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2023 Fantasy Football Analysis and Preview for Every Player on the Arizona Cardinals

Updated: Jun 7, 2023



The Arizona Cardinals were a bottom 3 team in football last season, finishing 4-13 on their way to the 3rd overall pick in this year's NFL draft.


Not surprisingly, it wasn't pretty from a fantasy football standpoint either, as the offense finished:


❌ 21st in scoring

❌ 22nd in yards

❌ 18th in passing yards and 24th in passing TDs despite finishing 4th in pass attempts

❌ 22nd in rushing yards and 18th in rushing TDs (19th in rushing attempts)


With the entire offense decimated by injuries and suspensions, 2022 turned out to be a depressing year for anyone invested in the Cardinals offense.


Kyler Murray played in just 11 games and finished as fantasy's QB 18.


James Conner played in just 13 games and finished as fantasy's RB 19.


DeAndre Hopkins played in just 9 games and finished as fantasy's WR 47.


Marquise Brown played in just 12 games and finished as fantasy's WR 44.


Rondale Moore played in just 8 games and finished as fantasy's WR 83.


Greg Dortch played in 16 games, but averaged just 7.1 PPR points per game, to finish as fantasy's WR 60.


Zach Ertz played in just 10 games and finished as fantasy's TE 19.


Of course, things look quite a bit better when looking at their per game averages:


Murray averaged 18.2 fantasy points per game (QB 9).


Conner averaged 15.4 PPR points per game (RB 10).


Hopkins averaged 16.9 PPR points per game (WR 10).


Brown averaged 13 PPR points per game (WR 28).


Moore averaged 11 PPR points per game (WR 41).


Ertz averaged 11.6 PPR points per game (TE 6).


Still, it was a year to forget for the Cardinals, their fans, and fantasy football players with stock in their offense.


The rock bottom finish for Arizona led to Kliff Kingsbury's dismissal after going 28-38-1 in 4 seasons as the Cardinals' head coach (including 0-1 in the playoffs).


Longtime GM Steve Keim was also dismissed after spending 10 years with the Cardinals, going 81-83-2 during that time, including 1-3 in three playoff appearances.


Needless to say, the Cardinals are starting over again.


2023 Fantasy Football: Looking Ahead

To replace Kingsbury, the Cardinals hired defensive-minded Jonathan Gannon, who spent the last 2 seasons as the Defensive Coordinator for the NFC Champion Eagles.


The 40-year-old, first-time Head Coach has been in the NFL since 2007, serving as a defensive specialist with the Falcons, Rams, Titans, Vikings, Colts and Eagles.


More importantly for fantasy football purposes, Gannon and company hired 36-year-old Drew Petzing as the team's new Offensive Coordinator.


This will be Petzing's first opportunity as an Offensive Coordinator after spending 10 seasons in various offensive roles with the Vikings and Browns (most recently the QB coach for Cleveland).


Petzing comes from the coaching trees of Mike Zimmer and, more importantly for fantasy purposes, Kevin Stefanski after leaving Zimmer/Minnesota for Stefanski/Cleveland when Stefanski was hired by the Browns in 2020.


In 4 seasons as an Offensive Coordinator or Head Coach, Stefanski's offenses finished:


🟡 8th, 14th, 20th and 18th in scoring

🟡 16th, 16th, 18th and 14th in yards

🟢 4th, 4th, 9th and 5th in rushing attempts

🟢 6th, 3rd, 4th and 6th in rushing yards

🟢 6th, 5th, 7th and 6th in rushing TDs

🔴 30th, 28th, 28th and 21st in passing attempts

🔴 23rd, 24th, 27th and 22nd in passing yards

🟡 14th, 13th, 20th and 19th in passing TDs


Of course, the main QBs that Stefanski worked with in those 4 years were Kirk Cousins (1), Baker Mayfield (2) and Jacoby Brissett (1).


Meanwhile, the main RBs he worked with in those 4 years were Dalvin Cook (1) Nick Chubb (3) and Kareem Hunt (3).


So considering that added that context, a run-heavy approach makes a lot of sense.


So what does it mean for the 2023 Cardinals?

Of course, it's irresponsible to just assume Petzing will follow the Stefanski run-heavy blue print, especially considering that the Cardinals are projected for just 4.5 wins this season by Vegas Sportsbooks (implying consistent negative game script that would force the Cardinals to throw in order to try and keep up with their opponents).

2023 fantasy football: Dr. Deepak Chona's evaluation of Kyler Murray

That said, with Dr. Deepak Chona estimating a week 8-12 return for franchise QB Kyler Murray (ACL) and Arizona losing stud WR DeAndre Hopkins, it would make an awful lot of logical sense for the Cardinals to feed James Conner as much as he can handle while some combination of Colt McCoy/David Blough/Jeff Driskel/Clayton Tune do their best to manage games for half of the season.


Ultimately, the Cardinals' 2023 offense isn't likely provide consistent weekly firepower in the fantasy football space.


Health permitting, I'm expecting James Conner to be the team's workhorse and offensive MVP in 2023.


👇 But let's discuss every single player fantasy-relevant player on the Arizona Cardinals. 👇


Arizona Cardinals Quarterbacks

🔴 QB - Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray tore his ACL in mid-December and had surgery in January, making him unlikely to be ready to start the season once week 1 rolls around.


In fact, Dr. Deepak Chona is estimating that we don't see Murray in live action on a football field until at least week 8-12, severely limiting his fantasy football appeal for the 2023 season.


Even if he does return on the early side, he'll likely be rusty and it would be fair to question his mobility—the biggest part of his game—coming off a major knee injury and surgery.


Not to mention the possibility that the Cardinals decide to play it safe with their franchise QB in a lost season—the Cardinals are projected for 4.5 wins this season—and just shut him down until 2024.


For what it's worth—which isn't much this year but notable for dynasty purposes—over 55 career games where he's thrown at least 15 passes, Murray is averaging a strong:

  • 20.8 fantasy points per game

  • 35.6 pass attempts per game and 23.8 completions per game (66.7%)

  • 250 passing yards per game

  • 1.5 passing TDs per game (84 total)

  • 0.7 interceptions per game (41 total)

  • 6.9 rushing attempts per game

  • 40 rushing yards per game

  • 0.4 rushing TDs per game (23 total)

  • 0.1 lost fumbles per game (8 total)

He's shown an exceptionally safe floor, scoring 15 or more fantasy points in 42 of 55 games (76%), including 20 or more fantasy points in 28 of 55 games (51%).


He's also shown an elite ceiling, scoring 30+ fantasy points in more games (7) than he's scored fewer than 10 fantasy points (3).


Dynasty Leagues: Kyler's dynasty value will never be lower than it is right now. If you roster him, hang on to him. If you don't, consider making an offer to acquire him.


Redraft Leagues: Murray should not be drafted in "normal" sized fantasy football leagues—unless you're trying to be savvy with your IR spots and you have a chance to grab him with your last pick. Instead, he's more of an in-season pickup this year.


Superflex Leagues: Murray is a worthwhile bench stash in Superflex leagues, but only if he can be drafted late and not at the expense of assets that can benefit your team immediately.


Best Ball Leagues: As of this writing, Kyler is being drafted as the QB 19 around pick 122 (12th round) in best ball drafts. Unless something changes with his prognosis, Murray cannot be drafted in best ball leagues where you need QBs that you "know" will start all 17 games.


Max best ball exposure: 0%


🔴 QB - Colt McCoy

While Kyler Murray is on the mend, 37-year-old Colt McCoy will presumably get the first crack at starting duties—though he himself is recovering from a mysterious injury, theoretically opening the door for David Blough, Jeff Driskel or "Clayton Tune."


In 34 career games where McCoy has thrown at least 19 pass attempts, he's averaging:

  • 11.9 fantasy points per game

  • 32.6 pass attempts and 20.6 completions per game (63.1%)

  • 214.9 passing yards per game

  • 0.9 passing TDs per game (30 total)

  • 0.9 interceptions per game (32 total)

  • 15.1 rushing yards per game

  • 0.1 rushing TDs per game (2 total)

  • 0.1 lost fumbles per game (4 total)

McCoy has fewer than 10 fantasy points in more games (13) than he has games over 15 fantasy points (12).


A career underperformer as the temporary "QB 1" on a bad, presumably run-heavy offense is easy to avoid in 2023 fantasy football.


Dynasty Leagues: Going on age 38, McCoy is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Redraft Leagues: McCoy should not be drafted in fantasy football leagues.


Superflex Leagues: Superflex is the only format where you can make a case for McCoy as an end-of-the-bench roster stash as a bottom-of-the-barrel QB 2/3.


Best Ball Leagues: Colt McCoy is currently undrafted in fantasy football leagues. And as a bad QB that's almost certainly not going to start all 17 games, that's exactly how it should be.


Max best ball exposure: 0%


🔴 QB - David Blough

Kyler Murray (ACL) is expected to be inactive to start the season and Colt McCoy (neck/unknown/bad) is recovering from his own ailments, leaving the door cracked open for 28 year old David Blough to compete for meaningful "QB1" playing time.


After 7 career games—5 with the Lions—where he threw at least 18 pass attempts, Blough is averaging:

  • 10.6 fantasy points per game

  • 33.1 passing attempts and 18.9 completions per game (56.9%)

  • 198 passing yards per game

  • 0.9 passing TDs per game (6 total)

  • 1.1 interceptions per game (8 total)

  • 0.1 lost fumbles (1 total)

Blough has scored fewer than 10 fantasy points in 4 of those 7 games (57%) while hitting 14 fantasy points just once.


An obvious underperformer as the longshot, temporary "QB 1" on a bad, presumably run-heavy offense is easy to avoid in 2023 fantasy football.


Dynasty Leagues: Blough is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Redraft Leagues: Blough is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Superflex Leagues: Superflex is the only format where you can make a desperation case for Blough as a (very) end-of-the-bench roster stash and bottom-of-the-barrel QB 3/4.


Best Ball Leagues: David Blough is currently undrafted in fantasy football leagues. And as a bad QB that's almost certainly not going to start all 17 games, that's exactly how it should be.


Max best ball exposure: 0%


🔴 QB - Jeff Driskel

Kyler Murray (ACL) is (highly) unlikely to be ready for week 1 and may not be back until the middle of the season—if at all.


And with Colt McCoy (neck/unknown/bad) recovering from his own ailments, there's an opportunity for someone—McCoy, David Blough, Jeff Driskel or Clayton Tune—to seize the temporary QB 1 role.


And despite being the 3rd highest paid QB on the Cardinals, one could argue that Driskel offers the most upside of the bunch.


In 11 career games where he's thrown at least 19 passes, the 30-year-old free agent is averaging a respectable:

  • 14.1 fantasy points per game

  • 30.7 pass attempts and 17.8 completions per game (58%)

  • 185.1 passing yards per game

  • 1.2 passing TDs per game (13 total)

  • 0.7 interceptions per game (8 total)

  • 23.6 rushing yards per game

  • 0.2 rushing TDs per game (2 total)

  • 0.1 lost fumbles per game (1 total)

Driskel has scored 15 or more PPR points in 5 of 11 of those games (45%) with a career high of 27.5 points as a member of the Lions in 2019.


(For comparison, David Blough has a career high of 17.3 fantasy points and Colt McCoy has a career high of 26.9 fantasy points).


Still, a below-average QB as the longshot, temporary "QB 1" on a bad, presumably run-heavy offense is easy to avoid in 2023 fantasy football.


Dynasty Leagues: Driskel is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Redraft Leagues: Driskel is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Superflex Leagues: Superflex is the only format where you can make a desperation case for Driskel as an end-of-the-bench roster stash and bottom-of-the-barrel QB 2.


Best Ball Leagues: Jeff Driskel is currently undrafted in fantasy football leagues. And as a bad QB that's almost certainly not going to start all 17 games, that's exactly how it should be.


Max best ball exposure: 0%


🔴 QB - Clayton Tune

The Cardinals selected Houston's Clayton Tune with the 5th pick in the 5th round (139th overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft.


And while 5th round rookie QBs aren't often worth monitoring in their first year, Tune finds himself in an intriguing situation with Kyler Murray unlikely to be ready to play before midseason, leaving Tune to battle with the likes of 38-year-old Colt McCoy (who's recovering from his own injury) and underachieving journeymen David Blough and Jeff Driskel.


Tune is an "older" prospect (24 years old) after spending 5 years in college from 2018-2022. He tests elite as an athlete—for a QB—and "is a great leader with elite intangibles and an innate ability to up his game in the most clutch situations" per film guru John Chapman. He's a threat with his legs and his arm is "good enough" even if it's not elite.


Of course, the historical success rate of 5th round rookie QBs is far from encouraging, but there's some upside to Tune's game if he's able to get ahead of McCoy, Blough and Driskel while Murray is on the mend.


Dynasty Leagues: Tune did not crack my Top 50 Rookie Rankings and has very limited long-term appeal outside of the deepest of leagues.


Redraft Leagues: Tune is best left on the waiver wire in almost all formats.


Superflex Leagues: Superflex is the only format where you can make a desperation case for Tune as a high end QB 3 with some upside for more.


Best Ball Leagues: Clayton Tune is currently undrafted in fantasy football leagues. And as a bad QB that's almost certainly not going to start all 17 games, that's exactly how it should be.


Max best ball exposure: 0%


Arizona Cardinals Running Backs

🟢 RB - James Conner

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