Patrick Peterson has been suspended for six games, due not only to using PEDs but trying to hide it, apparently. Oops. It's a blow to an Arizona defense that not so long ago was one of fantasy's better groups, but has slipped dramatically in recent years.
From 2012 through 2016, Arizona had a top-10 fantasy defense all five seasons, in a scoring system giving 1 point for sacks and 2 for takeaways. It was the takeaways that were key; they were 6th or better in four of those five seasons. Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu were roaming the secondary for some of those seasons, which helped.
But in 2017 they slipped to 16th in takeaways. And last year they were 29th, and only San Francisco had fewer interceptions. That was with Peterson playing all 16 games.
|DEFENSIVE TAKEAWAYS, 2018|
The Cardinals did have a good pass rush last year (49 sacks). It's not a valueless defense, fantasy or otherwise. But being without Peterson for the first six games will definitely hurt the back end, and it wasn't a group that could afford to lose a key starter. Kliff Kingsbury's offense might need to be putting up plenty of points this year, because the defense might be serving them up.