FANTASY PLAYER WATCH: LARRY FITZGERALD WEEK 10-17
How would arguably the most elite WR in the NFL fair with a new franchise QB, no Tim Hightower, and coming off a season where he miraculously put up 90 receptions from a QB squad that ranged from now 3rd stringer for the Panthers Derek Anderson to 3rd year pro Richard Bartel?
Larry Fitzgerald Fantasy Football Owners, This is a message from the future.
It’s now week 10, the Cardinals are maybe the worst teams in the NFL and Fitzgerald is the #12 wr in standard and ppr leagues while Kevin Kolb looks no better than a more experienced Jimmy Clausen.
Beanie Wells on the other hand has turned into a solid RB who will steal all the goal line TDs and then end up on the injury report the next week. It would be a surprise to see him finish out the season especially when they’re eliminated in week 14.
Regardless it has been frustrating owning an elite WR who sees double bracket coverage, every play. He is on a team that has nothing but question marks surrounding him, so defenses can key on Fitz all day and not pay for it. To make things worse, Pierre Garcon, Jason Witten, Darren Sproles, Anotnio Brown, Mike Williams, among many others have seen more targets than the first player to ever be on the cover of NCAA football and Madden?
Through 8 game year before that 2009
in 2009 he had a drop off of around 2 receptions per game. Which resulted in 172 yards less in the second half. Which would of held him on pace for less than 1000 yards.
56- 632- 7
41- 460- 6
Through 8 games last year 2010
in 2010 he had a drop off of 1 reception per game which resulted into an only 2 TDs during that span!
Through 8 games this year 2011
Fitz hasn’t had under 90 receptions in a full season since his rookie year, will his career high 17.0 yards per reception really hold up the rest of the year with him on pace for only 76 receptions?
Lets take a look at his next tough 8 games.
First he plays @ Philly against Nandi
Nandi held Fitzgerald to 2 catches for 26 yards and a TD when he played a season ago for Oakland.
So far this season Stevie Johnson has the most catches and yards against Nandi. 4 catches for 29 yards.
Roddy “ Show Stoppy” White 3-23 and Hakeem “Wet Dream” Nicks 3-25.
Those two elite receivers have Matt Ryan and Eli Manning throwing them the ball. This week Larry Fitzgerald will have John Skelton.
No #1 WR has been a leading receiver in a game for their team against Nandi this year. In fact only twice all season has a star WR gotten more than 10 targets in a game.
It doesn’t get any easier.
In week 11 and 14 he goes up against San Francisco.
SF has added stud Corner Back Carols Rodgers. So far this season he has shut down AJ Green and Mike Williams (TB), do I even need to mention the TB anymore, the other Mike Williams in Seattle was a fluke.
Though superstars have had their ways, Miles Austin went for 9 catches 143 yards and 3 TDs while Calvin went for 7-113 yards. It’s the only game Calvin doesn’t have a touchdown.
Last year, SF blew out the Cardinals in both games, and who could argue that this year will be anything different. In those games Fitzgerald put up.
Game 1: 4-37
Game 2: 11-125-1
And that’s the beauty behind Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals could lose by 35 points and Fitzgerald will have the chance to put up a decent game.
The reason behind this is the Cardinals are either losing or needing to stay competitive in every game this year. And when either of those situations happen, Larry Fitzgerald is their #1 and #2 option.
In week 12 he is home against the Rams.
A team that last year held him to 3-43 and 4-61. They’ve seen Fitz enough to know how to shut him down, and if you take away a late 4th quarter TD in week 9 Fitzgerald stats are 3-30. STL defense is a good defense to pick up now, they face Cleveland, Seattle, Arizona, and Seattle again in between the weeks of 10-14. And the team has gained a lot of confidence since shutting down the high voltage Saints.
In week 13 he plays Dallas.
A year ago the Cardinals beat Dallas and Fitzgerald had 1 catch for 26 yards.
Here’s the thing Star WR’s have performed against Dallas this season.
Calvin 8-96-2, Holmes 6-70, Welker 6-45-1, but the most comparable performance for Fitzgerald I would expect is what Sidney Rice did against Dallas, 3-69. Tavarais Jackson and Sidney Rice look like a more lethal duo than Kolb and Fitzgerald.
Then it’s fantasy playoffs and he play’s Cleveland in week 15.
Joe Haden is all I have to say. Some consider him the best shut down corner next to Darrell Revis, but the only SUPERSTAR WRs he faced this year, Brandon Marshall went for 4-43, and Reggie Wayne had one of his best games of the year 4-66. Shutting down Denarius Moore after his big game or Sidney Rice doesn’t deserve special attention. What do all of these WRs have in common? None of their QB’s were fantasy options a year ago. Haden’s real test will be if he can shut down AJ Green, Anquan Boldin, and then Mike Wallace in consecutive weeks before facing Larry Fitzgerald.
If your team makes it past that game or playoffs aren’t in your league then he faces the #10 pass defense led by Nate Clements and Leon Hall in Cincinnati, and finishes up with the game that’s saves his season total week 17 against Seattle a team he has had plenty of history against.
Remember its Larry Fitzgerald, he is maybe the best player on the field every time he steps out, and his team will be throwing the ball late in games so he is the ultimate garbage WR to own, but if you can get a High-end RB2 or a low-end RB1 for him, anywhere from a Matt Forte who doesn’t get goal line touches to a bounce back in CJ800, and you have depth at WR then make the move.
Fitzgerald’s numbers can vary from WR2-WR4 numbers the rest of the year with the way he’s playing with his new team. It just doesn’t seem like he’s on the same page with his QB and the team prefers to run the ball whenever they have the lead leaving owners with very few targets. Teams want Early Doucett to beat them through the air, and as soon as Fitz gets a TD the team they will add another defender to the mix. I don’t see a team saying, we dare you to throw one on one ever with Fitzgerald when they get near the red zone, and especially when he’s already burned them more than once.
Games he has at least 10 targets which has only happened 3 times this year he has a combined 15 catches 254 yards and 2 Tds, that averages out 5-84-.66 (AZ 1-2). In comparison Calvin Johnson games with 10 targets or more has only happened 3 times, and his numbers are 14 catches 230 yards and 5 Tds an average of 4.3-77-1.66 (DET 3-0).
Remember Fitz is one of those WRs that is capable of catching anything! Especially near the goal line. Hopefully Kolb decides he doesn’t want to be the next Derek Anderson or maybe even Max Hall and he starts getting #11 the stats he needs. Don’t give up too much for the future hall of famer in a trade, and just remember. Just as the game seems over. Fitzgerald’s fantasy day just begins.