Arizona Cardinals 2011 Fantasy Team Preview
The Arizona Cardinals went with some major Kurt Warner withdrawals in 2010, fading from playoff contenders to cellar dwellers. After going through the motions with the likes of Derek Anderson, John Skelton, and Max Hall, the team finally realized they needed to address their biggest weakness (quarterback) and traded for Kevin Kolb.
Now a team on the rise in a weak NFC West, the Cardinals are staring the playoffs right in the face. But what about their fantasy prospects? Check out their lineup to see which of their options hold some fantasy value:
QB Kevin Kolb
Kolb has shown flashes of brilliance in his scattered career as a backup, but he’s just now getting a complete backing from an organization. He has an elite number one receiver and some other interesting options, so he has a lot of promise for 2011.
RB Chris “Beanie” Wells
Formerly inconsistent and/or injury-prone, Wells got a huge break in the preseason when potential breakout rookie Ryan Williams went down with a patella tear in his knee. Now with the back-field all to himself, Wells could be in for huge numbers if he can just stay healthy.
RB Chester Taylor
Taylor isn’t a real threat to Wells’ value, but he should be active on third downs and will spell the lead back when the carry count gets high. He’ll have decent value if Wells gets hurt, but for now he shouldn’t be owned.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
Stud WR1 who put up solid production even with the mess in AZ last year. With Kolb in town, he could really explode in 2011.
WR Andre Roberts
Roberts showed nice shiftiness and explosiveness in spurts in 2010, but with a concrete role and a competent quarterback, he has the potential to put up nice WR3 numbers in 2011.
WR Early Doucet
Doucet has battled injuries and inconsistency since arriving in AZ, but there’s never been a doubt that he can play. He’ll start the year as the team’s third wideout, but could vie for WR3 production if everything goes his way.
TE Todd Heap
Heap is past his prime, but he’s starting and will get some love from the tight end-friendly Kolb. He’s always an injury risk, but his role offers him a shot in the dark at borderline TE1 production.
K Jay Feely
Feely has always been a pretty reliable fantasy kicker, and he should get back to his usual solid ways with a better offense in 2011.
Cardinals Team Defense
Arizona was tops in fantasy football in 2011, due to their ability to capitalize on playoffs with touchdown returns. Their defense has taken some hits via key losses and injuries, however, so a repeat is unlikely. They look to be a middle-of-the-pack unit this season.
Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin