By Meng Song @ms0ng on April 25, 2014
Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald will be turning 31 years old this August, and he’s failed to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the past two seasons. There are a lot of talented WRs to consider for the 2014 fantasy football season, but it’s imperative that you don’t overlook Fitzgerald. Here are a few reasons why.
Remember when Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002? Yeah, me neither. It’s very possible that the Cardinals will take a QB in this year’s draft. If they end up with a new, more talented starter like A.J. McCarron or Derek Carr, Fitzgerald would benefit immensely. Worst-case scenario, even if Palmer remains the QB, he still managed to throw Fitzgerald 10 TDs last year despite throwing a career-high 22 interceptions.
Regardless of who is under center for the Cardinals in 2014, that QB should find better success than Palmer did in 2013. Arizona signed left tackle Jared Veldheer this offseason, and it should have a healthy left guard in Jonathan Cooper, who is recovering from a broken leg suffered last August. If they draft another lineman to shore up that right side, whoever is throwing for the Cardinals should have decent pass protection.
RB Rashard Mendenhall is now retired at the age of 26, and I wish him the best of luck as a fellow Illinois alum. This gives Andre Ellington a great opportunity to showcase what he can do with a bigger workload. In 2013, Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 9.5 yards per catch. If he can shoulder the burden of being a lead back, a strong run game would work wonders for Fitzgerald’s production and fantasy value.
Fellow Cardinals WR Michael Floyd broke out last season with 1,041 yards and five TDs. Some think that this will take away from Fitzgerald’s production this year, but I disagree. I think having another big receiver and red zone threat only opens up Fitzgerald for more receptions and TDs (see Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery). If Floyd can keep this up, Fitzgerald will benefit as one half of a lethal receiving duo.
Larry Fitzgerald has been an Arizona Cardinal since 2004. In 10 seasons, he’s only missed four games. Fitzgerald has also averaged about 1,100 yards and nine TDs per season over the course of his career. There is a lot of depth at WR this coming season with younger guys like Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson. While there is undoubtedly a lot of WR talent out there, Fitzgerald is the gold standard of consistency and productivity.
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