The Arizona Cardinals traded for quarterback Carson Palmer during the offseason, and his presence immediately reaped rewards for the team’s wide receivers in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams. Not only did Larry Fitzgerald re-establish himself as a force with eight receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns, but Michael Floyd (four catches for 82 yards) and Andre Roberts (eight receptions for 97 yards) also had productive games.
Fitzgerald suffered a hamstring injury during Wednesday’s practice, but up until late Friday afternoon his status for Sunday against the Detroit Lions did not seem to be in doubt. Following an official listing of questionable on the Cardinals’ injury report, Darren Urban of AZ Cardinals.com has speculated that Fitzgerald will be a game-time decision. That puts fantasy football owners in a precarious position, since the game kicks off at just after 4 p.m. Eastern time. Could Floyd be a viable replacement for Fitzgerald owners that don’t want to take the risk he’ll be inactive?
Even if Fitzgerald is active for Sunday’s game, he seems unlikely to be 100 percent and could see his snaps limited to some degree. That would give Floyd an opportunity to see more targets than he had last week (six), due at least in part to taking some of Fitzgerald’s targets (a team-high 14 against the Rams). It also could be a very high-scoring game on Sunday, making it likely Palmer throws the ball more than the 40 times he did in Week 1.
It’s doubtful we’ll get any clarity on Fitzgerald’s status for Sunday before inactives are declared for the game, and under the circumstances a lot of fantasy owners may be left taking a leap of faith that he will suit up. But those that have two viable starting options in 12 and 14-team leagues could bench Fitzgerald, and perhaps look to deploy Floyd as a WR3 or flex option. I was surprised to find Floyd is as widely owned as he is in Yahoo! leagues (70 percent), but owners that need depth at wide receiver could consider adding him if he’s available.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.