Kyler Murray Fantasy Injury Report: What To Expect From Cardinals QB If He Starts vs. Impact If He’s Out
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray
News broke with updated statuses for Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after we published the following story — Murray is now a game-time decision while Hopkins has been ruled out.
Our fantasy football analyst breaks down what to expect from Murray should he start Sunday’s matchup against the Seahawks below, as well as the potential impact if he’s ultimately ruled out.
Click to expand the earlier-week injury report
Kyler Murray Injury Report
Murray was injured after tossing a late interception that iced the Cardinals’ loss to the Packers in Week 8. It was later revealed that he had suffered a sprained left ankle, and in spite of early optimism, he has missed two straight games.
Backup Colt McCoy got the start against the 49ers, leading the Cardinals to their eighth victory of the year, then again against the Panthers, who served the Cardinals their second loss of the season.
On Wednesday, Murray participated in practice and was “moving around pretty good,” according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He practiced again on Thursday, though it’s worth noting that he did practice last Friday, but was ultimately still a no-go for Week 10.
The 2019 No. 1 overall pick told the media that he is “pretty close” to playing. He added that had made “crazy progress” and is “way further along” than he thought he would be.
“Understanding what we’re really here for,” Murray said via ESPN. “Obviously, if you can’t go, you can’t go, and then if you can, you let it ride. I’m not putting too much pressure on the decision to play or not. If I can play, I’ll play.”
The decision to play or not will be left up to the 2020 Pro Bowler, Murray said. That determination might not be made until game time.
Worry-o-meter: 4.5 out of 5.
DeAndre Hopkins Injury Report
The Cardinals have been playing very shorthanded over the past two weeks without Hopkins, Murray and Chase Edmonds. Hopkins has been battling a hamstring injury and was the WR16 in half PPR through eight weeks on a per-game basis.
Unlike Murray, Hopkins was not spotted at practice early this week and logged back-to-back DNPs, which could indicate that he is trending toward missing another game. We have seen him play through injuries in the past without practicing, though this injury is clearly more serious given it has already held him out of two contests.
Participation in Friday’s practice will be crucial for Hopkins to have any hope to play on Sunday. (Check the Cardinals’ injury report for the latest practice updates.)
Worry-o-meter: 5 out of 5.
Kyler Murray’s Fantasy Outlook
Murray is a must-start in every format if he plays. Prior to Week 8, he had been playing MVP-caliber football and is currently the QB6 averaging 23.1 fantasy points per game. He was the top fantasy quarterback in 2020 through 16 weeks.
He has good upside against the Seahawks, who have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game this year. His ceiling may be capped slightly, however, if the team opts to play more conservatively with their rushing quarterback.
There is a real chance that, in spite of Murray’s progress, the team opts to hold him out for one more game with the Cardinals’ Week 12 bye since that would effectively give him two more weeks to recover.
McCoy, who is dealing with a pectoral strain, would get the start in that situation. That would be horrible news for the fantasy outlook of Cardinals’ pass catchers. Hopkins (if he plays), A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz would all be downgraded. Running back James Conner could see an uptick in work, so his value is rock solid either way.
As a standalone fantasy asset, McCoy was serviceable against the 49ers, completing 22-of-26 attempts for 249 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions and finished as QB13 for the week. He struggled in his second start against the Panthers, completing 11-of-20 attempts for 107 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception and finished as QB35.
McCoy has no appeal this week against the Seahawks, even in two-quarterback/superflex leagues.
DeAndre Hopkins’ Fantasy Outlook
Editor’s note: DeAndre Hopkins was ruled out after this story was published.
Hopkins is also a must-start if he plays. He has sky-high upside as a red-zone target and should be considered a high-end WR2.
If Hopkins cannot play, I would expect a bump for A.J. Green, Zach Ertz, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Kirk led the team in receiving last week and caught seven of eight targets for 58 yards. Kirk would have WR3/flex appeal with upside without Hopkins.
Next was Ertz, who caught four of six targets for 46 yards. Ertz is a borderline TE1 if Murray plays and especially if Hopkins sits.
Moore and Green were irrelevant in fantasy for Week 10. They would have slightly more upside if Murray plays and Hopkins doesn’t, but neither is a trustworthy start for fantasy.