The Cardinals gave Kenyan Drake 16 carries/game after choosing to pay him $8.5 million in 2020. They let him go, and proceeded to sign an injury prone veteran for a 1-year, $1.75 million contract.
If they were really serious about replacing that particular role, they would not have brought in James Conner as Kenyan Drake’s replacement. Do they really expect Conner to be able to give them 16 carries/game like Drake did for the bulk of the season?
I don’t think they brought Conner in to fill that role. I do think Conner will open the season as the goal line back, and the main bruiser.
But I do expect Chase Edmonds’ snaps to go up in a big way. He had 53 catches last season on less than 50% of snaps, and I expect that to go up to about 65% of snaps – while Conner is healthy.
And by the way, they opened up camp splitting up primary reps. The fact that Edmonds is being considered for primary reps is a big indication that he’s not just viewed as their satellite back.
What happens if Conner gets hurt? Can we really have expectations of Conner staying healthy for more games, and finish more games than he did over the past two seasons? We talk about Edmonds not being built for a workload… I honestly think we have more to worry about with Conner in that regard.
If Conner does end up hurt, Edmonds’ snaps can obviously go up even higher, and the upside is unquestioned after scoring the 5th most fantasy points/opportunity and 6th in most fantasy points/touch last season. And he doesn’t have to be a workhorse, either.
Outside of Alvin Kamara, he had the most yards/reception among all RBs with 65+ targets.
I don’t see the Cardinals being as reliant on the run this year based on their personnel in the backfield and the offensive line (much more geared towards pass pro and than run blocking).
Edmonds is a RB I’ll be aiming for in PPR leagues to be my RB3. If there is a true uptick in usage, I’m expecting a RB2 floor with a RB1 ceiling for Edmonds on a per game basis. That’s based on 15-18 touches/game, with a large percentage of that coming in the receiving game.