Christian Kirk could enjoy fantasy football success this weekend with DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green currently dealing with injuries. The Arizona Cardinals are not particularly healthy ahead of their NFC West division matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. As of now, neither Hopkins nor quarterback Kyler Murray has been declared out, but both are being treated as a game-time decision. Some beat reporters are saying they don’t expect them to play. If that is to be the case, what are we doing with Kirk in Week 9?
Christian Kirk has quietly been steady this year
It may be flying under the radar, but Kirk has been consistent this season. Through eight games, he’s the WR25 with a stat line of 34 receptions for 454 yards and 4 TDs. He’s had 4 or more receptions in six out of eight games. Kirk has scored double-digit fantasy points in half his games. He’s been a flex play with WR2 upside for the better part of the season.
The problem has been predicting his games, as Kirk, Green, Hopkins, and rookie Rondale Moore are all explosive athletes. Yet, they can’t all eat at the same time. If one of them is missing, predicting his success becomes a little easier. If two of them are missing, a solid week seems inevitable.
The bigger concern is the quarterback situation
If I knew that Murray would be playing and both Hopkins and Green were going to be missing, I’d say you can lock Kirk in as a WR2 this week. However, with Murray’s status very much in question, things get a little bit trickier. The current backup to Murray is Colt McCoy, the journeyman backup quarterback who has a career 60.6% completion percentage with 30 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
He has been remarkably average throughout the course of his playing career and has only started five games since 2014. But here we are. He could potentially be given the keys to the NFC West-leading 7-1 Cardinals if Murray cannot go.
Kirk’s Week 9 fantasy outlook
There’s a lot of variables at play here. First scenario: Arizona’s offense and all its starters, including Murray, Hopkins, and Green, all start the game on Sunday, and Kirk maintains his normal fantasy football flex value.
Second, Murray is in, Hopkins and/or Green are out, and Kirk becomes a rock-solid WR2. Third, Murray is out, McCoy and all the wide receivers are in, and Kirk is a very risky play in an offense with a ton of mouths to feed and a quarterback that might not be able to do so.
Lastly, Murray is out, Hopkins and/or Green are out, and it’s the McCoy to Kirk show against the San Francisco 49ers. They may or may not put up a lot of points, but Kirk should at least be the focus of the offense.
Essentially, we won’t know what to expect until the injury report comes out an hour before game time. Adding to the challenge? The Cardinals don’t play until the late window of games. If you roster Kirk, you should probably be playing him. Just know that there is a wide range of expected outcomes based on who suits up.