington’s 6-foot-5, and the Giants lack much size in their receiving corps. They claimed Washington off waivers from the Cardinals in May, and he has a good chance of sticking with the Giants. He was still buried as a WR3 on the depth chart but given rookie teammate Odell Beckham can't seem to get on the field Washington could find himself contributing. Still best to take a wait-and-see approach from a fantasy perspective.
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 6:05pm
Cardinals beat writer John Weinfuss: (John Brown) won’t be the Cardinals third receiver, that’ll be Ted Ginn. I think John Brown has earned the fourth receiver spot, however. And to use him, the Cardinals will have to go to a lot of four- or five-receiver sets. When he’s on the field, expect him to be used as a slot receiver going across the middle or out wide to take the top off the defense.
Bengals beat writer Coley Harvey: Bengals RB Jeremy Hill hasn't yet played with the first-string offense in a game, but that's about to change. HC Marvin Lewis said Friday that he'd like to give Hill more playing time on Sunday when the Bengals visit the Cardinals. He contends he and his staff has been "excited" about having Hill in the fold, and want to give the second-round draft pick a little more run this week. In my book, he's still Cincinnati's No. 2 back.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to stick around, and Hill hasn't been playing with the starters, so owners who have drafted the rookie in the middle rounds are justifiably concerned. It hasn't shown up in playing time (or on the field) but the beat writers in Cincy seem confident that when push comes to shove, Hill will be the RB2.
Cardinals WR John Brown is the real deal. He still hasn’t gone against a live defense for an entire game but from what we’ve seen out of Brown, he’s as fast with pads on than without them. The Cardinals are trying to temper their expectations of Brown, but it’s tough. He’s lived up to the hype.
Brown could work his way into the WR3 role if he can outplay Ted Ginn, which shouldn't be too hard.
The Arizona offense really is light years ahead of where it was last year. Just watch the first two preseason games. The Cardinals were as efficient as they’ve been in some time, but that wasn’t just a show for the cameras. During practice, Arizona moved the ball with ease despite a defense knowing exactly what was coming most of the time. When Carson Palmer faced the scout defense this week, he looked almost flawless, using his battery of weapons to his advantage. What stood out most, however, was that the formation issues that plagued them last year were gone. This was an offense that knew what it was doing.
This bodes well for Palmer, who was the #22 QB through eight weeks, but was #6 from Week 10 to Week 17, after the team’s Week 9 bye. He said he felt much more comfortable in Bruce Arians’ offense down the stretch and his numbers reflect that. His receiving corps is good with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, who had a breakout season in his second year.
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