Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer brought optimism to the desert when he looked to deliver some stability to a team starving for even mediocre quarterback play since Kurt Warner retired. We’re nearly at the halfway point and Palmer is not delivering the goods. Is it time to cut bait?
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best wide receivers in the game. Pairing him with Carson Palmer was supposed to help Palmer maintain last year’s resurgence and help Fitz to return to form. Palmer is on pace to throw for 3,979 yards and 18 touchdowns. Those aren’t exactly elite numbers, especially when you throw in his projected 30 interceptions.
Fitz has been inconsistent. He has three solid games where he combined for 265 yards and four touchdowns. In his other four games he combined for 157 yards while failing to score. Fitz is on pace for 965 yards and nine touchdowns. Once his hamstring heals he should be able to be more productive.
The other reason for optimism was the potential development of wide receiver Michael Floyd and tight end Rob Housler.
Floyd is on pace to finish with 951 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Other than a 22-yard dud in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions, Floyd has been productive. He hasn’t emerged as a WR3, but he’s a good option for bench depth.
Housler dealt with an ankle injury much of the year. He’s finally showing some promise after catching seven passes for 53 yards against the Seattle Seahawks. Housler has no business being on a fantasy football roster, but he does help Palmer’s cause.
Unfortunately for Palmer, the Cardinals have issues with their offensive line. They have allowed 20 sacks already. Palmer lacks the mobility to avoid the rush, making him a sitting duck out there. When he tries to rush, bad things happen, as evidenced by his 13 interceptions. He has thrown multiple picks in each of the past five games.
Palmer isn’t doing enough to offset those mistakes. He has two games with at least 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In the other five games he is averaging 223.2 yards and 0.8 touchdowns.
The NFL has evolved into a passing league and there are more quality quarterbacks than ever for fantasy football owners to choose from. Palmer has some favorable matchups coming up. Next week he faces the Atlanta Falcons. After their Week 9 bye, he has the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles on the schedule. At this point, though, I’d only use him in two-quarterback leagues.
Also check out Lester’s Legends Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings.