NFL

Fantasy Football: Kyler Murray Is Primed for Explosive Season

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
Fantasy Football: Kyler Murray Is Primed for Explosive Season

Kyler Murray has long been one of the most polarizing signal-callers in the NFL. Since being taken No. 1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft, people have gone back and forth on whether or not he's a legitimately good real-life quarterback.

Regardless of anyone's opinion on Murray, the dual-threat quarterback has been a productive fantasy football option when he's on the field. Being able to supply points with his arm and legs makes Murray an invaluable option in drafts.

The addition of rookie first-round pick Marvin Harrison Jr. certainly improves Murray's chances of returning to fantasy football relevancy as Arizona's offense could be much-improved in 2024-25. Ahead of the upcoming season, let's look at Murray's ADP and outlook in fantasy football to determine if he's worth targeting in drafts.

Kyler Murray Fantasy Football Outlook

Murray's 2023 Recap

After suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2022, Murray was limited to eight games during the 2023 campaign. Throughout those eight games, Murray aired it out for 1,799 yards, 10 touchdowns, and five interceptions while rushing for 244 yards and three scores on 44 attempts.

Even though Murray logged -0.06 expected points added per drop back and a 46.2% passing success rate in his limited action -- per NextGenStats -- some of his struggles can be attributed to his lack of receiving options outside of Trey McBride. At the same time, Murray finished as QB9 in fantasy points per game (18.9) a season ago.

When it comes to fantasy football, Murray has yet to finish worse than QB12 in points per game, giving him a relatively solid floor at the position. There is certainly plenty of upside for Murray entering this season with more weapons and an expected increase in rushing production.

Arizona's Offense Features More Talent

As mentioned above, selecting Harrison in the first round of this year's draft could finally give Murray a true No. 1 wideout for the first time since he had DeAndre Hopkins. When Murray had a perfect blend of serviceable weapons -- including Hopkins -- and rushing numbers in 2020, he concluded the year as the overall QB2 in fantasy points and QB5 in fantasy points per game.

While it's tough to expect 11 rushing touchdowns like he produced in 2020, Murray has a legitimate chance to set career-best marks in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Murray's over/under on passing yards is sitting at 3,525.5 -- with the over at -112 odds -- while he has +240 odds to achieve 4,000-plus passing yards.

Aside from Harrison, who has the third-shortest odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+750) and is expected to carry the mantle as Murray's go-to target, the Cardinals' offense also now features McBride, Zay Jones, Michael Wilson, and James Conner.

From Week 8 until the end of the 2023-24 season -- when he became a full-time starter -- McBride led the Cardinals in target share (26.7%), red zone target share (27.8%), and yard per route run (2.23). Meanwhile, Harrison posted the 11th-most yards per reception (18.1) and 5th-most yards per route run (3.44) among wideouts with 75-plus targets in college football last season, per PFF.

McBride and Harrison provide Murray with a formidable one-two punch in the aerial attack ahead of his second year playing under offensive coordinator Drew Petzing.

Kyler Could See Uptick in Rushing Production

Generating valuable fantasy production on the ground is one of Murray's fortes that makes him a worthwhile selection in drafts. In each of his first three NFL seasons, Murray carried the ball 88-plus times and found the end zone four-plus times while starting in 14-plus games each year.

Before sustaining his season-ending knee ailment in 2022, Murray had 67 rushing attempts for 418 yards and three touchdowns through 11 starts. It can be tough for players to have confidence in their knee off of a serious injury, but Murray ran plenty in 2023, accruing 244 yards and three touchdowns on 44 attempts.

Seeing that Murray wasn't hesitant to use his legs a season ago, we should expect more of a return to the norm -- or even an uptick -- in rushing usage for the upcoming campaign. Having an improved arsenal of weapons combined with stellar rushing production could put Murray on a positive trajectory in fantasy football this year.

Kyler Murray Fantasy Football Projection

Assuming a 17-game season for each player for the 2024-25 campaign, numberFire's fantasy football projections are also bullish on Murray.

numberFire's model is projecting Murray for a QB9 finish with 3,617 passing yards, 20.3 passing touchdowns, and 10.5 interceptions through the air. Where Murray separates himself from the majority of the pack is the fact numberFire is predicting the two-time Pro Bowler to register the fourth-most rushing attempts (127.3), third-most rushing yards (691.6), and fourth-most rushing touchdowns (6.9) among quarterbacks.

Dual-threat quarterbacks have long been a cheat code in fantasy football, and Murray continues to fall behind the likes of Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, and Anthony Richardson despite possessing a somewhat similar ceiling if everything bounces his way.

Following a shortened 2023-24 campaign, Murray has the potential -- due to an improved set of weapons and increased rushing usage -- to finish as a top-five quarterback in fantasy football for the second time in his career.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.