Just wanted to let everyone know that the snob blog will come to an end after a fun rookie season.  Before you get all misty eyed, it is with great pleasure that I announce I got called up to the show from rookie ball and will be joining the writing staff over at Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks a Fansided blog and partner of SI.com.  Thanks to all that visited the site and those that followed me on twitter and thuuz.  Please continue to follow me along with all the other Crackerjacks starting now for the upcoming baseball season.  
 
 
By:  Stuart Landis

On one occasion (at least) each year we are forced yo put in a Quarterback that isn’t our preferred starter because of their bye week. Due to this “BYE WEEK” , we must have a backup Quarterback that can carry the load. This list has been compiled matching up a potential fantasy starting QB's bye week with one of a backup who is likely to score well that week due to their matchups.

WEEK 4

POTENTIAL STARTERS W/ BYES
 
-Aaron Rodgers
-Cam Newton

Recommended Backups

-Joe Flacco vs. BUF
-Jay Cutler vs DET
-Ryan Tannehill vs NO
-Andrew Luck vs. JAX
 
WEEK 5

POTENTIAL STARTERS W/ BYES

-Robert Griffin III
-Ben Roethlisberger

Recommended Backups

-Jay Cutler vs. NO
-Andy Dalton vs NE
-Brandon Weeden vs BUF
-Alex Smith vs TEN
-Eli Manning vs PHI
-Jake Locker vs OAK

WEEK 6
 
Potential Starters W/ Byes

-Matt Ryan
-Ryan Tannehill

Recommended Backups

-Andy Dalton vs BUF
-Brandon Weeden vs DET
-Alex Smith vs OAK
-Phillip Rivers vs IND
-Josh Freeman vs PHI

WEEK 7

Potential Starters w/ Byes
 
-Drew Brees

Recommended Backups

-Andy Dalton vs. DET
-Tony Romo vs PHI
-Ryan Tannehill vs BUF
-Geno Smith vs NE
-Michael Vick vs DAL
-Phillip Rivers vs JAX

WEEK 8

Potential Starters

-Joe Flacco
-Jay Cutler
-Andrew Luck

Recommended Backups
 
-EJ Manuel vs NO
-Tony Romo vs DET
-Ryan Tannehill vs NE
-Ben Roethlisberger vs OAK

WEEK 9

Potential Starters w/ Byes

-Peyton Manning
-Matthew Stafford
-Colin Kaepernick
-Eli Manning

Recommended backups

-Matt Schaub vs IND
-Alex Smith vs BUF
-Michael Vick vs OAK
-Geno Smith vs NO
-Ben Roethlisberger vs NE
-Sam Bradford vs TEN

WEEK 10

POTENTIAL STARTERS W/ BYES

-Tom Brady

Recommended Backups

-Tony Romo vs NO
-Jay Cutler vs DET
-Eli Manning vs OAK
-Ben Roethlisberger vs BUF
-Sam Bradford vs IND
-Jake Locker vs JAX

WEEK 11

POTENTIAL STARTERS W/ BYES

-Tony Romo
-Sam Bradford

Recommended Backups

-Carson Palmer vs JAX
-Matt Schaub vs OAK
-Geno Smith vs BUF
-Ben Roethlisberger vs DET
-Jake Locker vs IND

WEEK 12
 
POTENTIAL STARTERS W/ BYES

-Michael Vick
-Russell Wilson
-Andy Dalton

Recommended Backups

-Carson Palmer vs IND
-Matt Schaub vs JAX
-Eli Manning vs DAL
-Jake Locker vs OAK

 
 
Stevan Ridley was ineffective Thursday rushing for six yards on nine carries.  I am not a big fan of Ridley this year and believe he is getting drafted too high.  More than half of his TDs last season came from inside the five yard line.  I think some of those carries will go to LeGarrette Blount (if he makes the team) chipping away at Ridley’s fantasy value.  Shane Vereen was shut down by the Lions as well but remains a solid option in PPR leagues as Brady is familiar throwing the ball to him, which currently separates Vereen from a majority of the wide receivers in the Patriots locker room.  

Speaking of PPR Leagues Reggie Bush shot up a lot of people’s draft boards with his 100 yard receiving performance vs the Pats.  If Bush ever gets hurt, which is known to happen, Joique Bell is the guy you want in PPR leagues, while Mikel Leshoure is the guy you may want to target in standard formats. 

Christine Michael opened a lot of eyes on Friday night pushing the Seahawks past the Pack.  Michael racked up 97 yards on 11 carries and added 25 yards on his one reception.  Marshawn Lynch is still the man in Seattle.   If Lynch goes down the common belief before Friday’s game was Robert Turbin would be the appropriate handcuff, but after Friday’s performance, the best insurance for Lynch may be Michael.

The Packers did not turn heads but they did make their fans bury their heads in their hands with a “here we go again” feeling.  Dujuan Harris who has missed most of camp with a knee injury returned only to injure his knee once again after three carries for two yards.  2nd Round draft pick Eddie Lacy had negative five yards on eight carries.  Needless to say the Packers’ offensive line was dominated up front by a superior Seattle unit and look to be the Achilles’ heel of the Packers once again this season.   So take caution on how high you reach for Lacy.

Matt Forte does not appear to have lost a step collecting over a hundred yards from scrimmage.  If he can stay healthy he could be in line for a special year in what appears to be a more balanced offensive attack for the Bears.

David Wilson had an 84 yard touchdown run this past weekend.  Excited?  Calm yourself, as he only managed to gain eight yards on his other four carries.  I like Wilson this year, he has the speed and offensive line to put up some serious numbers.  Andre Brown will steal carries from Wilson here and there but overall Wilson should be a top 15 back with an outside chance of sneaking into the top 10 amongst RBs in 2013. 

The Jets running game was not quite as bad as the Packers, but was not that far off.  Chris Ivory had 15 yards on eight carries while Bilal Powell had 16 yards on 11 attempts.  Ivory had flashes of brilliance down in New Orleans but has a list of injuries comparable to other backs such as Demarco Murray and Darren McFadden.  Unfortunately for Ivory, he does not have the skills of a Murray or McFadden dropping his value even lower.  Powell could be decent bye week replacement if/when Ivory gets injured.

Le’Veon Bell’s injury is not a Lisfrac injury as some had reported after week 2 in the preseason.  So he could be back a couple of weeks into the season.  In the meantime Jonathan Dwyer might have the most fantasy appeal over the likes of Isaac Redman and Felix Jones, but they will all get touches behind an offensive line that has its share of questions coming into the season.  Long story short, even when Bell returns, do not look for one of these backs to be a reliable starter in fantasy this year.

Bryce Brown looked solid this past weekend.  If there is one reason not to be optimistic that LeSean McCoy bounces back this year, it is because Brown will spell McCoy often in the fast paced offensive Kelly has brought to Philly.

Lamar Miller looked decent and should be the main back in South Beach this year.  Daniel Thomas is just not that good and has a hard time staying healthy.

Comparable to the situation in Pittsburg, Denver has three RBs competing for touches during the regular season.  Newcomer Montee Ball had a nice bull rush to find pay dirt on a goal line carry, but did not do anything overly impressive with his other touches.  Ronnie Hillman looked decent, but fumbled the ball for third time this preseason.  Knowshon Moreno looked the best out of all three backs.  Moreno had the most yards from scrimmage out of the three and had the highest  YPC.  What you do not see in the box score is the level of intensity and excitement that Moreno played with during this game.  Unlike Pittsburg, Denver has an impressive offensive line and should provide these guys with some nice holes throughout the season.  Unfortunately it looks like all three will get touches during the regular season holding each other’s fantasy value down.  So before you go reaching too high on Ball, think about the last RB out of Wisconsin to be a top 20 RB in fantasy…keep thinking.

There is a three headed monster in St. Louis backfield as well.  Daryl Richardson has been named the starter, but Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy will get there share of touches throughout the season as well.  The pattern of the busy backfield continues here as these three guys will limit each other’s fantasy production. 

Giovani Bernard had the most impressive weekend amongst the rookie runners.  Bernard had 39 yards on six carries and added two catches for 17 yards.  Meanwhile the lawfirm of Benjarvis Green-Ellis managed only five yards on five carries.  Although reliable with the ball, BGE is not capable of taking the Bengals to the next level.  There are no guarantees that Bernard will be able to have the impact the Bengals desire, but he will be given the opportunity to try this season. 

Rashard Mendenhall looked impressive before tweaking his knee.  Mendenhall is expected to be good to go week one.  Also, oft-injured RB Ryan Williams is reportedly on the trade block which should increase Mendenhall’s worth.  On the other hand, rookie OG Jonathan Cooper broke his leg and could be out for the year.  That would be a huge blow to an offensive line that was commonly regarded as the league’s worst last season. 

The three headed monster of Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles all saw action this past weekend.  I see Ingram’s name pop up here and there on sleeper lists this year.  Ingram is a decent player, but in that offense he does not see the ball consistently enough to be a steady option in fantasy.  Sproles is still the cream of this crop especially in PPR leagues.

As Arian Foster continues to slide down in ADP, Ben Tate continues to slide up on people’s boards.  Tate rushed for 74 yards on 11 carries.  Until he proves otherwise, you have to believe Foster is telling the truth when he recently said he is rested and ready.  In other words, do not let Foster slip too far.  If you pick Foster, Tate is the logical handcuff, but do not reach on a handcuff.  If someone snipes Tate, so be it, you will be just like every other manager hoping their studs stay healthy. 
 
 
So I represented the Fantasy Snob Blog in Razzball's expert league last night and wanted to share with you the results.  The league has some big time names and I was very flattered by the invite by Sky from Razzball to participate.  Here are the guys in the league with links to their respective sites and twitter accounts.  Please give them a follow as they are all great resources.

@Sky_Razzball - http://football.razzball.com/

@Revel_Nathan - http://www.revelationsports.com/

@FFootballschoolhttp://gridironexperts.com/

@JuanElway - http://www.JuanElway.com/

@Chad_Scott13 - http://DynastyLeagueFootball.com/

@FFKilroy76 - http://dynastyfootballwarehouse.com/author/kilroy/

@ScottLynge - http://www.fakepigskin.com/

@scott_pianowskihttp://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/fantasy-roto-arcade/

@TheCFX - http://rotoviz.com/

@CDCarter13 - http://sportsjerks.net/ & http://thefakefootball.com/ & @4for4football

@BringtheBlitzhttp://BringtheBlitz.com/

Again, these are great guys that know their stuff, please visit their sites and follow them on twitter.

The league is a PPR league and draft order was random.  I entered the draft room to find out the Snobs were picking 3rd overall.  Here is the team that I ended up with in order of draft selection.

1.   Doug Martin
2.   Maurice Jones-Drew
3.   Randall Cobb
4.   Reggie Wayne
5.   Matt Ryan
6.   Jason Witten
7.   Rashard Mendenhall
8.   Anquan Boldin
9.   Michael Floyd 
10. Isaiah Pead
11. Brain Hartline
12. Michael Bush
13. Houston D/ST
14. Sam Bradford
15. Heath Miller
16. Greg Zuerlein

Not to brag, and if any of you are familiar with Yahoo! you know this is the kiss of death, but the Snobs were awarded the Best Draft award and a grade of an A+ in Yahoo's draft recap.  So Yahoo felt good about my draft but I am left with mixed emotions.  I like Doug Martin with my first pick as Tampa has a run friendly schedule.  MoJo, if he is healthy and can stay healthy, then I think that will end up being a solid pick especially as RBs were getting thin at that point.  I like my receivers with Cobb and Wayne as well as Matt Ryan in the 5th round.  If Jason Witten and Tony Romo can both stay healthy, then I like him in the 6th rd especially in a PPR league.  The Mendehall pick in the 7th haunts me and I regret making that selection.  I feel ok about getting Boldin and Floyd in the 8th and 9th.  Pead is another guy that I am not sure was good value.  I wanted Jaquizz Rodgers but he was sniped one pick before me.  I like Brain Hartline in PPR reception leagues for WR depth so I am fine with the selection.  If Forte gets dinged during the year, and Bush stays healthy, than Bush in the 12th round will be good value.  I selected Houston's D/ST over Seattle and San Francisco, half because of Ed Reed, half because of JJ Watt, and the other half because of Houston's schedule.  I know, I know, that's three halves, but everything in Texas is bigger.  I think the local media has sold me on Sam Bradford being a decent #2 QB with the additions of Tavon Austin, Jarred Cook and Jake Long.  I think Heath Miller in a PPR league is solid value in the 15th round.  Finally, Greg the Leg was my last selection.  His accuracy has been questioned, but he rarely comes up short, so I am hoping for some +50 yard bonuses from him.  All in all, I am satisfied with the draft in some ways, but have my concerns especially with my depth at RB.  I will keep you posted on how the Snobs do in this league throughout the season.  Thanks again to Sky for having me.  


 
 
As far as giving a glimpse in to what to expect this fantasy season, there was not many games as rich with information as this game in week one of the preseason. There are major questions that need to be addressed by these two squads for us to solidify our fantasy teams and dominate our leagues:

Philadelphia:

Who is the starting quarterback for Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense?

Michael Vick came out first for the Philadelphia Eagles with guns blazing. He completed a 47-yard Touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, and those watching were reminded of the deadly accuracy he displayed during his first season with the Eagles. To many of us, it seems as if Michael Vick is the starting quarterback; he has previously been a dominate quarterback in the league and this game showed that he very much still has the skills that made him so in the first place. Not many of us have ever doubted his skills, but we all doubt the consistency of his health. Vick could easily gain 30+ points in some weeks; however, many fantasy owners could give you their testimony about how Vick lost a game for them because he broke a rib in the 2nd quarter. This is a high risk/high reward situation very different from others, it’s not a question of whether he will perform well, but a question of if/when he will go down with an injury. Sorry to diehard fans of Nick Foles, but he is not starting over a healthy Michael Vick. He’s a good, maybe even great quarterback, but in these situations it’s common sense, the proven talent starts. Case and point: Kirk Cousins.

-Now that DeSean Jackson is Vick’s #1 target, who is #2?

DeSean Jackson is proving to be a hot commodity in light of Jeremy Maclin’s season ending injury. As mentioned before he had a great catch for a 47-yard touchdown. DeSean Jackson will no doubt be a consistent receiver and should be able to hold on to a starting spot on your roster. In addition, Jason Avant(likely to start in the slot) made his presence known, possibly securing his spot as Vick’s #2 target. He may not be able to make waves in fantasy but I would dub him as “sleeper” with the possibility that Kelly’s high octane offense may be able to provide more than enough fantasy points to go around. Riley Cooper (not even going to start this discussion) looks to be the Eagles other wide out; however, I would be very surprised if he is consistently able to produce many fantasy points. Another name that stood out was Greg Salas; however, with most of his receptions coming later in the game it seemes as if he won’t start come regular season. It appears if Philadelphia will use this year to better develop the 24 year old.

New England Patriots:

-Who’s catching the ball?!

Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Lloyd,  Aaron Hernandez, and Danny Woodhead. These 5 made up for 84% of New England’s receptions in 2012, and all will be missing from New England’s starting line-up come week one. Gronk is still recovering from his back surgery, and it appears as if he will begin the season on the PUP(Physically unable to perform) list and be forced to sit out the first six games. The injured tight end is the only one of these players still on the roster; the others being lost to the Broncos, Chargers, Free Agency, and of course, the federal penitentiary.

For a receiving core that’s starting over completely, it will take more than one preseason game for us to make any decisions regarding who we will select. But at least for now we have an idea of who we should be paying attention to. No matter how inexperienced these receivers are, Tom Brady will be throwing the ball which means there will be fantasy value. First and foremost, let’s discuss the run game. For those of you that saw the game and are super excited about LaGarette Blount, I’m sorry, it’s not happening. Having an allegiance to Tampa Bay, I’ve watched this guy over the past two seasons, and this preseason game was one of his best displays. Yes, he hurdles players and is definitely fun to watch, but he also fumbles the ball and has attitude issues which paved his way out of Tampa Bay. With Steven Ridley in the backfield and Shane Vereen backing him up, Blount will see little action, not near enough to make him relevant fantasy-wise.

Although New England played the passing game very conservatively, there are some things to take away. The big news is Kenbrell Thomkins, the UDFA rookie from Cincinnati caught four passes from the man himself, Tom Brady. The fact that Brady targeted Thompkins numerous times during his brief stint as passer during the game shows that these two have quickly gained chemistry and makes it look as if Thompkins has a good possibility to start. Along with him, we have Aaron Dobson, the rookie everyone expected to come out and start for this depleted receiving core. Dobson was thrown to on eight different occasions and finished with 35 yards. It seems as if both of these guys are no doubt sleepers and with Brady throwing to them, one, if not both, could be a quality pick-up for your team. Also to note, rookie UDFA tight end Zach Sudfeld ran exclusively with the first-string offense on Friday night. We didn’t see much of him but the raving of his coaches simply can’t be ignored. Keep a close eye on this guy.

No preseason game will give you guaranteed insight, but this will at least show us who to watch for.

Sleeper Alert: Jason Avant, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Zach Sudfeld

 
 
The Dallas Cowboys have about as much drama as the old soap opera Dallas.  Whether it is Jerry Jones’ micro-managing, consistent injuries, off the field issues and Tony “Hollywood” Romo leading the show, there is never a dull moment in the Big D.

In one of my leagues last year, Tony Romo finished as a top five QB.  I thought Jerry Jones might have hacked the host site and padded some stats.  Then I checked all my other leagues and he was easily in the top 10 in all those leagues.  So I guess that is what happens when you stay healthy and your most skilled WR matures and becomes a true go-to-guy.  Romo has a pretty friendly schedule when it comes to playing pass defenses.  If he can stay healthy, which is a pretty big if considering their below average offensive line from last year adds only one new face in rookie center Travis Frederick, who received a third round grade by many draft “experts”.

Speaking of staying healthy, the running backs in Dallas have a hard time doing that.  DeMarco Murray has a lot of skill, but he also has a lot in injuries dating back to his high school years.  Murray was only able to play in 10 games last year and had decent stats.  But again, going back to that offensive line and Murray’s faculty for getting injured, it is hard to expect big things from Murray, think Ryan Matthews.  Felix Jones was able to play in all 16 games for just the second time in his career, but his fantasy impact was limited to the five weeks he ended up in the end zone. 

Dez Bryant turned into a stud last year and ended the year as a top five WR.  Not bad considering he did not score until week five.  His stats in November and December were off the charts, a trend that makes fantasy owners very optimistic that he can actually improve on his numbers from last year.  Miles Austin is a solid WR receiver in his own right, but he was targeted less than Bryant and TE Jason Witten.  Austin has a little bit of an injury risk as he has had nagging hamstring injuries over the past two seasons. 

Speaking of Witen, he actually led tight ends last year in targets.  Not bad considering he suffered a lacerated spleen in last year’s preseason and was questionable to start the season’s opener.  Witten is healthy as of right now and will always be Romo’s safety blanket. 

Dallas D/ST is probably a unit you want to pass on as they face a tough schedule and did not add much to an underwhelming unit from last season.  Give them a look on a bye week or if you stream D/ST. 

Let's take a look at the Snob Rankings:

Tony Romo is the #12 ranked QB

DeMarco Murray is the #18 ranked RB

Dez Bryant is the #3 ranked WR

Miles Austin is the #36 ranked WR

Jason Witten is the #5 ranked TE

Cowboys are the #13 ranked D/ST
 
 
What you need to know:

  • In two games Josh Reddick matched his HR total for the season entering this weekend.  If you had him n your lineup, well done.  If you are thinking about adding him, cannot blame you, he hit 32 bombs last year, and hitting five in two games is enough evidence for me that a player is feeling confident in the box.  If you have the roster flexibility, give it a go and put him in your lineup and hope his hot streak continues.
  • Wily Peralta did not get the one but pitched very well.  Again, use him in deeper leagues or as a streamer and keep him in mind for the late rounds next year.  
  • Rickie Weeks was lost for the year.  Scooter Gennett could be worth a play in NL Only leagues.  Also keep an eye on him in roto leagues if he starts stealing bags.
  • Michael Wacha pitched well on Saturday but it sounds like he will get moved to the pen so his value in fantasy will have to wait until next year.
  • Aaron Hill is hitting .406 in the month of August, and he has two HRs in his last two games.  Make sure you have him in your lineups
  • LaTroy Hawkins and Danny Farquhar continue to close the door for their respective teams.  I would add Farquhar before Hawkins, but both deserve consideration if you need saves.  Dane De La Rosa would be the third option on the recently converted to closer guys you should target.  
  • Darin Ruf is hitting HRs in less than 20 ABs.  It is currently 16.66 ABs for every HR.  I know it is a small sample size, but this kid has hit HRs at a nice clip at every step of his pro career.  If you need pop, Ruf is a decent target.
  • Jason Werth is hitting .571 in August and is closing in on 20 HRs.  He left Sunday's game with a knee injury, but with the Nats fighting for their playoff lives, Werth will deal with some pain down the stretch especially if he is locked in like he is now.  Keep an eye on his injury but if he is in the Nats lineup, he should probably be in your lineup until his hot stretch cools.
  • Brandon Beachy had his best start since his return from Tommy John.  I think you can add him if you are desperate for SP, but keep in mind most guys returning from TJ are very inconsistent the first season of their return.
  • Justin Morneau is hitting .292 with six HRs in August.  I would give Morneau a look especially since there is a chance he gets dealt to a more hitter friendly stadium.  If he does, you might want to jump on him.
  • Kyle Lohse is another guy that could get dealt as he was placed on waivers this week.  Lohse has been solid since June and if he gets dealt to a contender, you will want to add him where available.  
  • Starling Marte was hit by a pitch in the hand and is day to day.  If you get the Thuuz app, the app will alert you on when he will get inserted back into the lineup.  It's a free app and it helps keep you up to date on the guys in your lineup.       
 
 
What you need to know:

  • LaTroy Hawkins looks like the guy that will get the saves for the Mets until he proves he cannot get it done.  He collected his second straight save in perfect fashion today.
  • Darin Ruf now has five HRs in 89 ABs.  That is a 17.8 AB to HR ratio which puts him alongside Adrian Beltre, Mark Trumbo, Jay Bruce, & David Ortiz with that ratio.  True, Ruf's sample size is smaller than the comps I listed, but Ruf has hit for power at every step of the way and Citizens Bank Park plays shallow.  If your team needs pop, this might be the best you can do this late in the season.
  • Carlos Martinez got the nod to start on the bump for the Cards tonight.  His fastball was often clocked in the upper 90's but the results were...meh.  He had to leave the game due to cramping.  Michael Wacha will get the call Saturday vs the Cubs.  If you are looking for a late in the week streamer, this is a guy and matchup worth taking a chance on.  
  • Tim Lincecum pitched on hit ball through eight innings.  His K/9 is over 9 on the year and depending on your league could be a good guy to chase down before your trade deadline.  Go into negotiations knowing there is still an outside chance he could get traded to a bullpen role.
  • Alex Rios was claimed by the Rangers but according to rumors a deal is unlikely.  If Rios gets traded to Rangers, he gets a slight bump.  Parks are comparable, but his lineup will be better in Texas and they have more to play for which can get the adrenaline flowing a little more than being out of the race.
  • Christian Yelich had a solid night at the plate.  He went 3-4 with his first career HR.  This could be a guy to add if you had Nelson Cruz on your team. 
 
 
The Cardinals have been a mess on offense ever since Kurt Warner retired.  When Warner hung them up, the Cardinals went from Super Bowl contender to a team that has a record of 18-30 in the past three seasons.  During those three season, the Cards have started six QBs.  Last year, the offensive line lead the league in sacks allowed.  For good measure, the Cardinals had the worst rushing team in the league last year as well.  Although the Cardinals had their share of injuries last year, the Cardinals had their work cut out for them this offseason.  They brought in veterans Carson Palmer and Rashard Mendenhall to fill the holes at QB and RB.  The Cards addressed their O-line as well.  With the combination of signing Eric Winston and drafting Jonathan Cooper to go along with a healthy Levi Brown, the Cards offense looks as good as it ever has post-Warner. 

Carson Palmer, right or wrong, grew impatient with the Bengals organization, refused to play and ended up in Oakland where he spent a year and a half in what turned out to be possibly an even more frustrating situation than in Cincy.  Last year Palmer threw for over 4,000 yards, 22 TDs, and had a passer rating of 85.3.  Not great numbers, but not bad.  I would guess those numbers will improve with a better supporting cast in the desert.  Palmer will face some tough defenses in the NFC West, but his fantasy schedule is kind as the Cards will play at Seattle in week 16 and finish the year at home vs the 49ers, so in many formats, he only has to play the top two defenses in the league once.  In addition to the tough conference, his age might scare some owners away.  However, at the end of the day, I think Palmer will be a solid backup in standard leagues and be a useful starter in 2 QB formats.

Rashard Mendenhall is not a name that excites too many fantasy owners because fantasy owners often view players in a “what have you done for me lately” kind of way.  Mendenhall tore his ACL at the end of his 2011, which was a huge factor in his ability to only play in six games in 2012.  Mendenhall did not do himself any favors by skipping a game after getting benched for poor play.  Perhaps a new environment and a little more time to get his knee right is enough to get Mendenhall back to the form where he could threaten to rush for 1,000 yards and double digit TDs.    Mendenhall's value will go up if Ryan Williams cannot fully recover from his season injury last year.  On the flip side, if Williams gets healthy, he will cut into Mendenhall's touches.  

Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best WRs in the game.  He is also the best WR that Carson Palmer has ever played with.  Fitzgerald will benefit from Palmer, Mendenhall, and the improved o-line.  Look for Fitz to return to fantasy glory this year.  According to early depth charts, opposite Fitzgerald will be Michael Floyd.  Floyd struggled in the early going last year, but in the month of December he had 21 receptions for 302 yards including an eight reception, 166 yard, with one td performance vs the 49ers on the last day of the regular season.  Defenses will have to focus on Fitz, which could produce a lot of opportunities for Floyd.

Rob Housler is the starting tight end in Arizona and is one of the biggest question marks for the Cardinals offense coming into 2013.  Palmer was successful using his tight end in Oakland, but that was partially due to his lack of consistent WR targets.  He has the physical attributes you want in a TE as far as size and speed, but in his two seasons he has yet to catch a TD.  There is a chance Housler could surprise with the improvements the Cards have made on offense, but you should pass on him in the draft and take a wait and see approach during the first couple of weeks of the season before you consider adding him.

Despite the teams overall struggles, the Cardinals’ D/ST did ok, in some formats even finishing in the top ten.  They have a tough schedule overall which will limit how the defense scores.  However the big draw for the Cards D/ST are the backfield standouts in Patrick Peterson and newcomer Tyrann Mathieu.  Both of these guys are a threat to go all the way whether it is by way of pick, fumble recover, or on a return.  The unit might not get drafted in your league, but if you are into streaming D/STs or need a bye week replacement, this is a solid unit to consider, but do not be surprised if they do not last long on the waivers.

Let's take a look at the Snob Rankings:

Carson Palmer is the #21 ranked QB

Rashard Mendenhall is the #28 ranked RB

Ryan Williams is the #39 ranked RB

Larry Fitzgerald is the #11 ranked WR

Michael Floyd is the #48 ranked WR

Rob Housler is the #24 ranked TE




 
 
What you need to know:

  • Shelby Miller lasted two pitches before taking a comebacker off his pitching elbow.  X-Rays were negative, and the injury is being described as just a bruise right now but I think a bruise on his pitching elbow could be difficult to pitch through.  Monitor his status moving forward, and keep an eye on Michael Wacha in the minors if Miller has to miss time.  
  • Matt Harvey took a comebacker off his knee, but he stayed in the game to finish his first career CGSO.  Nice job watching his innings Collins.
  • Chris Archer had to leave the game with forearm tightness, commonly associated with elbow problems.  Monitor his status and hope the young gun can comeback and continue where he left off.
  • Danny Salazar is the real deal.  I am not sure if keeping him healthy runs parallel to letting him pitch into the eight inning only to let him cough up the lead to Miggy.  But the kid has electric stuff and can dial up the triple digits on the radar gun.  I am not sure what his fantasy impact will be the remainder of this season as he could wind up in the bullpen for the Tribe.  However, if this kid lands a spot in the rotation next year, you might want to target him in the mid-rounds next year.
  • Marco Estrada pitched well in his return to the mound.  He had a pretty tight pitch/inning limit as his rehab was shortened due to Tom Gorzelany's injury.  Estrada has a solid career K/9 but his team might not be able to provide him with much run support.  Keep him on your radar and consider using him as a streamer.
  • BJ Upton in the month of August is hitting .476 with three SBs in five games.  Small sample size, but this is a guy that was a top 50 player last year.
  • You need to add Danny "Lord" Farquhar if he is still available in your league.  
  • Martin Prado is scorching hot right now.  He was 4-4 tonight with a HR and is now batting .478 in August.  He is eligible at almost every position, so find room for him in your starting lineup.
  • Speaking of hot, Stephen Drew has four HRs in his last 12 games and is hitting .395 during that stretch.