Arizona Cardinals Team Preview

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    The Cardinals finished their second straight year with a disappointing 4-13 record. Josh Dobbs started the first half of the season and was only able to lead them to one victory. I wouldn’t say Clayton Tune’s start is even worth mentioning but Tune was historically bad. He finished with only 58 passing yards despite trailing the entire game and ended up getting shut out 27-0 against the Browns. When Kyler Murray finally returned to the team things got marginally better as he was able to help them win three of their final eight games.

    While their offense sputtered for much of the season the Cardinals defense was even worse. They allowed almost 27 points per game to opposing offenses. There were times last season where they looked like a small college playing a powerhouse school. Constantly getting lit up by the opposition and rarely scoring enough to keep the games respectable. They had the fifth worst point differential last year losing by over a touchdown per game. The Cardinals have talent at some important positions, the question here is if they have enough talent to put together their first winning season in three years.  It’s pretty safe to call last season a lost season and there isn’t much to take away from it, but at least Murray was able to return from his ACL tear and post 20+ in fantasy points in four of his eight games.  He also improved his yards-per-attempt to 6.7 from a ghastly 6.1 two seasons ago.  Murray has all the tools to be a dominant fantasy QB, but he’s not a one-man band and needs help to maximize his potential. The Cardinals have the best receiver core since he was drafted and if MHJ can do a DeAndre Hopkins impersonation from the jump, Trey McBride should fill-in nicely as the second option in the passing game.  Murray is probably the most underrated fantasy QB in the league right now because of the last two seasons where he has only played in 19 games.  There is no reason he shouldn’t reach his 2021 numbers where he averaged 7.9 yards-per-attempt and was a threat to air it out or take off on any given play.

     

    Arizona Cardinals Win prediction 7-10

    Although the Cardinals have had a rough couple of years there are a few bright spots to highlight. While Murray has battled a few injuries throughout his career he is still a very talented quarterback. His ability to scramble and still hit throws with decent accuracy on the run is something that will keep defenses honest. With the addition of Marvin Harrison Jr and the emergence of Trey McBride late last year Murray has enough weapons to work with. McBride had two games last year with over 100 receiving yards and was a consistent threat to score in the redzone.

    Additionally, James Connor despite his age and injury history put up a solid campaign last season putting up over 1,000 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns in only 13 games.  Connor was a beast on the ground averaging 5.0 YPR, but was ineffective in the passing game, where he only averaged 2.1 receptions-per-game.  He still has his burst and physicality and finished third in the NFL with 27 broken tackles.  Connor is 28 which is close to the line for RBs, but he’s proven to be a reliable workhorse when available and will likely slide in drafts again this season. While Connor has had a well-documented injury history throughout his career the Cardinals got their insurance policy in this year’s draft. Selecting Trey Benson in the third round. Benson is a 6’1 223 pound back out of Florida State who should be able to handle a workhorse role should Connor miss time. Now if their offensive line play could improve then this offense could really take off.


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