Chase Edmonds Fantasy Outlook: A Low-Floor, Solid-Ceiling RB in a Great Landing Spot

    Despite joining his fourth team since 2021, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Chase Edmonds can still be an asset. What is his fantasy outlook in 2023?

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    Chase Edmonds’ 2023 Fantasy Outlook

    It wasn’t long ago that Edmonds was relevant in fantasy drafts — and not only “relevant,” but a must-draft running back with a strong shot at being a weekly starter. Only two years ago, he was the preseason RB24 while serving as the 1A back ahead of the recently added James Conner.

    Edmonds was nearly as good as advertised and finished that year as the RB28 in points per game. Not too shabby. And yet, he was dramatically overshadowed by Conner, who powered the Cardinals’ offense behind 18 touchdowns, finishing as the overall RB5.

    Never mind that Edmonds ran better on the ground (5.1 ypc vs. Conner’s 3.7) or that he averaged 1.8 more targets per game. The fact is, while Edmonds was on the shelf for five games, Conner took over and never really looked back.

    That offseason, Conner earned a long-term contract and $13.5 million guaranteed, while Edmonds got a smaller deal in Miami with only $6.1 million guaranteed. Because, as we’ve seen with Conner, Jamaal Williams, and many other RBs, touchdowns pay handsomely.

    Now, this isn’t an advertisement for Edmonds, although those first few paragraphs might seem a bit generous. The former fourth-round pick was a hit-or-miss prospect out of college after collecting more than 1,000 touches.

    But he’s struggled with injuries, had the misfortune of playing behind underrated 30-year-old Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert, and also had the misfortune of playing behind inspired 32-year-old Broncos RB Latavius Murray.

    By most accounts, Edmonds has run well. Sporting a career 4.5 ypc mark, the 27-year-old playmaker still has juice on the ground and through the air.

    And in 2023, he joined his fourth team in three years — the RB-needy Buccaneers. This might be his best landing spot ever, at least from a playing-time perspective. 2022 third-round rookie Rachaad White has had a leg up on the starting job.

    But it would take a minor miracle for 2020 third-rounder Ke’Shawn Vaughn to suddenly revive his muted career, while UDFA Sean Tucker appears to be more of a developmental project.

    Is this now presumably a two-man backfield between White and Edmonds? White is built to be more of an NFL three-down back, but that doesn’t guarantee him a larger full-season role.

    Are the odds in White’s favor? Sure. But he also needs to show more than he did last year. Despite catching 50 passes, he averaged only 3.7 ypc while averaging an anemic one broken tackle per 32.3 carries.

    Edmonds is a cheap, nothing-to-lose value play in fantasy — a potential handcuff with starter-caliber abilities. That’s not a bad investment near the end of drafts, especially for managers who go all in on White.

    On the flip side, it’s important to remember that the Bucs’ offense might struggle more than they have in years. Objectively, their QB and backfield situations are not enviable. Their stellar receiving corps can’t single-handedly propel this team to victory.

    So those all-important touchdowns highlighted earlier? Well, of course, they matter. Even if Edmonds somehow earns a timeshare with White, he still might be little more than a three-carry/three-catch option each week. In most fantasy leagues, that won’t be enough to stream him because this team realistically could finish among the bottom 10 in scoring.

    So if you draft Edmonds in 2023, you’re accepting the possibility that he’ll remain on your bench all season. If Tampa Bay is surprisingly “good” and pushing for a playoff spot, they might be buyers at the trade deadline, and adding another running back might be necessary.

    Still, this is the same Edmonds who netted 4.8 ypc and caught six of seven passes on the flailing Broncos late last season. Despite the diminished role, he did everything possible to earn another shot. And if he gets that shot in Tampa Bay, he’ll probably end up being one of fantasy’s biggest RB bargains.

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