I have observed all of the Cardinals preseason games and training camp this year, and I was shocked to watch 7 time pro bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald run absolutely wide open at times on routes. Last year’s season and perhaps the last 3 seasons have not yielded this success due to the scheme which caused him to be double teamed every game. Of course the quarterback situation, that I do not wish to revisit, had a lot to do with it as well.
As a hardcore fantasy football league player, I see this as a monster pick up this year. The moving around of the star receiver has so far put him in position to make a lot of plays. This preseason in limited time Fitzgerald has caught 8 passes for 99 yards.
The Packers game he caught 2 balls, one of those two was for 17 yards. Against the Cowboys he hauled in 3 catches and his longest was for 25 yards. The final game he played in was the Chargers game where he caught 4 passes and a long of 14 yards, not to mention that 2 passes he caught this preseason were for 20 plus yards and were called back for Levi Brown holding penalties.
The Point here is that Fitzgerald and the Bruce Arians scheme will bring the now 30 year old star back to prominence, regardless of how many wins the team records this year, Larry Fitzgerald’s numbers will be pro bowl worthy once more. That is assuming the timing issues that have plagued the preseason have been all resolved.
The trick to this working is the running game that has been established behind the quick and nimble Rashard Mendenhall and the revitalized Ryan Williams, and others. Also helping the cause is the speed of one Patrick Peterson who has been put in the mix as a receiver on offense, and he draws his own double team running deep routes and fake reverses.
These two dynamics are opening up monster wholes in defenses and it causes a future hall of famer in Fitzgerald to have a field day on chunk yardage plays. I look for Fitz to have a monster year in stats and he will also get back in a familiar place that has eluded him for the past few years, the end zone.
To get an idea of what his stats will look like at seasons end, just take a look at the stats that Colts receiver Reggie Wayne put up last season, and with a rookie at quarterback in the same system. Wayne recorded a whopping 106 catches for 1,355 yards and 5 touchdowns. Reggie Wayne is good, but he is not better than Fitzgerald by no stretch of the imagination. So imagine what Fitzgerald will do in the same offense in the same position.
I would imagine his numbers would look something like this, 110 plus balls and 1500 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maybe I’m over excited about my fantasy team, but if the offensive line holds up and no injuries to key players , this could be possible. Hay! Let me have my fantasy OK.