Fantasy Football: Don’t rush to add Cardinals’ Robbie Anderson after Marquise Brown injury

Robbie Anderson’s time in Carolina was numbered as soon as he got sent to the locker room by interim coach Steve Wilks Sunday following a sideline argument, and it took less than 24 hours for the Panthers to find a new home for him. The Cardinals acquired the disgruntled receiver Monday, per reports, potentially as a replacement for the recently injured Marquise Brown.

Brown left Sunday’s game against the Seahawks after he got rolled up on after a jump ball in the fourth quarter, and he had his left foot in a boot after the game. We don’t know the extent of the injury as of Monday afternoon, but given that the Cardinals moved so quickly to acquire Anderson suggests that they are expecting Brown to miss some time. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported it could potentially be a season-ending injury, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that there is some optimism following his MRI:

That’s disappointing news for Brown, who has performed admirably in the unenviable task of trying to carry a passing game that has been among the NFL’s least efficient this season. He had 485 yards and three touchdowns while catching 67.2% of his 64 targets through the first six games of the season and was just about to get some help with the return of DeAndre Hopkins from suspension this week — passes thrown to Cardinals not named ” Marquise Brown” this season have averaged 5.53 yards per attempt.

The Cardinals rightly realize they still need some help in the passing game, then, regardless of Brown’s injury. That just makes it even more important. Despite ranking first in pass attempts, they are just 14th in passing yards after Week 6 — they rank dead last in yards per attempt at a paltry 5.8, while their 2.3% touchdown rate is better than only Anderson’s former Panthers and the Steelers. The return of Hopkins should help, but any extended absence for Brown would more or less leave them where they started.

That being said, it’s hard to get too excited about what this means for Anderson’s Fantasy value. The Cardinals face the Saints on Thursday night in Week 7, so it’ll be tough for Anderson to get acclimated to a new system in time to play. When he’s up to speed, Anderson is still a 29-year-old with a single 1,000-yard season to his name, and he has caught just 48.2% of the passes thrown his way for 5.3 yards per target since the start of last season .

This is to say, that while Anderson has some talent and a potential opportunity here, there probably isn’t much reason to put in a big claim for him on waivers in Week 7. If you’ve got a roster spot to play with and can put in, say, a 5% bid on him just to see if he can find a spark, go for it. But I’m expecting him to be a boom-or-bust WR3 in a best-case scenario, with Hopkins likely to be asked to take on a huge target share to lift this offense — and I do think Hopkins still has top- 12 upsides, for what it’s worth. Anderson gives Kyler Murray a deep threat that defenses have to take seriously, but he’s not as good an all-around receiver as Brown and likely isn’t a one-for-one replacement for him in either the Cardinals offense or your own Fantasy lineup .

And it probably doesn’t matter much for the Panthers offense, either. Not because there won’t be a few more targets to go around, but because that offense is such a disaster that a few more targets really don’t mean much. They had six straight three-and-outs in Week 7, with that snap only broken by a four-play drive where they picked up a first down on the first play before going three-and-out on the subsequent first down. Maybe DJ Moore’s target share goes even higher, but with none of the Panthers quarterbacks inspiring much confidence, it’s impossible to suggest him as a start these days. I’m hanging on to Moore on my bench, but I need to see a lot from this offense before I can trust him at this point.

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