2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Tennessee vs. Cincinnati) -- 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 = AFC Final Four: TEN v. CIN
WR A.J. Brown, TEN
WR Ja’Marr Chase, CIN
If I were the head coach of an NFL team, and I possessed both A.J. Brown and Ja’Marr Chase, which one would I use to copycat a ‘Deebo’ program? I would select A.J. Brown because he’s 25+ pounds bigger, thicker…and he’s an amazing after-the-catch WR, a guy who is very hard to bring down. Brown is also better closer to the line of scrimmage…whereas you want to send Ja’Marr deep often to take coverage with him and to try and make big plays. Brown is better short range to just get the ball in his hands.
If this was my call, I would take/make AJB.
However, if I were a betting man on which of these WRs would take more carries in a game in 2022…if I knew one of them ended up becoming a 50+ carry in the season WR, I’d probably bet on Ja’Marr. Why? Because his coach is smart…he’s going to try and get a playmaker the ball, and he speaks freely of it. My instincts tell me, Mike Vrabel isn’t going to wanna change from how he thinks football works…and in his world, the WR should be lined up outside to effectively block for the running game and see the occasional pass target.
Do I choose what I think SHOULD happen (AJB)…or what I think the coaching staff WILL do (JC)?
Brown ran the ball two times in 2021…and had no attempts in their playoff game. Chase ran the ball 13 times last season, six of those carries in the four playoff games.
A.J. Brown SHOULD win this entire ‘next Deebo’ contest, but if he remains a member of the Titans…he won’t. Chase will probably see 1-3 carries a game in 2022, and AJB will likely see 1-3 carries all season.
HOWEVER, what if AJB gets traded…and his new team wants to play a modern version of football? Brown would be such a perfect Deebo. He might be the better Deebo at his size.
If this were a million-dollar bet/pick ‘em on which one of these guys would have 30-50 more carries than the other in 2022…I’d have to go Ja’Marr.
WINNER = Ja’Marr Chase, who goes onto the AFC Finals/the Final Four to face Tyreek Hill in an epic showdown.
Elite 8 Results:
Kadarius Toney defeats Rondale Moore
Cordarrelle Patterson defeats Amon-Ra St. Brown
Tyreek Hill defeats Joe Reed
Ja’Marr Chase defeats A.J. Brown
Coming Up (Final Four):
Kadarius Toney vs. Cordarrelle Patterson
Tyreek Hill vs. Ja’Marr Chase
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