With Kenyan Drake battling an injury, Chase Edmonds’ fantasy value gets a bit of a boost as the Cardinals running back that would likely benefit the most if their RB1 is forced to miss time. Edmonds has some stand-alone value even if Drake ends up playing in Week 1 as the Cardinals are expected to utilize both running backs this season.
Rookie rusher Eno Benjamin is another name to watch, but his value largely depends on Drake’s status. Drake was spotted wearing a walking boot which is never a good sign, but Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury called it a “precautionary” measure.
“Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury on RB Kenyan Drake being in a walking boot today at practice: He said it was more precautionary than anything, wouldn’t say it would keep him out of the season opener at 49ers,” The Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman tweeted.
Drake’s ADP is currently 19.5 putting him firmly in the second-round range in 12-team leagues as the 13th running back off the board, per Fantasy Pros. Edmonds has an ADP of 167.5 making him more of a late-round flyer as the RB52. The backup Cardinals running back should be targeted in the double-digit rounds given his proven track record when he has received touches combined with Drake’s recent injury.
Kingsbury Called Edmonds a ‘Starting Running Back in This League’
Even before Drake’s injury, Kingsbury praised Edmonds’ ability labeling him a “starting running back in this league.” Edmonds received carries even when David Johnson was with the team, and the running back started two games last season.
“Kliff Kingsbury is excited about Chase Edmonds: ‘We all feel like he’s starting running back in this league,'” AZCardinals.com’s Kyle Odegard noted on Twitter.
Edmonds had 60 carries for 303 yards and four touchdowns averaging 5.1 yards per rush last season. He also added 12 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Edmonds’ best game came against the Giants where he had 27 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns. During the offseason, Edmonds admitted that he is waiting for his opportunity and wants to be a “household name.”
“I want to be a household name,” Edmonds told Penn Live. “I got my name out there. Now, I just want to be consistent enough to be a household name around the NFL. When I come in, and get my chance, I want people to say, ‘Damn! They’ve got the best change of pace back in the NFL.’ I am determined to find ways to make them say that and be that mismatch problem.”
Kingsbury on Benjamin: ‘We Like What We’ve Seen So Far’
The Cardinals took a chance on Benjamin with a seventh-round pick, but it does not sound like he will make an immediate impact unless Drake is sidelined. Kingsbury praised the rookie running back but also mentioned he needed to “contribute on special teams” indicating the other two backs are higher on the depth chart.
“He has a knack for finding the hole, there’s no doubt,” Kingsbury noted, per AZCardinals.com. “He definitely has a feel for the run game, and that’s exciting to see where he can take this thing. He has to find a role in and contribute on special teams, and he knows that, but we like what we’ve seen so far.”