Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer… a fantasy football sleeper?

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
Jan 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter during a NFL football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Outlook

In 2016 NFL season, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer finished as the 19th best quarterback in fantasy leagues. This was 14 spots lower than his 2015 finish of fifth overall. However, his finishing place does not tell the entire story. He missed two games due to injuries. If one were to project statistics over a 16 game season he would have actually finished as the quarterback 10 overall.

An abundance of his production ended up coming at the end of the season as well. He was a top eight quarterback three times in the final five weeks. That even included two top three finishes in Weeks 13 and 15. But despite his strong finish to the season, Palmer is being drastically undervalued entering 2017.


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According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com Palmer on average is being taken as the 20th quarterback off the draft board at pick 13.04. This is after quarterbacks that include Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Eli Manning, and Carson Wentz. Palmer is a player that fantasy owners want to target for a discount quarterback later in drafts, especially in two-quarterback formats. Besides his cheap draft stock, he is also very targetable because of the weapons around him.

Running back David Johnson will continue to play a large part in the passing game and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is returning for another season. Having both of these players bodes very well for Palmer. Additionally, in 2017, Palmer will also be getting back explosive wide receiver John Brown. Brown has missed time due to injuries but looks to be a full go for 2017. The Cardinals also drafted wide receiver Chad Williams who has been turning heads at off-season workouts. Fitzgerald has even gone on to say that they way he catches the ball reminds him of Anquan Boldin.

The Carson Palmer Verdict

Drafting Carson Palmer as a late round sleeper quarterback could prove dividends by the end of the season. Any fantasy owner that approaches a draft with a late-round quarterback strategy should strongly consider Palmer as a viable option.

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