Summer Snapshot: Arizona Cardinals

Summer is here, and the NFL preseason games will be underway before you know it. As teams train and hold camps, let’s analyze what fantasy owners should be looking for in the next few months. Join the conversation on Twitter: #FantasySnapshot

What’s new? Well, Year 1 of the Bruce Arians experience went well, as the Arizona Cardinals won 10 games, only the second time the franchise achieved that total since the mid-1970s. It wasn’t good enough for the playoffs, however, and key losses on defense could prevent a repeat. On offense, the main loss is hardly a critical one, as leading rusher Rashard Mendenhall unexpectedly retired at 26 years old to pursue life, love or whatever isn’t linebackers diving at his knees. In theory, that should vault second-year jitterbug Andre Ellington into clear RB2 territory, but the Cardinals seem intent on some kind of timeshare with a larger fellow. After all, Mendenhall was pretty ordinary last year -- except for the eight rushing touchdowns -- as he averaged a paltry 3.2 yards per carry, and still Ellington never saw 20 touches in a game. So what’s new for the running back situation is Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer appear firmly in play for attention, whether fantasy owners like it or not (and they certainly do not).

Something to prove: