2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Detroit vs. Atlanta) -- March Madness Tourney (Elite 8)
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. Got it? Good. Let’s go…
Today’s Matchup = NFC Final Four: DET vs. CHI
RB Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET
This is a choice between the ‘pre-Deebo’, Cordarrelle Patterson…and the late-charging center of the Lions’ offense, Amon-Ra St. Brown. Patterson is the only listed ‘RB’ left of the Elite 8…everyone else is a WR.
Before you think this is a slam dunk for CP, note that from Week 11 on he became a primary RB, and low-level receiving option. From Week 11 on, Patterson averaged just 1.9 catches per game in those last 7 games.
Meanwhile, ARSB ran the ball 7 times in his final six games…1.1 rushes per game – to go with his target explosion: 11.33 targets per game in those final six games, while Patterson averaged 10.0 carries in that same time.
Final six games of 2021 for each…
9.6 total touches per game on 1.1 carries, 8.5 catches = ARSB
11.8 total touches per game on 10.0 carries, 1.8 receptions = CP
Not as much a gap as you would think…or that there should be. The Lions started going all in on Amon-Ra, while the Falcons deescalated Patterson as the season wore on.
Do we go with the more momentum guy (ARSB) or the O.G. Deebo (Patterson) who was the original pass game weapon who started running the ball like a beast?
I have to go with Patterson – because Cordarrelle did get hurt (ankle) later in the year and was being managed on touches AND with the Falcons lack of 2022 wide receivers (currently), there’s more opportunity for Patterson in the passing game in theory. Atlanta has lost talent this offseason…and the Lions have added it (Chark), and D’Andre Swift was missing in a lot of those Amon-Ra explosions late in the 2021 season.
Here’s to hoping Patterson re-rises up in 2022, as he should be!
WINNER = Cordarrelle Patterson, who goes onto the NFC Finals/Final Four of the tourney to face Kadarius Toney.
Elite 8 Results:
Kadarius Toney defeats Rondale Moore
Cordarrelle Patterson defeats Amon-Ra St. Brown
Joe Reed vs. Tyreek Hill
A.J. Brown vs. Ja’Marr Chase