In Week 1, we learned a lot about what the Arizona Cardinals can be in 2013. Despite a loss, the offense looked light-years better than it was a year ago. Under quarterback Carson Palmer, Arizona’s wide receivers actually felt like, for once, they were often targeted, unlike the debacle of a performance their trio of passers put on last season.
One guy in particular stepped up for the Cardinals aside from Larry Fitzgerald, and that was 25-year old wide receiver Andre Roberts. Against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Roberts hauled in eight passes for 97 yards. Why is this significant?
A year ago, Roberts only caught more than eight passes once. Already this season, he started his year off with just that number and nearly topped 100 yards receiving. Thanks to the Palmer-to-Fitzgerald connection establishing early on, much defensive attention switched onto Fitzgerald for most of the game, although that still didn’t stop the 10-year veteran from catching two scores to go with his 80 yards receiving.
The most surprising part of the stat sheet was that Roberts led the team in receiving yardage. Palmer threw for a whopping 327 yards in his debut, and the Cardinals look like they will be pass-heavy early on this season. Roberts will surely be a big part, too.
With Michael Floyd also being a big target and hauling in four passes for 82 yards, including a 44-yard catch, the Cardinals boast a very solid core of wide outs. Roberts, although he’s listed as the third option on the depth chart, will find himself relevant in the fantasy world right away heading into Week 2.
The Cardinals take on the Detroit Lions who allowed the Minnesota Vikings to score 24 points, of course the three touchdowns courtesy of Adrian Peterson. However, as bad as Christian Ponder looked, he still threw for 236 yards; fans saw him virtually do nothing to help the team. If Ponder can throw for 236, how much will Palmer throw for?
Roberts has established himself as a clear threat in the Arizona offense, as have Floyd and Fitzgerald obviously. Going into the second week of the season, I would call Roberts a solid WR3 play in most leagues with 10 or more teams. He must stay consistent to even be considered in an eight-team league, and as of right now I don’t see him jumping ahead of Floyd anytime soon.