RB - ARI
Edmonds was receiving some hype earlier this off-season that he could be in line for a huge workload. I never bought into that thinking at all and it didn't shock me to see the Cardinals add Conner to this backfield. Edmonds will have his set role, which will have him seeing 10-12 touches per game, but he's never going to step into this massive workload that would push him into top-24 consideration for fantasy football. He's a fine RB3 for your roster that receives a bump in Full PPR formats, but we should temper our expectations for the dynamic RB in 2021.
Have we seen Edmonds carry the workload for the Cardinals before? Well, kind of. Despite Kenyan Drake struggling through much of 2020, there were just two games where Edmonds finished with more than eight carries, which is certainly a concern. The Cardinals went out and signed James Conner in free agency, but he's proven to be incapable of staying healthy with a full workload, and it wasn't a pricey contract, so maybe we see Edmonds in a bigger role. Whatever the case, we know he has the pass-catching role locked down, which has value in itself, as he was a flex-type option most weeks (he was an RB3 or better 62.5 percent of the time). This offense is going to score points, so if Edmonds were to get a slight bump in carries, he could make his way into the RB2 conversation. Draft him as an RB3/flex and hope that's the case. Just know that he's still yet to crack 100 carries in a season.
Edmonds is being perceived as the RB1 in Arizona, but we should be a bit concerned about how he'll be used. He had 52 receptions last year, but his Vegas O/U is 45.5 receptions WITH OUT Kenyan Drake there. He's only had one goal line carry in 3 seasons and he's never hit 100 carries in a season.
Edmonds is currently the lead back in Arizona, but he will spit carries with James Conner. Edmonds is an upside flex option in a very good offense.
James Conner was signed in free agency, but the good news for Edmonds is the Cardinals didn't address RB in the draft. Conner has had injury issues in the past. He seems too slow for Kliff Kingbury's high octane offense. If Conner goes down, all of a sudden Edmonds is in line for a big workload. Kyler Murray will steal some TDS, but he also opens up running lanes on the read option. Edmonds could be a sneaky pick on draft day.
I know Kliff Kingsbury went on record as saying Chase Edmonds was a starting back in the NFL. Don't confuse starting with workhorse. They are not the same thing. James Connor was brought in to share the workload and barring an injury to one, this seems like a backfield that is destined to frustrate fantasy owners, even if you roster both. Edmonds as RB depth is ok, but I'd prefer a WR in my flex spot over Edmonds.
Drake left, Edmonds drew featured back endorsements from Kingsbury... and then James Conner joined. Now Rondale Moore could threaten receiving snaps. Conner has a nose for the end zone, can catch, and could play a ~200ish touch role. A big name rookie would've been more damning, but this isn't great, either, and I can't see Edmonds being more than a mediocre-at-best flex except for the games Conner is hurt.
24yo - He might only be a 100+ carry guy but 53 receptions and big play making ability. Look for the Cardinals to address RB.
While Kenyan Drake is a free agent in 2021, it appears most likely he, or an equivalent lead back, stands in the way of Chase Edmonds in the near future. The Cardinals simply don't seem to believe Edmonds can carry the load so he'll likely remain in a committee and that makes him one of the league's better handcuffs but no starter. That may change in the future but he's not one I'd be chasing.
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