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Andy Behrens

Target Practice, Week 2: Fitzgerald piles up targets, not much else

Andy Behrens
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Larry Fitzgerald(notes) is currently second in the NFL in targets, but he barely ranks inside the top-50 in fantasy scoring among all WRs, RBs and TEs. We're only two weeks into the season, of course, but Fitzgerald owners have to be concerned. He's a brilliant player tied to an unproductive Arizona offense and a bad QB.

The Cardinals replaced one of the most accurate passers in NFL history with one of the least, and the early returns have been disastrous. Fitzgerald has just 10 receptions on 27 targets, and his team has scored 24 total points. Derek Anderson(notes) has completed only 54.2 percent of his throws (which is actually a bit ahead of his career rate). If Arizona decides to make a change under center, undrafted BYU rookie Max Hall(notes) is the understudy. Hall had a nice enough preseason (stats here) and he seems to be a Ken Whisenhunt favorite, but it's hardly clear that Fitzgerald's situation would improve with a first-year QB.

It's just not easy for any receiver, no matter how talented, to overcome the setup facing Fitz at the moment. I might take him off your hands at a discount, but that's it. If you're feeling more bullish, please state your case in comments, after sampling the refreshing spreadsheets…

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We've already told the Demaryius Thomas(notes) story a few times (here, here and here), so consider this a last call. Thomas is a solid add for speculators right now, in basically any format. … Andre Johnson(notes) and Kevin Walter(notes) were the headliners for Houston in Sunday's win, no doubt, but you'll notice that Jacoby Jones(notes) wasn't exactly target-starved, either. His outlook hasn't changed significantly since August; he's a big-play threat and the big plays are coming. … Not many of you have rostered Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes) or Louis Murphy(notes), which is completely understandable. But I can guarantee that anyone who happens to own either receiver is begging for a little more Bruce Gradkowski(notes).

If rookie tight end Tony Moeaki(notes) can manage to stay healthy this season, he'll catch 60 balls for the Chiefs, easy. Keeping him on the field is the trick, though. … I'm still not over that ridiculous garbage-time TD by Mike Sims-Walker(notes). I may never get over it, even if I win the league where it cost me. … Seattle's Deon Butler(notes) hasn't really had a breakout game yet, but he reached the end zone in the opener and received eight looks in Week 2. Pete Carroll offered some solid Butler propaganda late in the preseason, too. Butler belongs on the radar in standard leagues, and he belongs on a roster in 14-teamers.

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