Tag Archives: Chase Edmonds

Week 6 Waiver Wire: Banking with Chase

Week 5 came and…well that’s it because at the time of this writing, the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans had yet to play their matchup. It was rescheduled for Tuesday after the Titans had a self-inflicted outbreak of COVID. Similarly, the New England Patriots had their game against the Denver Broncos pushed from Week 5 to Week 6.

That’s all besides the point though because we’re here to find some help for out ailing fake football teams. Injuries have the quarterback of a high-octane offense, a rookie wide receiver that looks like a tight end, and a backup running back making the case for more time all available on the wire.

Andy Dalton

Dallas Cowboys – QB – 99.8% Avail

First and foremost, let’s send wishes for a speedy recovery to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. While trying to fight for more yardage on a scramble he suffered a compound fracture and will miss the rest of the season. He has a long recovery ahead and the Cowboys will have to try and regroup with their backup.

Fortunately for them, Andy Dalton has nine years worth of starting experience in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the AFC North. Dalton threw just under 3500 yards in 13 games last season with a far less talented group. Putting him under center may not cure what ails the Cowboys (hint: it is ailments) but he could do wonders for you if you’re hurting at QB.

Dalton hasn’t been a top-12 fantasy quarterback since 2016, but this is by far the most offensive talent he’s played with. He also doesn’t need to be elite, just get you through a bye week. But the fact that a 30-something quarterback carries the kind of upside Dalton does in this offense is rare for a backup quarterback.

Alexander Mattison

Minnesota Vikings – RB – 58.4% Avail

Dalvin Cook is one of the most talented backs in the NFL right now. Unfortunately, staying healthy has been his biggest hurdle. That’s why the Vikings took Alexander Mattison out of Boise State in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. All he did in relief was take 20 carries for 112 yards against the Seattle Seahawks in a losing effort.

Cook is expected to miss Week 6 against the woeful Atlanta Falcons with his abductor injury; a predictable move given the Vikings Week 7 bye. Cook becomes a plug-and-play option in this situation. He’s only averaging 68 yards in the five games he’s handled double-digit carries, a figure aided by his output last week.

Still, Atlanta is 0-5 and dealing with an interim head coach while Minnesota is third in rushing yards and fourth in attempts as a team. There is a risk this becomes a shootout, and Mike Boone is a threat to vulture any week. But finding 18-plus carries on the wire isn’t anything to sneeze at, even if it’s likely only for one week.

Chase Edmonds

Arizona Cardinals – RB – 53.5% Avail

We head to the desert to find another back on the wire. This one carries more long-term potential but is far more speculative. Whereas a Cook injury opens a brief window for Mattison, it’s the ineffective play of Kenyan Drake that has many hoping that Kliff Kingsbury opts to move on from a player they’re paying $8 million on the transition tag.

Arizona’s big-money, short-term commitment plodded his way to 60 yards on 16 carries against the lowly New York Jets, scuffling to 3.3 yards per carry; up from 2.7 the week before. Edmonds only had 36 yards (and a touchdown) on three carries but that’s 12 yards per tote. The former Fordham runner also had five catches for 56 yards, another aspect of Drake’s game that’s been lacking.

Again, this is speculation with a hint of hope. Drake was a part-time player in college and with the Miami Dolphins. It would make sense that Edmonds at least eats into his workload regardless. But the Alabama alum might be forcing his coach’s hand. Even though an injury didn’t knock Drake out of last week’s game as some had expected, his poor play just might.

Chase Claypool

Pittsburgh Steelers – WR – 91.2% Avail

Ok, so maybe you don’t need this guide to realize that Chase Claypool should be added. Anytime a receiver goes for 110 yards on seven grabs and three touchdowns you take notice. When that player also gets three carries and scores a rushing touchdown you make them a priority. And when that player is but a rookie you get the types of hyped headlines we have seen this week.

Claypool stepped in for Diontae Johnson (back) and proceeded to shine so brightly he overshadowed Philadelphia Eagles wideout Travis Fulgham who had 10 catches for 152 yards and two scores of his own. His 11 targets were nearly double those of the next pass-catcher, Eric Ebron. They were also the second-most looks a Steelers receiver has gotten in a game this season.

It was Ebron’s drops, a recurring issue throughout his career, that made way for Claypool who looks more like a tight end than a receiver. Johnson’s injury seemingly opened the door for Claypool and Ebron being himself held it there. It was the rookie’s own performance though that could have him looking like a modern version of Plaxico Burress.

Mike Williams

Los Angeles Chargers – WR – 65.4% Avail

From one big-bodied wide receiver to another, Mike Williams was a popular player before the season but early passing struggles and a strong ground attack left Williams’ owners feeling burned. Perhaps his two touchdowns and 109 yards on five catches will get some investors back in the fold.

Williams has battled injuries and he actually got hurt at the end of Monday Night Football but was able to walk off the field under his own power. Just keep an eye on it. He wasn’t the only receiver to go down as top-option Keenan Allen also left early with a back injury. If Williams was just banged up, he could be in for a big role if Allen (who has also battled injuries) misses time.

The injury risk this season has been devastating and even worse for the Chargers. Keep that in mind with Williams. But even if he misses time, he could be useful as we continue through the bye weeks. Any concerns about the offense should have already been laid to rest with the announcement that Justin Herbert would start at quarterback the rest of the season.

Robert Tonyan

Green Bay Packers – TE – 51.4% Avail You may have forgotten but the last time we saw the Green Bay Packers they were being carried by third-year tight end Robert Tonyan. Okay, “carry” may be too strong for an offense featuring Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones. Tonyan put on a show nonetheless. Six grabs, 98 yards, and three touchdown catches is one way to get your name out there.

What was most notable about Tonyan’s performance was that it was his third-straight game with a score and second with 50-plus receiving yards. He’s just one target shy of his 2019 total and has already surpassed his catch and yardage totals from last season. Aaron Rodgers playing lights out right now is the cherry on top.

The elephant in the room here is Davante Adams. He missed the game against the Falcons and left early in Week 2 against the Detroit Lions. His imminent return will put a dent into Tonyan’s production. But, despite investing draft capital at tight end in each of the past two drafts, Tonyan appears to be the best option the Packers have at the position.

Kyler Murray: The NFL’s Next MVP

Kyler Murray will be the Most Valuable Player in the NFL in 2020. Yes, we are months out from training camp, let alone the regular season. So much can change from basic cuts and trades to devastating injuries. But the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 is uniquely outfitted to bring the award to the desert.

Sure, this sounds crazy now. The Arizona Cardinals just finished a 5-10-1 season. It was their fourth-straight losing season, and seventh in the past decade. But there were some mitigating factors (on top of Murray’s inexperience) that played a large part in that. Not the least of which is the defense that allowed the fourth-most points in team history.

Since this is about the MVP, an individual award, we can (somewhat) take his team’s success with a grain of salt and focus on Murray and why he makes sense for 2020 MVP.

Kyler Murray Will Be the Next MVP

History

Before we get into the numbers that Murray put up himself, let’s do a quick skim of the history of the MVP in the NFL. And we don’t even have to look too deep to recognize the pattern that has developed over the years. One that has shown a clear bias towards who will and won’t win the most-coveted individual award in the League.

Established in 1957 (yes, the award pre-dates the AFL-NFL merger of 1970), the MVP award has been awarded to the player thought to be the most indispensable to his team. That has usually been an offensive player.  More often than not, that has meant awarding a quarterback. More specifically, 38 quarterbacks have been named MVP compared to just 16 running backs.

That pattern has through recent times as quarterbacks have won every MVP since Adrian Peterson won it back in 2012. Before him, it was Shaun Alexander (05) and LaDainian Tomlinson (06) winning back-to-back. But this isn’t the biggest historical factor leading to this proclamation. We only need to look at the past few years to find that.

The past two winners of the coveted award were Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Aside from both sharing the NFL’s glamour position, they both won the award in their second season. Unlike either Jackson or Mahomes, however, Murray started every game of his rookie campaign, perhaps giving him a leg up in development.

His Story

Murray enjoyed a fantastic collegiate career at Oklahoma playing for Lincoln Riley. His dynamic skill set made him the perfect fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid scheme and he proved it in 2019. It was an uneven start but it didn’t take long for the jitterbug passer to show what made him special.

The Cardinals quarterback threw the sixth-most passes (542) in for a rookie in NFL history and joined some notable company in doing so, including a Hall of Famer. He joined Cam Newton and became just the second rookie ever to throw for over 3700 yards and run for over 540 yards, and the ninth player overall to do so.

Arizona, as mentioned, was bad on the whole and the porous offensive line allowed the sixth-most sacks. But they still managed to rank 10th in rushing. That was thanks in no small part to Murray who finished 36th overall in rushing yards. His dual-threat abilities were on full display during a three-game stretch where he averaged 10 carries per game.

He did all this with the terrible blocking, yes. But he was also the victim of depleted weaponry. His All-Pro running back David Johnson has been reduced to a shell of his former self. He saw himself replaced by his backup Chase Edmonds and later (and for good) by Miami Dolphins castoff Kenyan Drake. His top receiver was the ageless Larry Fitzgerald. That’s not good.

The Sooner the Better

Murray finished the season 15th in passing yards and completion percentage despite all the shortcomings around him. He’s in a system that is geared towards his strengths, something else he has in common with Jackson and Mahomes. This system has never featured the run and the defense will still be bad next season. In other words, he’ll need to throw a lot.

An infusion of talent is on the horizon via free agency and the draft. Depending on how they feel about young pass-catchers Christian Kirk, Damiere Byrd, and KeeSean Johnson they could focus heavily on the offensive line. They could also focus on cornerback and pass rush help because they will want to at least try to stop their opponents.

The success of Mahomes has been the result of the perfect marriage of a great situation and superb individual talent. And he still sat for a season behind Alex Smith. Baltimore overhauled their coaching staff to implement a system that would best utilize Jackson’s abilities (a novel concept, right?). But only after his rookie season.

Murray will enter his sophomore campaign with far more experience than either of those two. He’ll also have a system in place that was seemingly designed for him and that he won’t have had to learn in one offseason. All this along with the organization assumedly having a better understanding of what pieces he needs around him only enhances his prospects.

Kyler Murray, 2020 MVP

This is speculating to the extreme. No one knows how anything in the offseason will play out. But Murray answered two very important questions last season. He proved he could play in the NFL and he proved he can survive a 16-game season at his size. The next step will be improving his consistency and turning drives into points. If he does that, he will certainly be the MVP in 2020.