We are officially now in the hype season, or as we call it, NFL training camp. This is a time where you will hear plenty of praise for players from coaches, teammates and beat reporters. Maybe it’s a simple as someone slimming down and adding muscle or a receiver finally getting contact lenses or last season a player’s shoes were too tight, but now they’re nice and comfy. Whatever the hype, as fantasy players, we hear it as affirmation about a player we like or hollow praise about a player we don’t like.
Throughout camp we’ll keep an eye out for the hyped player of the day and see if the praise is something we should take notice of or disregard. For today, that player is Raiders rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards.
Last season the Raiders saw Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow show enough to be considered no-doubt starters going into the next season. But when draft day came around, they couldn’t pass on the speed of Henry Ruggs in the first round and the possible value of Bryan Edwards in the third.
Edwards’ draft stock had fallen due to a pre-combine foot injury that kept him out of the Senior Bowl and the combine. He likely would have been a late first or early second-round pick if not for the injury. Edwards faced NFL caliber corners in the SEC and finished with the third-most receptions and fourth-most receiving yards in SEC history.
Edwards has now been cleared of his foot injury and the praise is starting to roll in. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that Henry Ruggs will start the season in the slot, per Marcus Mosher of Raiders Wire. That should push Hunter Renfrow to the bench, giving the rookie Edwards work on the other side of Tyrell Williams. And his new quarterback, Derek Carr, already compared him to Davante Adams.
Everybody in the Raiders' organization is raving about Bryan Edwards.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) August 5, 2020
He's a stud. https://t.co/DZUiqiLol8
Today is clearly Bryan Edwards hype day and I'm so excited for it. pic.twitter.com/EPAGUAARBC— FF Josh (@josh_ff) August 6, 2020
Is the hype real?
There is no doubt that Edwards is a top prospect and should have gone earlier in the draft, so the hype in comparison to his draft capital is warranted. At 6’3”, 212 lb., Edwards excels at making contested catches and yards after the catch. And if Ruggs truly spends the majority of his time in the slot, Edwards will undoubtedly see work and have fantasy upside.
Is the hype too much?
At this point, Edwards’ average draft position in half PPR is as the 78th wide receiver and 241st pick. Without knowing how many snaps and targets he’s going to get in a crowded receiver group, that’s about where I’d want to take him in redraft leagues.
He’s a great buy in dynasty, as he should be able to take over Williams’ job by next season, but until then, his workload will be iffy. The talent is there, but a shortened offseason and plenty of competition for snaps makes him hard to count on in redraft. Taking a flier on his ability and upside late in drafts is worthwhile though.