Is Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald a trusted fantasy football option in 2020?

Apr 19, 2020, 12:27 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has seen a lot of different faces line up with him on offense over the years.

Players like Anquan Boldin, and now DeAndre Hopkins, a fitting addition to the All-Pro’s squad.

But what does that mean for Larry Legend in terms of fantasy football production this season?

As it stands, ESPN projects Fitzgerald to finish with 58 catches for 625 yards and five touchdowns on 85 targets for 149.5 fantasy points (9.3 per game). If that were to hold true, it would mark a career low in yards and tie his rookie-year, and career low, in receptions.

Yes, with the Cardinals bringing in a dynamic receiver in Hopkins, the targets are going to have to be redistributed, but that doesn’t mean Fitzgerald should be counted out of fantasy football lineups in 2020.

If anything, it could provide Fitzgerald the opportunity to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the 10th time.

Looking back at the height of Fitzgerald’s numbers was one constant; another reliable option on the roster to throw to.

Fitzgerald enjoyed four seasons of at least 1,000 yards and 10 scores with Boldin from 2004-09. Boldin also had four seasons over more than 1,000 yards and at least four touchdowns.

From there, Fitzgerald continued his 1,000-yard streak with the likes of Steve Breaston (718 and a TD) in 2010 and Early Doucet (689 and five scores) in 2011. He then saw sub 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2013 before joining John Brown in the 1,000-club in 2015. The two combined for 16 touchdowns, 174 receptions and 2,218 yards that season. He went over 1,000 two more times in 2016 and 2017.

The last two seasons, however, were a different story.

While Fitzgerald still led the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns, he failed to reach 1,000 yards, with his closest coming in 2019 (804 and four scores). It was also one of Fitz’s lowest scoring outputs in 2019, tying his second-lowest TD total in his career with four. Christian Kirk was the team’s other top option, recording 590 yards and 709 yards the last two years, respectively.

In 2019, Kirk had only two fewer targets and 95 fewer yards than Fitzgerald despite playing in three fewer games.

Even with the down production, Fitzgerald still managed to score double-digit fantasy points in nine games last season, including a 25.3-point showing in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions.

With defenses now having to keep a careful eye on Hopkins — as well as Kirk — Fitzgerald’s veteran prowess and abilities as a pass catcher should make him a prime target for second-year quarterback Kyler Murray.

His receptions total could be around 65 with a 700-yard, six-touchdown season.

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Is Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald a trusted fantasy football option in 2020?