The Duel

Michael Crabtree Fantasy Outlook Includes Sleeper WR Potential After Signing With Cardinals

Jason Schandl
Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans
Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans / Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

One year removed from leading the Baltimore Ravens with 100 targets, Michael Crabtree has finally signed with a team for the 2019 season — the Arizona Cardinals.

Crabtree wasn't one of this summer's high-profile free agents, but this signing is quietly a very interesting one, as he joins head coach Kliff Kingsbury and first-overall pick Kyler Murray in trying to transform the league's worst offense from 2018.

All signs point to the Cardinals throwing the ball a ton in 2019. Kliff Kingsbury was one of the most pass-heavy coaches college football has ever seen and his first move as an NFL head coach was to select a quarterback with the top pick in the NFL draft.

There's still plenty of room for concern that they won't be a good team from a real-football standpoint, but their fantasy outlook should improve a lot under their new regime. In 2018 they were one of only five teams to not attempt at least 500 passes, despite playing from behind most of the time. Look for a massive up-tick in volume, adding fantasy value to all of their pass-catchers, especially in PPR leagues.

Crabtree is also no slouch. He hasn't hit 1,000 receiving yards since 2016, but he's recorded at least 100 targets and at least 50 receptions in each of his last five seasons. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, Crabtree is the only proven WR on the Cards, with the rest of the group made up of youngsters with limited (or no) NFL experience.

Efficiency could be a concern for Crabtree if Murray struggles as a rookie, but volume almost always takes precedent for fantasy value, as it's far more consistent and easier to project.

Crabtree's 2019 fantasy football upside isn't especially high — he's highly unlikely to see more volume than Fitzgerald, and David Johnson is also likely to command a high number of targets. Crabtree does still have a great shot at some big volume if this offense improves as projected though.

It remains to be seen where his average draft position (ADP) is going to settle with the news of his signing in Arizona, but with some hype around Christian Kirk and Crabtree's underwhelming 2018 numbers, there's still a good shot he goes right near the end (or even undrafted) in 12-team leagues.

If that proves to be the case, he'll be about as safe a bet as you're going to find at the end of drafts.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.