Even though running back Andre Ellington has the fantasy football world in a craze, fantasy managers should also pay attention to his teammate, wide receiver Michael Floyd.
While most of the attention in the NFC West belongs to the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals have quietly built a team that could make a run in the playoffs. The Cardinals had a very stout defense last season, ranking 14th in allowed passing yards and first against rushing yards, and the offense pulled its weight ranking 13th in passing yards. The rushing attack was disappointing, but an increased role for Ellington should help to improve the numbers from last season.
When you are trying to determine the success of a player in fantasy football, you need to look at his opportunities. After a shaky start last season, quarterback Carson Palmer seemed to find his groove with his receivers and finished the 2013 season with the 10th-most passing yards. With another year as the Cardinals quarterback under his belt, Palmer’s chemistry with his targets should be even better in 2014. Floyd finished just outside of the top 20 as the 22nd-highest scoring receiver, but his numbers were very similar to Keenan Allen‘s stats, who finished as the 17th-highest scoring receiver in standard leagues.
Floyd still has competition from his teammate Larry Fitzgerald, but the veteran star is closing in on the end of his career while the 24-year-old Floyd has not even hit his prime. Fitzgerald has not totaled a 1,000 receiving yards since 2011, and despite his 10 touchdowns last year, he actually averaged fewer receiving yards per game than Floyd. The 31-year-old receiver won’t entirely disappear, but Floyd is obviously the future of the organization.
As a fifth-round draft pick who plays for a talented and underrated offense, Floyd is one of the biggest steals in your fantasy draft.