Arizona Cardinals: Expect Improvement, But Not Elite Status from Larry Fitzgerald in 2013

 

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Fitzgerald had his worst season as a pro in six years last season with the Arizona Cardinals. Hauling in only 71 catches for a mere 798 yards and four touchdowns, he was no where near the elite statistics we are used to seeing from him.

It’s tough to blame Fitzgerald’s down year on him, though. The Cardinals had one of the most embarrassing offensive lines in the entire NFL. It didn’t help that their quarterback situation wasn’t much better.

Having the likes of Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and John Skelton throwing him the ball throughout the 2012 season, Fitzgerald struggled to produce the type of year he is capable of. These jokers under center could hardly hit him when he was open, let alone throw a simple comeback or fade.

It’s like Fitzgerald was invisible half the time — this coming from someone who kept him on his fantasy team until week eight last year. Watching the Cardinals games was more entertaining simply to watch their defense rack up some decent fantasy points early on in the season.

But, this season will be different — right?

Not so fast. With Carson Palmer now throwing to Fitzgerald, he absolutely has a much better situation going into 2013 than he did last year. Palmer is a better overall passer than any of the three guys the Cardinals have had recently, but not nearly as good as Fitzgerald deserves.

I see Fitzgerald putting up a better stat sheet than 2012, but not where his talent level should be at with a top-10 or even top-15 quarterback. He should see more passes directed his way with Palmer under center, which is a great thing for Arizona and especially for fantasy owners.

I could see 90 catches for roughly 1,100 yards and maybe 7-8 touchdowns from Fitzgerald in 2013. It’s not on the level he was at between 2007-2009 when he finished with double digit scores each of those three seasons, but definitely an improvement from 2012.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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