We’re three weeks into the 2011 season. The Arizona Cardinals are 1-2 after losing a couple of very winable games against the Redskins and Seahawks. For Fantasy Football players, teams with players going up against Arizona have to be very happy. It seems that the Cardinals have a tendancy to make even the most average players look GOOD. Some examples:
Week 1 – Cam Newton: The number 1 overall pick comes to Arizona to open his NFL career. NO ONE expected his to pass for 422 yards and two TDs – certainly not the sold-out stadium and certainly not the Cardinals coaching staff. While Newton set rookie records in the first two weeks of the season, he’s certainly NOT all-world (yet), but the Cardinals certainly gave him a boost.
Week 2 – Rex Grossman: Certainly NOT the top choice for fantasy teams looking for a quality QB start. Yet the Arizona defense allowed the Redskins QB to complete 25 of 43 passes for nearly 300 yards (291 officially) and two more TDs. Further, Arizona allowed Washington to drive down the field and get in position to win the game.
Week 3 – Sidney Rice AND Marshawn Lynch: In Rice’s first game in a Seattle uniform, he caught eight balls for 109 yards, making him an attractive free-agent pickup this week. His running back teammate Marshawn Lynch ran for 73 yards against a soft Arizona defense. Keep in mind that in Weeks one and two, the Seahawks rushed for just 95 yards COMBINED against the 49ers and Steelers.
From a Fantasy Football perspective, you might want to take a look at who the Cardinals are facing (the New York Giants this week) and plan your rosters accordingly. The Cardinals defense was projected to be much improved from last season, but through three games in 2011, there are still a lot of questions.
Week 4 Fantasy Picks: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
Giants: Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Ahmad Bradshaw
Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin Kolb