Another day, another new change among starting NFL quarterbacks now that the Arizona Cardinals have acquired Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders. The price was hardly steep; the Cardinals send the second of their two sixth-round selections this year (176 overall) in exchange for Palmer and the Raiders. Arizona also handed Palmer a new contract, reportedly a two-year deal worth $16 million with $10 million guaranteed. The move came after the Raiders acquired Matt Flynn from the Seahawks.
This is what we call a Jeff George trade in that it helps fantasy teams more than it will the NFL team. Palmer struggled through much of the 2012 season, but he remains a strong downfield passer. For those that didn't catch much of the Cardinals last season, that element was lacking. Larry Fitzgerald didn't post the lowest yards per catch average (11.2) of his career because he lost a step. Speaking of Fitzgerald, he is the likely big winner of this move and now jumps back into no less than the top 10-15 range among fantasy receivers. Perhaps the sneaky fantasy play going forward is second-year tight end Rob Housler. Remember Palmer turned Brandon Myers, who finished fourth at his position with 105 targets, into a fantasy stud last season. That label will not apply to Palmer, whose own fantasy value remains pedestrian. Let's say QB2, 16-22 range at best, though with Fitzgerald and MIchael Floyd, there is a chance he could start for owners here and there.