Christian Kirk’s up and down tenure with the Cardinals closed with him setting career-highs in receptions, (77) and yards (982), leading the team with 103 targets.
That turned into a big pay day for him from a team in which he posted a season-high 104 yards against back in Week 3, his lone 100-yard game of the season.
According to multiple reports, Kirk signed a four-year deal worth at least $72 million and a maximum value of $84 million.
What is Christian Kirk’s Fantasy Football Value?
Kirk has never fully materialized as a fantasy star, closing out as the WR53, WR32, WR55, and WR34 in points per game. He has produced five career WR1 scoring weeks with another 11 WR2 scoring weeks over his 56 career regular season games.
Kirk was never the best wide receiver on any of those Arizona teams, so if targets are earned by your best players, he stands to receive a bump in opportunity in Jacksonville, contending with Marvin Jones as his largest target threat currently on the roster.
This move alone will put Kirk’s fantasy value on the WR2/WR3 line, with the probability that he is still a limited touchdown scorer.
Despite the uneven production for fantasy, Arizona did find a role for him in 2021 to maximize Kirk’s on-field value.
Kirk ran a career-high 77.9% of his routes from the slot, after rates of 29.9%, 42.2%, and 14.6% over his first three years in the league. in the slot, Kirk collected a 63-809-4 line after 59-599-3 from the slot prior.
Kirk was not just a puddle jumper collecting shallow targets inside, posting an average depth of target of 11.8 yards downfield from the slot, which was sixth in the league.
Trevor Lawrence + Christian Kirk: Fantasy Impact
Kirk will look to have more success than Marvin Jones did in free agency a year ago, but is another addition to aid the development of Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence had lofty expectations built up for multiple seasons on an Andrew Luck level as a franchise savior, but the initial results are a strong reminder that the NFL can be humbling for anyone.
Lawrence had the most incompetent head coach in the league overseeing his initial development to derail things, but not much went right for him on the field.
He ranked 35th out of 42 passers with 100 or more pass attempts in completion percentage (59.6%) while the only passers with a lower yards per attempt than Lawrence’s 6.1 Y/A were Tyler Huntley, Jacoby Brissett, Cam Newton, and Mike Glennon.
In year two under Doug Pederson, there is a low bar for improvement. Jacksonville is all in with giving Lawrence what they can, but this signing still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of landing Lawrence a future WR1.
With DeAndre Hopkins sidelined last year, Kirk showed that he still has limitations when tasked with carrying a passing game. All of Kirk’s peripheral metrics took a hit playing without Hopkins on the field as he averaged 1.68 yards per route, 11.9 yards per catch and caught one touchdown without Hopkins on the field compared to a 1.98 yards per route, 13.9 yards per catch, and four scores with Hopkins drawing attention.
How does Kirk’s Signing Impact other Jaguars’ Receivers
If the Jaguars plan to play Kirk inside, that all blows out any flicker of a flame left for Laviska Shenault, who struggled when pressed outside a year ago. But it also opens potential for Rondale Moore taking a step forward in his second season in Arizona.
Moore did not do anything to alleviate the concerns we had for him transitioning to the NFL, even in an offense that was suited to get the most out of him. He ended the year with 54 catches for 435 yards and one touchdown.
After being a near the line of scrimmage receiver in college, Moore managed a laughable depth of target of just 1.2 yards as a rookie. Just seven of his 64 targets came on throws over 10 yards downfield while 41 came at or behind the line scrimmage.
I am more than skeptical on Moore’s ceiling from a fantasy stance, but with Arizona losing Kirk and A.J. Green still in the wind, Moore still carries plenty of pedigree and draft capital to have increased usage in year two and find his way as a full-PPR contributor.
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