Fantasy Football Chain Reaction #5 — Kyle Orton to Arizona

A few independent fantasy football writers have banded together to write the Fantasy Football Chain Reaction Series. Wondering what the hell I’m talking about? For a full explanation, read Scott Pashley’s intro below.

What do you do when free agency and NFL player movement is in a forced state of suspended animation?  You prognosticate (a fancy word for making things up and guessing the future).

When the dreaded NFL lockout is finally lifted, there will be a frenzy of free agent signings and player trades that will reshape the fantasy football landscape.  In anticipation of the craziness that will ensue when the NFL operations open, several of the best independent fantasy sports writers on the web have decided to make a series of player movement predictions. The process starts with Mike Clay of ProFootballFocus.com and the most logical first domino to fall: DeAngelo Williams.

Joining Mike Clay will be Scott Pashley of FFSpin.com, Jim Day of GoAheadScore.com, Rick Perkins of FantasyFootballTrader.com (FFT is being redesigned and will relaunch soon), and John Paulsen of FantasyShrink.com.  This will be the first in a series of projects completed by the group called the ‘Independent Fantasy Sports Writers Roundtable’.  Fantasy writers/addicts who would like to participate in future projects are welcome to email Scott at Scottp@spinballinc.com.  Check out each of these writers on Twitter and at their websites to follow the rapidly moving series as they post three to four player movements a day.”

So far, Clay has covered the Broncos’ acquisition of DeAngelo Williams, Pashley has discussed the Seahawks’ trade for Kevin Kolb, Day discussed the Titans’ Matt Hasselbeck signing and Perkins summarized the Vikings’ move for Donovan McNabb.

So who’s the next chip to fall?

Arizona Cardinals trade for Kyle Orton

After striking out on Kevin Kolb (and possibly Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb as well), the Cardinals need to make a bold move to trade for a capable quarterback so as not to repeat the Derek Anderson/John Skelton/Max Hall debacle of 2010. They acquire Orton for a 2nd round pick, and once he arrives in Phoenix, Larry Fitzgerald meets him at baggage claim and gives him a long man hug. Too long, really. But Fitzy doesn’t care.

Orton isn’t going to set the world on fire, but if the Cardinals can protect him in the pocket, he should produce. The Cards allowed the 2nd-most sacks in 2010, but were 6th-best in that category in Kurt Warner’s final year, so having QB stability should really help the Arizona O-line in pass protection.

Fantasy Spin: Orton’s arrival isn’t going to turn the Cardinals into an offensive juggernaut, but he will put up good numbers, especially when Arizona inevitably falls behind on the scoreboard. In other words, Orton will be the Ryan Fitzpatrick of the NFC. In Arizona, he’ll be a high end QB2 and a guy to target in the middle rounds when fantasy owners are building their QBBC. His arrival will likely push Fitzgerald back into the upper echelon of WRs and will give a boost to Steve Breaston (if he returns), along with sleepers like Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and Stephen Williams. Whoever the starting RB is will have a puncher’s chance to put up some numbers since opposing defenses will have to respect Orton’s arm. An Orton trade would be a big win for the entire Arizona offense.

Next up is Mike Clay with Part 6: Darren Sproles to Miami.

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