NFL Nation Fantasy Fallout: When will Kyler Murray, Cooper Kupp return?

ByEric Moody and NFL Nation ESPN logo
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and there is no shortage offantasy footballnews to digest.

Each Tuesday during the season, ESPN fantasy analyst Eric Moody will ask our NFL Nation reporters what to make of the fallout after games are played and the most pressing questions heading into the weekend. Who is primed for a big performance, who is impacted by injuries and what roles might change? Here's what our crew had to say about some of the biggest storylines after Week 3's action as we head into Week 4.

It's still yet to be seen what the Cardinals plan on doing with Murray. He's eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list on Monday but coach Jonathan Gannon has said repeatedly that Murray won't come off until he's ready to practice. Is he ready now? It's uncertain. --Josh Weinfuss

Tough to say because it likely will depend on opponent and gameplan. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has used a bunch of different offenses based on his personnel during his two-plus years in Atlanta -- in 2021 he was pass-heavy and in 2022 he was run-heavy. It would be reasonable to assert as quarterback Desmond Ridder gets more comfortable as a starter the Falcons will pass more often, but that would start with pass protection, which hasn't been good as he's taken at least four sacks in two of the first three games. So, if the pass protection gets remedied, then more passing might happen. But it'll start there. -- Michael Rothstein

The Cowboys don't look at it like they're struggling. They have 15 red zone trips in three games, which are the most in the league, but they have scored only six touchdowns inside the opponents' 20-yard line. "We need to clearly be better in that. The question was asked the other day about the red zone being No. 1 in the league last year," coach Mike McCarthy said. "We were 4-of-6 at this point last year. So, 15 to six, I'll take that. But we have to score more touchdowns." New England did not allow the New York Jets a red zone opportunity last week. When the Cowboys beat the Patriots in 2021, they were just 2-of-5 in the red zone but they had eight plays of 20 yards or more. They need more chunk plays against the Patriots Sunday too. -- Todd Archer

Not very, because it's almost the same group that posted a top 10 offense in yards and points in 2022. However, QB Trevor Lawrence, TE Evan Engram and WR Christian Kirk all said at one time or another in the last week that the biggest problems are self-inflicted: drops (they lead the league with eight), untimely penalties, and poor third-down execution (30%). All can be fixed, they said, so they're not panicking. -- Michael DiRocco

Kupp's return will give the Rams a more balanced offense and allow Los Angeles to have a strong group of receivers in Kupp, rookie Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell, something they were missing last season. Last season before he got hurt, Kupp had a 31% target share. This season, without Kupp, that high target share has gone to Nacua. When both are healthy and can be on the field together, it should benefit both players. Nacua should still be a strong WR2, although don't expect his target share to stay anywhere near where it has been without Kupp on the field.

Publicly, the Jets have been very supportive of Zach Wilson, but he has led the offense to only three touchdowns in 34 drives. In fairness, he has faced three top-10 scoring defenses in the Bills, Cowboys and Patriots. It'll be four with the Chiefs on Sunday night. That said, there needs to be some improvement in the coming weeks. A switch to Tim Boyle or newly-acquired Trevor Siemian probably wouldn't make much of a difference, but there could come a point where coach Robert Saleh makes a change for the sake of change and accountability. -- Rich Cimini

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