Where fantasy football experts are ranking key Arizona Cardinals
Each NFL season brings forth a nonstop dialogue surrounding fantasy football.
While what goes on in a particular league doesn’t impact the results on the field, it can be worth noting where experts are ranking the players on your favorite team. Knowing where your franchise quarterback ranks amongst their peers can go a long way with regard to supporting that player.
Starting with signal caller for the Arizona Cardinals, let’s see where experts are ranking key players of the roster in a PPR format.
Kyler Murray — QB
Fantasy Pros: No. 5 quarterback, No. 66 player
Jeff Erickson at RotoWire: No. 5 quarterback, No. 66 player
Tristan H. Cockcroft at ESPN: No. 5 quarterback, No. 62 player
The consensus here is that, fantasy-wise, the 2019 No. 1 overall pick projects to have a season similar to fellow mobile quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson. What makes players like Murray a safe, dependable play is his ability to make plays with his legs. Even if he’s struggling to find receivers, Murray can get you 30-plus yards on the ground with a touchdown.
That’s why someone like Murray makes for a more highly touted fantasy quarterback than a more traditional quarterback like Tom Brady or Matthew Stafford.
James Conner — RB
Fantasy Pros: No. 15 running back, No. 31 player
Erickson: No. 14 running back, No. 25 player
Cockcroft: No. 15 running back, No. 26 player
Conner had the fifth-most fantasy points among running backs who also caught a pass in 2021, according to Pro Football Reference. He ranked that highly despite being tied for 17th among running backs in rushing attempts and tied for 27th in receptions. However, the consensus has him as a mid-tier starting running back this fantasy season.
Why is that?
For starters, the Cardinals have the 25th-ranked offensive line heading into the season, according to a Pro Football Focus list back in June. While that ranks first among Tier 5 offensive lines, that tier is titled “Uninspiring.” Even though Rodney Hudson, Justin Pugh and Kelvin Beachum are all capable offensive linemen, they’re all 32 years old or older. The floor of that unit may be reasonably high, but any injury to those three could create a lot of instability in the trenches — making it harder for Conner to repeat as a top touchdown-getter at running back.
Second, there are several running backs that could shake up the fantasy landscape this season. For example, Derrick Henry played only eight games last season. Should he stay healthy this season, he should be able to usurp Conner based on sheer volume. The same goes for Dalvin Cook and D’Andre Swift, who played 13 games apiece.
Marquise Brown – WR
Fantasy Pros: No. 24 wide receiver, No. 56 player
Erickson: No. 37 wide receiver, No. 83 player
Cockcroft: No. 25 wide receiver, No. 59 player
Fantasy Pros and Cockcroft rank Brown fairly similarly. However, RotoWire is much lower on him. In fact, Erickson has new Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ahead of Brown. Seeing the situation Smith-Schuster is in now, coupled with the departure of Tyreek Hill, should open up the door to a major rebound season this year, whereas Brown — despite also being in a new environment — may not project to have the same success that comes from playing with Patrick Mahomes. Especially with the midseason return of the next player here.
DeAndre Hopkins – WR
Fantasy Pros: No. 42 wide receiver, No. 101 player
Erickson: No. 42 wide receiver, No. 92 player
Cockcroft: No. 41 wide receiver, No. 101 player
Before getting injured last season, Hopkins was having a down year by his standards. He still recorded eight receiving touchdowns (a team high) in 10 games and got more bang for his buck on a yards-per-reception basis (13.6, best since 2018), but he averaged just 57.2 yards-per-game. This year, he’ll be on the shelf for the first six games due to a PED suspension. Therefore, he takes a significant hit fantasy-wise at his position.
However, assuming there are no more setbacks in his return to the field, there is solid value in picking Hopkins up later on in the draft, as he’s one of the most reliable receivers in football. Even in a down year by his standards, he still was a top 20 receiver in PPR points-per-game, according to Pro Football Reference.
Zach Ertz – TE
Fantasy Pros: No. 9 tight end, No. 93 player
Erickson: No. 10 tight end, No. 85 player
Cockcroft: No. 9 tight end, No. 94 player
Rounding out the list is the veteran Ertz, who saw something of a resurrection in production last season after being acquired from Philadelphia. With tight end not being the deepest fantasy position, Ertz figures to be an above-average fantasy football play.
Last season, he ranked 10th in fantasy points and PPR points-per-game at the tight end position, according to Pro Football Reference. Now with even more time in Arizona’s offense, it makes perfect sense that he’d rank in that vicinity on these experts’ lists.