In 2012, Fitzgerald had, a career-low, four touchdowns and failed to gain 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2006, and despite being targeted 153 times, Fitzgerald only managed to haul in 71 of those passes.
Could it be that at 29-years-old Fitzgerald is starting to slow down, and his numbers will begin to decline from here on out? It could be, but I think it had more to do with the Cardinals’ atrocious quarterbacking corps in 2012. An illustrious group that included stars like: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer.
Fast-forward to 2013, the Cardinals have a new quarterback in Carson Palmer, a new head coach in Bruce Arians and a new offensive system that will hopefully revive Fitzgerald’s career. Arians knows that Fitzgerald is without a shadow of a doubt his best offensive weapon and has said that he wants to make sure that Fitzgerald gets the ball in his hands as much as possible; Palmer gives him that option.
With Arians at the helm, his receivers have typically enjoyed a good amount of success. We saw it when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and again last season with the Indianapolis Colts where Reggie Wayne hauled in 106 catches for 1,355 yards and five touchdowns.
Fitzgerald’s current average draft position is No. 27 in the third round in standard scoring leagues, and could be a huge steal at that point in your draft. Based on Wayne’s numbers from 2012, and because I’m into the future-predicting business, I truly think Fitzgerald is in for about 97 catches, 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2013.