Posts Tagged ‘fitzgerald’

Receivers are becoming very useful in Fantasy Football over the past few years since most teams are becoming “pass first” teams.  There are some fantasy teams who will draft a receiver first especially if they are in a high passing offense like the Lions or Broncos.  There is still a few months before the season even starts, but it is still a good time to get an idea of what receivers are going to be beneficial to your fantasy team.  Just like with running backs there are a lot of players on new teams so before you draft a receiver make sure you think about who is throwing them the ball and who is protecting the QB.  It doesn’t matter how good a WR is; if the QB cant get them the ball then they are useless.

1. Calvin Johnson – Lions
2. Demaryius Thomas – Broncos
3. Brandon Marshall – Bears
4. Julio Jones – Falcons
5. AJ Green – Bengals
6. Dez Bryant – Cowboys
7. Alshon Jeffery – Bears
8. Jordy Nelson – Packers
9. Antonio Brown – Steelers
10. Randall Cobb – Packers
11. Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals
12. Michael Crabtree – 49ers
13. Pierre Garcon – Redskins
14. Andre Johnson – Texans
15. Vincent Jackson – Bucs
16. Keenan Allen – Chargers
17. Julian Edelman – Patriots
18. Wes Welker – Broncos
19. Victor Cruz – Giants
20. Roddy White – Falcons
21. Percy Harvin – Seahawks
22. DeSean Jackson – Redskins
23. Golden Tate – Lions
24. Emmanuel Sanders – Broncos
25. Michael Floyd – Cardinals
26. Mike Wallace – Dolphins
27. Kendall Wright – Titans
28. Jeremy Maclin – Eagles
29. Torrey Smith – Ravens
30. Marques Colston – Saints
31. Reggie Wayne – Colts
32. Eric Decker – Jets
33. Terrance Williams – Cowboys
34. TY Hilton – Colts
35. Dwayne Bowe – Chiefs
36. Riley Cooper – Eagles
37. Greg Jennings – Vikings
38. Sammy Watkins – Bills
39. Anquan Boldin – 49ers
40. Mike Evans – Bucs

Now obviously there are a lot more receivers; but after this point in a draft it is really hit or miss with these guys.  I remember in 2013 most people didn’t even know who Alshon Jeffery was, and now he is going to be one of the better receivers in 2014.  You can always find sleepers in this category; you just need to have an understanding of what team they play for and the type of offense they are in.  Remember, if its a young QB under center or even a new QB its hard to really rely on that QB to get the ball to the receivers consistently.  I am not saying they cant, but its a reach to think otherwise.  Also, don’t ever underestimate how good or bad an offensive line is.  If the offensive line cant protect the QB, then obviously the receivers are not going to get many looks. 

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Larry Fitzgerald is probably one of the best receivers in the game right now.  The only down side is the team he is on; if he was on a team with a franchise QB; he would be breaking records left and right.  Fitz is very dedicated to the team that drafted him though; and that is commendable.  Fitz does not have a sad story, but an inspirational story instead.  He has always been considered one of the best, and it will continue to stay that way for the rest of his career.

Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. was born on August 31st, 1983 in Minnesota.  I do not know the origins of his high school career, but I do know that he was one of the highest recruited players coming out of high school.  Fitz attended his college career at the University of Pittsburgh, and for the majority of his college career he was considered one of the best wide receivers in the country.  In 2003, he was recognized as the best player in the NCAA when he won the Walter Camp Award and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Chic Harley Award, he also won the Biletnikoff Award.  In 2003 he was also an All-American selection and the runner up for the Heisman Trophy.  Fitz played 26 games with the Panthers, and in that time he caught 161 passes, 2,677 yards, and set a Panther record with 34 receiving touchdowns.  He was the first Panther player to have back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons.  Fitz also set a record for having a receiving touchdown in 18 straight games.

When you do the math, Fitz only played 2 seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers, and he entered the 2004 NFL Draft pretty young.  The Arizona Cardinals drafted Fitz as the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.  He made an immediate impression with the Cardinals, as a rookie he caught 58 passes, 780 yards, and 8 touchdowns.  The following year he led the NFL with 103 catches, 1,409 yards, and 10 touchdowns.  In 2006, Fitz had some injuries he was dealing with, but for the most part he played through them and still managed 69 catches, 946 yards, and 6 touchdowns.  After being completely healed Fitz exploded again the following season by hauling in 100 passes, 1,409 yards, and 10 touchdowns.  After proving himself for his first few seasons, the Cardinals signed him to a 4 year $40 million contract.

In 2008, the Cardinals were on their Super Bowl run, and Fitz lit up the scoreboard, and he was the main reason the Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl.  In the conference championship game, Fitz caught 3 touchdown passes in one game.  Fitz also set a postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 catches, and 7 touchdowns.  Those numbers surpassed the record which once was held by Jerry Rice.  Even in the Super Bowl, Fitz had 2 touchdown catches, and when he went to the Pro Bowl, he caught 2 more touchdown passes which earned him the MVP of the Pro Bowl.

What is impressive about Fitz is that he will always find a way to make himself better, and his team better.  Since 2008, the Cardinals have not had a good QB, but somehow Fitz will still put up good numbers.  Fitz owns 5 NFL Records and 6 franchise records.  As a professional he has totaled 764 catches, 10,413 receiving yards, and 77 touchdowns.  He has also made 7 Pro Bowls, has had 4 All-Pro selections, and the 2008 NFC receiving yards leader.  As long as Fitz is in the NFL, he is going to be a great player and if you play fantasy football, he is always a good choice for your team.

There have already been some huge contracts in the history of the NFL, but it seems like every season someone becomes the new “highest paid athlete”.  I am not saying that these players have not earned a big contract, but sometimes it seems like they over pay these players just so they will not go to another team.  It sometimes feels like players are now chasing money and not chasing the Hall of Fame.  Below are the highest paid NFL players in 2013…so far (the amount included is per year).

1. Joe Flacco (Ravens) – Flacco just took his team to the Super Bowl and he was named the Super Bowl MVP.  Sounds impressive right?  I really don’t think so.  Joe has been a decent QB since joining the Ravens, but 2012 was the first year he took the team to the Super Bowl, and most experts will say that Flacco is a mediocre QB at best.  So the fact that the Ravens gave him a $20,100,000 contract really shocked me.  He is going to have to prove that he is worth that amount in the upcoming seasons.

2. Drew Brees (Saints) – Now this may seem hypocritical; but Brees is a QB that has proven his worth for a long time.  So the fact that he has a $20,000,000 contract doesn’t shock me.  Brees has won a Super Bowl with the Saints and he is considered by most to be one of the best QBs of our time.  Brees has been to numerous Pro Bowls, won numerous awards, and took a struggling Saints team to the Super Bowl.  Brees has been setting and breaking NFL records over the last few seasons and he is a perfect role model for young players everywhere.

3. Peyton Manning (Broncos) – Manning is a future Hall of Famer and after a serious neck injury a few seasons ago everyone thought he was done.  Manning has proven that he is still an elite QB so the fact that the Broncos have him on a $19,200,000 contract does not shock me.  There were a lot of questions about Manning before the 2012 season started and he shocked the world by taking the Broncos to the playoffs.  Manning is now surrounded by players in Denver and the Broncos will be in the Super Bowl hunt in 2013.

4. Tony Romo (Cowboys) – Romo has been an up and down QB since coming into the NFL.  He has not been good in the playoffs and he is not consistent in his passing.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say; “I don’t think Romo is worth $18,000.000 per year.”  The Cowboys have had one playoff win in the last 5 years and that has been with Romo leading the team.  With Romo accepting this huge contract he really is in a make or break season.  If he has another inconsistent season I think the Cowboys might finally be done with him.  The good news is that the Cowboys have a some what easy schedule in 2013.

5. Calvin Johnson (Lions) – Megatron has earned a big contract and he is a power house when it comes to catching the ball.  The Lions have Johnson for $16,200,000 and Calvin has been busting his butt to show the league that he is worth that.  Johnson did re-structure his contract with the Lions recently, but he will still be one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

+Other Players with Large Contracts+
Eli Manning (Giants) – $16,200,000
Larry Fitzgerald – $16,140,000
Mario Williams (Bills) – $16,000,000
Matt Schaub (Texans) – $15,500,000
Philip Rivers (Chargers) – $15,300,000
Jay Cutler (Bears) – $14,600,000
Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – $14,300,000
Julius Peppers (Bears) – $14,000,000
Chris Johnson (Titans) – $13,400,000
Darrelle Revis (Bucs) – $13,000,000