The Cardinals have released Hughes. With their offseason training program kicking off this week, the Cardinals elected to open a pair of roster spots by releasing both Hughes and fellow RB Marion Grice. Both players had spent time on the Cardinals' practice squad this past season, but never appeared in a game. Going forward, Hughes will presumably be on the lookout for a team needing an extra body as training camp nears.
Cardinals running backs Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor, Marion Grice and Robert Hughes could do little to nothing in Arizona's 27-16 loss to the Panthers Saturday. Arizona's running backs had 15 carries for 27 yards and one touchdown in defeat. Grice had just one carry for one yard and a touchdown. It was initally called a fumble on the field, with the ball popping out as Grice stretched for the end zone. However, it was overturned and called a touchdown. The Cardinals have been unable to get anything going on the ground the past few weeks, averaging 1.86 yards per carry in Arizona's last two outings.
Whether it was because he was limited in practice by a knee injury leading up to the game or because the Cardinals fell behind early and needed more of a pass blocker in the backfield, running back Kerwynn Williams, who had performed admirably the previous two weeks, totaling 175 yards on the ground, was hardly a factor Week 16 against Seattle, getting two carries for 4 yards. Instead, Stepfan Taylor was the lead ball carrier. Of course, he wasn't so effective in the role, picking up 19 yards on 11 carries, but that's bound to happen for any running back going against the Seahawks. He did at least have 25 yards on two catches. Marion Grice and Robert Hughes also each got a carry, but they haven't been as much of a factor with Andre Ellington out. Williams seems to be the best rusher of the group and the one you'd prefer to see get the carries in Fantasy, but if the Cardinals are that willing to abandon him when the score isn't in their favor, you can never feel confident playing him in Fantasy. Especially now that the Cardinals are down to their third quarterback, the score isn't going to be in their favor so often. Week 17 at San Francisco should be a more competitive game, but given that the 49ers are tough against the run as well, you should probably pass on Williams for the season's final week.
The Cardinals got a slew of offensive contributions in their 17-14 win over the visiting Chiefs. Wideout Jaron Brown caught two passes for 48 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown, and running back Robert Hughes had a 36-yard reception. Tight end Rob Housler made a 20-yard grab, wideout Ted Ginn had an 8-yard catch and tight end John Carlson added a 1-yard reception. Rookie receiver John Brown was targeted four times without a catch. They'll all visit the Rams on Thursday.
Andre Ellington has technically been one of the best 12 running backs in Fantasy this season, but you wouldn't know it by his recent performance. With just 12 yards on five carries Week 13 at Atlanta, he has averaged 25.3 yards on 13.0 carries in his last four games -- a stretch that almost directly coincides with the loss of quarterback Carson Palmer to a season-ending injury. Of course, health hasn't been Ellington's ally either. He has contended with a foot injury all season, costing him valuable practice time as well as limiting his ability, and to make matters worse, he suffered a hip pointer Week 13 at Atlanta, leaving before the end of the first half. So if you're keeping score at home, he was already hobbled and the No. 1 target for defenses with no threat of a passing game, and now he has a second injury that might keep him off the field altogether. I'd say regardless of his actual playing status, you might want to avoid Ellington for Week 14 against Kansas City. And if he does miss the game, the Cardinals will turn to some combination of Marion Grice, Stepfan Taylor, Robert Hughes and Michael Bush in his place, so good luck sorting out that mess.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||New England Patriots||5||14.00|
|2||09/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||16.88|
|4||10/02||Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|5||10/07||@San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|6||10/18||New York Jets||3||13.13|
|10||11/13||San Francisco 49ers||32||22.88|
|15||12/18||New Orleans Saints||31||22.38|
|17||01/01||@Los Angeles Rams||23||18.50|
|3 Year Avg||2||4||0||3||49||0||4|