RB Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 321 rush yds., 4 TD; 10 rec. for 123 yds, 2 TD
Corey Clement was in the background of the Philadelphia Eagles running back rotation last year, with only three double-digit touch games during the regular season. But he had four catches for 100 yards in the Super Bowl, including a memorable touchdown catch.
Darren Sproles is back healthy to take some sort of passing down role this season, which hurts Clement on the surface. But LeGarrette Blount is gone, and where you stand on Jay Ajayi as a legit No. 1 and top-end fantasy running back will drive opinion on Clement’s impact this year.
Clement has been dealing with a leg injury this preseason, but his status for Week 1 does not seem to be in doubt. Committee backfields are a bane to the existence of fantasy owners, but is there reason to buy into Clement as a breakout candidate this year?
Of Clement’s 89 carries and targets last year, 16 came in the red zone. That 17.97 percent ratio is not realistic to project on the prospect of more work this year, but it does point to heavy involvement in the scoring area of the field. The Eagles should have a high-scoring offense again this year, so anyone in that kind of position to produce is on the fantasy radar.
I’m still on the pessimistic end regarding Ajayi, even with an ADP that is trending down a little (RB20, pick 3.10 in 12-team standard leagues; via Fantasy Football Calculator). Clement’s ADP is nearly seven rounds lower in standard scoring (pick 10.06, RB45), and in full-point PPR the ADP gap closes by one round (pick 10.12, RB46, to pick 4.06, RB22 for Ajayi).
Wendell Smallwood, Donnel Pumphrey and Sproles are essentially non-factors in the Eagles’ backfield, at least from a fantasy perspective, until proven otherwise. So Clement is No. 2 on the depth chart, with only another knee issue for Ajayi standing between him and a lead role in one of the league’s best offenses.
In trying to determine the second-year man out of Wisconsin’s potential for a serious breakout this year, it’s merely a coin flip.