The Arizona Cardinals will march into Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in week five, and Drew Stanton will be their starting quarterback. Normal starter Carson Palmer is still being held out due to a nerve issue that is keeping him off the field, and it is unknown exactly how much longer he will miss game action. For now, the Arizona offense will be led by Stanton, who has helped the Cardinals stay perfect on the year with a 2-0 mark as the starting quarterback.
Stanton actually looked decent in week three, when he did enough to beat the San Francisco 49ers. That’s not an easy matchup, and the week before when he avoided mistakes in a win over the New York Giants he didn’t look too bad, either. Stanton is by no means an upgrade over Palmer for this offense, but he’s not an inept passer that will drown the offense in Palmer’s absence, either. In fact, Stanton has yet to throw an interception and put up 244 yards and two scores in week three.
With a full bye week to gear up for the Broncos, it’s not crazy to think Stanton could come out and play even better in his third straight start. Stanton’s presence also isn’t necessarily a bad sign for the fantasy value of wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Stanton targeted Fitzgerald quite a bit in week two and even almost hooked up with him for a touchdown, while Floyd had five catches for over 100 yards with Stanton under center in week three.
The good news is we’ve seen some solid chemistry between the three and while it’s scary to use Stanton in any league, he is facing a Broncos pass defense that has given up a good amount of yardage. Don’t expect him to set the world ablaze and go in and crush the Broncos, but if you badly need 200+ yards and 1-2 scores out of Stanton, he just might be able to get it for you.