Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd had a disappointing rookie season in 2012, with just 45 catches for 562 yards and two touchdowns despite playing all 16 games. But the former first-round pick had a bit of a breakout season in 2013, topping 1,000 yards (1,041) with 65 receptions and five touchdowns while playing through shoulder and ankle issues. Better health may yield big numbers for Floyd this year.
Floyd led the Cardinals in receiving yards, yards per catch (16.0) and receptions of 20-plus yards (17) last season. Head coach Bruce Arians praised him early in the offseason, and quarterback Carson Palmer was complementary of Floyd’s work during OTAs. Positivity from a coach and quarterback should be taken with a grain of salt at this point, but it’s all good news for Floyd’s fantasy outlook.
It’s not surprising that Larry Fitzgerald had more targets (136) than Floyd (112) last year, but Floyd’s better average yards per target (9.3 vs. 7.0) makes that likely to even out some this year. The offseason departure of wide receiver Andre Roberts and his 76 targets last year should create extra opportunities, since it’s hard to envision Ted Ginn being much more than a one-trick pony deep threat.
Floyd had just five catches for 90 yards and one touchdown in Week 14-16 last year, during the most important time for fantasy owners. A lingering ankle injury may have limited him during that time, but Floyd’s overall week-to-week consistency (six games with three or fewer catches last year) can improve.
Palmer will turn 35 toward the end of the 2014 season, and if he were to miss significant time to injury the Cardinals’ offense would suffer with either Drew Stanton or rookie Logan Thomas under center.
Floyd’s fantasy stock is on the rise, and may rise further between now and draft day. I think at this time next year we’ll be lauding Floyd as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver, but for this year he’s worth targeting as a high-upside WR2. It’s worth noting that Floyd is heading into his third NFL season, which is still a point at which things come together for wide receivers.
Bye Week: Week 4
Projected Round: 6th or 7th Round
Auction Value: $7 (ESPN.com)