Fantasy mini-camp: Michael Floyd ready for WR2 duties with the Cardinals?
Division: NFC West
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Situation: WR2 competition
Player to watch: Michael Floyd
Looking to fortify their receiver corps beyond Larry Fitzgerald in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cardinals made Floyd the 13th overall selection. Fair to say all involved were expecting more than 45 receptions for 562 yards and two touchdowns - and for the former Notre Dame star to pass Andre Roberts on the team's depth chart.
Barring injury or the unforeseen, expect a change on both fronts this season thanks to Floyd's development and the team's change at quarterback.
For starters, the fleet 23-year-old has been running with the starters more than Roberts during workouts, according to reports. Whether that is a permanent lineup alteration or simply new head coach Bruce Arians wanting to see the look, it bodes well for the season.
Floyd's 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame bodes well for him as a red zone target and becoming a regular contributor to the Red Zone channel's touchdown recap montage. At Notre Dame, he caught 20 touchdowns over his final two seasons so we know he can find the end zone no matter what happened last season.
Actually, let's cut Floyd and just about all the Arizona receivers a break for what did - or rather, what didn't happen last year in the passing game. If Fitzgerald can go from being a top-3 fantasy WR to unusable over the course of a year, hard to come down on the others. Carson Palmer is no Aaron Rodgers, but he's no John Skelton either.
Even with sub-standard QB play, the 5-foot-11 Roberts posted career best numbers with 64 receptions for 759 yards and five scores. The rising fourth-year receiver appears headed to the slot, a role that will take advantage of his quickness, but likely also limit his scoring upside.
Floyd flashed some of his potential later in the season, hauling in 14 receptions over the last two games including eight for 166 and a touchdown in the finale. We won't assume this will be a weekly occurrence, but expect Floyd's 2013 campaign headed more in this direction than not.
There is a long-standing notion that young receivers improve dramatically during their third season. That might happen for Floyd when the time comes, but expect a noticeable jump in year two, enough to put him on any sleeper list.