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Buy, Sell, or Keep: Arizona Cardinals Offense

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Kliff Kingsbury has led the Arizona Cardinals for three years with a 24-24-1 record with a single playoff berth in 2021. Who are the Buy/Sell/Keep from this offense in Kingsbury’s make or break year?


Arizona Cardinals Buy/Sell/Keep Candidates

Buy

DeAndre Hopkins, WR

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DeAndre Hopkins has been a top-five WR for years. In his second year with the Arizona Cardinals, he hurt his hamstring and missed weeks 9-11. After returning to the lineup for a couple of games, he injured his knee with a sprained MCL which would require surgery. This is the first time in Hopkins’ nine-year career that he missed more than one game in a season.

Because of his seven missed games last year, Hopkins only had 42 receptions for 572 yards and 8 TDs. Fellow dynasty fantasy football owners see him as broken, partially because he turns 30 in June. Hopkins has become a bargain in fantasy football circles because of his recent history. I disagree with those owners that are writing him off.

My belief is that Hopkins hurt his knee while favoring his hamstring because he came back too soon. This means that it was just the hamstring that was the issue and that he is not breaking down. Hopkins delivered 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and 6 TDs just one year ago. He produced 219 receptions for 2,737 yards and 18 TDs in the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined.

Hopkins’ competition for catches in 2022 includes Rondale Moore, Antoine Wesley, Greg Dortch, Andy Isabella, and A.J. Green. Who on this list scares you because they will be stealing targets from Hopkins?

I just received him in a trade for Adam Thielen and Robert Woods. Are you kidding me? That is highway robbery in my opinion. This shows how low he has dropped in value. Buy him now and reap the rewards.

Sell

James Conner, RB

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After defeating cancer during his college career at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected  James Conner in the third round of the NFL draft in 2017. It was a great story and Conner became the bell cow RB of the Steelers for three of his four years.

The problem is that he has never played a full season in his five years in the league. Last year, Conner signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Conner’s value has seen an uptick with the departure of Chase Edmonds to the Miami Dolphins. In Conner’s five games without Edmonds in the lineup last year, he delivered solid stats. Those five games were in Weeks 9-13, and Conner delivered with 85 carries for 303 yards and 6 TDs.

Add to that 24 receptions for 269 yards and another 2 TDs, and you get solid numbers for that five-week stretch. Because of the extra workload in those five games, Conner missed two out of the next three games. The best ability in fantasy football is availability. He missed 12 games as a Steeler in his final three seasons with them as their number one RB.

The Steelers let him leave as they drafted Najee Harris. Conner was splitting time with Edmonds for the first eight weeks of the season and he held up physically. He waited until after his five-game stretch of bell cow work to break down.

With the shortage of quality running backs in the NFL that get 15-20 touches a game, you can use that five-game stretch to your advantage and sell Conner for a nice return. With Conner going into his age 27-year season, his value will never be higher than right now. There is a good chance that the Cardinals draft an RB this year. Conner’s only competition as of now is Eno Benjamin, Jonathan Ward, and Jaylen Samuels. Sell him before the NFL draft on April 28th.

Keep

Zach Ertz, TE

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Zach Ertz has been a top 10 TE for most of his nine-year career in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Ertz has had at least 74 receptions in six out of the last seven years. The one year he didn’t hit the 74 reception mark was 2020 in which he missed five games due to injury. Philadelphia traded Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals last year before Week 7.

Ertz immediately had a positive effect in the passing game for the Cardinals. After being inactive in Week 7, he suited up in Week 8 and had three receptions off of five targets for 66 yards and one TD. He played 11 games with the Cardinals and only had three weeks of three receptions or less in that time.

The 31-year-old TE out of Stanford has found a new home and will be a vital part of the Cardinals as they continue to improve for the fourth year in a row under Kingsbury. I believe Ertz will continue his average of five receptions per game. That is gold in any PPR fantasy league, let alone a TE premium league.

Mark him down for another top 10 season. Do not trade Ertz as the value will not be there. Keep him until he retires and enjoy his output in a high-powered offense.


Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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