Kyler Murray’s fantasy football outlook for 2022 NFL season
It has been quite an offseason for Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
The No. 1 pick from the 2019 NFL Draft was reportedly not satisfied with the team, and trade rumors were all around in Arizona, with fans on social media speculating where Murray could wind up.
About two weeks ago, the two sides agreed on a five-year extension worth $230.5 million. The deal includes $160 million guaranteed for Murray. But even such a big deal created some controversy.
The contract initially had an “independent study” clause, which would require the former Heisman Trophy winner to study for a certain amount of time on his own. The clause received tons of backlash amongst the NFL community, and it ended up being removed by the Cardinals.
Without that contract detail, the lucrative deal should be able to motivate Murray to overcome the disappointing 2021 season exit. After a 11-6 record in the regular season, the team suffered a 34-11 blowout loss in the Wild Card Round versus the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
With the being said, here is the fantasy football outlook for Kyler Murray in the 2022 NFL season.
Kyler Murray 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
In 2021, Kyler Murray finished with 3,789 yards for 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, with a completion rate of 69.2%. He also added 423 rushing yards for five scores.
For the past three seasons, Murray ranks third among quarterbacks in carries, second in rushing yards and also second in rushing touchdowns. He also ranked in the top seven in quarterback carries inside the 10 in all seasons since joining the league.
Not only he is a threat in the air, Murray can add and score on the ground more often than other big names. While Tom Brady can have the passing yards, having a quarterback like Murray on a fantasy team can be beneficial because he can score in multiple ways.
However, there is one problem that could cause Murray’s production to get worse in 2022. The team will be without DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the season after the wide receiver violated the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Last year, Hopkins had 572 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in just 10 games.
Regarding fantasy football, Murray averaged 24.9 points and 8.7 yards per attempt in the games he played with Hopkins. Those number went down to 18.8 points and 6.3 yards per attempt for the final four weeks of the season.
By losing a player like Hopkins, it is likely some of Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offensive production will be affected. The team tried to at least compensate for the loss of the five-time Pro Bowler. Arizona brought in Murray’s former college teammate Marquise Brown.
They played together at Oklahoma in 2017 and 2018. Brown had 57 receptions for 1,095 yards and seven scores in their first year together. In their final year as a duo, the wideout finished with 75 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 scores.
The team also brought back players like Zach Ertz and James Conner, who should help in the passing distribution while Hopkins is out. However, they also lost Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds in free agency. Both combined for 26.4% of the Cardinals’ targets, 28.9% of the receptions, 28% of the receiving yards and 18.5% of the touchdowns in the air last year.
Overall, Kyler Murray’s performance will be directly affected by how the new and returning faces will perform. Without Hopkins, Murray has issues and has struggled to find the end zone. Should he overcome the problem, he will become an even more elite fantasy football option. He should be a top-seven quarterback and should be available as early as Round 6 in most fantasy league formats. If the league allows players to start two quarterbacks, Murray could be a first-round selection.