Game-By-Game Projections: Kyler Murray (2020 Fantasy Football)
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DeAndre Hopkins. Any discourse regarding Kyler Murray‘s fantasy upside for the 2020 season starts with Hopkins. Already destined to make a sophomore leap, landing arguably the best receiver in the NFL will do wonders as far as helping the young quarterback reach his potential.
Plagued by inconsistency as a rookie, Murray had six games with zero touchdown passes. He still finished the season with a respectable 3,722 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 533 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns, but the potential is there for him to become much better.
Arizona should be a more competitive team on both sides of the ball this season. Murray should become more aggressive, and will look to take advantage of the game slowing down for him. Now equipped with the personnel to run the offense how it was intended, Murray projects to provide massive fantasy production as a sophomore.
Week 1: @ San Francisco 49ers
While the San Francisco 49ers are one of the toughest defenses Murray will face all year, the shortened off-season is going to allow Murray to have his way with the vaunted defense. While they may not have lost much in terms of pass rush due to Javon Kinlaw being able to step into DeForest Buckner‘s role, Kinlaw is still a work in progress against the run. This should allow Murray to get loose for a projected 58 rushing yards and a score, with another two touchdowns coming through the air. We do have him projected for one Jason Verrett interception, but he should be relatively flawless for the rest of the afternoon.
Predicted stat line: seven rushing attempts, 58 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown; 281 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (30.04 fantasy points)
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions
Murray could explode in Week 2. Jeffrey Okudah is going to have his hands full trying to contend with Hopkins, and the rest of the Lions secondary is ill equipped to deal with the six deep talent of the Cardinals wide receiver corps. The Lions do have some front seven talent, but facing a dual threat quarterback like Kyler Murray can keep them off balance enough to allow this game to get out of hand. Murray could likely have an even bigger game if the Lions can keep this contest competitive, but the projected gamescript calls for the Cardinals to take their foot off the gas in the early fourth quarter before Matthew Stafford makes another improbable comeback attempt.
Predicted stat line: six rushing attempts, 47 rushing yards, 330 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (29.9 fantasy points)
Week 3: vs. Washington
The Arizona Cardinals could be in for a tough battle against Washington. Chase Young adds to an already intimidating front four, and should be able to harass Murray all day. Arizona is expected to win this contest, but he may have a rough time trying to contend with Washington’s defensive line. However, Washington has one of the worst cornerback groups in the league behind number-one Kendall Fuller and will not be able to stop the Cardinals high-powered passing attack.
Predicted stat line: five rushing attempts, 11 rushing yards, 277 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (19.18 fantasy points)
Week 4: @ Carolina Panthers
Murray appears poised to light up fantasy scoreboards in Week 4. A defense to target all season, despite some impact rookie additions, the Carolina Panthers are going to have no shot at slowing down an offense with as many playmakers as the Cardinals have. They should be able to move the ball at will in the passing game but may choose to instead lean on the run. Murray is projected to throw for two touchdowns but is expected to accumulate almost half of his fantasy points with his legs. The 95 rushing yards and a touchdown project as one of Murray’s top games on the ground all season.
Predicted stat line: 10 rushing attempts, 95 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown; 256 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (33.84 fantasy points)
Week 5: @ New York Jets
The Arizona Cardinals should have a relatively easy time dispatching the New York Jets. So much so in fact that Kyler Murray is projected to throw just one touchdown. Arizona should be the favorite here despite playing on the road, and the team may just look to lean on the run to keep the clock moving. The Jets have some playmakers on defense but do not have the corners to deal with Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk between the 20’s. This should be Arizona’s easiest contest of the season, but Kyler Murray and Co. need to be sure not to play down to the level of their competition.
Predicted stat line: six rushing attempts, 61 rushing yards, 274 passing yards, one passing touchdown, zero interceptions (21.06 fantasy points)
Week 6: @ Dallas Cowboys
Murray should have some fantasy goodness in store for fantasy managers in Week 6. As impressive as the Dallas Cowboys defense is in their front seven, they have nothing but question marks in their secondary. They will have an extremely difficult time trying to contain the Cardinals passing attack and will likely be embroiled in an exciting shootout. Murray is projected to have one of his best fantasy lines of the season in Week 6, and his 36.62 fantasy points should put him in the mix to be the overall QB1 for the week.
Predicted stat line: nine rushing attempts, 51 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 338 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (36.62 fantasy points)
Week 7: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson versus Murray in a divisional battle could provide us with one of the most exciting contests of the week. Playing at home, Arizona should be able to keep this contest competitive thanks to a balanced attack. Murray should be able to move the ball through the air, but may see his pass attempts limited as the Cardinals look to draw out their drives and control the time of possession. Based on our projections he may have a tough time putting up a QB1 line in Week 7 despite the bye.
Predicted stat line: four rushing attempts, 25 rushing yards, 263 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (20.02 fantasy points)
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: vs. Miami Dolphins
This could be one of the most interesting contests of the week if Tua Tagovailoa is under center for the Miami Dolphins. Two former laughingstocks now on the rise, this contest could very well turn into a defensive battle. Murray is going to have a tough time moving the ball on Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, but should be able to move the sticks up the seams. While 19.34 fantasy points is solid, he may fall right outside QB1 range for Week 9.
Predicted stat line: five rushing attempts, 35 rushing yards, 246 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, two interceptions (19.34 fantasy points)
Week 10: vs. Buffalo Bills
Murray will face what could be his toughest test of the season in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills. One of the more complete defenses in the league, Buffalo has the talent to force a number of three-and-outs. Arizona should have a tough time moving the ball on the ground or through the air, but should find a way to stay competitive thanks to their defense. Week 10 projects as Murray’s worst fantasy outing of the season.
Predicted stat line: five rushing attempts, 16 rushing yards, 209 passing yards, one passing touchdowns, two interceptions (11.8 fantasy points)
Week 11: @ New England Patriots
Week 11’s matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots has suddenly become a lot more interesting. Cam Newton versus Murray has the makings of appointment television, and shouldn’t disappoint. Expect the Cardinals to lean on the run in this contest as they look to keep Cam off the field. Murray should set a season high in both carries and rushing yards in this contest due to sticky coverage causing multiple plays to breakdown. His 28.38 projected fantasy points should make him a QB1 for the week.
Predicted stat line: 11 rushing attempts, 99 rushing yards, 287 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (28.38 fantasy points)
Week 12: @ Seattle Seahawks
Week 12’s contest against the Seattle Seahawks should be a tougher test than the Week 7 battle between these two teams. Arizona is expected to be trailing in this one, which should lead to more pass attempts and passing yards in what is projected to be a loss. The 58 projected rushing yards should boost him from QB2 territory to QB1 land for Week 12.
Predicted stat line: eight rushing attempts, 58 rushing yards, 292 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (25.48 fantasy points)
Week 13: vs. Los Angeles Rams
Murray will be in for a tough test in Week 13 against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams. He should be able to move the ball, but may have a tough time connecting with his number-one target in Hopkins. Relying on Fitzgerald, Kirk, and the running backs may lead to a lower yards per attempt, but Murray is still projected to throw two touchdowns to just one interception.
Predicted stat line: four rushing attempts, 33 rushing yards, 267 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception (24.98 fantasy points)
Week 14: @ New York Giants
Kyler Murray should start the fantasy football playoffs with a bang. The New York Giants have added some exciting talent on defense, but are still going to have a tough time taking on the Cardinals’ wide receiver trio. Due to his dual-threat ability, Murray should be able to pick apart the Giants defense both through the air and on the ground. He could have a bigger game if the Giants can keep the contest competitive, but the projected 33.94 fantasy points will still make him a surefire QB1 for Week 14.
Predicted stat line: eight rushing attempts, 77 rushing yards, one rushing touchdowns, 306 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (33.94 fantasy points)
Week 15: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Murray could be in line for his best fantasy game of the season during fantasy football’s semifinals week. While Darius Slay is capable of harassing Hopkins into a sub-par performance, they are going to have a tough time stopping Fitzgerald and Kirk. The run game should also be in for a good afternoon, with over 230 rushing yards projected for Murray, Kenyan Drake, and either Eno Benjamin or Chase Edmonds. If Murray can match or exceed the projected stat line he should vie for overall QB1 honors for Week 15.
Predicted stat line: nine rushing attempts, 79 rushing yards, one rushing touchdowns, 363 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception (39.42 fantasy points)
Week 16: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are in for a tough Week 16 battle. With the 49ers keying on Hopkins, Murray should be able to get things going for his other receivers, as well as the run game. The 49ers are susceptible to the run, especially against backfields with a starter with plus contact balance like Drake. Murray should spring loose for a couple.10+ yard runs en route to a projected 62 rushing yards. The 6.2 added fantasy points from his rushing production will push him from a QB2 performance to that of a QB1.
Predicted stat line: six rushing attempts, 62 rushing yards, 249 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions (24.16 fantasy points)
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams
Murray should have a big game against a Los Angeles Rams team who are projected to opt to limit the snaps of defensive studs Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. With the expanded playoffs, the Rams should be locked into the postseason as a wildcard by Week 17. This will help Murray to have a much more impressive afternoon than he was able to put up against them in Week 13. Despite the fantasy football redraft season being over, his projected 30.48 fantasy points should make him a DFS darling.
Predicted stat line: five rushing attempts, 66 rushing yards, 322 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, one interception (30.48 fantasy points)
2020 Season Totals
Full Season Projection: 4,560 passing yards, 34 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 109 rushing attempts, 774 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns (414.8 fantasy points)
Murray is primed to take a massive step forward this season. If his supporting cast stayed exactly the same we would still be discussing the leap forward Murray was expected to make. However, the Arizona Cardinals were able to acquire one of the most talented wide receivers in the entire NFL in Deandre Hopkins, and may finally have the personnel to run their air raid offense head coach Kliff Kingsbury attempted to implement last season. The Cardinals were also able to add a playmaking running back in Eno Benjamin, and a future starter at offensive tackle in Josh Jones.
Murray had a strong rookie season in which he put up 3,722 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. His total fantasy points ranked him as the QB8 on the season. His fantasy points per game made him the QB12 based on average fantasy points. Projected to improve in every category and post 4,560 passing yards, 34 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions this season, Murray has the upside to battle for QB1 honors. His projected total would have made him the 2019 QB2 in both total fantasy points, and average fantasy points per game.
Murray was impressive as a runner last season, but he made it clear that he would not use his running ability as a crutch. He still had a fantasy line, padding 93 rushing attempts, 533 rushing yards, and four touchdowns (77.3 fantasy points), and should improve as a sophomore. Based on our projections we have Murray running the ball 109 times this season. This averages out to exactly one extra rushing attempt per contest. He is expected to improve his yards per carry from 5.73 to 7.1 en route to 774 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns (107.4 fantasy points).
Murray could be one of the top values at the quarterback position when all is said and done. Currently the fifth quarterback taken in redraft leagues, Murray is the 59th player selected based on overall consensus ADP. He has an excellent chance to provide an astronomical return on investment, and as posited above, he may even vie for QB1 overall honors.