2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Detroit vs. Chicago) -- March Madness Tourney Sweet 16
Same Intro each day: We all know what the phrase ‘next Deebo’ means – a player who works at one position primarily but takes on a second position (in-game) beyond just a random 1-2-3 carries or targets…that they become a real dual-threat option for their team, and thus a great producer for Fantasy Football.
Before there was ‘Deebo’ (midway through the 2021 season), there was ‘Cordarrelle’ as the breakout WR who started also taking a good workload at RB…so much so he became the team’s lead RB, but then got all but dropped on his WR aspect.
Before ‘Cordarrelle’ there was Curtis Samuel trying to breakthrough as a ‘nails’ WR in 2020, but also a guy taking 3-5 carries a game in CMC’s absence and looking like he might make the turn – but then he went to Washington in free agency, got hurt, and barely played/impacted in 2021.
Before Samuel there was everyone looking for the ‘next Tyreek’. We might forget that Tyreek started out as a low target WR taking 1-2 carries a game, and then taking every carry for a 50+ yard TD…then he was converted over from random WR/RB to main WR, and they stopped pushing him in the running game the past two years (definitely don’t get that guy the ball more, whatever you do).
We’ve had some promising guys try to breakdown this ‘Deebo’ wall, but Cordarrelle really was the one who kicked in that door to start 2021 season (then ATL went away from it)…after the door was kicked in, then Deebo ran right through it 2nd-half of 2021 and became the ultimate/best dual threat of our lifetimes – so much so every analyst is running around saying certain players ‘can be their Deebo’, and you’re going to get sick of hearing about it they say it so much now. But credit to Deebo (really, credit to Kyle Shanahan) the ‘Deebo’ role is a thing now…I think some teams are going to copy because of its success, as they should…as they should’ve created it years ago. It’s the evolution of the game – players/weapons who you don’t know where they’re gonna lineup or what they’re going to do, and they’ll draw plenty of mismatches to expose.
With that in mind, we’re going to have a ‘next Deebo’ tournament/FFM daily series for the next few weeks during March Madness time.
I am going to nominate one player from each NFL team to be the possible ‘next Deebo’…the ‘their Deebo’ hopeful. I’ll explain why I choose that player, and why not others if there was a close option – and then like March Madness, we’ll pit two of them against each other/state the case and I’ll choose a winner…the one most likely to be used as ‘the next Deebo’ for the 2022 season.
We’ll go by division, matchups by 2021 record (so #1 v. #4, #2 v. #3 in the division), one matchup/winner declared each day into April until we have one AFC rep and one NFC rep and then we’ll declare a final ‘Super Bowl of Deebo’ winner.
Now, San Francisco has their own Deebo already…so he is not in this tournament. For the SF slot, there will be a play-in game between two current draft prospect options. Unsigned free agents will be an option for the team they were last on in 2021, so like a heavy Final Four favorite, but current free agent (as of this writing), Cordarrelle Patterson, will be an option for Atlanta. Got it? Good. Let’s go…
Today’s Matchup = NFC North: DET vs. CHI
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET
RB Tarik Cohen, CHI (technically a free agent)
I’d like to take Cohen more seriously here but there are so many obstacles in his way right now. First off, he’s a free agent…we don’t know what coach he’ll win up with. Secondly, he hasn’t passed a physical yet…so, he wouldn’t be signed yet AND we’re a year+ coming off his injury and he still isn’t ‘right’ or ready yet? Not good.
If Cohen does get cleared, then signed…he could be a change of pace back who could work as a slot/underneath WR because he’s so good in the passing game. But it’s a lot of ‘ifs’ right now.
There are no ‘ifs’ with Amon-Ra St. Brown…the Lions staff loves him. I think it’s a big mistake…there are so many other more talented athletes to push, but when Dan Campbell ‘likes the cut of your jib’ then you’re golden.
In a battle of ‘hopefully, maybe someday, it’s a long shot…’ (Tarik)…or the ‘made guy’ (St. Brown), I have to go with the one more obvious to fill a role. St. Brown ran the ball 2-2-1 times in each game on his final three games of 2021, for 10.8 yards per carry and a TD while averaging 8.33 catches per game. He’s ‘a thing’ already…we’ll see if they continue to push depending upon what they do in the draft at WR. But ARSB has grabbed the brass ring in Detroit, so he’s the easy choice here.
WINNER = Amon-Ra St. Brown, who goes on to the Elite 8 to face Cordarrelle Patterson.
Sweet 16 Results:
Rondale Moore defeats D.K. Metcalf
Kadarius Toney defeats Curtis Samuel
Cordarrelle Patterson defeats D.J. Moore
Amon-Ra St. Brown defeats Tarik Cohen
Kendall Hinton vs. Joe Reed
Elijah Moore vs. Tyreek Hill
A.J. Brown vs. David Johnson
Ja’Marr Chase vs. Chase Claypool