Shark Bites

"Without being asked about Kevin Minter specifically, Calais Campbell and Jerraud Powers raved about how the ILB played in camp." That's what Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reported Friday. It's easy to look past Minter after an empty rookie year and a lackluster 1st turn as a starter last year. But the Cards made him a 2nd-round pick 2 years ago after Minter closed out his 3 seasons at LSU with 130 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 4 sacks in his final year. Keep him in mind as a late sleeper in your IDP draft.

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Cardinals LB Sean Weatherspoon has missed both preseason games so far and is expected to miss the 3rd as well, according to the Arizona Republic. Someone asked HC Bruce Arians on Monday what he needed to see from Weatherspoon before the regular season: "I need to see a lot, haven’t seen anything yet. That’s very discouraging right now, to not know where he’s at as a football player, having missed most of last year and all of this camp.” Weatherspoon missed all of last season with an Achilles' tendon tear. A hamstring injury has been the big problem this summer. Arians said ILBs Kevin Minter and Kenny Demens have played well so far. They would start if Weatherspoon doesn't prove ready for the regular season. The whole Cardinals LB corps looks pretty iffy for IDP use in fantasy football.

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The Cardinals listed FS Tyrann Mathieu and SS Tony Jefferson as starters in their initial depth chart Monday. Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com says that SS Deone Bucannon and FS Rashad Johnson "have been running with the first unit" in practice. "In the end, all four get a lot of snaps," Urban adds. Given that situation, it might not matter who actually starts. At the same time, a rotation will limit fantasy-scoring opportunities for the IDP prospects. That has suppressed all Arizona DB projections in our 2015 IDP rankings. Elsewhere on D, the Cards list OLB Lorenzo Alexander, ILB Sean Weatherspoon, ILB Kevin Minter and OLB Alex Okafor as starters. We're not excited about any as IDP factors. Weatherspoon would carry the most upside, but he needs to show that he still has his old quicks even after last June's Achilles' tendon tear.

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Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was working with at the strong spot with the 1st team in spring workouts. DC James Bettcher told the team website that he has yet to decide on the starters at some positions -- including SS -- but the early nod to last year's 1st-round pick suggests he's the favorite. Bucannon proved wildly productive as a college safety and could still play some LB in nickel packages. That role would keep him in the middle of the action and can only help his tackle numbers. Unless he has a bad summer and lets Tony Jefferson pass him on the depth chart, Bucannon looks like at least a DB2 for IDP fantasy football leagues this year. Look for him to climb our 2015 IDP rankings.

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The Cardinals selected OT D.J. Humphries with the 24th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.  He had some injury issues at Florida but made 19 starts at OT.  Humphries' technique needs some work, but he's a 6'5, 307-pounder with plus athleticism.  He figures to open his career as Arizona's RT.  In Humphries, Mike Iupati and Jared Veldheer, Arizona has assembled a strong O-line core.

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The Cardinals have signed G Mike Iupati to a 5-year, $40 million deal.  It's a nice get for Arizona, whose offensive line finished in the bottom 10 of Pro Football Focus' 2014 run- and pass-blocking rankings.  Iupati was the top G on the market, finishing 14th in PFF's overall rankings last year.  He's an especially dominant run blocker -- good news for Andre Ellington and whoever else is running the ball for the Cardinals next year.

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Yahoo! Sports' Rand Getlin reports that LB Sean Weatherspoon will sign a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Cardinals once free agency opens. Consider us surprised if the veteran couldn't get the same deal to stay with the Falcons, especially given that the coach and GM had said they wanted him back. Weatherspoon's biggest problem has been injuries. He has played all 16 games in a season just once since entering the league 5 years ago. Weatherspoon missed all of 2014 after rupturing an Achilles' tendon. He missed 9 games the year before because of foot and knee injuries. A 4-3 OLB in Atlanta, he'll project to the inside in Arizona's 3-4 front. The 1-year "prove it" deal adds intrigue to a player who has performed well and delivered cross-category IDP scoring when healthy. We'll keep an eye on his reports heading into and through training camp. If you can draft Weatherspoon as a low 4th or 5th LB in your 2015 IDP league, you could wind up with some sneaky value. We'll also see what his addition might mean for ILB Daryl Washington, who spent last year suspended by the league.

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