Could this be the bounce back year for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald? Is the 10th year man finally an elite fantasy receiver again? While it is early in the NFL season, Fitzgerald’s fantasy outlook does look quite promising.
Not since the 2009 season has Fitzgerald hauled in double digit touchdown receptions, but with two in his first game, he is well on his way back to matching those stats.
You drafted Fitzgerald for a reason, hoping this would be his year. It very well could be, and your gamble could pay off. His 6-foot-3, 218 pound frame is a mismatch for any defender, and he has way too much talent and mental toughness not to bounce back this season. With Head coach Bruce Arians at the helm, you can bet he will take shots down field towards the end zone with Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald was able to catch eight passes on 14 targets for 80 yards to go along with his two touchdowns in the loss to the St. Louis Rams. The most enticing part of Fitzgerald’s stat line is his 14 targets from quarterback Carson Palmer. Last season, Fitzgerald finished 21st in receptions due to sub-par quarterback play, but with a once solid starting quarterback like Palmer behind center, he is poised to far exceed his numbers from last season.
Don’t get me wrong, Palmer may not be the quarterback he once was and has struggled since leaving the Cincinnati Bengals, but now with a huge weapon like Fitzgerald to throw to, Palmer may return to old form.
The only downside against Fitzgerald having his bounce back year in 2013 would be the schedule for the Cardinals. The NFC West division includes the Rams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Not one of those teams has an awful pass defense and the teams will be sure to match up their best defensive back, or even order up a double team on Fitzgerald.
It’s not for certain that this is Fitzgerald’s bounce back year, but he is well on his way to earning it. He is, without a doubt, a fantasy starting receiver until he gets injured or Palmer starts to really struggle. Just try not to get your hopes up too early for the receiver, so you won’t be devastated if his stats do start to decline.