NFL Free Agency: How the Kevin Kolb Affects Larry Fitzgerald's Fantasy Stock

Max MinskerCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 17:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 17, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

While I usually write for the NBA, you have to be versatile. Football is certainly trending right now, and since I have written about fantasy football in the past, I figured I'd give it another try. 

Kevin Kolb was bound to be traded at some point before the season. There was no way he was going to spend another season on the Philadelphia Eagles' bench. Now that he's on the Arizona Cardinals, it's important to first look at how the trade impacts each team, and secondly, how it affects impact players from a fantasy standpoint, specifically Larry Fitzgerald

I believe the Eagles got the better end of the deal as far as talent goes, but Arizona improved their team the most. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or DRC is one of the games best up and coming corners. He's extremely fast, and his ball skills are improving steadily. Alongside Asante Samuel, DRC could develop into one of the games best. 

Not only did the Eagles invest in a long term solution at corner, but they also got a second-round pick which they can either use, or flip for more talent. Arizona probably won't be among the league's elite this season, so the pick will definitely have some value on the market.

While Arizona gives up one of their best young players in this trade, they get their quarterback of the future. If you want to win you have to have a good QB, and since Kurt Warner left the Cardinals have struggled in that department. Kevin Kolb may not be a great field general at this point in his career, but he's certainly an upgrade over the likes of Max Hall, Derek Anderson, and John Skelton. 

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #29 of the Arizona Cardinals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Cardinals were second to last in passing offense last season. Kolb has to be an upgrade. In a weak NFC West, the Cardinals have put themselves in a position to potentially grab a playoff spot. If they can reach 8-8, it might be enough. With Kolb running the show, that isn't out of reach.

When we look at the fantasy impact of this trade, we don't see much change for the Eagles unless they decide to flip that second round pick. On the other hand, Kevin Kolb completely changes the fantasy landscape in Arizona. 

Last season, Larry Fitzgerald only caught six touchdown passes. This season, I expect him to grab at least nine with Kolb at the helm. While he isn't the best QB, he's an average one. The Cardinals arguably got the least amount of production from the QB spot, and if Kolb can be a top-20 signal caller it would be a huge improvement. 

With Steve Breaston gone, I now wonder who will start alongside Fitzgerald? Will he draw triple teams? Quadruple teams? However many defenders opposing teams throw at him, I still expect Fitzgerald to top 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns.

If that would be a decent season for him, he has to be considered a second-round pick in 10 team leagues. Right now he's projected in the early to mid third round by most fantasy sites, but I believe he can be much better with Kolb, even if he is their only weapon in the passing game. 

Right now, I'd rank Fitzgerald fifth among WR's behind Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks, and Greg Jennings. Calvin Johnson is a very close sixth. If Stafford plays 16 games, I can see Megatron finishing higher. Overall, I can see him anywhere from 16-20 depending on what you think of Kolb. 

Kolb will have his struggles. The offensive line isn't great, and they don't have the greatest impact players, but he is an upgrade, and Fitzgerald will have a better season.

As far as Kolb's fantasy value goes, I definitely don't think he's a startable quarterback next season in standard 10-team leagues. He might be a decent backup, but definitely not starting material with that offense.

Overall, this trade is really good for both teams. While I believe Arizona may have given up a bit too much for Kolb, they needed a good QB, and they got one. The Eagles needed a No. 2 corner, and they got a good one along with a pick. Although both teams did well for themselves, it's clear the real winner in this trade is Larry Fitzgerald.