Dude, take me away from all this (USP)
The Wednesday news cycle brought some comforting words to the Larry Fitzgerald Sympathizers. Your man's Week 14 fantasy prospects have been upgraded from "no freaking way" to "okay, if you're desperate . . ."
Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt finally accepted what the rest of North America already knew: Ryan Lindley can't play. Maybe Lindley will be a capable quarterback someday, but he was a dumpster fire over his 103 attempts (40.4 rating, 4.3 YPA, no touchdowns, five picks). Good lord, that's Ryan Leaf's music. If you eliminate a fake punt from the equation, Arizona had just 97 yards from scrimmage in the Jets game last week.
John Skelton will be back starting at Seattle on Sunday, albeit his only real calling card is this: he's better than Lindley. We're not talking about a Leinart-Warner swap here. Skelton had some favorable moments in 2011 (7.0 YPA, 11 touchdowns against 14 picks), but every key number has crashed this season (64.4 rating, 5.9 YPA, two TDs, five picks).
Whisenhunt was so frustrated with Skelton's play, he benched the third-year quarterback in the middle of the Week 11 loss at Atlanta — while the Cardinals were ahead, 13-3. You don't see that move every day. Then again, Whisenhunt used to shuttle Leinart and Warner, back in the day. He's not always a conventional guy.
Skelton has faced Seattle twice in his career. He played poorly in the opening-day victory this year (Kevin Kolb bailed that game out), and he was passable in the Week 17 overtime win last season (Fitzgerald had 149 yards in that one). Both starts came in Arizona, though; everyone understands how nasty the Seahawks are at home. At least the Cardinals won't have to worry about CB Brandon Browner, who's dropped his PED appeal and will miss the final four games of the regular season. Richard Sherman's appeal is still in process.
Bottom line, no playoff-battling fantasy team is going near Skelton, while the Seattle defense remains a super option. This game still has a decent chance to get out of hand, and I don't think anyone can start Fitzgerald with a lot of confidence. That said, many of us viewed Fitzgerald as completely unusable 24 hours ago, with Lindley at the controls. He's now someone you can consider as a possible WR3 or deep-flex play, depending on your depth. Fitzgerald currently stands 32nd on the Yahoo! consensus ranks.
Feel free to discuss your Fitzgerald conundrums in the comments. Let's try to get through this together. Fake football legacies are at stake.
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- Ken Whisenhunt
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Ryan Lindley
- John Skelton