Fantasy Football: Why Christian Kirk is a must-target sleeper in your draft
With fantasy football season rapidly approaching, people are interested in players who could be sleepers for them in 2019. One player who is a must-target sleeper in fantasy drafts is Christian Kirk of the Arizona Cardinals.
Kirk was the 47th overall pick of the Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft. Arizona drafted the Texas A&M product in hopes he could become the eventual successor to Larry Fitzgerald as the top receiver in the offense.
In 2018, Kirk was only able to start in seven games in his rookie campaign. The rookie wide receiver hauled in 43 catches for 590 yards, and three touchdowns.
Those numbers may not be spectacular, but it was hard for anyone in the Cardinals offense to get anything going. There was a lot of turmoil that went on with the offense in 2018. First, the team immediately turned to Josh Rosen (another rookie) to lead the offense after a few weeks with Sam Bradford under center.
Therefore, the receivers had to adjust to a new guy under center. Then, Mike McCoy was fired as the offensive coordinator, and Byron Leftwich was named the interim coordinator. This put pressure on the young guys like Kirk to handle interchanging parts rather quickly.
Lastly, the offensive line was incapable of protecting Rosen or whoever was under center. The offensive line allowed 52 sacks in 2018—tied for fifth-most in the NFL. This made it hard for receivers to get targets as Rosen had less time to survey the field.
Nonetheless, Kirk and the other offensive weapons performed to the best of their abilities in 2018. So why should anyone expect a much different outcome in 2019 from Kirk?
This offseason, the Cardinals admitted they made mistakes by hiring Steve Wilks as their head coach and drafting Rosen. As a result, Arizona brought in Kliff Kingsbury and drafted Kyler Murray with the number one overall pick.
Kingsbury is known to be an offensive mastermind while helping develop guys like Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech—where he was the head coach for six years. Murray was one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football history,
Therefore, it’s hard to believe that the Cardinals offense won’t be light years better than they were in 2018. After all, it shouldn’t be tough to be better than Arizona’s 32nd ranked offense from a season ago.
This year, the Cardinals are expected to throw the ball more with Kingsbury calling the shots. Fitzgerald still resides on the offense, but Kirk could be the eventual top target for Murray and the offense at some point this season.
Therefore, targeting the Cardinals second-year wideout would be a wise move to get ahead of the other members in your league. Currently, Kirk is being taken with the 115th pick in ESPN fantasy drafts on average.
In the light of that, that means that the Cardinals young receiver is being taken as a receiver that is on the bench. Kirk could end up being a WR2 option or a flex play, so the risk is worth it. The potential is through the roof for Kirk and the Cardinals offense in 2019.
Therefore, he perfectly fits the description of a possible sleeper in the upcoming season. People may be wary of taking Kirk due to the question marks that surround the Cardinals and Kingsbury’s offense.
Nonetheless, the only worries Kirk has of seeing a better season this year is the rookie wideouts of the Cardinals. Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler could vulture targets from him. If those guys don’t step up in a significant way, then Kirk is in line for a breakout season in 2019 and moving forward.