Week 8 Recap:
Cardinals at Panthers
Written By: Adam Drewery
Cardinals: The Cardinals offensive line was decent in this one. There were numerous occasions that they missed assignments which resulted in Palmer or DJ getting blown up in the back field. Other times Palmer had a clean pocket. The running lanes weren’t there for DJ for the most part, and he wound up doing most of his damage in the passing/check down game. I will be watching how Wetzel fills in once he gets a bit more experience.
Arizona Cardinals offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Jared Veldheer, LT||16/76||80.5||80.7||77.4|
|John Wetzel, LT||NR/76||49.1||49.5||48.4|
|Mike Iupati, LG||35/78||79.7||80.7||79.9|
|A.Q. Shipley, C||6/34||83.7||81.3||78.2|
|Earl Watford, RG||20/78||43.2||80.7||79.9|
|D.J. Humprhies, RT||38/76||73.8||51.5||81.1|
Quarterback: Palmer had a bit of a rough outing, but he was sacked 8 times. I’m not sure that I could be sacked 8 times in a game and put down good tape. He is highly inconsistent – he often under or overthrew targets, even with a clean pocket. Then, he would sling a nice pass in a tight window on the next play. If you want a good example of a really nice throw look at J.J. Nelson’s 2nd touchdown pass. At the end of the day, you are hoping for good fantasy production. Palmer delivered there. He went 35/46 for 364 yards, 3 TD, and 1 INT. With starting left tackle Jared Veldheer going down for the season, there is a definite vulnerability given how his replacement played in this game. He’s a QB2 with QB1 upside after the bye.
Running Back: If you own David Johnson, I believe you HAVE to cuff him with Andre Ellington. Ellington looked good when he spelled David Johnson. History suggests that Ellington may not be able to handle the workload, but there is no one else there. Volume alone will keep him relevant.
Wide Receiver: The emergence of J.J. Nelson is a bit staggering. His workload has increased in each of the last three games, and he has done well with his additional snaps. He even out-snapped Fitzgerald in the match-up against the Panthers, never mind the 79 yards and 2 TDs. He also gets rushing yardage with end arounds because he is incredibly fast. He dropped a few passes I thought he should have caught, but overall he has pretty good hands. I am not sure that he’ll always see 10 targets, but he was the clear number 2 against the Panthers. I want to see this level of production more than once before I’m rolling him out there as a locked in starter.
All of that being said, in crunch time Fitzgerald and Brown got a larger share of the targets. Fitzgerald had a nice catch and run that he almost gets into the end zone, but J.J. Nelson wound up getting his first TD of the game on the next play. Michael Floyd is droppable if you’re in a pinch with bye-weeks, but I don’t know that his talent won’t be utilized down the stretch. Especially if someone above him misses time with injury. For fantasy purposes, Fitz remains a high end WR2 with week winning upside. I value Brown as a flex play unless he remains the third option in this receiving corps.
Arizona Cardinals receiver target distribution through past 3 games.
|Stat||Week 6 @ Jets||Week 7 @ Seahawks||Week 8 @ Panthers||Total|
Tight End: Gresham is a tight end that happens to be on the Cardinals. He had some decent catches, but he has seen only 11 targets over the last three games. I really can’t see him having a huge impact on your fantasy team.
Panthers: I was most impressed with the Panthers defense, and the establishment of the running game. The defense was flying around and gave one of the best running backs in the league nowhere to go. The Panther’s offensive line was above average against the Cardinals. They were good but not great. They did enough to give J. Stew the tiniest of running lanes, but more on Stewart later. Perhaps they got themselves together over the bye, but I will definitely keep an eye on whether the Panthers can keep this up. Especially if Kalil does not recover well from his shoulder sprain, as he went down in this one.
Carolina Panthers offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Mike Remmers, LT||51/76||53.1||45.4||74.8|
|Andrew Norwell, LG||6/78||85.2||84.9||79.0|
|Ryan Kalil, C||14/34||80.9||80.4||72.9|
|Gino Gradkowski, C||NR/34||76.5||66.3||72.9|
|Trai Truner, RG||17/78||81.0||84.9||79.0|
|Daryl Williams, RT||54/76||49.8||48.3||50.4|
Quarterback: For all of the noise that Cam made after this game you would have thought he was constantly getting blown up. There were definite late hits on him, but he could have avoided a couple of them by throwing the ball away a bit earlier.
As far as how Cam actually played… well, he was wildly inconsistent with his passes. He routinely over and under threw his receivers, but there were multiple occasions where the receivers dropped what should have been surefire catches. He got at least two designed runs inside of the 5-yard line, but J. Stew really took over this game early. Overall Cam was 14/27 for 212 yards and he added 7 rushes for 43 yards. He will get some more rushing touchdowns this year, but he just happened to not get into the end zone against the Cardinals.
Running Back: This was my first time watching J. Stew’s film this closely. Wow. He has elite acceleration, speed, power, vision. You name it. He’s got it. He was always falling forward and dragging defenders with him. I am a Fozzy Whittaker fan, but when he spelled J. Stew he looked slow. Real slow. It’s worth watching Stewart’s health, but if he’s playing I can’t see you leaving him out of your lineup. Grab Cameron Artis-Payne as a handcuff as soon as you can in standard, but I prefer Whittaker in PPR leagues if Stewart goes down.
Wide Receiver: The only guy I want anything to do with here is Kelvin Benjamin outside of really deep leagues. The Panthers want to run the ball. Period. Benjamin has an advantage over most defensive backs because of sheer size alone. There were times he was unable to separate from coverage, but when he was thrown a catchable ball he caught it. He would have had a touchdown in this game if Cam had not overthrown him in the end zone. The Panthers got up early so they didn’t need to throw the ball which also contributed to a quiet day for KB. I still really like him as a WR2 with WR1 upside.
Carolina Panthers receiver target distribution through the last 3 weeks.
|Stat||Week 5 Bucs||Week 6 @ Saints||Week 8 Cardinals||Total|
|Tedd Ginn Jr.||Rec||1||5||5||11|
Tight End: Greg Olsen had a rough day. He was subject to Cam’s accuracy, or lack thereof, as was the rest of the receiving corps. Keep plugging him in. Other than Gronk, I don’t think there’s another tight end I would like to have.
Written By: Adam Drewery – Follow Adam on the Fantasy Life App @ad87 or on Twitter @adrewery87