2011 Fantasy Football Tug-of-War: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Dwayne Bowe

Jun 22, 2011


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When I put my early 2011 fantasy football wide receiver rankings together I struggled deciding between Larry Fitzgerald and Dwayne Bowe for the final spot to round out the top five. When my friend asked me if we had a draft tomorrow if I would really take Fitz over Bowe. I stuck with my rankings, but decided to explore it further.
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I have always been a huge Larry Fitzgerald fan, both for his ability on the field and the way he carries himself off of it. Even with the warning signs heading into last year (Kurt Warner’s retirement, Anquan Boldin’s departure) I ranked him number three heading into the season.
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He didn’t have a bad season by any means, as Fitz caught 90 passes for 1137 yards and six touchdowns. It was his fourth straight 1000+ yard season (would have been six if he wasn’t limited to 13 games in 2006), but it was a far cry from what he’s done recently. The previous five seasons saw Fitz top 1400 yards on three occasions and record double-digit touchdowns on four.
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Meanwhile Dwayne Bowe went gangbusters. Bowe finished with fewer receptions (72) than Fitz, but had a little more yardage (1162). The major difference was in touchdowns scored. Bowe led all receivers with 15 scores, trailing only Arian Foster (18) for the league lead. He had three more scores than the next two receivers (Greg Jennings and Calvin Johnson). They were also the most in the league since Randy Moss’ record-setting 2007 campaign (23).
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There are some concerns with Bowe. Charlie Weis is gone. Bowe had just 16 touchdowns in his first three seasons in the league. His 1162 yards were a career high. Conditioning has been a concern in the past, with is worrisome without OTAs.
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Bowe is in a contract year though so he has plenty of reasons to stay in shape.
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Choosing Bowe over Fitz mainly comes down to Arizona quarterback situation. If the Cardinals trade for Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb then I would most likely switch the two. There are no guarantees that they will land either of them so I’ll stick with Bowe over Fitz for now.
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Who do you like heading into the 2011 season?
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