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Fantasy Football 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings: Will Larry Fitzgerald Be Revived With Carson Palmer?

Lesser men have been freaked out when Jim Gray looks at them like that.

Larry Fitzgerald is currently going among the top 8 on average among wide receivers, a year after finishing with 798 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns playing with the dregs in the desert. That was good for an unusable 42nd in wide receiver fantasy points, even though he played all 16 games. The public appears to expect a full bounce back for Larry Fitzgerald, perhaps seeing visions of Randy Moss going from a disaster in Oakland to catching passes from Tom Brady as a precedent.

My projections have Larry Fitzgerald at 12th, and a lot closer to 20th than 8th in points projection. Here’s the thing about drafting Larry Fitzgerald early. He hits those numbers if one of two things happens: (1) the Arizona Cardinals are among the top passing teams in the league in terms of yards, or (2) he gets a disproportionate amount of targets for a top receiver (think Brandon Marshall or Andre Johnson last year). I am skeptical of the second happening. Keep in mind that Andre Roberts matched Fitzgerald in yards per game playing with the same bad quarterbacks. He’s not likely to completely disappear. Add in that the Cardinals drafted Michael Floyd in the first round last year, and he is expected to move in to the lineup. I expect between Floyd and Roberts, as well as a young tight end in Rob Housler, that Fitzgerald will not be a one man show, like Marshall was in Chicago last year (nor do I expect Marshall to get quite as many targets with the signing of Martellus Bennett and a healthy Alshon Jeffery entering year 2.)

Then, it comes down to whether you have Arizona as a top 6 passing offense. I do not. I expect huge improvement over last year’s disaster, but I have Arizona at a slightly above league average amount of yards. That is how Larry Fitzgerald comes in at #12. As I explained in the initial projections that included my running back rankings, I projected team totals and allocated rushing and receiving numbers. It’s also how I have Randall Cobb higher than some (if Rodgers is really a top 2 quarterback, he should produce a top 6 wide receiver unless it is evenly spread out and there is no #1).

[Previous Rankings: Running Backs (MON), Quarterbacks (TUE)]

  1. Calvin Johnson, DET (256)
  2. A.J. Green, CIN (231)
  3. Dez Bryant, DAL (231)
  4. Julio Jones, ATL (227)
  5. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (220)
  6. Randall Cobb, GB (211)
  7. Brandon Marshall, CHI (209)
  8. Andre Johnson, HOU (207)
  9. Marques Colston, NO (195)
  10. Roddy White, ATL (195)
  11. Vincent Jackson, TB (192)
  12. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (190)
  13. Danny Amendola, NE (190)
  14. Victor Cruz, NYG (189)
  15. Reggie Wayne, IND (187)
  16. Hakeem Nicks, NYG (182)
  17. Dwayne Bowe, KC (182)
  18. Wes Welker, DEN (182)
  19. Steve Smith, CAR (181)
  20. Jordy Nelson, GB (176)
  21. Eric Decker, DEN (174)
  22. Torrey Smith, BAL (174)
  23. T.Y. Hilton, IND (174)
  24. Antonio Brown, PIT (172)
  25. Pierre Garςon, WAS (170)
  26. DeSean Jackson, PHI (164)
  27. Lance Moore, NO (162)
  28. Chris Givens, STL (157)
  29. Mike Wallace, MIA (155)
  30. James Jones, GB (153)
  31. Greg Jennings, MIN (150)
  32. Mike Williams, TB (150)
  33. Kenny Britt, TEN (147)
  34. Steve Johnson, BUF (147)
  35. Tavon Austin, STL (146)
  36. Cecil Shorts, JAC (145)
  37. Miles Austin, DAL (145)
  38. Aaron Dobson, NE (145)
  39. Malcom Floyd, SD (144)
  40. Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (143)
  41. Anquan Boldin, SF (143)
  42. Jeremy Kerley, NYJ (142)
  43. Josh Gordon, CLE (142)*
  44. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (140)
  45. Sidney Rice, SEA (140)
  46. Vincent Brown, SD (139)
  47. Michael Floyd, ARI (138)
  48. Andre Roberts, ARI (137)
  49. Denarius Moore, OAK (131)
  50. Justin Blackmon, JAC (129)*
  51. Percy Harvin, SEA (xx)* [not projecting Harvin, but not sure you can use a roster spot higher than this with him likely being out until almost playoff time]
  52. Ryan Broyles, DET (126)
  53. Brian Hartline, MIA (126)
  54. Josh Morgan, WAS (125)
  55. Rueben Randle, NYG (123)
  56. Tandon Doss, BAL (120)
  57. Kenny Stills, NO (120)
  58. Golden Tate, SEA (118)
  59. Stephen Hill, NYJ (117)
  60. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (116)

 [photo via USA Today Sports Images]

 

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