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Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football Preview

Kyler Murray touchdown
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is ready to have a breakout year with his new toy in DeAndre Hopkins.. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

By Craig Forrestal

It is year two for The Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray Show. In year one I would assume that the pairing surprised many with how they were able to lay the solid foundation for the future. Sure, the number of wins wasn’t where they wanted to be but it left plenty of optimism about what the future could be. Now, Murray will play in an offense with Kenyan Drake for a full season and they added DeAndre Hopkins as a weapon for Murray in the passing game. So with the leap, they took last season it leaves you to believe another big jump is possible this season.

Schedule

  • Week 1: @ 49ers
  • Week 2: Washington
  • Week 3: Lions
  • Week 4: @ Panthers
  • Week 5: @ Jets
  • Week 6: @ Cowboys
  • Week 7: Seahawks
  • Week 8: Bye
  • Week 9: Dolphins
  • Week 10: Bills
  • Week 11: @ Seahawks
  • Week 12: @ Patriots
  • Week 13: Rams
  • Week 14: @ Giants
  • Week 15: Eagles
  • Week 16: 49ers
  • Week 17: @ Rams

Players To Know

  • Kyler Murray-QB: Pat Mahomes and Lamar Jackson both took giants leaps forward in year two of their careers and will the trend continue with Murray? Murray had a fairly up and down season outside of a small stretch where he averaged 29.5 fantasy points from Weeks 9-11. The addition of Hopkins will help immensely as Murray now has a true #1 WR. The addition of Hopkins allows Kirk and Fitzgerald to operate as complementary pieces to the passing game and not have to do more than what their skill set allows. Also, Murray can rack up yards with his legs and this is what makes him most dangerous for a Top 5 finish this season in the QB bracket. A breakout fantasy player candidate. 4100 passing yards and 27 TDs. 450 rushing yards and 4 TDs.
  • Chris Streveler-QB: Chris Streveler brings energy on and off the field. If you need proof watch this video from the CFL Grey Cup Championship Parade. Nicknamed Streveler the Leveler he will be the Taysom Hill in Arizona. Streveler grew up in the same area as Special Teams ace Dennis Gardeck in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Streveler has a similar build and athletic profile to Taysom Hill. Streveler originally played college ball at Minnesota where he took snaps at QB, RB, WR and TE. However, the QB itch was still there and he transferred to South Dakota. Streveler proved to be an ideal fit for the high-flying Coyotes offense as he passed for over 6000 yards and 54 TDs in 2 seasons. At his Pro Day, Streveler ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, had a 125-inch broad jump, and a vertical leap of 38.5 inches. All three of those marks topped all quarterbacks who participated at the NFL combine that year.  Just remember his name.
  • Kenyan Drake-RB: So Kenyan Drake comes with some risk but there is so much to like. Let us start with what is to like. Drake was dominant down the stretch as he couldn’t be tamed upon joining Arizona and that was with him not knowing the playbook. The sample we got last season put Drake on a pace for approximately 1600 yards and 16 TDs. Sprinkle in the fact that he has a chance at an ungodly amount of work due to the fast-paced nature of the Cardinals offense and you’re looking at a very appealing fantasy option. However, here comes the down part. Drake scored 7 of his 8 TDs in Week 9, 15 and 16 and those weeks accounted for 62% of his fantasy points. Drake has done this before. He has given us an 8 game stretch where we have put a strong fantasy value on his head and it didn’t go as planned. Drake had some monstrous moments in Miami when Damien Williams was injured. Also, Chase Edmonds is good and has proven that when called upon in his career. Edmonds could take some carries. If Drake can put together a full season he could flirt with 1400 yards (900 rushing and 500 receiving) and 14 total TDs.
  • Chase Edmonds-RB: For now, Edmonds is a handcuff. But whenever Edmonds has been called upon he has bee valuable as shown by his 5 YPC average last season. However, if you draft Drake you must draft Edmonds because if Drake doesn’t return to his last seasons’ form then the door might crack for Edmonds. He is a supremely talented handcuff. 700 rushing/receiving yards and 5 total TDs.
  • DeAndre Hopkins-WR: There should be no reason for concern about him dropping off statistically. He is playing with Kyler Murray. Hopkins has produced and people forget all the QBs Hopkins has played with. Matt Schaub, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, TJ Yates, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson and AJ McCarron. If Hopkins can build a reputation as one of the leagues best WRs with that cast of QBs imagine what he can do with Murray? It should be similar to his numbers with Watson. The Cardinals will run so many plays it will be like they played 18 games and not 16; meaning the opportunity will be there. 95 catches for 1150 yards and 9 TDs.
  • Larry Fitzgerald-WR: Fitzgerald will carry WR4 value. He will still be involved in the offense but the addition of Hopkins hurts his outlook. However, the 36-year-old part-owner of the Phoenix Suns will still be a factor during bye weeks don’t expect much more. 55 catches for 600 yards and 4 TDs.
  • Christian Kirk-WR: Christian Kirk has had a nice role as a WR3/FLEX the past couple of seasons and he figured to be on the verge of a breakout for 2020, but then the team traded for DeAndre Hopkins putting a damper on that idea. But someone else besides Hopkins has to catch balls in this offense. And I think that will be Kirk. While Fitzgerald will still be involved I believe this is the year where Kirk could be a sneaky fantasy play. Kirk is in line for 90ish targets this season maybe more. 70 catches for 850 yards and 5 TDs.

Defense

The Cardinals defense was near the bottom of every statistical category last season and while the addition of Isaiah Simmons is a nice way to build it won’t lift the defense to dramatic new levels in 2020. They are still a long way from being consistent enough to play them with faith.

Potential Breakout Player

  • Kyler Murray-QB

Rookie To Know

  • None
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