Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: Marvin Harrison Jr.’s Instant Impact, a James Conner Value Check, and More

What are the fantasy football options on the Arizona Cardinals following the additions of Marvin Harrison and Trey Benson in the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Arizona Cardinals‘ preview comes with a bit of excitement. Yes, this is a team that has won a total of eight games over the past two seasons with just one winning campaign since 2016, but there is some organizational hope after a strong draft and certainly some upside for fantasy football purposes!

Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Depth Chart

QB
Kyler Murray, Desmond Ridder, Clayton Tune

RB
James Conner, Trey Benson, Emari Demercado, DeeJay Dallas, Michael Carter, Tony Jones

WR1
Marvin Harrison Jr., Zach Pascal, Jeff Smith

WR2
Michael Wilson, Chris Moore, Daniel Arias

WR3
Greg Dortch, Tejhaun Palmer, Andre Baccellia, Kaden Davis

TE
Trey McBride, Tip Reiman

Kyler Murray’s Fantasy Outlook

Mobile quarterbacks in their athletic prime with the best-supporting cast of their career don’t grow on trees, and with injury issues over the past two seasons (15 total DNPs), Kyler Murray’s value is extremely manageable — take advantage!

Murray’s been a viable passer since he entered the league, which is not a surprise for a standout baseball player, and his ability outside of the pocket is a fantasy floor elevator (career: 5.8 yards per carry). The skill set is perfect; there’s no other way to put it.

During his career, the Cardinals have produced one 1,000-receiving yard season (2020 DeAndre Hopkins). In that season. Murray flirted with 4,000 passing yards, easily averaged a career-high in rushing attempts, and punched in 11 touchdowns on the ground in addition to 26 through the air. Do we see a return to that form this season? Here’s a situation to consider:

The 13-loss Raiders made Amari Cooper the fourth overall pick in 2015 after he racked up 2,463 receiving yards during his final two collegiate seasons. In his first season, Derek Carr saw his completion percentage jump by three full points from the season prior, averaging 27.3% more yards per attempt and improving his TD/INT rate by over 40%.

The 13-loss Cardinals just made Marvin Harrison Jr. the fourth overall pick after he racked up 2,474 receiving yards in his final two collegiate seasons.

If Murray sees similar gains, his first 4,000-yard season is a lock if he stays healthy with 30 passing touchdowns very much in the picture.

There were only four QBs who hit both of those thresholds last season — they were all top seven QBs in total fantasy points and top 12 per game, minimum 300 passes, producers that the position. Even better? None of them ran for even 250 yards (Murray averages 640.2 rushing yards per 17 games for his career).

James Conner’s Fantasy Outlook

James Conner is coming off of a career year in terms of yards per carry (5.0), but there are more negatives than positives as you comb through his profile.

He missed four games for a second consecutive season (over 13 games played just once since his rookie campaign) and is entering his age-28 season with nearly 1,400 touches on his NFL résumé.

Not ideal.

READ MORE: 2024 Dynasty Mock Draft 

His versatility showed signs of drying up (2.1 catches per game, down from 3.5 in 2022), reaching double figures in receiving yards just three times.

There is still some value to extract in redraft leagues — Arizona did hand him the ball 25+ times in three of five games to conclude last season — but with the team investing the second pick of the third round on Florida State’s Trey Benson is a sign that the writing is on the wall.

Marvin Harrison Jr.’s Fantasy Outlook

It’s difficult to overstate the pedigree here, and the landing spot is near perfect, with a WR1 role awaiting him without much question.

The play-making at all three levels grades well in any offense, especially in an offense with a mobile QB that thrives during improvisation.

Rookie receivers at this level have had no issue in producing from the get-go. Three of the top four all-time receiving yardage seasons by a rookie receiver have come in the past four years, and while projecting Harrison for the 1,400+ yards that those stars (Puka Nacua, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson), it’s not far out of the realm of possibilities.

I mentioned the alpha season Hopkins had under Kyler, and it deserves a little more attention. In that year, the future Hall of Famer receiver wrung up a 27.8% target share with 36 more catches than any of his teammates had targets and more 20+ yard grabs than any two Cardinals combined.

Murray had no issue locking on his elite talent and Harrison Jr. could easily assume a similar role. Those rates out of the gate may be a bit optimistic, but Harrison should well eclipse Dad’s introduction to the NFL (64-836-8) and is on the WR1 radar before he takes his first snap.

Michael Wilson’s Fantasy Outlook

The 6’2″ Michael Wilson has had his moments, and I expect more of the same in 2024, though expecting viable numbers on a weekly basis is a bit optimistic.

  • 24 catches, 298 yards, 3 TDs

Those are Wilson’s stats in the five games he saw 6+ targets last season. If you extend those numbers for 17 games, we are looking at roughly 80 grabs for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

I’d be tempted to take the under on each of those numbers with 6+ targets a game a bit optimistic for my liking, but that’s in the neighborhood of what Jordan Addison did along last season (70-911-10) while playing 10 games next to Justin Jefferson.

Harrison Jr. isn’t Jefferson, but the idea of the WR2 succeeding next to a star WR1 is nothing new, and given Wilson’s physical traits, the scoring upside could land him on Flex radars more often than not.

Greg Dortch’s Fantasy Outlook

Dortch showed well on film at times last season, but this is a game of number accumulation, and it’s difficult to pencil in more than a few targets per game.

The 5’7″ slot specialist has yet to reach 500 yards in a season and has found paydirt just four times across 39 NFL games. If we are going to keep the Vikings comparison going from Wilson’s preview, think of Dortch as something akin to K.J. Osborn (48-540-3 in 16 games with pockets of usefulness when injuries cropped up).

He’s a situational add during the season, not someone who needs to count on coming out of the draft.

Trey McBride’s Fantasy Outlook

McBride was a second-round pick in 2022 and was rarely used as a rookie, but he broke out in a massive way in Year 2, establishing himself as a Tier 1 option at the position.

He became the first Cardinal TE to have a 100-yard game in 34 years, and that figures to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his compiling of elite numbers.

In 2023, he posted a 76.4% catch rate. That’s a strong number no matter the role, but it’s even more impressive, given how much his volume spiked after the first six weeks.

I trust the volume (he’s second in my target projection for this team) and the ability (10.2 yards per catch last season with no shortage of contested catch highlights that are rare at the position), but the scoring scares me (three last season) enough to reach on him in drafts this summer.

McBride is locked into my top five at the position, but I don’t think he has a true path to TE1 this season given the volume he’s all but assured to lose to Harrison Jr.. The TE position is deeper than in years past, but if that results in McBride’s ADP dipping to the sixth round, I’ll be very interested with the foundation of my team already built.

Cardinals’ Fantasy Sleeper

I hinted at the concerns within Conner’s profile and asked if they should come to fruition. Benson profiles as the beneficiary. He is a big back who showed a nose for the end zone in college (23 rushing scored in 26 games over his final two seasons) and has some passing-catching promise in his scouting report, making him the type of three-down threat we look for when identifying handcuff running backs.

KEEP READING: NFL Draft Fantasy Football Winners and Losers

Benson needs polish to his game, but with time in an NFL system, that could certainly develop quickly. He has the type of size you can’t teach, and that makes him a nice speculative add at the end of drafts if you, like I, believe in the trajectory of this offense as a whole.

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