2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Miami vs. Cincinnati) -- March Madness Tourney (Final Four)
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 = AFC Finals: MIA vs. CIN
WR Tyreek Hill, MIA
WR Ja’Marr Chase, CIN
A battle of the new speedster weapon on the block (Chase) versus a guy who kinda kicked off this era of the dual threat/dual role WR-RB (Tyreek).
Back in 2016, a little known, off-field troubled, 5th-round pick running back out of West Alabama (via booted from Oklahoma State) started getting a few touches in games, as a rookie, and kept scoring long TDs…6 receiving TDs, 3 rushing TDs (from 3, 68, and 70 yards out), 2 punt return TDs, and a kick return TD. Tyreek took the league by storm.
Because it was so successful, the delicate genius Andy Reid decided to make Tyreek a full-on WR (which was genius) but then throttled him back everywhere else touching the ball. The rookie season innovation was ‘by accident’ and then Reid spent the next five seasons pulling back the reigns on the league’s top weapon in it’s recent history.
Nine rushes in 17 games for Tyreek in 2021 season…and one whole rushing attempt in their three playoff games. 10 rushing attempts total last season…pathetic.
Meanwhile, Ja’Marr Chase took six carries in his playoff run…and 13 carries total combined regular and postseason. Who woulda thunk Tyreek would be out-carried by Ja’Marr Chase, with both making deep playoff runs? Tyreek was out-carried by a lot of WRs in 2021, sadly.
WR carries in 2021 season (reg. season):
59 = Deebo
18 = Rondale Moore
15 = Ty Montgomery
14 = Chase Claypool
12 = Kendrick Bourne
11 = Laviska Shenault
10 = DeAndre Carter
10 = Jalen Reagor
09 = Tyreek Hill
Will Ja’Marr Chase out-carry Tyreek Hill in 2022? When I drew up the design for this tournament, Tyreek was on the Chiefs…and was going to be bounced out in somewhere like the Elite 8 – because of no faith in the KC coaching staff, who you could chart Tyreek’s career and see the downward trend of his touches outside of targets. But the change to Miami changed everything.
I’m sure Ja’Marr Chase will see several more rushing attempts this season, but it’s likely to be in the 1-3 a game variety, all jet sweeps and saved more for tougher games/opponents. However, Tyreek was acquired by one of the Deebo coach enablers/architects (McDaniel)…and the prelim discussions ahead of Tyreek even going there involved the issue of getting him the ball more, in the return game and in all facets.
I’m advancing Tyreek here because he has the history of being an RB/WR. He wants/demands the ball more in all those facets. And he has a coach who saw firsthand what is possible – and Tyreek is bigger in stature than the coach, so no stoic Andy Reid decision making ruling the day. Tyreek is going to get the ball as much as he wants in any way he wants. It’s going to be exciting, once again!
WINNER = Tyreek Hill, who goes onto the finals to face Cordarrelle Patterson.
Final Four Results:
Cordarrelle Patterson defeats Kadarius Toney
Tyreek Hill vs. Ja’Marr Chase
Coming Up (The Final):
Cordarrelle Patterson vs. Tyreek Hill