Arizona Cardinals 2021 Fantasy Preview

Arizona Cardinals 2021 Fantasy Preview

by August 27, 2021 0 comments

After adding A.J. Green and a new running back, the Arizona Cardinals’ fantasy outlook is much different in 2021. But, Arizona is still led by dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray. James Conner and Chase Edmonds are the new two-headed monster in Arizona which alters the running back landscape a bit. The Cardinals did well in the draft, adding Rondale Moore and some important depth pieces on both sides of the ball. The NFC West is tough, so there will be some important defensive matchups to watch out for. With some important changes and plenty of depth, there is much to discuss before the fantasy season begins. 

Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 Fantasy Football Previews.

Quarterbacks – Kyler Murray

Murray can win games with his arm and his legs. After averaging 26.7 percent more fantasy points than the QB16 on average last season, Murray is poised to do it again. Yes, Edmonds and Conner may take a few yards from Murray. But the pure scrambling power of Murray will suffice on the ground. Through the air, Murray will improve. Better decision-making and more depth in the receiving core will each help his passing game in 2021. 

Running Backs – Chase Edmonds, James Conner

When Edmonds had 10 or more touches last season he averaged 10 plus fantasy points per game. He projects to be the Cardinals’ No. 1 running back, and he has receiving skills as well. Although Conner will get touches, Edmonds can be a reliable starting running back. Any reps that Edmonds does not get will go to Conner. After being the guy in Pittsburgh for a few years, Conner joins an Arizona running back room that will be missing the production of Kenyan Drake. While he should not be the main option, Conner can produce 8-10 PPR fantasy points per game to be a solid flex option and week to week back. 

Wide Receivers – DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore 

Arizona Cardinals receivers averaged the 15th most points per game last season. That number will absolutely rise with the addition of Green and Moore. Unfortunately, that makes choosing the right receiver even harder. Hopkins is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Hopkins had six games with 20 plus fantasy points last season, and he will surpass 1,000 yards any year he is healthy. Draft him and start him.

Kirk is a bit of a volatile receiver option, but the upside is there. Unfortunately, with Green and Moore now in the receiving room, Kirk will have fewer opportunities after Hopkins gets his share. Kirk performs when targeted, posting three games of 20 plus fantasy points in 2020 himself. Unfortunately, his share of targets will drop this season. If healthy, Green could be the clear No. 2 and a top fantasy option. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if Green will return to his peak Bengals self in 2021. A solid late-round flier pick could produce gold if Green can even produce 70 percent of his former value. 

Moore is an NFL unknown but has a tremendous amount of talent. The second-round draft pick did not play often in his final two college seasons. However, Moore averaged 11 yards per catch his freshman year at Purdue and produced 1,400 yards from scrimmage. Even though Moore may be an unknown, he has the talent and the resume to warrant a late-round pick.

Tight Ends – Maxx Williams

Williams’ highest scoring game in 2020 was 7.4 points. With Dan Arnold gone, Williams will get more targets, yes. However, the tight end position is not valued in a Kliff Kingsbury offense. Arnold only had two games of 10 plus points last season, and that was with a weaker receiver room. After missing the most recent preseason game due to an illness, Williams loses even more valuable reps to establish himself before the season begins. With a possible elite slot receiver in Moore, there is little room in the offense for any fantasy value from Williams. 

Defense/Special Teams 

On the defensive end, the Cardinals were average last season. They created 21 turnovers, which was also around the league average for the 2020 season. Overall, Arizona averaged 5.8 points per game for D/ST which was good for 16th in the league. Although Arizona has made some improvements on the defensive end, there is little reason to assume the Cardinals will have a top 10 defense in 2021. With a decent pass rush and a solid secondary, the Cardinals can absolutely be a week-to-week waiver wire pickup depending on their matchup for that Sunday. Special teams wise, nothing suggests that the Cardinals return units will provide enough value to be anything more than a matchup by matchup option.

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MJ is the host of "Next Man Up w/MJ Hurley" and "eXamining the XFL" MJ is also a reporter at Fansided for Oakland A's and at XFL Board.

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