As dynasty fantasy football managers look towards the NFL Draft, North Carolina RB Ty Chandler has established himself as a name to remember for 2022. Following a successful collegiate career, what are Chandler’s strengths, are there any concerns, and how does his landing spot with the Minnesota Vikings impact his dynasty value in 2022 and beyond?
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Ty Chandler’s dynasty fantasy profile
Chandler had a massive, almost daunting task ahead of him in 2021. After four years of little to no production at Tennessee, he needed to fill the shoes of two 1,000-yard running backs in Javonte Williams and Michael Carter.
There were serious doubts about this happening. Yet, in fairness, Tennessee was awful. In three of his four seasons, they had five or fewer wins. During those four seasons, Chandler amassed 421 attempts for 2,046 yards with 13 touchdowns, adding 58 receptions for 465 yards and 3 more scores. With players allowed a free year of eligibility due to the impact of COVID in 2020, Chander went to Chapel Hill and absolutely took off.
Playing in all 13 games, Chandler set career highs across the board, rushing 182 times for 1,092 yards and 13 touchdowns. Working out of the backfield, Chandler hauled in 15 receptions for 216 yards (14.4 ypr) with 1 touchdown. Thanks to this and a 213-yard, 4-TD performance against Wake Forest, Chandler earned a trip to the Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas and was one of the biggest risers.
He was excellent in 1-on-1 receiving drills between running backs and linebackers and went on to have a great game, leading both teams in rushing with 69 yards on 11 carries. Chandler has become one of my favorite under-the-radar names in 2022 rookie drafts. His tape shows a highly capable rusher who could be a steal in not only the NFL Draft but also upcoming rookie drafts.
With superb vision, Chandler’s eyes are the first thing to stand out. He quickly reads and diagnoses the leverage, makes the proper correction, and hits daylight. If a running back can’t see the hole, nothing else matters. That’s why it’s the No. 1 trait in my weighted grading.
From there, the feet follow the eyes. For Chandler, they work in unison, as he’s able to decipher the hole or find the cutback lane. As for the footwork, it’s almost effortless when he jump cuts to set up defenders.
Chandler’s burst is also excellent, and it takes him no time to go from 0 to 60. As a player with former kick-return experience, Chandler’s ability to bob and weave while navigating traffic to manipulate angles is top-notch.
Chandler is not an overly physical player. This isn’t to say he’s not willing to take on contact. You can find multiple examples of him channeling his inner Javonte Williams and being the enforcer. Still, it’s not a strength of his game, and there are also examples of him coming out on the wrong end of several hits.
It also showed up at times in his contact balance, which I graded as slightly above average. However, I would say he is leaps and bounds ahead of someone like Rachaad White in this area.
I’m not necessarily calling his receiving game a true weakness, just an area that Chandler can improve. He needs more consistency as a receiver. While 72 receptions do appear great, that’s since 2017. If given the opportunity, Chandler can grow into a legitimate passing threat.
Age is also going to be a talking point. When compared to Isaiah Spiller, who will be 20 in camp, Chandler is an old man in NFL years. He’ll be 24 in May, which means he’ll be 28 at the end of his first contract.
Chandler’s injury history
Given his roles at both Tennessee and UNC, Chandler’s durability is excellent. Toward the end of the 2020 season with Tennessee, he left a game with an undisclosed injury. But that’s about it, other than some usual bumps along the way.
While Chandler does have nearly 700 touches, those have been spread out over five seasons. So, I’m not overly worried about how much tread is on his tires.
Minnesota Vikings select Ty Chandler
With pick No. 169, the Vikings selected Chandler to join Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, and Kene Nwangwu in their backfield. This is a brutal landing spot if I’m being honest. Cook is one of the premier running backs in not just fantasy but the NFL. He is one of the few remaining workhorse backs in the NFL. The only knock on Cook is injuries, having missed two games in both 2019 and 2020 and four games in 2021.
When out, Mattison is the next man up, and we have seen him flourish in this role, recording multiple RB1 weeks when given the opportunity. He is the top-ranked handcuff in fantasy, given his upside. Both Cook and Mattison can catch the ball, so Chandler is not stepping into a vacant role.
He will be a rotational back with Mattison and Nwangwu and receive some passing utilization. For dynasty, that is not enough of a role to justify a high draft pick. Unless something drastic changes, Chandler is unlikely to be a factor for fantasy managers.