Top NFL Fantasy Value Quarterbacks – Carson Palmer
The Arizona Cardinals veteran starting quarterback Carson Palmer is entering his fourteenth season in the NFL and third with his current Arizona Cardinals team. Palmer played in only six games for the Cardinals in 2014 as he was sidelined with a torn ACL against the St Louis Rams and his season came to an end.
Carson Palmer played in all 16 regular season games for the Cardinals in the 2013 campaign. Six years ago Palmer played in only five games for the Cincinnati Bengals after knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Despite Palmer’s injury in 2014 the Cardinals did manage an 11 win regular season and earned a playoff berth as an NFC Wildcard team losing 27-16 at Carolina. Much of this success came from a defense that held their opponents to 18 points or fewer in their past nine regular season games. Without Palmer under center the Cardinals offense sputtered as backups were unable to get job done. This frustrated fantasy football mock draft managers who had the Cardinals playmakers on their rosters.
Drew Stanton looms as the number two option should Palmer fail to recover properly from his injured knee. Stanton suffered an injury late in the 2014 campaign that had the Cardinals scrambling toward the end of the year.
Twelve year veteran Larry Fitzgerald returns as the primary target for Carson Palmer. Behind poor quarterback play Fitzgerald caught 63 passes for 784 yards with two touchdown receptions. It was a very frustrating year for the All Pro who had ten touchdowns the season before in 2013. He hasn’t put up the numbers he did while Kurt Warner was under center and it was due to the lack of quality at quarterback.
Michael Floyd will enter his fourth year with the Cardinals. The former Notre Dame product caught 47 passes for 841 yards with six touchdowns. He caught 18 fewer balls than he did in 2013.
Jaron Brown enters his third year with Arizona in 2015. He had 22 receptions in 2014 for 229 yards with two touchdowns. Fourteen of his catches went for first down gains.
Arizona focused on defense during the 2015 draft. They picked up a wide receiver out of UAB in J.J. Nelson who is small in stature at 5-10 and 156 pounds. He has great speed and could earn a roster spot on the Cardinals via special teams. This would allow Nelson some time to build an NFL body because he has the speed to invest time into.
The Cardinals are very young at the tight end position. No roster player has put in greater than two years of service in the league.
Third year pro Darren Fells had five catches in 2014 for 71 yards and four of his receptions went for first downs. Fells is big at 6’ 7” and 218 pounds. Fells is the favorite to line up at the starting position when the season begins.
The Cardinals welcome back Andre Ellington as their running back in 2015. Ellington is entering his third year in the NFL. In the passing game last season Andre Ellington caught 46 balls for 395 yards and two touchdowns. Nineteen of his catches moved the sticks. With inexperienced quarterback play last year the backups for Arizona were utilizing their running backs as safety valves. Palmer likes to throw the ball downfield so it may not create as much opportunities in the passing game for the Cardinals running backs.
Rookie David Johnson was acquired by the Cardinals in the third round in the draft at running back by Arizona. It appears that Johnson will vie with Stepfan Taylor for time in the Cardinals backfield. Taylor a Stanford product will be in his third year with the Cardinals. He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on the ground on 63 attempts. In the passing game he caught 11 passes for 79 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cardinals offensive line did its job last season in pass protection by allowing just 28 sacks. It was a difficult task of blocking for several changes under center for the club in 2014. The team ran poorly a season ago and must look to improve on run blocking to allow play action to work.
Carson Palmer 2015 NFL Fantasy Football Draft Value
The veteran Palmer is winding down his playing career. He is a pocket passes who has trouble moving around the pocket. If the offensive line can give time to Palmer he has the arm strength to deliver. Based on the improvement in pass protection by the Cardinals offensive line last season, Carson Palmer does provide good value to NFL fantasy draft managers.