The Arizona Cardinals offense took a step forward in 2020, if not the big leap many were hoping for. Kyler Murray's legs are still the engine that pushes the offense forward, but there are question marks beyond DeAndre Hopkins. Hopefully rookie Rondale Moore can be the No. 2 they need to really take a step forward.       

2020 Review

Ranking in parentheses

Record: 8-8 (14)
PPG: 25.6 (13)
YPG: 384.6 (6)
Pass YPG: 244.8 (17)
Rush YPG: 139.8 (7)
PAPG: 35.9 (15)
RAPG: 29.9 (6)

2020 Fantasy finishes

QB: Kyler Murray QB6
RB: Kenyan Drake RB15; Chase Edmonds RB25
WR: DeAndre Hopkins WR5; Christian Kirk WR58; Larry Fitzgerald* WR88
TE: Dan Arnold TE22
*No longer with team

Number to know: 23.1

That's what Kyler Murray's Fantasy point average was in his final seven games, not including Week 17 when he only played 47% of the snaps. That would have made him QB13 for the season. And, it's not just an arbitrary endpoint, as Murray suffered a shoulder injury in Week 9 against the Dolphins that clearly limited him, whether he admits it or not.

Here's what the split before and after the injury looked like: 

  • First 8 games: 266.3 pass yards per game, 7.6 Y/A, 5.7% TD rate, 67.9 rush yards on 9.5 attempts per game, 8 rush TD, 33.2 Fantasy points per game
  • Next 7 games: 250.6 pass yards per game, 6.5 Y/A, 3.7% TD rate, 39.0 rush yards on 7.9 attempts per game, 3 rush TD, 23.1 Fantasy points per game

If the shoulder injury was the reason for his decline, then there's no worries. And that seems like a pretty good excuse. However, it could also just be that Murray got off to a hot start and the league figured out Kliff Kingsbury's offense. I'm inclined to believe the former, but you can't ignore that slide. 

2020 Offseason

Draft picks 

1. (16) Zaven Collins, LB
2. (49) Rondale Moore, WR
4. (136) Marco Wilson, CB
6. (210) Victor Dimukeje, DE
6. (223) Tay Gowan, DB
7. (243) James Wiggins, S
7. (247) Michal Menet, OL

Key additions

WR A.J. Green
RB James Conner
DL J.J. Watt
CB Malcolm Butler
C Rodney Hudson

Key departures

RB Kenyan Drake
TE Dan Arnold
WR Larry Fitzgerald
CB Patrick Peterson
LB Haason Reddick

Available opportunity from departures

97 carries
48 RB targets
84 WR targets
24 TE targets 

Rankings and projections

Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard
Heath Cummings
Chris Towers
Kyler Murray4342
Chase Edmonds25252626
James Conner31353127
DeAndre Hopkins5534
Rondale Moore58NR5354
Christian KirkNRNRNR58

Chris Towers' projections

QBKyler MurrayPA: 592, YD: 4435, TD: 28, INT: 13; RUSH -- ATT: 115, YD: 633, TD: 9
RBJames ConnerCAR: 221, YD: 927, TD: 7; TAR: 41, REC: 30, YD: 233, TD: 2
RBChase EdmondsCAR: 134, YD: 591, TD: 5; TAR: 77, REC: 55, YD: 443, TD: 3
WRDeAndre HopkinsTAR: 156, REC: 109, YD: 1320, TD: 8
WRRondale MooreTAR: 89, REC: 60, YD: 686, TD: 4
WRA.J. GreenTAR: 83, REC: 50, YD: 551, TD: 4
WRChristian KirkTAR: 78, REC: 50, YD: 638, TD: 4

Biggest Question

Can Kyler Murray make a leap as a passer?  

Murray was better in 2020 than his rookie season, to be sure, but he was still mostly valuable in Fantasy because of his rushing. It's not like he needs to improve dramatically to be among the best QBs in Fantasy -- he was sixth in scoring last season -- but there's another level he can get to if the passing game improves. Rondale Moore's after-the-catch ability could be the missing piece for a team that likes to prioritize shorter throws to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers.

Sleeper, breakout and bust

ARI Arizona • #85
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
2020 NCAA Stats (3 games)

Moore played just seven games in 2019 and 2020 due to injuries, so you have to go back to his freshman season at Purdue to see what a full season from him looks like. And it was a heck of a freshman season, as he caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding 213 rushing yards and two more carries. He had 500 more receiving yards than anyone else on the team, so it's not like he was doing this in some high-octane passing game.

Moore is small at 5-foot-7 but has proven to be very tough to bring down after the catch and likely would have been a first-rounder if not for injury concerns. This offense has relied heavily on designed short throws that allow the wide receivers to get the ball in space with blocking, and if Moore's skills translate, he should thrive in that role. If this offense takes a big step forward, Moore should play a big part in that.

ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2020 Stats

There really isn't another great option for the breakout here besides Murray, so we'll pick him for the second season in a row. He improved in his second season, but I think it's fair to say he wasn't quite as good as we hoped after a hot start. There's still QB1 upside here, especially with how effective he was in the red zone last season. He'll need to improve as a passer, but with Moore and even an over-the-hill A.J. Green, there's more talent here than last season. He's my QB2, because I think the upside might be higher than any non-Patrick Mahomes QB.

ARI Arizona • #18
Age: 32 • Experience: 11 year
2020 Stats

There isn't really good option for a bust candidate for the Cardinals. Edmonds and Conner figure to get drafted as fringe No. 2 RBs in the same range as each other, as they should. I don't really think there's any risk in DeAndre Hopkins, who still averaged 18.7 PPR points per game even in that stretch where Murray struggled.

So, I guess I'll go with A.J. Green, who probably shouldn't be drafted in the vast majority of leagues. He looked pretty much finished in Cincinnati, and I'm not sure why we would expect a big bounce-back in a crowded receiving corps. However, he is a name you know, and you might be tempted to turn his way in the later rounds. There's really no need.