Here are Christian Kirk’s full NFL stats.
|Year||Games||Targets||Receptions||Yards||TDs||Fantasy Finish||Fantasy PPG||PPG Rank|
The Cardinals drafted Kirk with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. At the time, they had almost no receivers outside of Larry Fitzgerald, so Kirk practically immediately stepped in as the WR2. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones and running back David Johnson also contributed in the passing game, but the Josh Rosen-led offense struggled throughout 2018.
Even though 2018 was a terrible year for the Cardinals, Kirk was one of the lone bright spots. He averaged 13.7 yards/reception and 8.7 yards/target, by far the team’s best marks. Kirk finished just behind Seals-Jones and Johnson in targets, but he did so in only 12 games.
After 2018, the Cardinals performed a complete overhaul of their offense and organization. They fired head coach Steve Wilks, replacing him with Kliff Kingsbury. Then, they drafted Kyler Murray with the first overall pick and traded Rosen to the Dolphins. The Cardinals also added receivers Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson in the 2019 NFL Draft to compete with Kirk.
However, none of those receivers made an impact in 2019, and Seals-Jones disappeared from the offense. Fitzgerald and Kirk were the Cardinals’ only two significant receivers, with 109 and 108 targets. Kirk took a significant step forward in 2019. Therefore, considering Murray’s development as a rookie, he seemed primed for a third-year breakout in 2020.
2020 Performance and Outlook
Unfortunately, everything went wrong during the 2020 offseason for Kirk’s dynasty value. Fitzgerald decided to return for another season, where he will continue to take targets from Kirk. Then, the Cardinals traded for superstar DeAndre Hopkins, who immediately became the Cardinals’ top receiver.
Luckily for Kirk, none of the Cardinals’ 2019 receivers seem to be a part of their 2020 plans. They already released Butler and placed Johnson on the COVID reserve list. Johnson was an afterthought throughout the offseason anyway, but he won’t get a chance to play early on. Isabella saw only 14% of snaps in Week 1, far behind Hopkins, Fitzgerald, and Kirk. Each of the Cardinals’ three top receivers saw 77% or more of snaps, demonstrating the Cardinals’ intention to utilize 11 personnel as their base offense in 2020.
Unfortunately, Kirk only received five targets in Week 1, catching one of them for zero yards. In contrast, Hopkins had 16 targets, leading the team by a wide margin. Fitzgerald also matched Kirk’s five targets, although he performed far better with four receptions for 34 yards. I think some people are overreacting to Kirk’s poor Week 1 performance, but I can’t say I’m completely writing it off. I’m not sure you’ll be able to use Kirk in your 2020 fantasy lineups, especially if Hopkins receives that kind of target share throughout the season.
Kirk is a challenging dynasty asset to handle. I believe he has talent, but he’s stuck behind Hopkins. Murray and the Cardinals like to spread the ball around, so Kirk will struggle to gain target share during his rookie contract’s final two seasons. With that said, I love to buy-low on talented players, and now might be the time to pounce on Kirk. If you can send a 2021 second-round rookie pick and acquire Kirk, I love that move in dynasty leagues. Talent beats situation for dynasty wide receivers, and Kirk is no exception to that rule.
Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Karp. I love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out at any time! I take fantasy questions and help with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.