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2014 Fantasy Football: Should you draft Michael Floyd over Larry Fitzgerald?

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Larry Fitzgerald is old and regressing. He’s not longer a true WR1 in fantasy football anymore and if you draft him inside the top-15 for wide receivers, you might be insane.

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Larry Fitzgerald is old and regressing. He’s not longer a true WR1 in fantasy football anymore and if you draft him inside the top-15 for wide receivers, you might be insane.

Michael Floyd, on the other hand, is a young and rising stud. Last year was just the beginning and soon he’ll render the old Fitzgerald useless in fantasy leagues. He’s the future and Fitzgerald is the past.

These are the lies we tell ourselves when we gear up for another fantasy football season. The problem is, at some point, with one of these situations much like the Fitzgerald vs. Floyd debate, we have to be right. Right?

Maybe. Only maybe.

Floyd is absolutely a skilled receiver who could begin evolving into one of the game’s elite passing weapons. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s suddenly the top dog in Arizona. And it really doesn’t mean he’s automatically more valuable than the storied Fitzgerald, either.

But drafts are coming up and decisions have to be made, so this is an argument worth looking into. With that, let’s make a case for both Floyd and Fitzgerald and come to a final conclusion on who you should draft:

Why You Should Draft Larry Fitzgerald

He’s still Larry Fitzgerald. No, not just by name. If you watched him these past two years, you can clearly see he still has mad game. His size and ball skills haven’t gone anywhere and whatever speed he’s lost has been pretty minimal. Last time I checked, his role hasn’t shrunk, either. In fact, the only reason at all Fitzgerald’s numbers have been less than elite the past two years is because of injury and in 2012 he had possibly the worst quarterback situation ever.

Provided he stays healthy, Fitzgerald remains a legit top-10 threat. After all, he lumbered through nagging injuries last year and was still fantasy’s 16th best receiver. He’s going to top 80 receptions, notched over 1,000 yards and score 10+ touchdowns. This is Larry Fitzgerald, and when healthy, this is simply what he does.

Why You Should Draft Michael Floyd

He’s very much on the rise. He already had a semi-breakout season last year, when he caught over 60 balls and put up his first 1,000+ yard season. The big leap comes in 2013. He will probably bring in 75+ balls and chase his first 10+ touchdown season. His value is insane for his potential upside, too, as he’s still being drafted as fantasy football’s 21st best wide receiver. He’s more talented than that, and his role is only increasing. The Arizona Cardinals’ commitment to run a more balanced approach with Andre Ellington at running back should open things up for the passing game, too.

The Verdict

The reality is, Fitzgerald is still in Arizona and he’s still the best wide receiver on his own team. Carson Palmer has tunnel vision when it comes to the best receiver on his team, too, so it’s unlikely he’ll suddenly throw more to Floyd than to Fitzgerald. Even though Floyd might potentially have slightly better pure upside at this point, Fitzgerald is still more experienced and much more reliable.

If you’re going straight up here, the answer remains Fitzgerald. He will probably still end the year with better stats and will probably be the better fantasy scorer overall, as well.

Value is what could be the game changer. Fitzgerald needs to be drafted one round earlier if you want to get him, and depending how your competition values him that means he could be off the board somewhere in rounds 3-4. Floyd comes off boards in round five on average, which obviously shows that some value him even more, while he could also actually drop even further.

If you are confident you can get Floyd in round five or six, he’s the pick. He just has the better overall value right now given an increased role and his overall upside

This post comes from Justin Becker of FantasyFootballOverdose.com. You can follow him on Twitter @NBAandNFLInfo or on the Fantasy Football Overdose Google+ Page, and for more NFL Fantasy Football Projections visit Fantasy Football Overdose.

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