I can’t think of an offense talked more about this preseason than Arizona’s. And it didn’t disappoint, not at least to a certain extent. The team ran the most offensive plays of the week with 82 (I know, overtime included), relied heavily on the passing game (54 passes attempted) and averaged 10.5 yards through the air per throw. We all know fantasy football is all about volume, and Arizona looks like the poster team of it so far. It’s funny that the best offensive weapon on the Cardinals’ side last week was the oldest one, clashing with the new Air Raid concepts introduced by Kliff Kingsbury.
Larry Fitzgerald started slow and was targeted just three times in the first half (one reception for three yards), but from the third quarter on he turned into what he’s always been known for — he finished the game with 13 targets, eight receptions for 113 yards and a massive touchdown with less than 45 seconds in the fourth quarter to send the game to OT, when he later hauled in a 45-yard reception from Murray. Fitzgerald was the best of Arizona’s receivers by far, saw the highest percentage of Targeted Air Yards (27.9%, over Christian Kirk’s 26.4%), and was on the field for 85 of the team’s snaps (96% overall), mostly as a slot receiver. Good old Fitz still has the juice in it.
Fantasy Impact: While it is true that Fitzgerald had a great game in his first outing along. with Kyler Murray and the new Cardinals offense, we should tame our expectations going forward. He racked up 28.3 DKFP, good for the eighth-best mark among wide receivers in Week 1. Last year, he only bested that amount of points one time, so Fitzgerald might have had his best game of the season already. I don’t believe that’s the case, given the environment he’ll be playing in, but we need to see how things develop. Vegas projects a total of 47 points for the Cardinals’ matchup against Baltimore, with 17 going Arizona’s way. It is reasonable to expect Fitzgerald featuring heavily in attack again, and the Cards could be forced to throw the ball a lot again to keep up with a Ravens in a game-script that would favor the veteran receiver. Plus Baltimore’s secondary won’t have CB Jimmy Smith nor (possible, as he’s questionable and didn’t practice Friday) CB Marlon Humphrey.