One of the most productive fantasy football players ever is back in the lineup this week after tearing his ACL exactly 11 months ago. Kyler Murray, one of only five quarterbacks to average over 20 fantasy points per game, will be under center to make his 2023 debut against the Falcons.
Murray threw for 2,368 yards and 14 touchdowns and added another 418 rushing yards and three touchdowns through 11 games last year. He will look to put some good tape on file with the Cardinals in the Caleb Williams and Drake Maye sweepstakes.
Looking ahead, we all know he will put up fantasy points — especially with his juicy fantasy playoff schedule. But, should fantasy owners start Kyler Murray in Week 10?
Let’s take a look.
The Falcons enter this game as the seventh-most-giving defense to the quarterback position — which makes this a solid matchup for Murray at home.
Over the past four weeks, the Falcons have given up 28 fantasy points to Joshua Dobbs, 34 to Will Levis, 18 to Baker Mayfield, and 24 to Sam Howell. On the season, they’ve allowed an average of 21.33 fantasy points per game to the position, along with a 17:4 TD:INT ratio.
Although the Falcons have let up bundles of fantasy points to quarterbacks, opposing receivers have not been as lucky. Outside of DeAndre Hopkins‘ 30 bomb and decent games by Jayden Reed and Mike Evans, receivers have not put up big numbers against this secondary. Through nine games, the Falcons have only allowed 11 touchdowns to receivers and opposing wide receiver cores are only averaging a combined 20 fantasy points per game.
Barring rust, what’s not to like about Murray’s upside in this matchup?
THE SURROUNDING TALENT
The tanking Cardinals have surprisingly put together a competitive first nine weeks, which resulted in some real bright spots for their offense.
Led by Marquise Brown, Michael Wilson, Trey McBride, Rondale Moore, and the return of James Conner, Murray has some real weaponry at his disposal.
The real buy-low chance this week was with Brown, who has a connection with Murray dating back to their days at Oklahoma. That proved to translate to the NFL in their six games together last season when Hollywood was running as the WR1.
With DeAndre Hopkins out of the lineup, Brown saw six, 11, 17, 11, 10, and nine targets. With those targets he put up 43 receptions for 485 yards and three touchdowns — highlighted by a 140-yard, 14 reception game.
Somehow, someway, Trey McBride is still available on nearly 45% of waiver wires. On one hand, it makes sense because he put up a measly 22 yards on three receptions last week. But, that was with the horrific Clayton Tune under center. Did people forget he broke out with 95 yards and a touchdown on ten receptions the week before?
Murray sneaky loves to target his tight ends, as Zach Ertz had 87 receptions for 807 yards and five touchdowns in his 17 games with Murray starting at quarterback. With Ertz on injured reserve, McBride will be a key red zone and chain mover for this offense.
Conner’s return to the lineup will be huge for the offense. The three-down workhorse is 100% healthy after his IR stint and will be a major, major upgrade over Keaontay Ingram and Emari Demercado. Expect a major workload for Conner with Demercado out and he should also catch a number of dump-offs from Murray — which is why we have him ranked as a rock-solid RB2 this week.
Looking at the other weapons, Michael Wilson is the big-bodied target to stash, while Murray has always had a solid connection with Rondale Moore. One of them will step up behind Hollywood and McBride, but fantasy owners should lean Wilson’s red zone upside between the two.
SHOULD YOU START KYLER MURRAY IN WEEK 10?
With the Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes), Dolphins (Tua Tagovailoa), Eagles (Jalen Hurts), and Rams (Matthew Stafford) all on the bye, Murray is a very solid starting option this week.
Assuming you’ve been stashing Murray over the past few weeks and do not hold a top-12 quarterback as your backup to one of these studs, I’d feel confident in 16-plus fantasy points from the little rascal.
Outside of rust and a limited number of designed runs, the major question mark for Murray is the Call of Duty release dropping the same week as Murray’s return. Has he been burning the midnight oil and gaming until the sun rises in Arizona?
It’s funny because it’s true.
The Wolf is in lock-step, ranking Murray his QB12 on his Fantasy Football Week 10 Rankings, above the likes of Will Levis, Baker Mayfield, and Geno Smith.