Before the 2012 season, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and Green Bay’s Greg Jennings were two of the top-rated fantasy wide receivers. Going into Week 13, both players were fantasy football busts. But Jennings, who had not played since Week 4, was ready to return to the field, while Fitzgerald, though healthy, had to contend with Arizona lousy quarterback situation.
Going into the season, Jennings had five straight seasons of at least 900 yards receiving and had caught at least nine touchdowns in four of the five seasons. But Jennings had just 78 yards and one touchdown when an abdominal injury sidelined him during the Packers September 30 win over the Saints in Week 4. The injury would eventually require sports hernia surgery on November 1.
The Packers passing game has not missed Jennings .Going into Week 13, quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the league in quarterback rating and was second in touchdown passes with 28. Packers receivers Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones had combined for 21 touchdown catches. Rodgers had just seven interceptions.
But there has been plenty to go around in the Packers’ prolific passing offense. Last year, the Packers threw for 51 touchdown passes (45 from Rodgers and six from Matt Flynn). Nelson had 15 touchdown catches and Jones had seven. Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver had eight and six touchdowns respectively.
With Rodgers continuing to put up big numbers, Jennings now has a chance to share in the benefits, just as the fantasy playoffs approach.
Fitzgerald’s owners can only wish he played with a quarterback like Rodgers. Kevin Kolb was injured in Week 6 and has yet to return. John Skelton took over, but in six games had just two touchdown passes and five interceptions with a quarterback rating of 64.4. In Week 12, Arizona turned to Ryan Lindley, a rookie drafted in the sixth round out of San Diego State. In his first start, Lindley was 31 for 52 for 312 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions , for a quarterback rating of 44.7.
Fitzgerald has three games of at least 90 yards and scored a touchdown in each game. In all three games, Kolb was the starting quarterback. Since Kolb was hurt, Fitzgerald has just 197 yards in five games, an average of 39.2 yards per game. He has only one touchdown in that time.
With Kolb was questionable going into Week 13 against the Jets, Lindley was again scheduled to start. Despite putting up over 50 passes in Week 12, Lindley was able to find Fitzgerald for just three catches for 31 yards. Fitzgerald owners are reduced to hoping that Kolb makes it back in time for the fantasy playoffs.