The Arizona Cardinals have a high-octane offense heading into 2020. Who are the fantasy players to keep an eye out for in both the short- and long-term?
When looking at fantasy players – or anything, really – we tend to look at them in isolation. We see something, focus on it and think of it in a vacuum. However, plenty of insight can be gained by looking at a player’s supporting cast and the infrastructure around him. Here at DynastyFootballDigest.com, we’re taking a team-by-team look at impactful fantasy players. In these season previews, which begin with the Arizona Cardinals, you can expect to see:
- Top performer – The player I project to finish the highest at their position on the team.
- Biggest bust potential – Who is most likely to fall short of expectations this season?
- Sleeper to watch – This player, whether a rookie or an unheralded veteran, has a shot to make a splash in 2020.
- Stash for the future – One dart-throw to hold onto for future seasons. Relatively low cost, potentially high reward.
Now with that out of the way, let’s dig into our first team: The Arizona Cardinals.
Top Performer – DeAndre Hopkins, WR
If there’s one thing we know about DeAndre Hopkins, it’s the fact that he’s going to receive a ton of targets. And unless this quarantine lifestyle has gotten to him (hint: it hasn’t), he’s going to cash in on those opportunities.
Still haven’t reached my potential. pic.twitter.com/Qp3cN9sE72
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) July 7, 2020
The seven-year vet has averaged 166 targets during the past five seasons, and I expect something similar (164) this season. Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald were neck-and-neck in targets last year (107 and 109, respectively), but both will take significant hits, and for good reason. Hopkins is a transcendent talent. Just because the Cardinals didn’t overpay – shoutout Bill O’Brien – doesn’t mean they aren’t going to heavily involve him. I have the Arizona Cardinals attempting about 30 more passes this season than last, and if Hopkins can stay healthy, I have him finishing with 106 catches, 1,331 yards and 10 touchdowns. Arizona lacks redzone weapons, thus the high (and perhaps ambitious) touchdown total. Final stat: When Hopkins has surpassed 160 targets, he has totaled a minimum of 96 receptions, 1,378 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s a surefire top-5 receiver for me this year with clear WR1 upside.
(Honorable mention: Kenyan Drake, RB).
Biggest Bust Potential – Kyler Murray,QB
Disclaimer: We’re talking about biggest bust *potential*. I’m incredibly bullish on the Cardinals offense as a whole this season. So seeing any player’s name here, let alone Kyler Murray’s, may seem surprising. But we gotta‘ put someone here.
You just read about how one of Murray’s receivers is going to go off in 2020. However, he’s being drafted as the QB3 in our July 2020 Dynasty ADP. I’m skeptical of his ability to cash in on that price this season.
I get that this is dynasty, and the 22-year-old undoubtedly has a bright future ahead. But it might take a few years for you to get that return on your investment. I have Murray slated for 325 fantasy points, which is about 30 more points than he finished with in 2019. However, 325 points last year would have been good for QB6 numbers. Had Mahomes not gotten hurt, that’d be good for QB7 numbers. I’m still taking that all day, but I don’t think you should expect a top-5 finish from Murray this season, despite the sky-high ADP.
Sleeper to Watch – Chase Edmonds, RB
Any running back in a high-volume offense is worth keeping an eye on. If something were to happen to Kenyan Drake, Edmonds would be the next man up. Call it an outlier, because it is one, but the ONE time Edmonds received double-digit carries, he cashed in. It was against the lowly Giants, and 27 rushes for 126 yards and three scores isn’t exactly a replicable statline. But he’s coming into his third year averaging over 5 yards per carry as a sophomore, and there are enough weapons to take attention off of him if he ever gets an opportunity. If, for some reason, he happens to be on your waiver wire, scoop him up.
Stash for the Future – Christian Kirk, WR
I have Kirk posting lackluster numbers this season, but his outlook only gets better as Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins age. The latter will be in the picture for a while, but Fitzgerald won’t, and as soon as he departs, Kirk will see a dramatic increase in usage. When Kirk turns 27, Hopkins will be 32. If he stays on the Cardinals, and if you believe Murray can sustain a high-powered offense for years to come, Kirk is a great option to target in trades or to hang on to for the next year or two.
(Honorable mention: Eno Benjamin, RB).