Roster Tiers: Who Is Relevant On The Arizona Cardinals For Fantasy Football

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The Arizona Cardinals have a fresh coaching staff and some fresh scheme changes. I break down, in tier levels, who your dynasty targets should be.

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a season where they finished as the worst team in the NFL. They moved on from head coach Steve Wilks and hired former NCAA coach Kliff Kingsbury. They also hired Vance Joseph to be the team’s defensive coordinator after a failed head coaching stint with the Broncos. Let’s check out how the Arizona Cardinals tiers break down.

Tier 1- Draft Targets

RB David Johnson

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2018 stats: 258 carries, 940 rushing yards, and 7 TDs, with 50 receptions, 446 receiving yards and 3 receiving TDs.

There’s one Cardinals player to lead their Tier 1 category, and that player is David Johnson.  DJ had a pretty good year, in 2018, with just under 1400 combined rushing/receiving yardage, to go with 10 TDs. Yet, he was held back from having a stellar year, like the one he had in 2016, because of an unimaginative OC (who was fired mid-season)  and the lowest rated O-line in the NFL.

In 2019, despite the Cardinals O-line still being terrible, David Johnson is being drafted as a top 10 overall player in pretty much every scoring format and system, as he now has a new head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, who is known for his high-octane offenses.  The Cardinals could average between 80-90 snaps per game and that high tempo style, plus smarter play calling, will help push Johnson’s numbers, up.   If everything goes as planned, Johnson should approach 1500 combined yards, with a chance of getting more and being top 3-5 RB.

2019 Projection: 250 carries, 1000 rushing yards, and 10 TDs with 60 catches and 550 yards and 4 receiving TDs.

QB Kyler Murray

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2018 Stats: None (2019 Rookie)

The keys to the shiny new Kingsbury Cardinals offense will be given to Kyler Murray, from Day 1.  Murray was the #1 overall draft pick in the 2019 draft, and the expectations for him are sky high. The Cardinals were targeting Murray from the minute they hired Kliff Kingsbury, and they traded Josh Rosen to the Dolphins to give Murray the starting spot.

Many people have Murray pencilled in for the OROY, as Murray fits the charged offensive scheme the Cardinals want to run and his stats should reflect that fit. Winner of the Heisman trophy in 2018, Kyler Murray is a dual weapon that can beat you with his arm, as well as his feet.  Even Michael Vick is stunned at the comparison (see tweet below)

To be a Tier 1 player, Kyler Murray is going to have to be in the top 12 fantaasy QBs, I think he can get there with Kliff Kingsbury on the sideline.

2019 Projections: 3500 passing yards with 25 TDs, and 600 Rushing Yards with 3 Rushing TDs.


Tier 2- Depth Players

WR Larry Fitzgerald

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2018 Stats: 69 receptions, 734 receiving yards, and 6 TDs

Larry Fitzgerald is entering his 16th season, and as one of the best receivers ever in the NFL, he still has a lot left in the tank. Despite posting his first under 1000 yard receiving season, since 2014, Larry Fitzgerald received 112 targets to go with his 69 receptions.  The Arizona Cardinals are using Fitzgerald to attack teams from the slot position where he does the majority of his damage, and we should see them stick with that plan again.

The new, high flying offense along with an easier receiving SOS (strength of schedule) lends itself to a big season for Larry Fitzgerald, despite a crowded WR corps filled with up and coming rookie talent.

2019 Projections: 80 receptions, 850 receiving yards, and 8 TDs

WR Christian Kirk

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2018 Stats: 43 receptions, 590 receiving yards, and 3 TDs

A broken foot that ended his rookie season early, yet Christian Kirk is one of the FF community’s breakout darlings.  He’s being drafted just inside the top 40 WRs and has the potential to be a top 25 WR at the end of the season.

Kirk is the future of the Cardinals receiving corp, and I expect a big leap from him, this season.

2019 Projections: 75 receptions, 800 yards, and 6 TDs

Tier 3- Rotational Players

WR Andy Isabella

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2018 Stats: None (2019 Rookie)

A highly touted, speedy WR, coming into the 2019 NFL draft, Isabella landed in one of the best spots possible for him, the Cardinals new offense is tailor made for a WR with his abilities.

Andy Isabella will have to get used to the speed and type of athlete that plays at the NFL level, but Isabella has gotten a lot of reps with the Cardinals 1st team offense. He could very well be the future for the Cardinals at the slot position, once Larry Fitzgerald retires.  I expect a good rookie campaign for a WR that looks to have a big-time future.

2019 Projections:40 Receptions, 450 yards, and 3 TDs

WR Hakeem Butler

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2018 Stats: None (2019 Rookie)

Hakeem Butler is another highly touted rookie WR, who has all the tools to be a star.  As a 4th WR, Butler will be a deadly weapon, despite the rookie learning curve.  The Arizona Cardinals WR corps is stacked!

Barring injuries to the WRs in front of him, Hakeem Butler won’t get as many targets or receptions, but he has the talent to break some plays and to be an electric player, every time he touches the ball. He’s also a big target, and could eventually get red zones looks, once he moves up in the depth chart.


2019 Projections: 30 Receptions, 350 yards and 2 TDs.


The TE Group

TE Charles Clay

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2018 Stats: 21 receptions, 184 yards, and zero TDs.

Right now it’s uncertain which TE is going to come out of training camp as the top guy, but the potential of Charles Clay intrigues me. In 2018, Clay had a terrible season, but before last year, he was a pretty consistent TE with 50-60 receptions/year to go with 500-700 yards receiving.

As a result of this potent offense, and with a fresh start, we could see a decent rebound for Charles Clay.

2019 projection: 35 receptions, 300 yards, with 1-2 TDs.

Looking For Arizona’s IDP Tiers?

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