This post comes from Justin Becker of FantasyFootballOverdose.com. You can follow him on Twitter@NBAandNFLInfo or on the Fantasy Football Overdose Google+ Page, and for more NFL Fantasy Projections visitFantasy Football Overdose.
Carson Palmer got off to a hot start in week one - so good that the Cardinals went 1-0 and a lot of people thought they could be a dangerous team going forward. In fact, Palmer looked somewhat spry and mobile for the first time in years, while his numbers (300+ passing yards and two touchdowns) suggested he wasn't just going to have a solid impact for the Cards' - but for his owners in fantasy football, as well.
Then tragedy struck. Palmer sustained a nerve issue in his shoulder that knocked him out of the next four games. Arizona was able to get by without him initially and even got off to an impressive 3-0 start. However, the Cardinals fell apart in a week five loss to the Denver Broncos and thanks to a concussion sustained by fill-in passer Drew Stanton, suddenly have a ton of uncertainty under center.
So, the question is, can Palmer make a healthy return in time for Arizona's tasty Week 6 matchup with the Washington Redskins? And if he does, what can fantasy football owners expect from him in his first game back?
Palmer's Status is Shaky
While Palmer has had more than enough time off (three games, including Arizona's bye week in week four), it doesn't sound like he's a lock to take on the Redskins this week.
Palmer has reportedly done some light throwing and is admittedly much further along than he has been at any point in the recovery process, but he's definitely not 100%. In fact, after participating in a limited practice on Thursday, Palmer was scheduled to head over to Denver for further treatment. Leaving the team is never a good sign, and could mean Palmer still isn't ready to take the field in week six.
As bad as it sounds, he hasn't been ruled out yet. The Cardinals might push for him to play due to Stanton dealing with concussion symptoms and rookie passer Logan Thomas probably not being ready to start a game.
The Matchup Works, Though
While it's yet to be determined, an active Palmer is going to make for fantasy football awesomeness, potentially. There's always the possibility of him being rusty or even aggravating his nerve issue, but this matchup might make him worth the risk.
Washington once again got lit up last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and had it not been for a ton of Seattle penalties, it could have been much worse. No one will soon forget what Eli Manning and Larry Donnell did to them, either, while Nick Foles and the Eagles also had a ton of success against them a few weeks back.
Translation: Washington's pass defense isn't very good. In fact, it's downright horrendous. Washington does stop the run well, though, which puts an even greater emphasis on effectively moving the ball through the air.
If Palmer can get back in time for week six, it's going to really open up an Arizona offense that hasn't looked amazing since he got forced out of the lineup. In fact, it's been their defense that has somehow held this team together over the past several weeks.
With Palmer under center, Arizona can be a lethal offense with the likes of Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown working the open field. An effective passing attack could open the door to Andre Ellington carving up some yardage on the ground, too. Without Palmer, though, Ellington is going to get swallowed up and Arizona's receivers are probably going to be less than stellar.
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