Arizona Cardinals Draft Pick Chris “Beanie” Wells: Fantasy Value for 2009
Monday May 11th from Shanghai China
Hi to all those fantasy football lovers out there. Today is Monday in China as I write to you on Sunday (in the USA), regarding Chris “Beanie” Wells and the Arizona Cardinals. Last year began with fans wondering when Arizona would finally start to win with their high profile headliners like Kurt Warner, Matt Lienart, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. The last 3 or 4 season’s we kept thinking, “this was the year” then only to watch them fall to obscurity season after season. For those of us who play fantasy we at least benefited from their pass heavy attack so what did it seem to matter. Granted those benefits came in an inconsistent fashion. Even die hard Cardinal faithful would agree with that watching them put up 40 points one week and the next 13.
Then came 2008 breakthrough that Cardinal Fan’s, the organization and players have waited for as they not only made the playoffs but claimed the NFC West Division. Even more unbelievable they won a playoff game.
Upon beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship the Cards were dare it say Super bowl bound. Heck not only did Arizona make it to the big game they almost won the contest until running into Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Holmes had an MVP evening, capping it all off with a touchdown catch at the end that no one watching will forget. Regardless even in a losing effort all the experts and football fans believed Arizona became a winner. No one can deny the way they over came their doubters and at times made them look down right silly.
From this success came the usual cry “Wait Till Next Year” and we will win it all. Experts, fans and fantasy owners had been convinced this Cinderella Team would be right back on top. Yes on that February 1st day in 2009 we as fans were secure in our hearts this was just the beginning. Especially when considering the competition they face with division foes, 49ers, Seahawks and Rams all down in the dumps, surely who would be in there way to repeat as NFC West Divisional Champions.
Arizona Cardinals Faces Challenges for Success in 2009
As we Wait Till Next Years NFL 2009 season lets take time to look forward and question if things are really what they seem to be. Personally I don’t thinks so, as un-fortunately in the majority of cases were a constant loser finally wins it is so easy for so many to become satisfied with there accomplishment (Think Browns or Bengal’s).
Repeat success is no doubt helped by the fact that they have head coach Ken Wisenhunt. He has to be credited with their success last year and in 2009 he will still be the same couch that has brought this team from losing to competing and now a playoff winner. However going into the off-season I did see the clear draw backs for the teams odds of repeating campaign towards success. For one they needed a running back desperately.
Sure Edgerrin James was still on the roster but in name only as it was clear the Cards would let him go a some point. While it is always a red flag to loose good vets, Edge just was not worth his big contract anymore.
This was made clear when in the middle of the season Wisenhunt had to bench James for most of the last half of the season. Ken covered up the real reason he benched James by saying he was resting him for the playoffs, “Sure Ken.” With Edge no doubt soon gone that left them with only runner Tim Hightower who’s good as a pounder for yardage and goal line TD but a premier back he is not. At wide receiver one has to wonder how long is Anquan Boldin going to continue to play at a high level for the Cards. Sighting the reason for this is they haven’t resigned him but it is public news via trade rumors and Bolden‘s out right bluntness he wants out. This off-season isn’t the first time Bolden has discussed his frustration. Last August he called coach Wisenhunt and ownership were flat out lairs when regarding his contract dispute. Telling the press the they all promised him a new deal and yet he had not received one yet. This alone has potential to become a Terrell Owens blow up in 2009. Just recently we saw Jay Cutler demand his way out of Denver to Chicago.
Beyond Bolden the Cardinals let the unthinkable happened after Super bowl Sunday the Cardinals allowed Kurt Warner to shop the free agent market, even flying to San Francisco to discuss a contract with the 49ers. Thankfully the Cards kept Kurt but soon after signing his new deal Warner had hip surgery and is now recovering. Rounding this out the long standing “Super Bowl Effect” teams go through after their big year.
Yes the off-season parties, interviews, commercials and product endorsements to name a few can mount on a teams focus. As good a couch as Ken Wisenhunt is he can’t control them. Also because they went to the super bowl they are already 5 weeks behind every team in their division in terms of team moves. Combined these two areas along with the general cancer players, individual staff changes and greed for credit. Worse satisfaction can set in and all of a sudden you stop taking care of the details that made you victorious.
GM Ron Graves certainly hasn’t burned up the free agent market with questionable signings like injury-plagued OT Oliver Ross. Improvement is mandatory if your planning to be a more than a one year wonder. Yes as a fan I loved the Cardinals story book for 2008 but realistically what have they done and is the NFC West really going to stand pat in 2009? While the off season is for the positives I just didn’t see enough to stay convinced as the facts continued to stack on the negative side and I began to lower Arizona player expectations on my 2009 draft list. To think Kurt Warner wouldn’t have been my first choice QB and Fitzgerald certainly would slide way down if Boldin is in fact traded.
Now Comes Bennie Wells Your New Fantasy Stud:
On Saturday April 25th our now fading hero’s hit magic again and with the 31st pick in the draft. A miracle landed to them in RB Chris “Bennie” Wells. This premier running back going to a Super bowl team that absolutely needed to find another play maker at exactly this position is not suppose to happen.
Not in the NFL you don’t draft 31st and get this kind of offensive player who can contribute day 1. Maybe a receiver who takes 2 – 3 years and more likely a boring linemen even defensive player. In fact your competitors aren’t suppose to let a player like this fall this far. If I had been in Ron Graves and Ken Wisenhunt shoes I might have pulled a Mike Ditka by just whipping out a cigar and taking the rest of the draft off. Probably would throw in a bottle of Whiskey and partied for days. Letting the rest of the NFC know that the Cardinals have another play maker with home run ability.
Sure some will lay the injury tag on him, but what are we talking 15 maybe 20 touches at the most (think Brandon Jacobs). A big back in Hightower to pound the defense and then BOOM (John Madden style) he will hit the gap and “See Ya” touchdown. Oh did I forget to mention this running boost will help Kurt Warner hitting Larry Fitzgerald off play action…. BOOM TD.
Chris “Beanie”Wells Fantasy Ranking for 2009
In this writer view Mr. Bennie Wells was a starter on draft day, the only question is how long to you wait in your fantasy draft. Normally I try to get a rookie runner in the back half of my draft (took Matt Forte last year, ho ya). But with this kid for get it, if you wait till late he is gone and I’m the one in your league taking him. On the Arizona offense this guy could land in the top 20 – 25 picks. I won’t be surprised when he is taken in the higher rounds, in fact I will be the one in the draft room either dancing on the draft floor or kicking myself for letting him slide past me.
To tie this all up for Cardinal fans, opportunity for success is right back. Your Wait Till Next Year, is looking like “Can’t Wait Till Next Year.” For those of us in Fantasy Football a new play maker has been added to the draft board. Best of luck in 2009 go Chris “Bennie” Wells and likely to a Pro-bowl.
Writer: Chris Douglas at Wait Till Next Year
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