Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals

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Cardinals Christian Kirk battling for WR2 spot

Monday, August 20, 2018, 9:53am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The Arizona Cardinals' search for a No. 2 wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald is getting interesting.

Rookie Christian Kirk has turned heads. His four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown performance in Friday night's 20-15 preseason win over the New Orleans Saints coincides with Kirk's objective to make an immediate impact.

Fantasy Impact:

Kirk is a second-round pick and is noted for his route-running skills. The Cards are looking for a No. 2 WR option to pair with Larry Fitzgerald, but as the story noted, Kirk did his damage out of the slot on Friday, catching a 13-yard TD.

Scouting Report

Fantasy Upside

Fitzgerald is entering his 15th season and will be playing for his fourth head coach in Steve Wilks. The veteran raved about Wilks and his staff, including OC Mike McCoy. As ESPN.com's Mike Clay recently noted, during the past nine seasons, three-quarters of the touchdowns scored in McCoy's offenses have been passes (including at least 76 percent in five of the past six years). That should be good news for Fitzgerald, who just gets better with age, posting his best regular seasons in years 12, 13, and 14, with 109, 107, and 109 catches. If the season goes as planned, Sam Bradford will become the 15th quarterback to throw a touchdown pass to Fitzgerald, although rookie first-round pick Josh Rosen is also in the QB mix. Think about this: If Fitz has a 2018 season similar to his last three, he'll finish the year with close to 200 more receptions and 500 more receiving yards than any wideout who ever played in the NFL other than Jerry Rice. While Rice played with Steve Young and Joe Montana for most of his career, Fitzgerald has lined up alongside less-talented throwers, the best of which (Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer) only account for 51 percent of his career games.

Fantasy Downside

Fitzgerald will be working in a new scheme and it's not clear if McCoy will use Fitzgerald in precisely the same way as Bruce Arians, who moved the veteran into the slot, did in recent seasons.

2018 Bottom Line

The concerns at this point are minor. His age is worth noting, but in the five seasons he's played since turning 30, Fitzgerald has only missed three games due to injury, all of which occurred in 2014. Beyond that, the lack of a strong wide receiving corps in Arizona hasn't limited Fitz in the past and it seems unlikely to be an issue again. The biggest worry? There will be no discounts for fantasy managers this season.

2018 Strength of Schedule - ARI
W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
5
WAS
13
@LAR
9
CHI
18
SEA
20
@SF
6
@MIN
4
DEN
20
SF
BYE32
@KC
26
OAK
11
@LAC
29
@GB
19
DET
12
@ATL
13
LAR
18
@SEA

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.

2017 Game Stats
WeekOppRecRecYdsRecTDTgtsYPRRuAttRuYdsRuTDFumYPCSTDPPRSnaps%
1@DET67401312.330000-7.413.474/7598.7%
2@IND321067.000000-2.15.162/6693.9%
3DAL1314911511.460000-20.933.977/8195.1%
4SF432178.000000-9.213.282/8695.3%
5@PHI6510108.500000-5.111.157/6095.0%
6TB1013811113.800001-17.827.858/6589.2%
7@LAR329039.670000-2.95.946/4993.9%
8BYE--------------
9@SF5700914.000000-7.012.068/7788.3%
10SEA1011301411.300000-11.321.380/80100.0%
11@HOU99111010.110000-15.124.157/5898.3%
12JAX312084.000000-1.24.272/7398.6%
13LAR10981109.800000-15.825.863/6498.4%
14TEN544078.800000-4.49.462/6595.4%
15@WAS56001012.000000-6.011.084/8598.8%
16NYG911911513.220000-18.727.761/6988.4%
17@SEA8550136.880000-5.513.571/71100.0%
Per game6.8172.250.3810.0610.610000.060.009.4016.2267.13/70.2595.46%
Totals1091156616110.6100010.00150.44259.441074/112495.46%