Never Too Early to Sell Low on Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer broke his left arm yesterday against the Los Angeles Rams. He will have surgery and miss a minimum of eight weeks. 

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are confident that backup QB Drew Stanton can lead the team to wins, but this article will give you three reasons you should have trepidation about using Cardinals offensive skill players in fantasy football lineups moving forward.


Palmer was signed by the Cardinals back in 2013 and has finished with 10 or more wins three out of four full seasons. He finished as the fantasy QB17 in 2013, QB31 in 2014, QB5 in 2015, and QB19 in 2016. He missed eight games after suffering a torn ACL in 2014 and was currently a top-15 fantasy QB prior to yesterday’s injury. Palmer has averaged 16.2 fantasy points per game since joining the Cardinals.

While not at the level of future Hall of Fame QBs, his numbers over that time period aren’t an embarrassment by comparison.

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The Cardinals receivers offense thrived with Palmer under center since 2013. The field-stretchers have been impressive under his leadership, David Johnson posted fantastic numbers at RB, and Fitzgerald held his own on heavy volume in a more possession-oriented role.

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Palmer provided a consistency that will be challenging to replicate with Stanton under center.


Stanton started eight games for the Cardinals back in 2014 when Palmer suffered a torn ACL.

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Stanton derailed the entire Cardinals offense and negatively impacted all the offensive skill players. The Cardinals offense finished the season 27th in the league in points per drive with 1.52.

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Stanton finished the 2014 season with a quarterback rating of 79.

Stanton’s quote following the game does not relieve the heartburn if you happen to have Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, or John Brown on your fantasy team. Stanton completed just five of 14 passes for 62 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception against the Rams in Week 7. The one positive is that he has been with Arians and the Cardinals organization for five years. Will the light bulb finally come on for the 11-year NFL veteran in 2017?


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The Cardinals WRs have a very challenging schedule after the bye week with matchups against the Seahawks, Texans, Jaguars, Redskins, and Giants. This does not bode well for Arizona. The Jaguars (161), Seahawks (229), Redskins (228), Texans (203), and Giants (258) defenses are all impressive in passing yards allowed per game.


This is a very tough pill for fantasy players who roster any of the Cardinals players. Palmer’s injury has a negative ripple effect on the entire team. Fitzgerald can now be viewed as a WR3 and Brown as more of a WR4. The Cardinals may try to lean on Peterson and the running game. He is likely to face eight-plus man boxes for the rest of the season due to Stanton’s inability to threaten defenses in the passing game. Peterson can be viewed as more of a low-end RB2. It would not be out of the realm of possibilitiy that we see Blaine Gabbert make some starts this season. This is ultimately a situation to avoid if you can, but not every fantasy player will have that luxury.

What was most useful for you? Please leave a comment below or better yet reach out to me via Twitter @EricNMoody.

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Author Details
Eric Moody is a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) and writer at RotoViz since 2015. He also occasionally contributes articles at Gridiron Experts, TwoQBs, and FantasyPros. Eric has a lifelong passion for the game and played at the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. He also participated in Dan Hatman’s Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level by using game film. When Eric provides fantasy football advice he prefers to “play the piano with both hands” using game film, analytics, and statistics to help you understand his perspective. He enjoys Netflix, listening to music, playing bass guitar, drinking coffee, and spending time with his family. Eric lives in Dallas, Texas and is always happy to answer questions via Twitter @EricNMoody.

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