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 Fantasy Football Rankings visitFantasy Football Overdose.
The Arizona Cardinals came from behind to get a solid win at home in week one. They kindly did a solid job for their fantasy football owners, as well.
Oddly, a guy who wasn't even supposed to play (Andre Ellington) touched the rock 18 times, and a guy who was hopefully going to remain a borderline elite option (Larry Fitzgerald) saw three targets all night.
It was a weird enough display of fantasy happenings to have ourselves question which Cardinals players we have the utmost faith in heading into Week 2 of the 2014 NFL season.
But Arizona is facing the hapless New York Giants, so any hesitance felt should diminish quickly. That doesn't mean you should start all your Arizona Cardinals in fantasy football this week, but you may at least want to use them in this order:
1. Carson Palmer (Quarterback)
Palmer is always that classic "up and down" fantasy quarterback, but when he's on the "up" side, things look pretty good. He started off 2014 that way, as he put up over 300 yards and two scores in week one and noticeably looks rather quick for a guy who has always been known as a immobile rock in the pocket. It seems Palmer worked hard over the off-season to get more mobile, and it's helped extend some plays and keep the defense honest when he rolls out.
That all sounds crazy, but if you saw him on Monday Night Football you might be buying into him as a QB1, too. He gets a Giants defense that Matthew Stafford abused last week, so naturally he's looking like a stellar play in week two.
2. Michael Floyd (Wide Receiver)
Floyd is a stud in the making, and has officially overtaken Larry Fitzgerald as the king in Arizona's passing game. That's what it looks like, at least, as Floyd secured five of seven targets for 119 yards in week one. He's the first read down the field and has shown the ability to make incredible catches. He hasn't scored yet, but probably will in week two.
3. Andre Ellington (Running Back)
Ellington might be one spot higher (heck, maybe two) if he was actually 100% and wasn't facing a decent New York defense. But those are both facts. He's got a bum foot and despite looking pretty nimble last week, we can't count on max touches or insanely explosive plays from him just yet. He's an elite Flex play, though, and if he continues to get 15+ touches he could even return RB2 value.
4. Larry Fitzgerald (Wide Receiver)
Fitzgerald was a grand disappointment in week one, as he caught just one pass on three lousy targets. It's clear the Cardinals aren't going to go out of their way to keep him involved this year, and that Fitz will probably be playing elsewhere in 2015. I may be on my own when I say that Fitz can still play at a high level and Arizona is foolish to not try to get him the ball more.
But this is the situation Fitzgerald owners are in when it comes to fantasy football. While it wouldn't be the worst idea to try to trade him away in a package deal, he still should muster WR3 value when it's all said and done. It will be easy to top last week's production, so he's a mild value play against the Giants this week.
5. John Brown (Wide Receiver)
Brown scored a touchdown in his pro debut last week and the team openly has stated they won't be "specifically targeting" anyone in the passing game. Translation: the team won't be forcing the ball to aging veteran Larry Fitzgerald and if Brown is open, he could end up getting pretty heavily involved. He's a rookie and tied mostly to the slot right now, but he's a guy absolutely worth monitoring.
6. Jonathan Dwyer (Running Back)
Dwyer's value hinges on Andre Ellington's availability, but going off of week 1, when a banged up Ellington still touched the ball 18 times, Dwyer's fantasy prospects aren't amazing. He could always vulture a short touchdown, but the role we saw out of him last week (7 carries, 20 yards), is probably going to be the norm. Again, he'll rob Ellington of a touchdown from time to time, but he's not an explosive player and you don't want to rack your brain guessing which weaks he'll max out at barely over 10 fantasy points.
7. John Carlson (Tight End)
Carlson is an unfortunate situation, as he's actually quite talented and has been productive in the past, but he plays in a Bruce Arians offense. Arians is infamous for not using his tight ends, and it started off that way in week one with Carlson catching his only target. It was a beautiful grab, actually, but considering he was the starter and that's all he got done on a night where Carson Palmer put up over 300 passing yards, his ceiling looks to be pretty low. With that said, he's still a starter and has enough talent to eventually do some damage.
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