Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins Injury Report: Will QB and WR be Back After Bye? How Their Status Impacts Fantasy
Getty Images. Pictured: Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins, QB Kyler Murray
Fantasy managers have not seen Kyler Murray (ankle) or DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) take the field for four weeks. Both are coming off of a much-needed Week 12 bye and appear to be on track to return this week in the Cardinals’ road matchup against the Bears.
Kyler Murray Injury Report
Murray has missed three games due to an ankle injury he suffered against the Packers in Week 8. There was early optimism he would not miss any time, but clearly the injury was more serious than initially thought.
Backup Colt McCoy has started for the Cardinals in Murray’s absence and has led them to a 2-1 record during that span.
Murray participated in practice ahead of Arizona’s Week 11 matchup against the Seahawks but ultimately did not play. He practiced on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to take the field against the Bears on Sunday barring a setback.
Worry-o-meter: 1 out of 5.
DeAndre Hopkins Injury Report
Murray’s absence has coincided with the absence of Hopkins, who has been battling a hamstring injury for the past three games.
The Cardinals also expect to have Hopkins back this week, though they seem somewhat less optimistic than they do about Murray’s outlook.
“We’ve just got to be smart with how we use him if he’s able to go,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Hopkins. “Maximize him the best we can and make sure we don’t wear him out.”
Hopkins had not practiced prior to this week since showing up on the injury report, but was a participant in both practices this week which is a good sign for his Week 13 availability against the Bears.
Worry-o-meter: 2 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 even against the Bears, who have been above average against fantasy quarterbacks. His ceiling may be capped slightly, however, if the team opts to play more conservatively with their rushing quarterback.
In the event Murray suffers a setback and cannot start, the team would once again roll with backup Colt McCoy. This would be depressing news for the Cardinals’ pass catchers A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz and Hopkins if he suits up. 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 and Seahawks and finished as QB13 and QB8 in those contests. He did struggle against the Panthers, tallying just one fantasy point in Week 10. He would have some low-end QB2 appeal this week in Chicago.
DeAndre Hopkins’ Fantasy Outlook
Hopkins is also a must-start in every format if he plays. He was the WR16 in half PPR through the first eight weeks on a per-game basis. The matchup is good against the Bears, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to receivers this year.
Hopkins’ presence would be a slight downgrade for the other Cardinals’ pass catchers — A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz.
If Hopkins cannot play, I would expect a bump for A.J. Green, Zach Ertz, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Ertz scored a whopping 25 fantasy points in half PPR against the Seahawks and was the top tight end for the week. Moore saw a season-high 11 targets in Week 11 and caught all 11 for 51 yards and would have some dart throw flex appeal. Kirk and Green would have WR3/flex value without Hopkins.
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