WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
HT: 6-3, WT: 223, Born: 8-31-1983, College: Pittsburgh, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 3
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: D McFadden (30), A Johnson (31), Larry Fitzgerald (32), T Brady (33), D Wilson (34)
Position: R White (28-WR8), A Johnson (31-WR9), Larry Fitzgerald (32 - WR10), R Cobb (37-WR11), V Jackson (38-WR12)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: S Ridley (30), D Sproles (31), Larry Fitzgerald (32), R Cobb (33), V Cruz (34)
Position: A Johnson (24-WR8), R White (27-WR9), Larry Fitzgerald (32 - WR10), R Cobb (33-WR11), V Cruz (34-WR12)
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Larry Fitzgerald has been one of the most talented receivers in the league since he was made the #3 overall pick in 2004. He has an impressive track record: he has been a top-five fantasy WR five times. He was hampered by poor quarterback play last season, however, and he was unable to beat the constant double-teams as easily as he had in the past. His deep routes were often nullified by poor pass-blocking by the offensive line, and as a result his yards per reception dropped from 17.6 in 2011 all the way down to a career-low 11.2 in 2012. Fitzgerald's fantasy hopes will depend on improved play from both the offensive line and the quarterback position in 2013. Despite his dismal statistical performance last season, Fitzgerald is still rightly viewed as a strong fantasy starter: he just needs some help from the offense around him. The acquisition of QB Carson Palmer should make a big difference.
Latest NewsCardinals | Carson Palmer wants chemistry with all WRs (Wed May 15, 06:04 PM) - Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he wants to build chemistry with all of the wide receivers because he will not be able to throw to WR Larry Fitzgerald all the time. 'It's of the utmost importance to be on the same page with Larry, but it's of the utmost importance to be on the same page with every one of those guys because the ball can't always go to him,' Palmer said. 'I know that's not what he wants to hear, but that's the truth. There will be teams that key on him and there will be games where he doesn't have as many catches as other games. It's that much more important I have that rhythm and timing down with [WR Michael Floyd] and [WR Andre Roberts] and whoever that third and fourth guy is going to be.' Our View: The Cardinals improved their O-Line this year and that will allow Palmer more time to throw. The Bruce Arians offense is all about downfield passing and being aggressive downfield. Larry Fitzgerald finished last year as the 42nd best fantasy WR but could finish in the top 25 this season.
link to story Cardinals | Larry Fitzgerald to move around (Wed May 15, 12:00 AM) - Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald will be lined up in different spots this year, sometimes working in the slot with WR Andre Roberts on the outside. Our View: In the Arians offense as the Colts WR1 we saw Reggie Wayne finish as 2012's 15th best WR in fantasy football. We could see Fitzgerald bounce back this year and finish in a similar spot. Fitzgerald struggled last year because of the team's QB woes and finished as the 42nd best WR in fantasy football.
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|1||at St. Louis Rams|
|3||at New Orleans Saints|
|4||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|6||at San Francisco 49ers|
|11||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|13||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|14||St. Louis Rams|
|15||at Tennessee Titans|
|16||at Seattle Seahawks|
|17||San Francisco 49ers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Fitzgerald struggled to get separation from Richard Sherman for much of the day, but when the game was on the line he played his best. After accumulating just two catches in the first 3 ˝ quarters, Fitzgerald made back to back huge plays to move the Cardinals deep into Seahawks territory. On the first, Fitzgerald settled underneath zone coverage on second and ten, made the grab and then got up the field for a 14 yard gain. Two plays later he ran a beautiful slant route, leapt and caught the pass and then sprinted forward for a 23 yard gain.
Week 2 - We all know what Fitzgerald is capable of. But with Kevin Kolb under center, he struggled. He had only one long-ish pass thrown to him and it was uncatchable. He was targeted on a short fade in the end zone, but couldn’t quite make the one-handed grab. And that was all she wrote. Five targets on the day, but no real chance to shine on any but the end zone pass. He also had a couple of catches called back: one on a penalty, and one on a reversed call.
Week 3 - The Cardinals made a concerted effort to get Larry Fitzgerald back involved in the offense after two weeks of speculation that he could not get in synch with his QB. They were handsomely rewarded as he lit up the Eagles for 9 receptions, 114 yards, and 1 TD. Most of his receptions were caught within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage on quick timing routes, and the bulk of his yardage came after the catch. The exception, of course, was a leaping, 37 yard TD reception down the middle on a play-action pass to put the Cardinals up 17-0.
Week 4 - The Cardinals are getting very creative with Larry Fitzgerald and almost using him like Percy Harvin by lining him up in the backfield, out wide, the slot, tight end and in stacked positions. His first reception was caught with a defender on his back on a quick slant for two yards. His next target, going across the field, Kolb missed him under pressure. He then caught a slant route for five yards, and fought for the first down against three defenders for three yards. He drew pass interference call on Sean Smith running down sideline on attempted back shoulder throw. When stacked wide left with Roberts, Fitzgerald benefited from off coverage and ran a deep in to get the first down. He caught a wide open slant at goalline but was tackled short of endzone. Fitzgerald walked into the endzone on a well blocked screen pass at the goalline. Fitzgerald's ability can work against him at times, as Kevin Kolb threw two interceptions trying to force the ball his way, but he remains an elite receiver even without an elite quarterback.
Week 5 - Fitzgerald snagged the first pass of the game, but took a nasty hit on the play as well. It would prove to be That Kind of Day. On his next reception, also short, he was tackled by three Rams again. Kolb looked his way often, to the tune of 15 targets, despite the extra attention, and Fitzgerald responded by catching most balls. A couple of missed opportunities could have given him a score as well, but Kolb was inconsistent all day long, notably overthrowing him near the end zone with a step on his man coverage.
Week 6 - Like Powell, it took Arizona entirely too long to get Fitzgerald involved and when they finally did, they found success. Fitzgerald far and away led the team with 12 targets, doubling the next closest WR, but only could connect on six. Fitzgerald’s first catch was a nice play from Kolb, who stepped up in the pocket and drew the LBs up, allowing Fitzgerald to roam free in the middle. Later in the drive, Fitzgerald scored the Cardinals only TD, a nine yard catch on a crosser where a nice play design left LB Nick Barnett trying to cover the WR. Barnett stood no chance and Fitzgerald easily walked into the end zone. Two drives later, Fitzgerald had perhaps one of the greatest incompletions anyone has ever seen. Racing down the sideline at full speed, the ball was thrown behind and high to Fitzgerald. Like an Olympic figure skater, Fitzgerald leapt, pirouetted and snatched the ball with his left hand (and only left hand) like one would a Nerf football. The ball never moved, no bobble or tip to himself, until Fitzgerald released it back into the wild from his bear trap-like hand. An absolutely stunning non-catch. It would take two very unsuccessful drives before Kolb and Fitzgerald would connect again, a short eight-yard curl which saw Fitzgerald sit down in the middle of the field. Again two more drives would come and go before Kolb hit Fitzgerald on a back shoulder throw for 15 yards. With Kolb gone, Skelton would step in and look right to the WR, connecting on a 4th and 11 for 17 yards to get into FG range. On the final drive of regulation, Skelton would find Fitzgerald one last time as Buffalo completely blew their coverage, allowing him to run a slant uncovered for his longest catch of the day at 28 yards.
Week 7 - It was a frustrating game for Fitzgerald, who garnered most of the Minnesota secondary’s attention. Much of the coverage rolled towards Fitzgerald, and there were few times that he saw only single coverage. Since Minnesota was able to get pressure rushing only four defenders, the coverage had enough numbers to double and triple Fitzgerald without much risk of leaving another player uncovered. Arizona tried to get the ball to Fitzgerald early, throwing him a wide receiver screen, but Minnesota was able to swarm him before he could get anywhere. One of the few times Fitzgerald did get single coverage, he was able to beat Cook with a swim move and cut outside, catching an accurate throw for a first down. That play showed just how well Fitzgerald could dominate single coverage with his strength and quickness. There were also instances of miscommunication between Skelton and Fitzgerald, as one play Fitzgerald cut inside only to have the ball thrown outside. Perhaps with better pass blocking that forced Minnesota to commit more players to generate pressure, or his fellow wide receivers beating their single coverage and forcing Minnesota to adjust, Fitzgerald may have been able to do better. Unfortunately for him and the Cardinals, those things didn’t happen.
Week 8 - Probably the most iconic play of this game came right at the end. Down 24-3, on 4th and goal Skelton threw a short route to Fitzgerald who was immediately tackled, but Fitzgerald kept his legs moving, stretched the ball towards the goal line while two men were wrapped around him and came up inches short. Even when the game was hopeless, Fitzgerald was doing everything he possibly could. He was double covered almost the entire game, and even when Skelton threw to him in double coverage the throws were often high. Right at the beginning of the game, Skelton tried to force it to Fitzgerald on a slant route that was double covered and Fitzgerald had his head driven in to the ground by a defender. Another play, Fitzgerald was open but the ball was high, allowing Culliver to come in and slap the ball out of Fitzgerald’s hands. On a slant in the end zone, Fitzgerald ran a good, hard route and there was a small window even though Fitzgerald was double covered, and Skelton badly overthrew it and Fitzgerald ended up getting punched in the eye. With the offensive line playing so poorly, the defense was able to send less pass rushers and keep more defenders in the secondary to keep Fitzgerald double covered on every play. With Skelton unable to throw accurate passes under such heavy pressure, Fitzgerald was only able to be productive on underneath routes while the defense played soft.
Week 9 - Racking up 12 targets, Fitzgerald didn’t lead the Cardinals in receiving, but did catch the lone touchdown pass. An absolute gem of a run after the catch, he shed 3 tackles and dragged linebacker Dezman Moses the last couple of yards before breaking the plane of the endzone. The Packers game-planned to cover Fitzgerald with their best cover corner, Tramon Williams, but Williams doesn’t cover the slot, so the Cardinals moved their dynamic playmaker around the formation, allowing him to see coverage from rookie Casey Heyward. He racked up some short gainers on the rookie, but his touchdown came on a bunch formation, where he was able to slip out of Williams’ coverage and into Moses’ zone, taking full advantage and making a phenomenal play after the catch. While the Cardinals offensive line still figures to struggle against some of their opponents (Seahawks, Rams, Niners, Bears still on schedule), Fitzgerald has good chemistry with John Skelton and figures to be targeted by whomever is under center for the Cardinals.
Week 11 - Larry Fitzgerald was almost invisible on Sunday as the Cardinals struggled incredibly to move the football at all. The offensive line was porous and neither Skelton nor rookie Lindley had much time to set up in the pocket. This lead to hurried passes towards Fitzgerald and many inaccurate balls as a result. QB Lindley played most of the game and he checked down most of his passes which gave Fitzgerald very few opportunities to make plays against the Falcons. Fitzgerald managed to get open in the endzone on a corner route down the field after a turnover but QB Skelton missed him considerably, which turned out to be Fitzgerald’s best shot at a touchdown for the entire game. Fitzgerald had another shot at a deep pass but the pass was well overthrown by Lindley. The only pass Fitzgerald managed to get his hands on securely was a simple slant for the first down, catching the ball in softzone and turning upfield. Fitzgerald will undoubtedly struggle to produce big numbers with a rookie QB throwing him the ball and expectations must be tempered. Lindley played no worse than Skelton, looked slightly more accurate but also took fewer chances down the field which is a big part of Fitzgerald’s style of play.
Week 12 - Fitzgerald's first reception was a quick slant route against single coverage on third and three. Fitzgerald caught a crossing route underneath for six yards. Fitzgerald was getting separation with ease as he beat Cortland Finnegan on a short post route after play action for a first down. As the more veteran player, Fitzgerald gets the benefit of the doubt on Lindley's interception that was the result of a miscommunication between the duo.
Week 13 - It was a frustrating game for Larry Fitzgerald. Throughout the afternoon, Fitzgerald ran freely in New York’s secondary, but Lindley was unable to throw catchable passes. Fitzgerald’s lone reception occurred on Lindley’s first pass attempt. Matched up against Antonio Cromartie, Fitzgerald beat press coverage off the line of scrimmage and hauled in Lindley’s back shoulder throw for a 23-yard gain. In the fourth quarter, Fitzgerald ran freely down the right sideline, but the ball was thrown high and landed out of bounds. Until the Cardinals have some quarterback stability, Fitzgerald’s production will continue to suffer.
Week 14 - Fitzgerald nearly ended his streak of games with a catch at 129 in a row. He was fortunate to corral a quick out route for a short gain in the middle of the fourth quarter. However, his lack of production was not from a lack of looks in the passing game. Fitzgerald was targeted 11 times, many of which were not even close to the sure-handed receiver. Three of the targets resulted in interceptions as they were not even jump balls where Fitzgerald could make a legitimate play on the ball. Of the passes that were on-target, Fitzgerald was not able to shake the tight coverage of Seattle’s defensive backs to make a play. In the first quarter, Fitzgerald was targeted on third down on the edge of field goal range. Seattle was all over him in coverage, the pass was batted around, and ultimately intercepted. Fitzgerald has fallen from automatic fantasy starter to a receiver that an owner hopes to not play for any other legitimate option for the rest of the season. Over the past four weeks, Fitzgerald has 6/67/0 on 37 targets. It is by far the worst four-game stretch in his career.
Week 15 - Fitzgerald had a better game than in weeks past, especially considering that only 21 targets were available as a team in the passing game. He caught four of them and drew a questionable defensive pass interference penalty on another look. His downfield playmaking ability was not needed as Ryan Lindley looked for short and intermediate targets to supplement the run game. Fitzgerald’s lone deep target was when he drew the interference penalty, which was a weak arm bar by the defensive back at best. Despite the call, Fitzgerald nearly came down with the acrobatic one-handed reception. It is tough to expect much more production than this game to close the season as the quarterback position and offensive line need to be upgraded in the offseason. Fitzgerald’s five targets marked his lowest usage of the season and he has yet to score since the Cardinals’ Week 10 bye week.
Week 16 - Despite playing with a bevy of terrible quarterbacks, Fitzgerald continues to show he is a tremendous wide receiver. He was targeted early and often by both Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer, and made several tremendous catches. One of his most dynamic was an 18 yard completion from Ryan Lindley in the first quarter. On this circus catch, Fitzgerald was well covered by the opportunistic Charles Tillman. Fitz was able to get inside of Tillman when he made his cut though and had Lindley thrown a good ball to lead him, might have gained more yards after the catch. But Lindley is Lindley and he threw a ball well over Fitzgerald’s head. Fitzgerald made a sensational leaping catch, extending his whole body to grab the ball and haul it in as he went to the ground. He was also the target of two Cardinals interceptions, though one was called back by a pass interference penalty. On the overturned one, he was clearly interfered with which made it hard for him to hold onto the ball. The second ball was merely an absolutely horrible throw by Hoyer who didn’t see Kelvin Hayden underneath the route.
Week 17 - San Francisco seemed satisfied to let Floyd produce in single coverage, as the defense rarely let a passing play go by without doubling Fitzgerald. Hoyer had to force the ball in to double coverage to give Fitzgerald a chance to fight for the ball, and that’s how Hoyer threw his lone interception. The only two plays Fitzgerald was able to produce came on a quick hook and a quick slant, and Fitzgerald exhibited his strength holding on to the ball while taking heavy blows. With such tight coverage, Fitzgerald didn’t have the opportunity to produce.