The MMQB's Albert Breer hears that Christian Kirk was the most impressive WR in Arizona this spring. The 47th overall pick of last year's draft had a quietly strong rookie campaign, hauling in 43 of 68 targets (63.2%) for 590 yards (13.7 YPC) and 3 scores in 12 games. Kirk ranked 35th in yards per route run among 79 WRs with 50+ targets last year -- despite playing on a Cardinals passing game that generally struggled. Teammate Larry Fitzgerald, by comparison, ranked 54th in yards per route run. We wondered if new HC Kliff Kingsbury saw Kirk as a fit in his offense after Arizona added 3 WRs in this year's draft, but the early returns for Kirk are promising. He's a 2019 breakout candidate in what should be a much better Cardinals offense.
The Cardinals selected Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the 1st pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Murray spent his first 3 college seasons — 1 at Texas A&M and 2 at Oklahoma — on the bench. He followed Baker Mayfield as the Sooners’ starter this past year and turned in a massive campaign. Murray completed 69% of his passes and averaged an NCAA record 11.6 yards per attempt on his way to 4,361 yards and 42 TDs. He ranked top 2 in this draft class in adjusted completion rate, adjusted completion rate vs. pressure and adjusted completion rate vs. the blitz, according to Pro Football Focus. But what makes Murray such an exciting fantasy prospect is his elite athleticism. (He was also the 9th overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft.) He cranked out 1,001 yards and 12 scores on the ground last year, showcasing RB-like speed and quickness. His transition to the pros will be made easier in Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury’s college-style Air Raid offense. Kingsbury, of course, has no NFL coaching experience — so this marriage with Murray certainly has bust potential. Murray’s size is also a concern: at 5’10, he’ll be the league’s shortest QB. We’ll see what happens with QB Josh Rosen, but Murray is the heavy favorite to be under center for the Cardinals in the season opener against Detroit.
The Cardinals announced Wednesday that WR Larry Fitzgerald has re-signed on a 1-year deal and will play in 2019. Fitz lopped 50 targets, 40 receptions and 422 yards off his 2017 totals this past season, in the 1st year with QB Josh Rosen and only season under former HC Steve Wilks' staff. A full offseason with Rosen can only help, and the switch to former QB Kliff Kingsbury can't hurt after Arizona trotted out the league's worst offense a year ago. That said, we shouldn't count on Fitzgerald to jump back to anywhere near his 3 recent campaigns of more than 100 catches. Heading into his age-36 season, Fitzgerald figures to compete with 2018 rookie Christian Kirk for lead-target status. We'll see if Arizona adds to the WR corps in free agency or the draft. Fitz is a solid shot to take around his early 150.3 ADP in PlayDraft best-ball leagues, though that figures to climb now that his return is confirmed.
The Cardinals have placed WR Christian Kirk on IR with a broken foot. It ends a promising rookie campaign that saw the 2nd-rounder haul in 61% of his targets and average 13.7 yards per catch in a mostly dysfunctional passing game. With WR Larry Fitzgerald getting no younger, Kirk should play an expanded role in 2019. And hopefully QB Josh Rosen takes a step forward. Foot injuries can be tricky to recover from, though, so we'll need to keep an eye on that this offseason.
The forecast for today's Cardinals-Packers game calls for a 100% chance of snow and winds of 20-30 mph. Those are tough conditions for the passing games -- especially the Cardinals, who play their home games indoors. QB Josh Rosen shouldn't have been in your plans anyway, but WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk are shakier plays now. Aaron Rodgers looks like a lower-end QB1 in this spot. RB Aaron Jones and the Packers defense are elite fantasy plays.
Cardinals WR Chad Williams (ankle) is out for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Williams’ 3.9 targets per game figure to be spread to Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and Ricky Seals-Jones.
The Cardinals have fired OC Mike McCoy, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. About 6 weeks too late. Arizona is averaging a pathetic 13.1 points and 221 total yards per game. McCoy's usage of RB David Johnson was particularly terrible. McCoy will be replaced by former QB Byron Leftwich, who's been with the Cardinals since the start of last season but has no play-calling experience. Don't expect drastic improvement from Arizona's offense -- but it can't get any worse.
Cardinals HC Steve Wilks said Wednesday that WR Christian Kirk has "somewhat" played himself into the mix for the #2 WR job. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Kirk has caught 6 balls for 58 yards and a score through 2 preseason games, but he hasn't played many snaps with the 1st-team offense. The rookie has run most of his routes from the slot with the 2nd-team. Larry Fitzgerald is obviously locked in as Arizona's primary slot guy this year, so Kirk will need to start getting work on the outside if he's going to make a 2018 impact. He's not worth a pick in redraft leagues right now. Chad Williams and Brice Butler look like better bets to open the season as the Cardinals' #2 WR.
The Cardinals’ initial (“unofficial”) depth chart lists rookie WR Christian Kirk as a 3rd-teamer. Arizona lists Larry Fitzgerald and Brice Butler as starters, with J.J. Nelson and Chad Williams behind them. We’d bet on Kirk climbing from there, but it’s at least a reminder that he has work to do.
Charges against Cardinals WR Christian Kirk have been dropped. He was arrested on February 3 at the Phoenix Open golf tournament after he was spotted breaking a car window. Kirk has paid for the damages, and this should be the last we hear of this story. The rookie has a shot to carve out a significant role in Arizona this season and is worth a look near the end of fantasy drafts.
Cardinals WR Christian Kirk was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and property damage after the Phoenix Open golf tournament on February 3. That, of course, was nearly 3 months before the NFL Draft. “We spoke with Christian about it at length and also looked into it independently," a Cardinals spokesperson said. "Our understanding is that the process will be resolved in the near future but while it remains an active legal matter, we won’t comment further.” Kirk was allegedly drunk leaving the tournament and seen breaking a car window with a rock. We'll see what comes of this, but the incident didn't stop the Cards from spending a 2nd-round pick on Kirk. He has a shot to step right in as the team's #2 WR this season and is worth a look in the late rounds of fantasy drafts.
The Cardinals selected Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk with the 47th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Kirk’s most impressive college season came back in 2015. As an 18-year-old true freshman, he led the Aggies with 80 catches, 1,009 receiving yards and 7 TDs. His yardage totals tailed off over the past 2 years, but he still totaled 149 catches and 19 scores. Kirk was also a special-teams dynamo, scoring 1 kick-return and 6 punt-return TDs. A 5’10, 201-pounder who ran the majority of his routes at A&M from the slot, Kirk has shades of Golden Tate in his game. He averaged 6.8 yards after the catch during his college career, according to Pro Football Focus. Arizona is a strange short-term fit with slot maven Larry Fitzgerald still around. We’ll see how Kirk fits in this season. Long term, he should be the Fitz replacement.
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