Carson Palmer and John Brown could “shock” fantasy owners this season

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Carson Palmer, John Brown and the Arizona Cardinals started last season on fire. Arizona was 6-0 with Palmer before he went down with an ACL injury. Brown took the world by storm in his first season, catching an NFL rookie record four-game winning touchdown passes. Arizona started the season 9-1, and they were considered to be one of the best teams in the NFL at the time.

Even though Palmer and Brown weren’t able to make music together after Palmer’s injury, the thought of them being able to do it for the entire 2015-16 season is an exciting possibility for the Cardinals.

Palmer is back, he’s healthy, and he’s determined to get back to his pre-injury form. Combine that with Brown coming back with even more armor on his body, and in his mind, and you’ve got the makings of something special this season, which should have fantasy owners salivating.

NFL Media Senior fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano came out with “20 Shocking Fantasy Predictions for the 2015 season,” and Palmer and Brown just so happened to be two of Fabiano’s shockers.

Fabiano says he wouldn’t be shocked if Palmer finished the season as a top-10 fantasy quarterback:

“You might think I’m nuts, but hear me out. Palmer averaged 0.72 fantasy points per completion last season under the guidance of Arians. That equated to over 17 points per game, which when projected over a full 16 games puts Palmer right in that top 10 mix at the quarterback spot.”

Palmer was extremely efficient in his “part-time role” for Arizona last season. Palmer took just 426 snaps, dropped back 237 times, had 224 pass attempts, and still managed to have a quarterback rating of 96.0 – which ranked him eighth among all quarterbacks. Of the 209 “aimed” passes Palmer threw last season, he completed 142 of them for 1,629 yards, 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions, for an NFL rating of 102.7.

For fantasy owners, this all means that if Palmer can stay healthy for the entire season, and put up equal or greater numbers than that, then you’re in extremely good shape in your league(s).

As for Brown, Fabiano wouldn’t be shocked if Brown led all Cardinals wide receivers in fantasy points this season:

“The Cardinals love Brown. No, I mean they really love him. Just ask (Cardinals’ head) coach Bruce Arians, who can help smaller wideouts develop into stars. From a fantasy standpoint, Brown could become a nice bargain when you consider he’ll be selected after Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.”

Brown is expected to have an even bigger role in Arians’ offense this season. Brown’s attitude and approach to the offseason has caught Arians’ attention. This is a young man who won’t be denied more playing time.

“Oh (gosh) yeah,” Arians said. “He’s (Brown) stronger, and he now knows what to expect. He knows the offense inside and out. He can play extremely fast, (and) he’s got a great rapport with Carson (Palmer).”

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