Shark Bites

The Cardinals picked DL Robert Nkemdiche 29th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jon Gruden thinks he's going to the "promised land," and it certainly looks like a nice landing spot. Arizona has a lot going for it, including a HC who has proved popular with players over the past few years. Nkemdiche carries IDP upside.

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The Patriots on Tuesday traded DE Chandler Jones to the Cardinals for G Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd-round draft pick. Jones figures to play a 3-4 OLB spot for the Cardinals, which will hurt his IDP value wherever his designation changes. New England can start Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich on the edges and drafted DEs Geneo Grissom (3rd round) and Trey Flowers (4th) last year. The Pats also had free agent Chris Long in for a visit Monday. Adding Jones can only help an Arizona D that was already good for fantasy with a poor pass rush last season.

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According to multiple reports, Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu tore his right ACL late in Sunday night's win over the Eagles. That obviously ends his season and puts him in question for the summer and regular-season start of 2016. Mathieu previously tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee, so this injury seems less severe. The fact that it's his other knee also increases the chance for a full recovery. Mathieu should remain on dynasty IDP rosters at this point. We'll track his progress heading into next year. S Tony Jefferson figures to see more playing time this year, though the Cardinals likely don't have a single player who can step into Mathieu's hybrid CB-S role.

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4 months ago

Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu left in the 4th quarter of Sunday night's game at Philly after appearing to twist his left ankle following an INT. Mathieu managed to walk off under his own power and head to the locker room without help. We'll keep an eye on his status. He has ranked among the top fantasy performers at DB this season.

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Cardinals HC Bruce Arians said Friday that S Rashad Johnson (ankle) will be a game-time decision for Sunday night at Philly, according to ESPN.com. That takes him out of IDP consideration for Week 15, especially since Johnson hasn't been a strong fantasy contributor this season.

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4 months ago

Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (hamstring) is questionable for Thursday night's game against the Vikings. He's a low-level IDP candidate anyway in a safety rotation. Don't bother with him unless you really need to.

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5 months ago

Cardinals S Deone Bucannon is active for today's game at San Francisco after passing through the concussion protocol this week. Use him as you normally would in your IDP league.

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Cardinals S Deone Bucannon joined the injury report Thursday after suffering an apparent concussion in Wednesday's practice. Bucannon returned to practice Friday, however, after clearing the league protocol, according to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss. The team deemed him questionable for Sunday's game against the Niners. “I’m going to be very careful with Deone,” HC Bruce Arians said. “I have to fight him, but we’ll be careful.”

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5 months ago

Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson left Sunday night's game with an ankle sprain. HC Bruce Arians told the Arizona Republic on Monday that his top corner is day to day, and Peterson tweeted out, "You guys know I'll be good to go." His status may not really matter for this week's matchup with the Niners, who don't have much of anything going on offense -- or defense, for that matter.

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7 months ago

Cardinals S Deone Bucannon (groin) is active today against the Bears. He played full time in Week 1 and looks like a solid IDP option again this week. His presence should hurt S Tony Jefferson's playing time, making him a very iffy fantasy option.

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Cardinals S Deone Bucannon is questionable for Sunday's trip to Chicago with a groin injury. He did put in a limited practice Friday, so there's hope for him being active. Bucannon's absence would likely mean more playing time for S Tony Jefferson.

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Cardinals LB Sean Weatherspoon returned to practice Tuesday and is expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale, according to the Arizona Republic. Weatherspoon has missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury and watched Kevin Minter and Kenny Demens work as the ILB starters. We'll see if this week proves to be enough to win the veteran free-agent addition a starting job. Minter looks like the only ILB worth a look here for IDP owners. Weatherspoon suffered myriad injuries in Atlanta, including an Achilles' tear that cost him all of last season.

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8 months ago

"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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8 months ago

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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