Fantasy impact: Kolb and the Cardinals

Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals after checking out ESPN's 300 highest-rated fantasy players for the 2011 season:

Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells became more valuable from a fantasy standpoint once a knee injury knocked out Ryan Williams for the season. Wells figures to get most rushing attempts for Arizona if healthy.

Larry Fitzgerald was only the sixth-ranked receiver from a fantasy standpoint, trailing Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks and Calvin Johnson. I could see Fitzgerald's touchdown total spiking now that Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall are not his primary quarterbacks.

Kevin Kolb ranked only 18th among fantasy quarterbacks, just ahead of the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez. He's already shown an eagerness to force the ball to Fitzgerald, with encouraging results.

The No. 18 ranking seems a bit low for a quarterback with Fitzgerald at the ready, but in looking at the names above Kolb on the list, the ranking seems about right.

Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassell and Matthew Stafford rank ahead of Kolb.

Unranked Cardinals sleeper: Rookie tight end Rob Housler. The third-round draft choice needs seasoning as a blocker. He has flashed ability as a receiver through two preseason games. Crowding at the position will hurt him, however. Todd Heap and Jeff King give the Cardinals veteran options. They have a combined 16 touchdown receptions over the last two seasons.


2011 ESPN Fantasy Ranks: Arizona Cardinals