Larry Fitzgerald Is No Longer Arizona's Top Receiver And More Fantasy Updates
Larry Fitzgerald took a back seat to Michael Floyd as the Cardinals number one receiver on Monday Night. Fitzgerald averaged just 5.5 YPT on four targets compared to Michael Floyd’s (unsustainable) 17.0. This continues a trend that began last year, when Floyd gained more yards than Fitzgerald over the second half of the season.
After the game, Bruce Arians showed no sense of urgency to change that trend by stating he “wasn’t going to force the ball to Fitzgerald.” Oh really? You have a guy that used to make the most acrobatic catches week in and week out and you have no interest in trying extra hard to get it to him? That’s like owning two sports cars and not “forcing yourself” to rotate and drive the Porsche around town in rotation with the Ferrari. Arians even complimented rookie wide receiver John Brown without saying too much about the $100-plus million Fitzgerald. When all is said and done, Fitzgerald will have big weeks here and there, but it’s clear Floyd has taken the reigns. Considering where you likely drafted Fitzgerald, I’d be worrying he may be a bust.
The hype surrounding Cordarrelle Patterson this preseason elevated his ADP to the mid-fourth round in 12-team leagues. If you thought there was no value in a pick that high - news flash: you were wrong. Similar to Percy Harvin, Patterson is explosive and can impact the game in multiple facets. He can line up outside, in the slot and even in the backfield. Anytime he touches the ball, he has the opportunity to score. Even with only five targets at 5.2 YPT, Patterson managed a top four WR performance in PPR formats due to his 67 yard rushing touchdown (three rushes, 102 yards overall). Players such as Victor Cruz, Vincent Jackson and Andre Johnson were likely drafted before him, but after just one week I’ll confidently say I’d rather own Patterson than any of them.
Like every year, some usable waiver options have emerged after one NFL week. Terrance West, Malcolm Floyd, Brian Quick, Dwayne Allen, Justin Forsett, Larry Donnell and Allen Hurns stand out to me as names that may be available, and I rank them in the order I named them. There should be reservations in picking up Forsett because it’s extremely possible Bernard Pierce leads the team in carries for Week 2. Coach Harbaugh recanted his statement that he benched Pierce due to a fumble and instead suggested he has faith in Pierce moving forward. Forsett has been a league journeyman and has never really shown every-down back skills. Lorenzo Taliaferro has sneaky potential to take over this job long term because he is young and may be the most talented of the bunch. The Ravens backfield is a mess and I wouldn’t overspend on any of these backs until the picture becomes clearer. Pierce should be seen as the favorite to lead the team in Fantasy points out of the backfield by season’s end.
Jake Locker may end the season as a low-end QB1. For Week 2 purposes, he should absolutely be in the QB1 conversation. He finished as QB9 in Week 1 and now faces the horrific Cowboys defense (who actually didn’t play too badly last week). However, when a whole defense is devoid of talent, they will eventually be exposed. This week is that week. Don’t be surprised to see Locker finish as a top five quarterback in Week 2. If and when he does, it may be time to sell high (even though I like him) and land a WR or RB.
Drafting Jimmy Graham in the first round was a mistake. If you read my Julius Thomas article prior to your draft, you would have known better and waited until round two to take a similar player. The value was there this season in taking a top wide receiver or back and pairing them with Thomas instead of going Graham and then a second tier WR/RB. Sure it’s only one week for Thomas but the situation isn’t worsening anytime soon, as he is a physical monster playing in an Eric Decker-less Peyton Manning offense.
Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas both flopped in their 2014 debuts. Do not fret; their arrival to the season will be felt in a big way in Week 2. Dez has 25 TDs over the past two seasons, and although the Titans defense looked solid, he likely won’t stay quiet back-to-back weeks. As for Thomas, he put up an eight catch, 227 yard performance against the Chiefs last season. Orange Julius saw most of the love in Week 1, but Peyton hasn’t forgotten about his 6’5” monster on the outside. There is nothing to worry about with either of these beasts.
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