DAY 20: Arizona Cardinals

As we anticipate the start of the 2017 NFL season, the DFF Degenerates (@DFF_Degenerates) are tearing down every team in the NFL – #32teams32days. We’re going round-trip to tackle the entire country – AFC East to West, then NFC West to East. We didn’t have to do it, but we did.

Buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride. We’re traveling to another dimension between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge… that’s the signpost up ahead – our next stop – the RED ZONE.



Continuing our series, we visit the

Arizona Cardinals

Who takes over the vacant roles after Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer retire?

@TravisNFL: As a Cardinals fan, I was really pulling for a QB in the first round this year, but was obviously disappointed. I am very concerned about the future of this team after this year, as I fully expect both guys to retire. Best guess – they sign a “meh” veteran QB or go with a rookie next year. Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton are unacceptable options. As for receiver, I’m pretty much out on John Brown with the repeated sickle cell issues and long recovery times. I’m stashing Chad Williams in a few spots, but I don’t feel that great about it.

@DFF_Walk: He has been discussed going just about everywhere, but why not Kirk Cousins in the desert? I think a move like this is the only thing that would keep Coach Arians from hanging it up after the season. If not, the Cards are staring at a massive rebuild losing their veteran leaders on offense.

@DFF_Madman: They don’t have the replacements for Palmer and Fitz on this roster. There are no QB1 or WR1 candidates in Arizona… yet.

@DiBari22: I was a Trevor Knight believer, but he’s done nothing of note in the off-season and is probably destined for the practice squad. He might be worth a deep stash as a developmental guy. Gabbert has shockingly looked not awful. At receiver, rookie Chad Williams was a guy I had my eye on as the heir apparent to the WR1 throne in ‘zona, but he along with basically all the Cardinals’ receivers has been getting trashed by Arians all off season, so it’s hard to tell. As of today, nobody currently on the roster has the skill to take over as a true #1 long term.


Can David Johnson ever repeat his performance from last season?

@DFF_JamesH: 100% yes. He is probably the most versatile back in the league, I don’t think any running back (not even LeVeon Bell) will come close to Johnson’s stats this year.

@DFF_Walk: Saying it would be hard to duplicate would be an understatement. DJ’s volume was largely driven by a rash of injuries at both the running back and wide receiver positions. That led to Johnson getting 77% of team carries through Week-16 (Johnson was injured 5 carries into week 17) to go along with an eye popping 120 targets (80 catches). I’ve read that he wants the 1,000/1,000 season that eluded him in 2016 (wasn’t going to get it even without the injury but hey it’s good to dream), but that would be to the detriment of the team. And, if you think 20 touchdowns is likely repeatable given their overall volatility, then more power to you.

@DiBari22: Is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? No. There’s a reason we haven’t seen a 400-point fantasy running back in years.

@TravisNFL: It’s possible. If he’s ever going to do it, though, it must be this year. The offense will once again run through him, so he will have a shot, but the passing game weapons are worse than last year. I envision many more stacked boxes for Johnson this year. I’m rooting for you, DJ!


Any other fantasy-relevant players on this team this year?

@TravisNFL: Obviously Fitz is going to be a stud, and he’s undervalued in redraft yet again this year with a 5th-6th round ADP. I’m going to throw a very un-sexy name out there too – Jermaine Gresham. The Cardinals’ TE target share percentage has gone up two years in a row, and Big Gresh had a couple of streamable weeks last year. With the WRs struggling to make an impact, I could see Palmer and Arians utilizing their 6’6” 261 lb., 1st-round TE in a larger role.

@DiBari22: If John Brown can get healthy – and more importantly – stay healthy, he can obviously be a factor on this team. J.J. Nelson is worth a shot in best ball leagues. For dynasty, I still think/hope/believe/whatever in Chad Williams’ potential long-term. Arians has been talking up Jaron Brown most of the off-season, but i’m not buying what he’s selling. This is a team that is clearly trending downwards.

@DFF_Madman: I’m still drafting John Brown, but obviously can’t count on him as more than bench help. I have no idea who is going to emerge from this bunch, it’s that uninspiring. I’m just not sure I’m going to buy Jaron Brown.


What WRs are you interested in for fantasy?

DiBari22: I kind of touched on it above already but, Fitz is obviously a stud. I don’t mind John Brown if he’s, ya know, actually playing football. But for this year, those are the only two I’m comfortable with.

@TravisNFL: Someone will emerge as the WR2 on the Cards, but I just can’t trust John Brown to stay on the field. Jaron Brown should be the next man up, and was confirmed as the WR2 by the team. He’s worth a pickup if he’s on the wire, but not getting my hopes up for much actual production. JJ Nelson has upside, but he’s tiny, and man does he profile as a one-trick-pony.


If David Johnson misses time, who’s the player to own?

@DiBari22: I was kind of starting to like the rookie T.J. Logan as maybe the possible handcuff here, but he got injured and it looks like he’s going to miss several weeks. I still like him in leagues where you’re going to get kick and punt return points. But, purely as the RB to own, ugh… I guess Chris Johnson becomes relevant again, or maybe even Kerwynn Williams.

@DFF_Madman: I think Williams is a decent player and the player that would fill in for DJ is going to be valuable. TJ Logan is probably the best bet and the player I would try to acquire going forward.

@TravisNFL: Chris Johnson should be the guy to own for this season, but it could easily become a timeshare if DJ goes down. CJ2K’s productive season is now two years in the rearview mirror and he’s 31 years old. As JDB stated above, T.J. Logan is the most exciting player behind DJ, and I’m holding on to him if I’ve got him.

We’re busting a move out of the desert. We’ll see you tomorrow in Tampa Bay!

Thank you for reading. We hope this helps you on your quest to find the otherworld of dynasty football.


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Previous articles in this series are available here.


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