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Gus Edwards - Rookie Recap / Dynasty Outlook

Before the start of the 2018 Baltimore Ravens season the hot name in the backfield was Alex Collins. Halfway through the season, the hot name was Kenneth Dixon. By the end of the season, it was Gus Edwards.

Gus the Bus, as he is known, the 6’1 238-pound rookie made his mark in the latter part of the season with Lamar Jackson behind center for the Ravens. Some of this was due to the reoccurring injuries to Alex Collins which saw him finish the season on the Injured reserve list. A lot of it though was due directly to the fact Jackson had no ability to throw the ball and Edwards, although big has no ability to catch the ball having only two catches for 20 yards on the season. This made him the perfect complement for Jackson and the option running game.

Coming into 2019 it will be hard to figure out the backfield with Dixon likely to be the main guy or he should be to start. But for the purposes here we are going to look at how Edwards did in 2018. Did he pass or fail as a rookie? Hint: he passed.

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Team: Baltimore Ravens
College: Miami / Rutgers
Height/Weight: 6'1", 238 pounds
2018 NFL Draft: undrafted


An Effective Burst

Playing in only 11 games, Edwards needs to be graded on a curve but after going to the U, I am sure he is used to this. In those 11 games, only six of those starts, Gus managed 718 yards and two touchdowns on 137 carries for an average of 5.2 yards per attempt. This was in an offense in which opposing teams knew what was coming and still could not fully stop the big back as he rumbled his way downfield. If he had been given more carries in goal-line situations his touchdown number could have been much higher and in turn, Jackson’s fumbles would have been much lower than the 12 he ended up with on the season.

First sharing time with Collins and then Dixon, he made sure he did not get overloaded. It coincidentally meant he also did not get used to his full potential. At his size, he should be used to wear defenses down over the course of the game, thus allowing him to thrive in the fourth quarter of games after the defenses are gassed from being on the field for so long.

Whatever we think of the game plan in which he was used, the Ravens made the playoffs and won the division meaning they did something right. While he may have gotten you to the playoffs in your fantasy leagues as a late-season waiver wire pickup, he probably disappointed you in the playoffs.

Like many other players before and many yet to come, there are many peaks and valleys in the fantasy season which was in full show in the Baltimore backfield. Knowing when to buy and when to cut bait is not skill but rather luck and being lucky is hard. If you were lucky enough to get him at the right time and know when to get rid of him, you probably made your playoffs and were extremely happy with the outcome. If you didn’t get him or held on too long you might have a very different opinion. Either way, for what he cost you in drafts, FAAB or waiver priority, he was worth it. At least for a while. And this makes him a pass in my grade book.


Dynasty Outlook

When it comes to his dynasty value, this is a bit trickier as it is solely based on how you feel the backfield will play out for the Ravens. If you feel strongly in Kenneth Dixon, then you should not go out and get Edwards, as he will simply occupy a roster spot. The team has held onto Dixon through injuries and suspension, so clearly John Harbaugh has a soft spot for him. Alex Collins' future is now in doubt, as he was recently arrested following a car crash. This may clarify things a bit but it doesn't guarantee that Edwards owns the RB1 spot permanently.

On the other hand, if you are one of those players who feels like he proved himself and is going to take over the lead role, then this is the time to go out and get him. He isn't perceived as a surefire fantasy starter based on current draft prices. That said, I would not want to overpay for him. Everyone has differing opinions for what a player is worth, so you have to feel comfortable with any deal you make.

Having only two catches all of last season, Edwards is a much more valuable target or player in standard leagues than in PPR leagues. This should lead to his cost being lower in PPR. But remember, unless he rumbles for 100 yards and a touchdown, don’t think he is going to get you 15 points in a game more than once or twice a season.

Entering only his second season, Edwards is still young and has a chance to become a solid running back in the NFL. He will never be a Le’Veon Bell or even a Leonard Fournette, but he can be a solid contributor the likes of Justin Forsett or Ray Rice when they were in Baltimore. As long as you keep this in mind and don’t build him up too high in your mind, he can be a good but not great RB2/RB3 in your fantasy lineup when he is on the field.

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