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Possible sleepers: Williams, Roberts
Posted Jun. 20 at 05:55 AM
Now is the time of year for speculation; who will start, and who will play a major role. A writer for the Cardinals' website sees value in a couple of skill-position players who might be overlooked by many fantasy owners.
Darren Urban in his blog at azcardinals.com had some observations about second-year running back Ryan Williams and third-year wideout Andre Roberts. Williams is coming back from major knee surgery that cost him his entire rookie season, while Roberts seemingly disappointed as a starter last year. The Cardinals used their top pick on Michael Floyd who figures to be the future at the position behind Larry Fitzgerald.
But Urban thinks Roberts will start again this season, saying that although Floyd and Early Doucet will have significant roles, "....if you don't know by now the level of confidence the coaching staff has in Roberts with his play after last season, you haven’t been paying attention." Roberts caught 51 passes for 586 yards and 2 TDs last year. Not great numbers, but in Urban's eyes enough to keep him in the lineup.
From a fantasy perspective, this doesn't necessarily make Roberts a player to target, as he'd have to take a major step up to get into lineups in most leagues. It is, however, a reason to pause before considering Floyd too highly. Don't expect a Julio Jones-like impact from the rookie, especially if Urban is correct about Roberts.
At running back, Beanie Wells will start again, but he's coming off knee surgery himself, the degree of which is uncertain. According to Urban, Williams -- who is coming of a patella tendon injury, but was able to practice with the team at the last minicamp -- will play a "major role" this season.
Williams, like Roberts, may be worth no more than late-round pick in fantasy drafts. But there's upside there, and reason to pause before selecting the injury-prone Wells. (Or reason to handcuff him with Williams if you do take him.)
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