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Ty Chandler could still see prominent role

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Sun, 09 Jun 2024, 6:35 PM EDT
Ty Chandler Headshot

The Athletic's Alec Lewis says fans should "be keeping their eyes on" Vikings RB Ty Chandler, coming out of the team's recent minicamp. RT Brian O'Neill called Chandler one of the most explosive players on the team. "I see us having a one-two punch at running back, almost like they have in Detroit," O'Neill said, pairing Chandler with import Aaron Jones. "I don't know if that's what's happening on the offensive side, but I know that we have two true No. 1 running backs. I'd buy stock in Ty Chandler if I could." If the starting RT doesn't know how the RBs will be deployed this season, then odds are that remains a developing situation. It's worth noting that Jones -- signed immediately after the Packers released him -- turns 30 in December, has averaged 12.1 carries per game for his career, and has only reached 13.0 in a season twice across seven years.

What They're Saying

Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell indicated excitement over Chandler back in February, before the Jones addition: "The way Ty finished the season was a real positive. The big thing for him now, from Year 2 to Year 3, is just that every down consistency. So that he can get those consistent touches, volume touches in a game. But to do that he's got to [handle] every phase of our offense consistently with no letup. What does that look like? Catching the football out of the backfield, blitz pickup, understanding the mental game. ... Going to be a big offseason for him. Really, really excited about Ty."

Just after the team signed Jones, O'Connell signaled that the veteran wouldn't become a workhorse: "He is 29 years old, but he's also been part of an offense where he hasn't had to carry the full burden, the full load, and the impact on third down as a pass-protector, a receiver out of the backfield. Five yards-per-carry career average. This is a guy that's had the type of impact we were looking for."

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

We'll get more signals throughout the summer of just what we can expect this backfield to look like in the regular season.

Jones stands out as the best bet for touches. He's the far more proven back, and the Vikings didn't pounce on him as a free agent to merely complement Chandler.

But the passing-game skills are noteworthy, especially when combined with O'Connell's indication that Chandler still needs development in that area.

Look for Chandler to compete more for early-down carries than for targets. Both could be factors near the goal line.

The offense will need to be good on whole to support two fantasy-relevant RBs, though, and we're not sure the QBs are good enough to make that happen.

Dynasty Impact

The quick signing of Jones should cap your excitement for Chandler over the long term. If he were on the verge of taking over this backfield, then Minnesota likely wouldn't have paid up for the vet. But Chandler's worth holding while the situation develops.

He still has two years left on his Vikings contract. Jones signed for only 2024.

Rankings Movement

There's nothing here that'll make us adjust the Vikings RBs in the rankings, but we already have Jones and Chandler a little closer together than the market does.

Jones sits RB23 in our half-PPR RB rankings, with Chandler at RB39. Current best ball ADP finds Jones at RB19 and Chandler at RB46.

That makes Chandler a solid-to-good option in RB4-5 range of best ball drafts.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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