NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
Vincent Carchietta / USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals built a solid foundation in 2019 around Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury, and then they went out and found a running back and elite wide receiver for Murray to play with. They jumped from dead last in scoring in 2018 to middle of the pack in 2019, and another leap seems inevitable. Now, it's about whether Murray can really be an elite QB playing with DeAndre Hopkins. The sky is the limit here.

2019 Review

Record: 5-10-1 (25)
PPG: 22.6 (16)
YPG: 341.7 (21)
Pass YPG: 217.3 (24)
Rush YPG: 124.4 (10)
PAPG: 34.6 (18)
RAPG: 24.8 (19)  

2019 Fantasy finishes

QB: Kyler Murray QB7
RB: David Johnson* RB36; Kenyan Drake RB17
WR: Larry Fitzgerald WR35; Christian Kirk WR37
TE: Charles Clay* TE45; Maxx Williams TE47
*No longer with team

Number to know: 38.8%

The Cardinals scored on 38.8% of their drives in 2019, the ninth-highest rate in the NFL. You probably didn't notice, of course, because just 21.3% ended in touchdowns, 20th in the league. This offense didn't have much trouble moving the ball but had trouble finishing off drives. Despite his reputation as a forward-thinking offensive guru, Kliff Kingsbury was frustratingly conservative near the end zone, kicking a league-high 10 field goals from inside the 5-yard line, two more than the second-highest total, and twice as many as the third-highest. Let's hope that approach changes in 2020. 

2020 Offseason

Draft Picks 

1. (8) Isaiah Simmons, LB
3. (72) Josh Jones, OT
4. (114) Leki Fotu, DT
4. (131) Rashard Lawrence, DT
6. (202) Evan Weaver, LB
7. (222) Eno Benjamin, RB


WR DeAndre Hopkins; DL Jordan Phillips; LB Devon Kennard and De'Vondre Campbell

Key Departures

RB David Johnson

Available Opportunity 

97 carries, 48 RB targets, 84 WR targets, 24 TE targets 

Rankings and Projections

player headshot
Jamey Eisenberg
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Dave Richard
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Heath Cummings
Kyler MurrayQB4QB5QB6
Kenyan DrakeRB8RB8RB8
Chase EdmondsRB52RB57RB45
DeAndre HopkinsWR6WR3WR6
Christian KirkWR42WR43WR43
Larry FitzgeraldN/AWR55N/A
Dan ArnoldN/ATE29N/A
Cardinals DSTDST22DST26DST30

Heath Cummings' projections
QBKyler Murray4,227 YD, 26 TD, 12 INT; 425 Rush YD, 4 TD
RBKenyan Drake1,059 YD, 8 TD; 53 REC, 412 YD, 2 TD
RBChase Edmonds335 YD, 3 TD; 37 REC, 365 YD, 2 TD
WRDeAndre Hopkins141 TAR, 94 REC, 1,152 YD, 7 TD
WRChristian Kirk101 TAR, 65 REC, 747 YD, 6 TD
WRLarry Fitzgerald90 TAR, 59 REC, 627 YD, 5 TD
WRAndy Isabella45 TAR, 30 REC, 362 YD, 2 TD

Biggest Question

How does DeAndre Hopkins fit in Arizona's offense?

"Hopkins likely won't see the same high target share in the wide open Cardinals offense, but Arizona should throw substantially more passes. Though the Cardinals didn't see quite the spike in overall play volume many hoped for, their quick average time to snap suggests further upside in their overall play volume if they can sustain more drives. If that happens, Hopkins can reach his prior target totals while Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald still see plenty of looks." - Ben Gretch 

One sleeper, one breakout and one bust

JAC Jacksonville • #13
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
2019 Stats

Before the Cardinals acquired Hopkins, Kirk was one of my favorite wide receivers to target, and I haven't changed my opinion too much. Obviously, Hopkins is going to be the top target in this passing offense, but the Cardinals showed last season they want the ball in Kirk's hands, too — he had 118 targets plus carries in just 13 games, a pace comparable to what D.J. Moore had before his injury. Kirk will need to be more efficient on a per-touch basis and in the red zone, but with Hopkins taking on more defensive attention than anyone else could last season, I'd bet on that. It's not hard to see a path to 100 targets and 10-15 carries for Kirk, which could be enough to get him close to 1,000 yards and a half-dozen or so touchdowns. This could be a very good offense; don't let Hopkins' presence scare you off Kirk. 

ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2019 Stats

There are two obvious choices here, and I could have gone with either Murray or Kenyan Drake. However, it seems pretty clear Drake already broke out in 2019, putting up a 1,600-plus-total-yard, 16-touchdown pace after joining the Cardinals. Murray, on the other hand, didn't really have more than a couple of games in a row playing at the level we're hoping for — specifically, from Week 9 through 11, he averaged 29.5 Fantasy points per game. Aside from that, it was a pretty up and down season, mostly because he struggled to get the ball in the end zone. That's going to change in 2020, and Hopkins is obviously a big part of that. However, I would also expect the Cardinals to be more aggressive with more trust in the weapons around Murray in year two, and that will make a difference, too. Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson may have made us a bit too confident in Murray's chances of making a superstar-level leap in his second season, but that's the kind of potential we're working with here. 

GB Green Bay • #31
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
2019 Stats

Oh, another reason I didn't pick Drake as a breakout: I don't think he's doing it again. I think he's being drafted pretty close to his ceiling. Drake finished his eight-game run with the Cardinals with 159.4 Fantasy points, the fourth-highest total in the league, and his average rank among our experts is RB8. If he could keep that pace up, yeah, he'll be worth his draft price. However, Drake really only had three good games, in Weeks 9, 15, and 16; he scored seven of his eight touchdowns and 62.2% of his Fantasy points in those three games. How high would we be drafting Drake if he hadn't had a flukey two-game stretch with six touchdowns? He feels like more of a No. 2 running back to me. 

Fantasy Previews 
AFC East: Bills | Jets | Patriots | Dolphins 
NFC East: Giants | Cowboys | Eagles | Redskins 
AFC South: Colts | Texans | Jaguars | Titans 
NFC South: Panthers | Bucs |  Falcons | Saints 
AFC North: RavensSteelersBrownsBengals 
NFC North: PackersVikingsBearsLions 
AFC West: ChiefsBroncosRaidersChargers 
NFC West: Seahawks49ersRamsCardinals

So which Fantasy football busts should you completely avoid? And which running back going off the board early should you fade? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that called Baker Mayfield's disappointing season, and find out.