Shark Bites

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians said WR John Brown (quad) would be a full-go in Tuesday's practice. Brown didn't feel up to it. "I’m just going to come back when I’m ready,” he said. “My body is different than others. They expect me to come back fast, but I can’t. I’m all right, but I’m not where I want to be at.” This sure sounds like Brown's sickle-cell trait is again making him slow to recover from these leg issues. That wrecked his 2016 season and is certainly a risk factor in 2017. Brown has the potential to be a weekly WR3 -- maybe even better -- but is tough to draft as more than an upside bench stash.

Cardinals WR John Brown (quad) was a full-go in Tuesday's practice, according to HC Bruce Arians. He'd been limited the past couple of weeks. We wonder if Arians reaming out his WR group yesterday had anything to do with Brown's return. Regardless, we'll keep a close eye on his status over the next few weeks. Brown remains a fine shot to take at his 9th-round ADP -- especially if he can stay on the field between now and Week 1.

Cardinals WR John Brown remains hampered by the quad injury he suffered early in training camp. He's been limited to only "certain drills," according to insider Mike Jurecki. Brown, of course, was crushed last season by leg injuries related to his sickle-cell trait. The team reportedly solved that issue, and it's unclear if this quad injury is related. Either way, the missed practice time is not ideal for a guy who could have used a healthy offseason. The good news is that Brown's downside is at least partly negated by his 9th-round price tag.

Cardinals WR John Brown has been sidelined by a quad injury. HC Bruce Arians said he'll be out "a few days, maybe a week." It's unclear if this is at all related to the sickle-cell issue that hampered Brown throughout last season, but it's obviously not a good look for him. We'll see if this lingers beyond Arians' timeline.

Cardinals WR John Brown has impressed early in training camp. He "looks past his health concerns," insider Darren Urban wrote. "He is blazing when he runs around out there." Brown's 2016 was wrecked by complications from his sickle-cell trait and a cyst on his spine. The Cardinals believe they've solved both issues. Still just 27, a healthy Brown has a shot to ascend back into the top 25 at his position, where he finished back in 2015.

The Cardinals have re-signed RB Chris Johnson to a 1-year deal. Johnson turns 32 in September, missed 12 games last year with a groin injury and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in the other 4. He's the favorite to earn the #2 spot on Arizona's depth chart, but it'd likely be a committee backfield if David Johnson misses time this year. Chris Johnson is only worth rostering in fantasy leagues with deep benches.

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer entered the 2016 season with a tired arm, according to HC Bruce Arians. "Last year, he came in to September, he had already wore his arm out by overthrowing all summer," Arians said. "We found a nice regimen, [and by] November and December he was playing as good as he's ever played." Palmer has adjusted his routine this offseason, and Arians believes his arm is "stronger than ever." Palmer finished 16th among QBs in fantasy points last season but is just a year removed from a top-5 finish. There's plenty of upside at his QB23 ADP.

Cardinals LB Deone Bucannon recently had surgery to repair the ankle injury that landed him on IR in December. Bucannon played through the issue for much of the year, according to the team website, before missing the final 3 games. He hoped to be able to rehab the injury without surgery but finally had to go under the knife. “We think, if everything goes perfect, he’ll be ready,” HC Bruce Arians said, referring to the start of the regular season. “But there’s always that chance that it won’t.” We'll see this summer how perfectly everything works out. In the meantime, rookie Haason Reddick is expected to work in Bucannon's spot.

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer says he'll be throwing a lot less in offseason workouts this year. "Coach is very persuasive," Palmer told The Associated Press, calling it HC Bruce Arians' idea. "He had very good reasons and points why. I'm going to trust his expertise and knowledge of this position because it's as good as it gets." Palmer conceded that he hadn't managed his offseason throwing well for the past "eight or nine years," failing to adjust as he gets older. On one hand, it's a little worrisome Arians finds this change necessary in his fifth year at the helm. On the other, anything that enhances Palmer's hopes of rebounding from last year is a plus. We'll see what reports of his arm strength say come summer. The veteran figures to settle well into QB2 range in redraft ADP anyway.

The Cardinals have reached a 1-year deal with QB Blaine Gabbert. That should set up a competition with Drew Stanton to back up Carson Palmer, who turned 37 in December. There's not much fantasy intrigue to either backup, but Gabbert would at least bring more rushing upside than Stanton, should Palmer go down.

Cardinals WR John Brown had a cyst removed from his spine shortly after last season ended. This was unrelated to the sickle-cell issue we already knew about. But Brown says he was "back to normal" after having the cyst removed. “I most definitely feel confident,” Brown said of his status for 2017. “Since they found out the situation, my body has been feeling better. I am doing the usual, which I couldn’t do when I was going through this process." We'll be keeping a close eye on Brown's health throughout the summer. If the ailments are truly behind him, he has a shot to re-emerge as the 1,000-yard receiver we saw in 2015.

The Cardinals have signed undrafted WR Krishawn Hogan as a free agent. Hogan finished high school at just 5'9 and 175 pounds. But he posted big numbers at NAIA Marian College and blossomed physically. Hogan ran a 4.56-second 40 at the Scouting Combine that's below average for the position. But throw in a 6.74-second 3-cone drill and 10'4 broad jump, and you get a 79th percentile SPARQ score. We can't expect Hogan to quickly make the jump from low-level college football to the NFL, but the Cardinals have plenty at WR to give him time to wait. Hogan's an interesting flier for a late spot in your dynasty rookie draft.

The Cardinals used a 5th-round pick to add North Carolina RB T.J. Logan. The fastest RB at the Combine (4.37-second 40 time) projects as a change-of-pace option at the next level. He never topped 120 carries in any of his 4 seasons at Chapel Hill and goes just 5'9, 196 pounds. Logan did turn in 26- and 29-catch campaigns, though, and looks like a natural receiver on tape. He also tallied 5 kick-return TDs in college. Logan could quickly ascend to the #2 spot on Arizona's depth chart but won't see enough work to be a fantasy factor behind workhorse David Johnson.

The Cardinals selected Grambling WR Chad Williams in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. To be perfectly honest, this guy was not on our pre-draft radar. Here’s what we just learned about him: Williams goes 6’1, 207 pounds and ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. (He wasn’t invited to the Combine.) He went over 1,000 yards in each of his final 2 seasons, highlighted by a big 90-1,337-11 line this past year. Williams also has off-field issues, though, getting arrested last May for firearm and marijuana possession. He could learn a lot from Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona and could eventually replace the future Hall-of-Famer.

The Cardinals traded up to take Washington S Budda Baker with the 4th pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Baker didn't post big numbers in any particular category but contributed all over. He's strong in coverage and a willing, strong hitter. He'll join an Arizona secondary with multiple versatile pieces. Baker drew a Bob Sanders comparison from NFL.com's Lance Zierlein and comes with an interesting IDP outlook for both the short and long term.

The Cardinals drafted Temple LB Haason Reddick 13th overall in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Reddick played DE almost exclusively in college but figures to play a standup rush role as a 3-4 OLB in Arizona. He'll likely cut well into OLB Markus Golden's playing time right away, but Golden -- along with re-signed OLB Chandler Jones -- will limit Reddick's early playing-time ceiling. Keep that in mind for his IDP outlook over the next couple of years. (Golden is signed through 2018.)

We passed along word from insider Kent Somers earlier this offseason that the Cardinals planned to move Andre Ellington to WR. HC Bruce Arians made it official on Wednesday, saying that Ellington will work with the WRs this offseason. The 5'9, 199-pounder has struggled to hold up as a runner. But he's a plus pass-catcher who's hauled in 112 balls for 999 yards (8.9 YPC) over 4 seasons. There's opportunity in what was once a deep Cardinals WR corps. Larry Fitzgerald turns 34 in August, John Brown has struggled to stay healthy and Michael Floyd is gone. Ellington still seems unlikely to carve out a big enough role to be a reliable fantasy option, but his transition will be worth monitoring.

The Cardinals plan to run Andre Ellington primarily at WR in 2017, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Altering Ellington's role certainly makes sense. He has struggled to hold up physically in the backfield, and David Johnson emerged as 1 of the NFL's best RBs -- and an all-situations player -- last season. Ellington showed his playmaking chops most prominently while splitting the backfield with Rashard Mendenhall in his rookie campaign. Getting his skills on the field should help the offense. Somers reports that Ellington will still see some RB work. The question, of course, will be whether he can find enough touches to gain fantasy relevance. We're not betting on it. More likely, Ellington will flash with a few nice fantasy lines driven by big plays but be too inconsistent to be worth owning. We'd bet on Arizona also adding backfield depth. RB Chris Johnson's a free agent.

Cardinals RB David Johnson (knee) declared himself back to 100% while participating in a charity flag football tournament over the weekend. “My wheel is good,” he said, referring to the knee he injured in the 2016 season finale. “Good to go already. Back training, full throttle. Doing everything.” Johnson avoided surgery on the sprained MCL and will be available for the offseason program. He's in the mix to be the 1st player off the board in 2017 fantasy drafts.

The Cardinals have signed K Phil Dawson. He'll replace K Chandler Catanzaro, a restricted free agent who was not re-signed. Dawson turned 42 in January but has remained effective, drilling 85+% of his FGs in 4 of the past 5 seasons. He'll be a viable 2017 fantasy option.

 
 
 

Recent Analysis

Read All Analysis
Premium Content Stock Up/Stock Down Report (8-12 through 8-18)

A quick look at the 26 guys who moved up or down the rankings over the past week.

12 hours ago Read More
Premium Content 5th-Round Decisions

Is this the range to finally target a QB? Can we trust Larry Fitzgerald to produce at age 34? Get the lowdown on those questions and more with a closer look at Round 5.

8:08am EDT 8/18/17 Read More
Mid-August ADP Risers and Fallers

A look at 28 of the biggest ADP movers over the first 2 weeks of August, including Christian McCaffrey, Sammy Watkins and Kelvin Benjamin.

2:08pm EDT 8/17/17 Read More
Mock Draft: A WR Start

These might not be perfect drafts, but doesn't practice make perfect?

1:08pm EDT 8/17/17 Read More
Premium Content 4th-Round Decisions

Round 4 carries a lot of risk in fantasy football drafts. Here's where you can plant your flag ...

6:08am EDT 8/17/17 Read More
Premium Content 3rd-Round Decisions

We're breaking down our thought process while deciding between 4 intriguing Round 3 RBs. Plus, should you target Brandin Cooks or Demaryius Thomas?

8:08am EDT 8/16/17 Read More
Fantasy Football Podcast: Big Deals and Preseason Recap 8-15-17

Zeke's gone for a while (or is he); Sammy Watkins is gone from Buffalo; and we have a whole weekend of preseason action to break down. Lots to get to as fantasy football drafts approach ...

3:08pm EDT 8/15/17 Read More

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Download on Google Play