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Fantasy Football News Roundup: Miles Sanders, Nick Chubb, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mark Andrews

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Aug 21, 2020

The best part about the growth of the fantasy sports industry is that player analysis has never been more accessible. In fact, we’re at the point where one of the most overlooked aspects of playing fantasy football is simply reading the news. Often, there is a lot to learn from what a coach or executive say, as well as the information that beat reporters share. Using this news to our advantage is one of the few ways fantasy players can create an edge for themselves. Here’s a summary of this week’s headlines.

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Miles Sanders Injury Scare

The collective fantasy football world suffered our first injury scare this week when the Eagles listed Miles Sanders as “week-to-week” with a “lower-body injury.” The team’s injury report gave no specifics about the injury, but it was certainly some cold water being dumped on us following an offseason where the Eagles hyped him up as a three-down back. Anyone who happened to be on #FantasyTwitter during this time knows we weren’t processing it well.

Luckily, any major concerns were quickly forgotten, as ESPN’s Tim McManus reported that Sanders would be ready to play in Week 1. This is certainly reassuring, even if McManus is getting this quote from an unnamed source. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation ahead of drafts, but as of now, there’s no reason to lower him in your rankings. This blogger would only be concerned if the Eagles signed a veteran back in the coming days/weeks.

Here’s a reminder of Sanders’ numbers once Jordan Howard was lost for the season in 2019:

Week # Snap% Carries Targets
Week 11 85% 11 4
Week 12 85% 12 5
Week 13 88% 17 5
Week 14 57% 15 5
Week 15 71% 19 6
Week 16 81% 20 6
Week 17* 31% 9 5
Wild Card 73% 14 5

Nick Chubb Enters The Concussion Protocol

The fake football community didn’t panic as much when it came to Nick Chubb leaving Monday’s practice with a possible concussion. The 24-year-old got in a few reps of padded practices before being helped off the field early. A day later, coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed that Chubb entered the league’s concussion protocol.

By Thursday, we got a report from Browns running back coach Stump Mitchell, who said that Chubb is in meetings and “not complaining of headaches.” He added that “it’s just a matter of time” before the former second-round pick clears the league’s protocol. Cleveland will likely be cautious with Chubb for the rest of the contact portion of camp, but similar to Sanders, his Week 1 availability isn’t in doubt at the moment. Of course, Kareem Hunt would surge to RB1 status should Chubb miss any time.

Clyde The Glyde Hype Continues To Grow

The hype train for Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been off like a rocket ship ever since Damien Williams opted out of the 2020 season. We learned last Friday that CEH was the team’s “featured back” during practice. Then we got an article from The Athletic about how Chiefs players and coaches are lauding the rookie for being a fast learner with great vision.

It’s worth noting that Patrick Mahomes, who pushed for KC to draft Edwards-Helaire in the first place, said the 21-year-old is “playing fast” and “has incredible vision.” William’s decision not to play has vaulted CEH’s average draft position into the middle of Round 1, which means you’re going to have to be aggressive if you want him. As a reference point for his upside, I’d like to point out that Kareem Hunt averaged a whopping 19.5 PPR points per game when he had this backfield to himself in 2017-18.

Mark Andrews Third-Year Leap?

Back in mid-July, there was a question of whether or not Mark Andrews was going to play this season. The 24-year-old has Type 1 Diabetes, but he indicated that he planned to play anyway. Both Ravens fans and prospective fantasy owners are happy about his decision, as the third-year tight end is poised for a monster campaign.

Fine. Andrews already broke out in 2019 when he totaled 64 catches, 852 yards, and a whopping 10 touchdowns. But as Baltimore’s offense is set for regression, does it make sense to project him for 10 scores? Probably not. Andrews played in 15 games last season, but he was always limited, running a route on just 61% of his team’s dropbacks due to his various injuries. Now healthy, Jeff Zrebiec notes that Ravens defensive backs and linebackers have struggled to “stay with” him during training camp.

With Hayden Hurst now in Atlanta, Andrews should be in line for a higher target share of a Lamar Jackson passing offense. Simply being on the field more could help him finish as a top-three tight end.

Chase Edmonds More Than A Handcuff?

We’ll close out this week’s News Roundup with a Kliff Kingsbury, who “feels like Chase Edmonds is a starting running back in this league.” The 24-year-old has been talked up all offseason after he averaged 5.1 yards per carry in 2019. Yes, this is Kenyan Drake’s backfield, but Kingsbury continues to indicate that Edmonds is more than just a handcuff.

At this point in the hype machine, it’s fair to call Edmonds a late-round priority in drafts, whether or not you’re a Drake owner. We don’t normally advise drafting your own handcuff, but it might be wise this season with so many unknowns around the corner. Edmonds has a fan in Kingsbury. He’d be an immediate RB1 should anything happen to Drake. As a bonus, he might even have some standalone value as well.

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Brendan Tuma is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, check out his archive and follow him @toomuchtuma.

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