The Arizona Cardinals will have a very new look next season.
With Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin no longer in the mix, fantasy owners can expect to see a more balanced attack with a greater emphasis on running the football.
That will make Beanie Wells a tremendous fantasy sleeper candidate.
Wells has already been a “semi-regular visitor” in Tempe, Ariz. in anticipation of what could be a more prominent role for coach Ken Whisenhunt.
As part of his offseason workouts, he’s been climbling Camelback (a famed local mountain) with strength and conditioning coach John Lott.
“That’s why I am going up Camelback right now,” Wells said. “I know it’s going to be a long season and I need to be in shape. Have to be ready to tote that pill.”
Whisenhunt has said that the Cardinals won’t suddenly become a run-first team with Matt Leinart under center, but I still see the running game taking on much greater importance in 2010. With the combination of Wells and Tim Hightower, the team has a chance to field one of the league’s better backfield duos.
“We have shown progress in the run game,” Whisenhunt said, “and it gives us optimism going forward that we can be more balanced.”
Wells didn’t start a single game in his rookie season, but he was clearly a major player for Whisenhunt down the stretch. After averaging just 8.1 carries in his first seven games, Wells averaged a much more attractive 14.1 carries in his next eight contests.
In that time, he averaged 67 rushing yards and scored a combined six touchdowns.
Do I see Wells as a featured back? No chance.
We’re looking at a committee situation with Hightower seeing his share of touches. But with a greater emphasis on the ground attack, I can still see the Ohio State product rushing for 1,000 yards with seven to nine scores.
In the RBBC era, those numbers are good enough to warrant a starting role on your fantasy team.