After a disappointing rookie season in 2012 (45 receptions for 562 yards and two touchdowns), Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd had a bit of a breakout season in 2013. He finished with 65 receptions for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns, while averaging 16.0 yards per catch (tied for 10th in the league) with 16 20-plus yard catches.
Larry Fitzgerald remains a prominent part of the Cardinals’ passing attack, with 134 targets in 2013, but Floyd’s target total (112 last year) is in line to rise. Can fantasy football owners buy-in to Floyd’s upside this year?
Floyd was widely mentioned as the star of offseason work for the Cardinals. While that should clearly be taken with a big grain of salt, it’s also an indicator that Floyd is in line for bigger things in 2014. He was only targeted 12 times in the red zone last year, which is fairly inexplicable with Floyd having the size (6’3″) to be a prominent target for Carson Palmer when the Cardinals approach the end zone. Improved chemistry between the two should rectify that this year.
Per Fantasy Football Calculator.com’s most recent mock draft data, Floyd is currently going off the board early in the fifth round as the 20th wide receiver drafted. For comparison sake, wide receivers with an average draft position in close proximity include Percy Harvin, Andre Johnson, Michael Crabtree, DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders. Fitzgerald is also being drafted a round earlier than Floyd right now, which feels like a nod to name recognition and track record to me.
Floyd is one of my favorite breakout candidates this year, regardless of position, which may lead to me being overly optimistic about his outlook for this year. But I’m practicing what I preach, as I took Floyd in a recent draft of my own with Fitzgerald and some other notable receivers still available. I expect Floyd to finish 2014 as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver, and if I’m right you can say you heard it here first.