AJ Green might not be the elite player he once was, but he still deserves a write-up on the fantasy impact of his move to the Arizona Cardinals. I’ve had a few conversations about this move, with mixed responses. Personally, I love it. The deal itself is a one-year contract, but there are still questions over if it will work.
Does Green Still Have It?
This is the biggest question. Last season, questions were asked if Green was going to be able to perform at the levels he had previously, after missing a chunk of the 2018 season and the entire 2019 season.
However, on his 2020 showing- no he doesn’t have it. He might’ve played in all 16 games on paper, but he didn’t put in those performances that many expected from him. Infact, he his 2020 performance was actually worse that his part season 2018 stats (expect he had one more reception).
So, it’s somewhat safe to say, at this point of his career, he isn’t a primary alpha receiver. However, he won’t be used in that role on this team. He will be a secondary option for the team, behind DeAndre Hopkins.
Before we get into it, this move isn’t going to affecting DeAndre Hopkins at all. Hopkins is going to get the majority of the opportunity in this offense. This is going to be a discussion of where Green is going to be sitting in amongst the others. Personally, I see Green as the receiver that is going to be used on the outside and Christian Kirk is likely to move to the slot (with Larry Fitzgerald likely to retire)
For fantasy, this is a big question mark. Can Green operate as a secondary receiver? If he is going to do it, this is the offense that he can do it in. Arizona had 545 targets shared amongst their players, with Hopkins taking the majority with 160. That leaves 385. Around 100 targets (roughly 20%) went to the running back position. Leaving 280-ish for it’s receivers.
The good thing is that the team just don’t throw to the Tight End. There were only 66 targets that went to the position, which is fewer as a whole than 16 seperate players in the league.
So, there is plenty of opportunity for Green to get a safe number of targets. Like he could get over 100 targets in this offense, along with Christian Kirk.
The largest impact, for me, is a positive for Murray. Green is going to have secondary coverage and should be better than the other receivers on the roster. I think the field will be opened up a little more, and Green should be a decent option.
But what does this mean for the Fantasy Impact of AJ Green to the Cardinals? For me, it comes down to his ADP. I don’t mind taking a flyer on him late in drafts. He fits into that category or player who could outperform, but if he doesn’t you’ll know quickly. Could be a bench player to open the season, and see what you have. He could end up being a low-end WR3 for the season, with the odd week of WR2 performances.
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Image Credit: Ken Blaze – USA TODAY Sports