Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

Fantasy Football Breakouts, Busts, Locks - Arizona Cardinals 2022 Outlook

james conner fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Welcome to fantasy football Breakouts, Busts, and Locks, a series on RotoBaller where our writers look at three key players on each NFL team. Today, we're talking about the Arizona Cardinals.

After beginning the 2021 season with seven straight wins to lead the entire NFL, the Cardinals had a massive collapse in the second half. They finished 11-6, losing the division to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams, who were also the ones to eliminate them in the Wild Card round. Kyler Murray looked overwhelmed and the team was beaten in all facets of the game. All this aside, they will still contend for the division this year and possess several exciting players for fantasy, three of which will be explored further.

Below, you'll find a fantasy football breakout candidate, a fantasy football bust candidate, and a fantasy football lock for the Cardinals based on early ADP for fantasy football drafts in 2022.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


Fantasy Football Breakout: Marquise Brown

Brown finds himself in a fantastic situation thanks to a blockbuster trade that occurred during the NFL draft. He departs the low-volume, run-heavy Ravens to join the fast-paced aerial attack in Arizona.


Brown has been productive over his first three seasons in the NFL, demonstrating an ability to improve each year, which is indicative of an upward trajectory.

Career Statistics

Year Games Played Statistics Fantasy Finish
2019 14 48/584/7 (Receptions/Yards/Touchdowns) WR46
2020 16 58/769/8 (Receptions/Yards/Touchdowns) WR34
2021 16 91/1,008/6 (Receptions/Yards/Touchdowns) WR23

Finishing as the WR23 while accumulating over 1,000 receiving yards marked a career year for Brown, who still has untapped potential. He repeated his 100-plus targets from 2020 and was on pace for another big touchdown total until Lamar Jackson went down. After starting the season on fire, Brown's numbers took a real hit from Week 12 on, which coincided with Jackson struggling and then getting injured. This resulted in Tyler Huntley taking over and hyper-targeting tight end Mark Andrews.

Prior to Week 12, Brown was averaging six receptions per game, 80 receiving yards per game, and 0.66 touchdowns per game. This would have been a season-long pace of 102 receptions for 1,360 yards and 11 touchdowns, and a monster season for Brown. This is the type of ceiling he possesses when he receives consistent volume, particularly on his deeper downfield targets.


The Ravens selected Brown 25th overall in the 2019 draft, making him the highest receiver drafted in the class. While it's surprising to see him traded to the Cardinals just three years later, the move is certainly more about contract negotiations and the type of offense they run than it is about his ability to contribute.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) provides positional grades that are recognized as a reliable measure of talent. In 2021, Brown sported a grade of 96.7 on medium (10-19 yards) targets, averaging 17.2 yards per reception on catches made in that range. This is a very impressive grade, proving he can succeed on medium depths of throws, not just the long bombs he has become famous for.

Additionally, he scored a grade of 85.9 on deep (20+ yard) targets, averaging an incredible 42 yards per reception. This actually could have been higher too, partly because he had three drops, because Jackson threw three interceptions, and because several of the deep balls thrown towards him were inaccurate. This marks yet another area there is an opportunity for improvement in 2022. 


The Cardinals are known for their spread offense and vertical attack, running four wide receiver formations more than any other team in the NFL. They also pass the ball often with great success, utilizing Kyler Murray's athleticism to their advantage. While Murray and Jackson are parallel in their mobility and rushing, their passing statistics as full-time starters over the past three seasons are quite different.      

Murray Versus Jackson

Statistic Murray Jackson
Games Played 46/49 42/49
Passing Attempts Per Game 34 28
Passing Yards Per Game 250 209
Passing Touchdowns Per Game 1.5 1.9
Career Completion Percentage 66.9 64.1

While Jackson has the edge in touchdown rate, much of the credit goes to the Ravens' rushing attack, which consistently sets their offense up in the red zone for passing touchdowns. Murray is vastly better in the other passing categories, providing increased volume and accuracy for Brown to thrive in the Cardinals' offense.

The other major factor is the suspension of teammate DeAndre Hopkins, who will miss the first six games as a result of violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. This catapults Brown to the top of their depth chart as the locked-in No. 1 option to start the year. Furthermore, even when Hopkins returns, there is no guarantee he will operate as the elite alpha in this offense. He's 30 years old and dealt with injuries down the stretch last season that he spent time recovering from in the offseason. This means it's possible Brown remains the top target for the entire season, adding another layer of upside that is hard to find among receivers drafted outside the first 20-30 picks, where the elite players are taken.


Brown is currently being drafted as the WR19 with an ADP of 45 overall. This allows you to draft multiple players with your earlier picks before acquiring a player with top-12 upside, that few if any of the receivers or running backs in that range possess.


Fantasy Football Bust: Rondale Moore

Moore finished his rookie season as a real disappointment after being drafted with meaningful capital to a potent offense that truly utilizes its wide receivers.


Moore totaled only 54 receptions for 435 yards and one touchdown, adding 18 carries for 76 yards on the ground. Moreover, the bulk of this came in Week 2 when he exploded for seven receptions, 114 yards, and his only touchdown, accounting for 25% of his season total fantasy points in a half-PPR scoring format. He managed to clear 50 receiving yards just twice the remainder of the season and never scored another touchdown, finishing as the WR71.

Adding insult to injury was his inability to climb the depth chart.

Depth Chart

When Moore was drafted, many believed he could surpass A.J. Green and Christian Kirk to become the No. 2 option.

Cardinals 2021 Wide Receiver Depth Chart

  1. DeAndre Hopkins
  2. A.J. Green
  3. Christian Kirk
  4. Rondale Moore
  5. Antoine Wesley

In the 13 games both Moore and Green played together, Moore never finished with a higher snap percentage than Green and only received more targets than Green twice, in Week 2 and Week 11. Furthermore, he began ceding snaps to Wesley later in the season, with a lower snap percentage than Wesley in Week 8, Week 10, Week 11, and Week 14 before missing the last three weeks of the season due to injury.

2022 Outlook

When Kirk left in free agency to sign with the Jaguars and Green was still on the market as a free agent, many individuals restored their hope and optimism for Moore, which was further exacerbated by the Hopkins suspension news mentioned above. Unfortunately, the Cardinals made a blockbuster trade for Brown and brought back Green, creating question marks about where Moore will slot in this season.

Cardinals 2022 Wide Receiver Depth Chart

  1. DeAndre Hopkins
  2. Marquise Brown
  3. A.J. Green
  4. Rondale Moore
  5. Antoine Wesley

As you can see, the depth chart is almost identical to what it was in 2021 except that Hopkins will miss the first six games, opening the door slightly for Moore to begin the year.


Moore was drafted 49th overall by the Cardinals, who certainly believed in his talent. Unfortunately, the last two rookie receivers they drafted in 2019, Andy Isabella in Round Two and Hakeem Butler in Round Four, were major busts that never contributed or amounted to anything for fantasy. Moore did finish with a PFF grade of 70.7, ranking 49th overall, so there is still reason for optimism if he can overtake the other receivers and establish a full-time role.


Moore is currently being drafted as the WR51 with an ADP of 121 overall. When targeting a player in this range, the goal is to acquire someone who can become a weekly starter for your team or possesses elite upside if any injury were to occur to the player ahead of them on the depth chart, often at the running back position. Moore does not check the box for either of these options and has less chance to make an impact than most of the players drafted around him including Garrett Wilson, Tyler Boyd, Alexander Mattison, and Pat Freiermuth.


Fantasy Football Lock: James Conner

Much has been made of the massive touchdown total Conner accumulated in 2021, including 15 on the ground and three through the air, causing many individuals to overlook his current opportunity entering 2022.


The Cardinals signed Conner last offseason to pair with Chase Edmonds, hoping he could be a reliable secondary back and replace Kenyan Drake. Conner immediately stepped in as their primary rusher, averaging 11 carries per game over the first eight games while both were healthy. He was also given the goal-line role, turning six of those carries into rushing touchdowns. What limited Conner during the first half of the season was his involvement in the passing game, receiving only six total targets in those games, all of which he caught.

Edmonds left with an injury early in their Week 9 game against the 49ers, skyrocketing the volume and production Conner saw in his absence. In those five games, Conner averaged 13 carries for 61 yards and one full touchdown on the ground, accompanied by five receptions for 54 yards and 0.4 touchdowns through the air. This amazing workload translated to 23.4 fantasy points per game in half-PPR scoring, which for reference, would have been the second highest points per game in the entire NFL across all positions, behind only quarterback Josh Allen!

Obviously, that pace is near impossible to sustain over the course of a season, but that stretch, in combination with his RB5 overall finish in 2021, illustrates his potential as the lead back in this offense.

Depth Chart

Part of why that stretch is so relevant is because the Cardinals elected to let Edmonds leave in free agency to join the Dolphins, deciding instead to sign Conner to a three-year $21 million deal. This left only Eno Benjamin on their roster entering the draft, where they drafted rookie Keontay Ingram before recently signing free agent Darrell Williams, who formerly played with the Chiefs, to form their current depth chart.

Cardinals 2022 Running Back Depth Chart

  1. James Conner
  2. Darrel Williams
  3. Eno Benjamin
  4. Keontay Ingram

While it's certainly possible one of these backups will possess fantasy value in this high-powered offense, none of them are as talented as Chase Edmonds, particularly in the receiving game, cementing Conner as the clear-cut lead back destined for a huge workload in 2022.


The primary concern for Conner has been his availability and health. This contributed to the Steelers electing to let him walk after his rookie deal ended, as opposed to offering him a contract extension.

Games Played By Season

Season Games Played
2017 14/16
2018 13/16
2019 10/16
2020 13/16
2021 15/17
Total 55/81 = 68%

Although participating in only 68% of the total games is not ideal, it is also not uncommon at the running back position. Most players experience minor injuries each season, causing them to miss one or two games, and many players miss significant chunks of time, even full seasons. Conner only missed two games in 2021 despite his 202 carries and 37 receptions, demonstrating sufficient durability to finish inside the top five.

Health will always be a consideration with all running backs but that is already built into the draft cost for Conner.


Conner is currently being drafted as RB16 with an ADP of 32 overall. Typically when you draft a running back that late, the hope is that they land inside the top-12 with top-10 upside. Conner, however, could definitely finish inside the top-12 and actually possesses top-five upside, making him an absolute bargain and a lock to return value.



The Cardinals have dealt with a lot of chaos this offseason, including Hopkins receiving a six-game suspension, Murray demanding a contract extension, and ending last year with an embarrassing playoff exit. Yet, they are clearly contenders and will produce some tremendously valuable players for fantasy, making it crucial to know which players to target such as Brown and Conner, and which to avoid such as Moore.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!

Win Big With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts


Kodai Senga5 mins ago

Allows One Hit, Fans Nine Tuesday
Pete Fairbanks12 mins ago

Rays Encouraged By Pete Fairbanks' Hip Images
Wil Myers18 mins ago

Still Experiencing Shoulder Pain, Could Undergo MRI
TJ Friedl24 mins ago

Exits Tuesday With Left Hamstring Tightness
Giancarlo Stanton33 mins ago

Begins Rehab Assignment Tuesday
Josh Donaldson41 mins ago

Could Return To Yankees This Weekend
Trent Grisham53 mins ago

Gets Two Hits, Steals A Few Bags
Zack Greinke1 hour ago

Puts Bow On Spry-Looking May
Shi Smith2 hours ago

Raheem Blackshear, Shi Smith Competing For Punt-Return Job
DeAndre Hopkins2 hours ago

May Have To Take Pay Cut To Play For Contender
Dalton Kincaid2 hours ago

Bills Unclear What Dalton Kincaid's Role Is
Jose Trevino3 hours ago

Yankees Reinstate Jose Trevino From Injured List
Max Muncy3 hours ago

Back In Lineup Tuesday
Michael Carter3 hours ago

Could Bounce Back In 2023
Jake Marisnick3 hours ago

Tigers Trade For Jake Marisnick Tuesday
Breece Hall3 hours ago

Might Not Be Ready For The Start Of Training Camp
Baker Mayfield3 hours ago

Kyle Trask Splitting First-Team Reps This Offseason
David Villar3 hours ago

Sent To Triple-A On Tuesday
Chuba Hubbard3 hours ago

Could Serve As Carolina's Short-Yardage RB
Harrison Bader3 hours ago

Heading To The Injured List
Brock Purdy3 hours ago

Expected To Be Ready By The Start Of The Season
Alex Call3 hours ago

Getting A Rest Tuesday
Justin Jefferson3 hours ago

Not At OTAs
Miguel Vargas3 hours ago

Absent On Tuesday
Josh Rojas3 hours ago

Out Of Tuesday's Lineup
A.J. Smith-Shawver4 hours ago

Braves Promote A.J. Smith-Shawver On Tuesday
Riley Greene4 hours ago

Leaves Tuesday's Contest With A Leg Issue
Derrick White6 hours ago

Will Undergo MRI For His Leg On Tuesday
Robert Williams6 hours ago

III Was Battling A Stomach Virus During Game 7
Owen Miller6 hours ago

Returning On Tuesday
A.J. Puk6 hours ago

To Begin Rehab Assignment On Thursday
Malcolm Brogdon6 hours ago

Will Consider Surgery This Offseason
Phoenix Suns6 hours ago

Suns Narrow Coaching List To Three Candidates
Kevin Kiermaier7 hours ago

Remains Out On Tuesday
Tyler Herro7 hours ago

Targeting Game 3 To Return To The Floor
Golden State Warriors7 hours ago

President And General Manager Bob Myers Steps Down From Golden State
Carson Hocevar7 hours ago

To Make Cup Series Debut At Gateway This Weekend
Seamus Power7 hours ago

Hit The Wall At PGA Championship
Garrick Higgo7 hours ago

Might Have Hands Full In Ohio This Week
Denny McCarthy7 hours ago

Expects Rebound At The Memorial
Sahith Theegala7 hours ago

Primed For The Memorial
Sam Burns7 hours ago

Attempts To Keep Rolling At The Memorial
Chase Elliott7 hours ago

Suspended; Corey LaJoie To Replace Him At Gateway
Jon Rahm7 hours ago

A Favorite To Win At The Memorial
Washington Commanders10 hours ago

Andrew Norwell Placed On PUP List
Jordan Addison10 hours ago

Not Participating At OTAs
Calvin Ridley11 hours ago

To Remain Limited Until Training Camp
Ty Gibbs11 hours ago

Runs 900 Miles Around Charlotte
NASCAR11 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Scores Fourth Top-Five Finish
William Byron11 hours ago

Comes Up Short At Charlotte
Ryan Blaney11 hours ago

Scores Eighth Career Victory
DeAndre Hopkins12 hours ago

Ravens To Consider Adding DeAndre Hopkins?
Evan Engram13 hours ago

Absent From OTAs
Saquon Barkley13 hours ago

Remains Explosive Despite Injuries
Adin Hill13 hours ago

Shuts Out Stars In Game 6
Derrick Henry13 hours ago

Not Declining Just Yet
Josh Allen13 hours ago

Among The Best Big-Play Producers
Reilly Smith14 hours ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 6 Victory
Dalvin Cook14 hours ago

Remains Explosive
William Karlsson14 hours ago

Tallies Three Points As Vegas Eliminates Dallas
Derrick White14 hours ago

Contributes 18 Points In Game 7
Detroit Lions14 hours ago

Tracy Walker Limited At OTAs
Jaylen Brown14 hours ago

Has Eight Turnovers In Game 7
Jayson Tatum14 hours ago

Held Back By Injury In Game 7
Kyle Lowry14 hours ago

Makes Big Impact In Game 7
Bam Adebayo14 hours ago

Very Effective In Game 7 Despite Poor Shooting
Caleb Martin14 hours ago

Makes History With Another Productive Outing
Jimmy Butler15 hours ago

Leads Miami Into The NBA Finals
Christian McCaffrey1 day ago

"Excited" About Season Ahead
Los Angeles Clippers1 day ago

Tyronn Lue Expected To Remain With Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers1 day ago

Nick Nurse To Become 76ers Head Coach
Zach LaVine1 day ago

Could Leave Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks1 day ago

Bucks Hire Adrian Griffin As Head Coach
Kyrie Irving1 day ago

Mavericks Not Interested In Kyrie Irving Sign-And-Trade
Malcolm Brogdon1 day ago

Expected To Play In Game 7
Derek Carr2 days ago

Jon Gruden Helping Saints, Derek Carr Install Offense
Jordan Poole2 days ago

Warriors To Cut Costs By Trading Jordan Poole?
Lonzo Ball2 days ago

Bulls "Privately" Believe Lonzo Ball's Career Is Over
Jonathan Marchessault3 days ago

Posts Two Assists Saturday Night
Thomas Harley3 days ago

Tallies Two Assists In Game 6 Win
Ty Dellandrea3 days ago

Keeps Dallas Alive With Late Goals
Chase Elliott3 days ago

Believes He’s Got A Good Shot To Win Coca-Cola 600
Alex Bowman3 days ago

Facing Uphill Battle In Coca-Cola 600 Return
Ryan Preece3 days ago

Hopeful To Start Putting Pieces Together For Good Runs
Corey Lajoie3 days ago

Looking To Continue Career-Best Season At Charlotte
NASCAR3 days ago

Bubba Wallace Hoping For First-Ever Top 10 Finish At Charlotte
AJ Allmendinger3 days ago

A DFS Sleeper Pick For The Coca-Cola 600
Jimmie Johnson3 days ago

Doesn't Feel Prepared For Coca-Cola 600
Zane Smith3 days ago

Hoping To Learn & Get Better At Charlotte
Todd Gilliland3 days ago

Facing Significant Equipment Downgrade At Charlotte
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Could Be Place Differential King At Charlotte
Erik Jones3 days ago

Could Be Good Early At Charlotte
Daniel Suarez3 days ago

Has Upside At Coca-Cola 600
Aric Almirola3 days ago

Stuck In Middle Of The Pack For Charlotte
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Tries To Turn Back Clock At Charlotte
Ty Gibbs3 days ago

Could Provide DFS Value At Charlotte
Jack Eichel5 days ago

Keeps The Assists Coming
William Karlsson5 days ago

Matches Vegas Record With Eighth Postseason Goal
Miro Heiskanen5 days ago

Delivers Two Power-Play Assists
Jason Robertson5 days ago

Scores Two Goals In Game 4 Victory
Joe Pavelski5 days ago

Scores Overtime Winner In Game 4
Jake Oettinger5 days ago

The Confirmed Starter For Game 4
Evgenii Dadonov5 days ago

Will Be Out Of The Lineup For Dallas
Adin Hill5 days ago

Will Mind The Vegas Crease In Game 4
Jamie Benn6 days ago

Suspended For Two Games
Sergei Bobrovsky6 days ago

Remains Sharp In Series-Clincher
Aleksander Barkov6 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 4 Victory
Matthew Tkachuk6 days ago

Late Goal Sends Panthers To Stanley Cup Final