Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football News 2018

New Cardinals HC Steve Wilks confirmed Tuesday his team will be switching to a 4-3 base defense this season, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Wilks reportedly said a key factor in the change is allowing edge guys Chandler Jones and Markus Golden to rush the passer every down. That's the big news here for IDP owners as well. The switch should mean that we'll get DE designations for Jones and Golden in fantasy football leagues in 2018, which would dramatically increase their value. Jones, of course, led the NFL with 17 sacks last season and is no secret as a top pass rusher. Golden much more quietly racked up 12.5 sacks, 16 total tackles for loss and 22 total QB hits in 2016 before missing most of last season with a torn right ACL. He'll be a solid shot to take late in IDP drafts this summer -- especially if he gets that DL designation.

The Cardinals are set to hire Steve Wilks as their new HC, according to multiple reports. Wilks has been in the NFL since 2006, primarily as a DBs coach. He was promoted to Panthers DC last offseason after Sean McDermott left for Buffalo, leading his squad to a 7th-place finish in total defense. We'll see who Wilks brings aboard to run his offense.

Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby and S Antoine Bethea are active for today’s game against the Giants. They’re low-level IDP options, but use as you normally would

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians said Monday that CB Tramon Williams has a chance to take the starting job opposite Patrick Peterson away from Justin Bethel, according to the team website. Arians stopped short of promising such a change but said that Williams "needs to play more" after he grabbed a big INT in Sunday's win over the Bucs. Playing opposite Peterson can be a lucrative position for IDP value, so the starting nod for Week 7 against the Rams will be worth watching.

Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby is questionable for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers after a hamstring injury limited his participation all week. We'd bet on Dansby playing, but we'll see about his status Sunday.

The Cardinals have ruled LB Deone Bucannon out for Sunday's game at Detroit. It's not surprising after he missed practice all week. We'll see if the veteran is ready to participate in Week 2. Rookie Haason Reddick figures to start in his place after spending training camp and the preseason working there.

Cardinals LB Deone Bucannon returned to actual practice Tuesday for the 1st time since having ankle surgery back in May. "He's right on schedule," HC Bruce Arians said, per 98.7 FM in Arizona. "He's got to get in football shape real fast." The coach said they'll need to track Bucannon's progress, but the plan is reportedly for him to start next to Karlos Dansby in Week 1 at Detroit if the veteran proves ready. We wouldn't bet on a full load of snaps right away after such a long layoff, however. Look for rookie Haason Reddick -- who has been filling in for Bucannon -- to mix in. Dansby looks like the best IDP bet among the 3 to open the year.

The Cardinals on Tuesday activated LB Deone Bucannon off the PUP list, but he's not yet practicing. The team website reports that HC Bruce Arians wanted Bucannon active so that he could participate in walkthroughs, with the hope that the LB will be ready to practice next week. “We haven’t been counting on Deone,” Arians said. “That’s going to be a blessing (if he plays).” Bucannon has been out since spring ankle surgery and makes for a high-risk pick in IDP leagues.

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.

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.)

The NFL on Tuesday conditionally reinstated LB Daryl Washington. The Cardinals star had been suspended since May 2014 for multiple violations of the league substance-abuse policy, with the ban perhaps extended by his guilty plea to domestic assault. The league statement said Washington will need to set a course for treatment and then show his progress later this offseason before he's allowed to play any games. Cards leadership, meanwhile, has said the team won't address Washington's situation until after the NFL Draft. They have not been allowed any contact with the player during his suspension. Washington was a stud fantasy performer when last on the field, but it's tough for IDP owners to expect him to pick right back up after 3 years away -- especially at age 31 -- even if he makes it back to an active roster.

The Cardinals have reached a deal with veteran S Antoine Bethea, shortly after the 49ers released him. Arizona appears likely to lose starting S Tony Jefferson, who has been rumored to be choosing between offers from the Browns and Ravens. Bethea could step into Jefferson's spot and would carry solid IDP value if he plays full time.

Cardinals CB Marcus Cooper (back) and LB Sio Moore (ankle) are active for today's game against the Rams. Both players entered the day questionable but should be OK for IDP use.

The Cardinals have placed DB Tyrann Mathieu on IR. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury for weeks and made his way slowly back from last December's double-ligament tear early in the year. We'll keep an eye on Mathieu this offseason for signs that he might return to his old effectiveness level. We rarely saw that from him, so his absence doesn't alter an already-dim outlook for the Arizona team defense in fantasy football for Week 16.

2:50pm EST 12/18/16

Cardinals CB Marcus Cooper (back) is active for today's game against the Saints. He entered the weekend questionable but should be fine to use as you normally would in an upside IDP matchup.

The Cardinals on Tuesday placed LB Deone Bucannon on IR with an ankle injury. The team website lists Sio Moore -- previously with the Colts and Chiefs -- as the next guy up at Bucannon's spot. Moore has showed the ability to post numbers, but this isn't the time of year to bet on unknown playing time, especially for a guy who has already been dumped by 2 other teams this season.

11:52am EST 12/11/16

Cardinals OLB Markus Golden (hamstring) is active for today's game at Miami. He entered the day questionable and isn't a strong IDP option anyway.

 
 
 

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