Larry Fitzgerald on average is going in the third round in fantasy drafts thus far. His fantasy value will increase dramatically because of his new quarterback Carson Palmer. ESPN has him ranked the 36th best player available and 12th out of wide receiver. Fitzgerald after suffering one of his worst years statistically is ready to bounce back and dominate like he used to in the past.
People generally grab the big name running backs in the first couple of rounds and then settle with a quarterback passing over wide receivers like Julio Jones and Fitzgerald. You can find a great quarterback in rounds four through six. On one of my teams I have Marshawn Lynch, A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald, and Brandon Marshall because I like to fill those positions before I draft a quarterback. I ended up with one of my favorite fantasy quarterbacks in Matt Ryan who fell to me in the sixth round.
I’m projecting that Fitzgerald will finish fourth among receivers behind Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Julio Jones. His numbers should be around 1,200 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. The addition of Palmer and the emergence of Michael Floyd will play a big part in Fitzgerald’s production. As opposing defenses realize that they just can’t double Fitzgerald like in the past it will create more one on one matches which is something opposing defensive coordinators have nightmares of. Plus even if you double team him he will still come up with the ball just ask the Atlanta Falcons if they remember 2008.
Another big factor will be the Cardinals defense and how they will help give the offense great field position. Fitzgerald isn’t going to beat you with speed he is going to beat you with size and strength. Fitzgerald is the best red zone weapon in the NFL, and if they can get the ball in the red zone look for Palmer to throw the famous fade pass to number 11 for a touchdown because traffic doesn’t phase Fitzgerald he loves it. ESPN has him finishing with 167 points, but I have him finishing him around 190.