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
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.
RBs that have the potential to be the no. 1 overall back #FantasyFootball
• Saquon Barkley
• Ezekiel Elliott
• Christian Mccaffrey
• Todd Gurley
• Alvin Kamara
• Melvin Gordon
• David Johnson
— Everyday Fantasy Football (@EverydayFFB) July 4, 2019
QB Kyler Murray
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.
Notes on Kliff Kingsbury's offense at Texas Tech (2016-18):
– Ran 10 or 20 personnel on ~80% of plays
– Called passes 57.2% of the time, 2nd-highest in P5
– Called screens on 21% of early downs, 6th-highest rate in P5
– ADOT on early downs (8.0) was the 2nd-lowest in P5
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) July 2, 2019
MVP: Russell Wilson (S), Zeke (L)
DPOY: Von Miller (S), Darius Leonard (L)
ROY: Kyler Murray (S), Josh Jacobs (L)
COY: Vic Fangio (S), Vrabel (L)
Disappointment: Foles (both)
Surprise: Denver (S), AFC East (L)
— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) July 5, 2019
Kyler Murray: Michael Vick says the former Sooners quarterback is closest to him https://t.co/IZzeo86JTJ
— Gilbert Sam (@GSamSB) July 5, 2019
Tier 2- Depth Players
WR Larry Fitzgerald
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
— Johnny (@JohnnyTouchdown) June 29, 2019
The top 50 wide receivers in NFL history according to me, Dr. Super Bowl! (10-1)
10 James Lofton
9 Cris Carter
8 Terrell Owens
7 Lance Alworth
6 Don Maynard
5 Larry Fitzgerald
4 Don Hutson
3 Antonio Brown
2 Randy Moss
1 Jerry Rice pic.twitter.com/0AU5hI5NiW
— Dr. Super Bowl (@DrSuperBowl) July 5, 2019
WR Christian Kirk
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
Favorite WR bargain buys:
1) Christian Kirk – 74.5 (WR35)
2) Donte Moncrief – 148.9 (WR57)
3) Robby Anderson – 68.7 (WR31)
4) Keke Coutee – 91.1 (WR40)
5) Dede Westbrook – 96.5 (WR43)
6) Josh Gordon – 218.2 (WR82)
7) Emmanuel Sanders – 128.4 (WR52)
8) MVS – 106.2 (WR44)
— Brad Evans (@NoisyHuevos) July 1, 2019
— Will John Jukenheimer (@Juke_WillJohn) July 1, 2019
Tier 3- Rotational Players
WR Andy Isabella
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
This projects ARZ's starting 3-WR set as Larry Fitz, Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella. Sounds like Hakeem Butler has a lot of ground to make up. https://t.co/Nnf19p4NrZ
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) June 27, 2019
Better stash in PPR dynasty leagues
Dallas Goedert @MyFantasyLeague
— Mike C 🦖 (@DynastyTradeFF) June 30, 2019
Fastest rookies on @EAMaddenNFL 20:@Ravens WR Marquise Brown – 97@Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman – 95@Cardinals WR Andy Isabella – 95@Seahawks WR DK Metcalf – 95@Colts WR Parris Campbell – 95@Buccaneers CB Jamel Dean – 94
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 1, 2019
WR Hakeem Butler
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.
The Cardinals selected both Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler in the draft – giving them both of the draft class' top-graded receivers on deep passes (20+ yards). pic.twitter.com/GLbd3WiwuZ
— PFF (@PFF) May 9, 2019
SPIDER-MAN THE GREATEST SUPER HERO EVER. I WANT TO BE SPIDER-MAN WHEN I GROW UP. TOM HOLLAND SURPASSED TOBY MCGUIRE, IT HURTS MY HEART TO SAY IT BUT IT IS TRUE.
— Hakeem Butler (@410Keem) July 6, 2019
Hakeem Butler is the steal of the draft.
Kyler Murray throwing to Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler? That's gonna be fun. pic.twitter.com/Rti0Wv1Tj1
— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) April 27, 2019
2019 Projections: 30 Receptions, 350 yards and 2 TDs.
The TE Group
TE Charles Clay
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.
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