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The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the Arizona Cardinals.

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More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | DET | GB | LAR | MIN | SEA | NYG | WAS | PHI | NO | TB | SF

Arizona Cardinals stats to know

There are a lot of moving parts to the Cardinals' offense this offseason. Not only are James Conner and Chase Edmonds free agents, but so too are Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and Zach Ertz. Plus Kyler Murray's ominous social-media deletions have many wondering what his future holds. So applying anything from 2021 to 2022 could end up being useless, but I'm gonna try anyway.

You already knew, or at least assumed, that Murray and Hopkins were a great duo for Fantasy. Murray averaged 25.5 Fantasy points per game with Hopkins and 20.0 without; Hopkins had at least 15 PPR points in five of his first seven games before injuries played a role.

When Hopkins was out, Ertz stepped up:

  • In seven games without Hopkins and with any Cardinals quarterback, Ertz snared a 22.1% target share.
  • When Murray played and Hopkins didn't, Ertz landed a massive 26.4% target share over four regular-season games.
  • Ertz's 52 PPR points scored in those final four games was fourth-best among tight ends.
  • There is a downside: In the two games Hopkins did play, Ertz's target rate was 14.1% while Hopkins' was 23.4%.

If the Cardinals don't move on from Murray, stick with Ertz and either keep or adequately replace Kirk and/or Green, there's a very good chance Ertz sees an ugly slide in overall production unless he reels in a bunch of touchdowns.