The Arizona Cardinals have been one of the hottest teams in football but are coming off a loss last week to the Los Angeles Rams. As they look to bounce back and keep pace for the No. 1 seed in the NFC, they’re welcoming back running back Chase Edmonds. What should fantasy football managers expect from Edmonds and James Conner in Week 15?
Chase Edmonds is the Cardinals’ preferred receiving back
Conner has had a wonderful and surprising season in his first year in Arizona and currently sits the RB6 in half-PPR scoring. He has proven to be the best value in fantasy drafts this year. Prior to Edmonds’ injury, Conner was sparingly used in the passing game and relied heavily on touchdowns for his RB1 performances. After Edmonds went down, Conners’ passing work took off, helping provide him with a safer floor.
Conner had only 5 receptions in the first eight games of the season. In that same timeframe, Edmonds had 30. Edmonds is the more explosive back, and Arizona enjoys getting him the ball in space. I’m curious to see how they deploy him today in his first game back.
Edmonds gets carries too
While the Cardinals like getting the ball to Edmonds in the passing game, he’s much more than just a receiving back. Through the first eight weeks, it was close to an even split in backfield carries, with Edmonds adding receiving work as well. Conner averaged 11.8 carries per game to Edmonds’ 9.4.
Not only that, but Edmonds was the more efficient back. He gained 5.7 yards per carry over that stretch to Conner’s 3.8. While Conner has performed well out of necessity, I still believe Edmonds is the better back in Arizona, and I think the Cardinals feel the same way.
Edmonds and James Conner fantasy expectations
Edmonds was designated to return last week and almost got back in time for the Rams game. The Cardinals elected to hold him out another week, and he should be good to go at full speed today.
Conner, on the other hand, is dealing with an ankle injury that he suffered late in the fourth quarter in that Rams game. At this time, Edmonds appears to be the healthier back and comes in with fresh legs.
The Cardinals play the Lions, which is the perfect opportunity for a get-right game. Detroit is giving up the fifth-most total yards of offense (379.2) and rushing yards per game (135.2). With no DeAndre Hopkins, Edmonds figures to factor into Arizona’s offense in a number of ways.
I trust Edmonds more than Conner this week, but I’m treating both as RB2s. Edmonds should be able to find plenty of space in the Lions’ defense, while Conner still figures to have a better chance at finding the end zone. Play either of these two options in the first round of the fantasy playoffs.