Updated: Aug 24, 2021
5. Arizona Cardinals
2020 Record 8–8
Key Additions: JJ Watt, Malcolm Butler, Shawn Williams, Jack Crawford, Daryl Worley
Fantasy Football Starters: Isaiah Simmons, Budda Baker, Markus Golden, Chandler Jones, JJ Watt, Zaven Collins
Best Position Group: LBs
The Arizona Cardinals spent money in free agency beefing up their defensive line and secondary. They also used their first round pick on what could be the best defensive player in the draft, inside LB Zaven Collins. Collins along with LB Isaiah Simmons form one of the youngest (and athletic) inside linebacker tandems in the NFL.
The outside linebacker duo of LB Chandler Jones and LB Markus Golden will form great pressure and outside run control. Jones led the league in sacks in 2017 with 17, also setting the franchise record for the Cardinals. They will be aided by 3 time Defensive player of the year, DL JJ Watt.
The former Texan, Watt, although entering the tail end of his career, is still a threat. The former 2 time NFL sack leader will be playing with a renewed passion, and will have the best supporting cast in his career. He will not be asked to be the only source of pressure and could have the best teammate of his career in DB Budda Baker.
In 2020, Baker had the most DB points in Fantasy Football. The 2020 First Team All-Pro isthe leader of the defense. He is joined in the secondary by Superbowl hero, DB Malcom Butler. Butler came from the Titans and will be their top corner, after the now Minnesota Viking, DB Patrick Peterson held that honor for over a decade.
The Arizona Cardinals needed only a few adjustments to reach the playoffs. They are in the tough NFC West, but if the roster improvements produce more wins, the Cardinals should enter the playoffs a hardened team. QB Kyler Murray and Head Coach Kingsbury enter their 3rd year together, and it seems that anything less than the playoffs could begin the process of looking for a new head coach/QB combination.
The Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks on week 18 in what could determine the division winner. At the very least it will have an impact on the playoffs. The Cardinals playoff hopes could come to the last week, keeping its fan base in suspense all season long.
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