Here are Chase Edmonds’ full NFL stats.
The Cardinals drafted Edmonds in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. At the time, they had recently extended star running back David Johnson to a 3-year, $39 million contract. Edmonds immediately became Johnson’s primary backup, with only Edmonds and Johnson seeing any significant work in 2018.
However, the Cardinals’ offense tanked under rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, and neither Johnson nor Edmonds saw much success. Edmonds made his way onto the dynasty radar, though, as he was one of the best handcuffs in fantasy football. If Johnson ever went down, Edmonds would inherit a three-down role.
After 2018, the Cardinals fired their head coach and drafted Kyler Murray to replace Rosen at quarterback. New head coach Kliff Kingsbury instituted a 4-wide offense, where Johnson and Edmonds could have open running lanes. Unfortunately, Johnson looked awful in Kingsbury’s offense, and Edmonds only saw spot duty.
The Cardinals eventually traded for Kenyan Drake with Johnson and Edmonds both injured. Drake suddenly became the workhorse starter, leaving Johnson and Edmonds as pure backups. Worst of all, with both Johnson and Edmonds behind Drake, neither was even a pure handcuff, and both players fell to fantasy irrelevance.
Luckily for Edmonds, he received a break when the Cardinals somehow fleeced the Texans into swapping David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals gave Drake the transition tag, so Edmonds retained his role as a high-end handcuff, now to Drake instead of Johnson. Edmonds was a popular dynasty stash throughout the offseason, although most people thought he wasn’t an outstanding player.
2020 Performance and Outlook
Going into 2020, the Cardinals had drafted seventh-rounder Eno Benjamin who was a highly regarded devy prospect. But with the shortened offseason, Benjamin never gained any momentum in camp, allowing Edmonds to retain the backup role easily. Also, Drake struggled with a mysterious foot injury, sparking speculation that Edmonds could force a timeshare.
Through seven games, Drake dominated the carries, with 119 to Edmonds’ 29. However, Edmonds far outproduced Drake in the passing game, as Drake only had seven receptions on 10 targets. Edmonds was essentially taking a “Kareem Hunt” role, where he had the passing-down work, but he could also step in as a workhorse starter if Drake suffered an injury.
In Week 7, Drake went down with a severe ankle injury that could send him to the injured reserve. Drake will likely miss at least three games, forcing the Cardinals to turn to Edmonds as their starter. Given Drake’s poor 2020 efficiency, I’m not entirely confident that Drake wins the starting job back from Edmonds after this stretch. At the very least, I expect Edmonds to create a 50-50 split backfield instead of the carry split from the beginning of the season. Therefore, Edmonds should have borderline RB1 value as long as Drake sits and RB3 value when Drake returns.
Drake is on the transition tag, and the Cardinals have not committed to him for 2021. I doubt the Cardinals retain Drake, as he will likely cost more money than he’s worth. Edmonds is on his rookie contract, and the Cardinals only owe him around $1 million for 2021.
Therefore, Edmonds is a perfect cost-controlled option to pair with a 2021 rookie running back. Unless the Cardinals draft one of the absolute top-tier 2021 rookies like Travis Etienne or Najee Harris, Edmonds could have a role through 2021, making him a valuable dynasty asset.
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