The end could be nearing for Larry Fitzgerald’s NFL career.
For over 15 years, Fitzgerald has dominated NFL defenses and been one of the NFL’s great human beings. The Arizona Cardinals legend will play the 2020 season at 37, though, and may retire soon.
Even as he gets older, Fitzgerald remains a solid fantasy football target. Where should players draft him this season?
Larry Fitzgerald is a future Hall of Famer
The numbers speak plenty about Larry Fitzgerald‘s NFL career. Whenever he retires, he almost certainly will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Fitzgerald enters the 2020 season with 1,367 career receptions for 17,083 yards and 120 touchdowns. He is an 11-time Pro Bowler and won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2016.
Fitzgerald caught 75 passes for 804 yards and four touchdowns last year. Considering his age and him playing with a rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray, those are fine numbers that should have fans optimistic about his play in 2020.
To put Fitzgerald’s numbers into context, the former first-round pick has averaged 88 catches for 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns per year.
Even in a pass-happy NFL, those are incredible numbers. Fitzgerald is an NFL icon who has left a lasting impact on the league.
Fitzgerald has been a reliable fantasy football receiver for 15 years
In the prime of his career, Larry Fitzgerald was a top-5 fantasy football receiver. Fitzgerald scored the most points of any fantasy football receiver in 2008 — he had the fourth-most of any player in the league — and finished second in 2005.
Fitzgerald also had top-5 finishes in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Fitzgerald’s overall fantasy numbers in the last two years. He was the 28th-best receiver in 2018 and dropped to 42nd last year, although he definitely had a productive season given his age.
Where should Larry Fitzgerald be drafted in fantasy football leagues?
The days of Larry Fitzgerald being one of the first receivers off the board in fantasy football are long gone. Put simply, anyone who selects Fitzgerald to be a ‘WR1’ in fantasy football this year is someone only drafting based on names.
That is not to say Fitzgerald can’t be a productive fantasy receiver this fall. He already has familairty with Kyler Murray and, even with DeAndre Hopkins now in Arizona, can draw passes away from the All-Pro wideout.
Fantasy Pros currently ranks Fitzgerald as the 72nd-best receiver in fantasy football this year. He went as high as 54th overall and as low as 102nd overall.
For comparison, Fitzgerald ranks below Jacksonville’s Dede Westbrook and the Jets’ Denzel Mims, but ahead of San Francisco’s Brandon Aiyuk and Houston’s Kenny Stills.
Fantasy football players would be wise to select Fitzgerald in the middle rounds this year as a ‘WR3’, which in most leagues is the first receiver on the bench or the ‘flex’ player.
It may be too risky given his age to draft Fitzgerald with the intention of using him as a regular ‘WR2.’ But Fitzgerald has proven opposing defenses and fantasy football users wrong for years, so what’s stopping him in 2020?
- All stats via Pro-Football-Reference