Top 5 2013 Fantasy Football Players: Arizona Cardinals

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Top 5 Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football Players For 2013

Cardinals
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2012 was an abysmal season for the Arizona Cardinals' offense. They finished last in the NFL in offensive yards and second-last in offensive points scored.

The offensive line was terrible. They ran no-name after no-name out there at quarterback, the running game was non existent, and even star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had a bad season. Saying I expect the Cardinals offensive to improve in 2013 literally means nothing because honestly, how much worse can it get?

They can only get better. New head coach Bruce Arians was the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year, subbing in for Chuck Pagano with the Indianapolis Colts. Arians is an offensive-minded coach and I am confident that he will get the best out of the Arizona offense.

Last season, the Arizona offensive line surrendered 58 sacks, which was the most in the NFL. The offense simply could not get going because the quarterbacks were not being protected. Both injuries and lack of talent played a part of this, and the Cardinals brought in some new faces that should help things out. The Cardinals had their first preseason game last Friday night against the Green Bay Packers, and the offensive line looked much different.

Levi Brown lined up at left tackle, with first-round rookie Jonathan Cooper at left guard, Lyle Sendlein at center, Paul Fanaika at right guard and Eric Winston at right tackle. Of the five that started the game for the Cardinals on Friday night, none started the final game in 2012. So far so good, as the protection looked much better than last season. The Cardinals are going in a completely different direction on the offensive line and that should help the offense tremendously.

From an offensive-minded head coach to an improved offensive line and better quarterback play, the Cardinals offense may actually put up some points this season and produce some fantasy production. I see some nice draft day value on this team as they look to turn the corner. Here are the top five 2013 fantasy football players for Arizona.

Daniel is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Rob Housler, TE

Housler
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-5 and weighing 250 pounds, Rob Housler has good size for a receiving tight end. Housler is also a very athletic player as his combine numbers indicate (4.55 40-yard dash and 37-inch vertical jump). The Cardinals took Housler in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and he has not gotten much playing time since then. That being said, reports out of training camp have been very positive about Housler. Arians and the Arizona coaching staff seem to love his athletic ability and they are using him all over the field. I think Housler will be a key part of the Arizona offense and he is a late-round tight end that I will be targeting.

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4. Carson Palmer, QB

Palmer
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer may not be an elite quarterback like he used to be, but for the Cardinals, it will be like having Peyton Manning under center. In 2012, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer all started games for the Cardinals. That is not exactly a murderer's row of quarterbacks. The addition of Palmer to this offense will be huge. Fantasy-wise, I think Palmer has some nice value as he is not being taken until the very late rounds of drafts. He has some weapons in this offense and Arians loves to throw the ball. If Palmer can get some protection, I think he becomes a solid late-round quarterback option with nice upside.

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3. Michael Floyd, WR

Floyd
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Floyd is a guy that I see as a serious breakout candidate this season. He has the talent, but just never really got the opportunity last season. I think Floyd will be starting opposite of Fitzgerald, and that will take some pressure off of him. Palmer spreads the ball around the field a lot, and the 2012 first-round pick is too talented not to see some targets. I think Floyd is being severely undervalued right now.

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2. Rashard Mendenhall, RB

Mendenhall
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I am not really a huge fan of Rashard Mendenhall's talent these days, but simply put, every starting running back in the NFL must be owned in fantasy football. Mendenhall is reunited with Arians, who was his offensive coordinator during his best days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think Mendenhall will put up solid numbers this season if he can just stay healthy. I see some nice value in Mendenhall in the middle rounds.

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1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR

Fitzgerald
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fitzgerald is one of the most talented receivers in the game. He has a great size and speed combination that cannot be defended by one man. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the Cardinals had little to take the pressure off of him in 2012, so defenses could double and triple-team him regularly. I think guys like Floyd and Housler will help take the pressure off of Fitzgerald, and Palmer is simply the best quarterback that he has played with since Kurt Warner. I believe in Fitzgerald this season and think that he will return to being a prominent fantasy football wide receiver.

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Top 5 Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football Players For 2013

Cardinals
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2012 was an abysmal season for the Arizona Cardinals' offense. They finished last in the NFL in offensive yards and second-last in offensive points scored.

The offensive line was terrible. They ran no-name after no-name out there at quarterback, the running game was non existent, and even star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had a bad season. Saying I expect the Cardinals offensive to improve in 2013 literally means nothing because honestly, how much worse can it get?

They can only get better. New head coach Bruce Arians was the 2012 NFL Coach of the Year, subbing in for Chuck Pagano with the Indianapolis Colts. Arians is an offensive-minded coach and I am confident that he will get the best out of the Arizona offense.

Last season, the Arizona offensive line surrendered 58 sacks, which was the most in the NFL. The offense simply could not get going because the quarterbacks were not being protected. Both injuries and lack of talent played a part of this, and the Cardinals brought in some new faces that should help things out. The Cardinals had their first preseason game last Friday night against the Green Bay Packers, and the offensive line looked much different.

Levi Brown lined up at left tackle, with first-round rookie Jonathan Cooper at left guard, Lyle Sendlein at center, Paul Fanaika at right guard and Eric Winston at right tackle. Of the five that started the game for the Cardinals on Friday night, none started the final game in 2012. So far so good, as the protection looked much better than last season. The Cardinals are going in a completely different direction on the offensive line and that should help the offense tremendously.

From an offensive-minded head coach to an improved offensive line and better quarterback play, the Cardinals offense may actually put up some points this season and produce some fantasy production. I see some nice draft day value on this team as they look to turn the corner. Here are the top five 2013 fantasy football players for Arizona.

Daniel is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

2 of 6

5. Rob Housler, TE

Housler
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

At 6-foot-5 and weighing 250 pounds, Rob Housler has good size for a receiving tight end. Housler is also a very athletic player as his combine numbers indicate (4.55 40-yard dash and 37-inch vertical jump). The Cardinals took Housler in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and he has not gotten much playing time since then. That being said, reports out of training camp have been very positive about Housler. Arians and the Arizona coaching staff seem to love his athletic ability and they are using him all over the field. I think Housler will be a key part of the Arizona offense and he is a late-round tight end that I will be targeting.

3 of 6

4. Carson Palmer, QB

Palmer
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer may not be an elite quarterback like he used to be, but for the Cardinals, it will be like having Peyton Manning under center. In 2012, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer all started games for the Cardinals. That is not exactly a murderer's row of quarterbacks. The addition of Palmer to this offense will be huge. Fantasy-wise, I think Palmer has some nice value as he is not being taken until the very late rounds of drafts. He has some weapons in this offense and Arians loves to throw the ball. If Palmer can get some protection, I think he becomes a solid late-round quarterback option with nice upside.

4 of 6

3. Michael Floyd, WR

Floyd
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Floyd is a guy that I see as a serious breakout candidate this season. He has the talent, but just never really got the opportunity last season. I think Floyd will be starting opposite of Fitzgerald, and that will take some pressure off of him. Palmer spreads the ball around the field a lot, and the 2012 first-round pick is too talented not to see some targets. I think Floyd is being severely undervalued right now.

5 of 6

2. Rashard Mendenhall, RB

Mendenhall
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I am not really a huge fan of Rashard Mendenhall's talent these days, but simply put, every starting running back in the NFL must be owned in fantasy football. Mendenhall is reunited with Arians, who was his offensive coordinator during his best days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I think Mendenhall will put up solid numbers this season if he can just stay healthy. I see some nice value in Mendenhall in the middle rounds.

6 of 6

1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR

Fitzgerald
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fitzgerald is one of the most talented receivers in the game. He has a great size and speed combination that cannot be defended by one man. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald, the Cardinals had little to take the pressure off of him in 2012, so defenses could double and triple-team him regularly. I think guys like Floyd and Housler will help take the pressure off of Fitzgerald, and Palmer is simply the best quarterback that he has played with since Kurt Warner. I believe in Fitzgerald this season and think that he will return to being a prominent fantasy football wide receiver.


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