Fantasy Football Boom Or Bust: Carson Palmer

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You could practically hear Carson Palmer screaming with joy when he found out he was leaving football purgatory…err…Oakland. 

Now, Palmer’s headed to Arizona (not much better than Oakland, but hey, it’s an improvement). So, will Palmer’s first season with the Cardinals be a boom or a bust?

The Verdict: Boom

Things appear to be on the uptick for Palmer. First of all he’s out of Oakland, a place where NFL careers seem to die. He’s now in Arizona and under head coach Bruce Arians, who’s known for loving to chuck the ball downfield a lot.

Arians managed to help a rookie (Andrew Luck) throw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. Now, in working with Palmer, Arians has a veteran quarterback who’s more than capable of running his offense.

Let’s not forget that on top of being in a better offensive system, Palmer has some great weapons around him. Larry Fitzgerald is going to be a big target for Palmer and that should pay fantasy dividends for both of them.

In fact, Arizona’s wide receivers in general were better than Oakland’s in 2012.

Neither Oakland’s nor Arizona’s receivers shocked anyone last year. But Arizona’s top three receivers scored a combined 279 points. Oakland’s top three only managed a combined 228 — and that was with the Cardinals having nothing resembling an NFL-caliber quarterback under center.

Finally, Palmer has proven he can score fantasy points before. He’s just had a couple of bad years.

From 2005 to 2007, Palmer was a top-10 fantasy scoring quarterback every year and has broken 300 fantasy points four times in his career.

So is Carson Palmer going to blow us away and be a top-five fantasy quarterback? Probably not. He’ll need another year in the system to truly understand it and become proficient at it.

So what can we expect from Palmer this year? 330 points is totally possible, especially with Fitzgerald on the outside. 

Eric Smith is an MMA and fantasy football contributor with Craveonline.com. Follow him on twitter or @EricSmith_SP or email him at [email protected]

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