The Kansas City Chiefs boast the most high-powered offense in the NFL. Reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes already has plenty of receivers to throw the ball to in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman. If one were to point out a weakness, it is their running back room. Damien Williams has primarily served as their lead back since Kareem Hunt was cut. He has been solid, but not a game-changer. Now with first-round draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire, they have a dynamic back to further improve their already monstrous offense. Below is a fantasy football outlook for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Fantasy Football Outlook for Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Best Landing Spot Possible
Could a running back land in a better position than the Kansas City Chiefs? Technically, yes. The old-school bell-cow back that doesn’t catch as many passes, but wears defenses down the more carries he gets might not be the best fit for a team like the Chiefs, who love to throw the ball. But Edwards-Helaire is not that running back. His strength is in his versatility.
Edwards-Helaire caught 55 passes for 453 yards his final year in college to add to his 1,400+ rushing yards. This is a guy who will probably never leave the field, especially since he has been touted for his pass-blocking ability. Kansas City’s offense should work for any running back, because teams have to respect the pass, preventing them from ever loading the box. But, they were 24th in rushing last season. Edwards-Helaire will give them what their running-back-by-committee couldn’t and improve those numbers.
Recent Rookie Comparisons
Overall, Edwards-Helaire isn’t the most talented back that has come out of the draft in recent memory. Guys like Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, and Ezekiel Elliott have higher floors, especially as pure runners. Edwards-Helaire barely snuck into the first round. He was the first- running back taken, but no one had him rated as the best runner in the draft. Guys like Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and even Zack Moss were consistently rated higher than him.
But something that can’t be projected is where the player will land, and what system will fit him best. Edwards-Helaire might not go off for 30 points week in and week out, but he should be able to put up consistent all-purpose yards every week with a great floor. A good recent comparison is Josh Jacobs. Jacobs was also taken later in the first round, and isn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest back in the league. But Jacobs still had at least 99 scrimmage yards in ten of the 13 games he played last season, thriving on his versatility.
Jacobs wasn’t in the most ideal situation. The Las Vegas Raiders do boast a great offensive line, but once the whole Antonio Brown debacle ended, they had no real deep threat. Jacobs went against stacked boxes on 20 percent of his carries. Compare that to Chiefs runner Williams, who only had to deal with stacked boxes eight percent of the time. Jacobs ended up averaging the 13th most fantasy points and finishing as the RB18 after missing three games. Considering this, Edwards-Helaire has a great shot at a top-ten finish this coming season.
Edwards-Helaire should no doubt be one of the first rookies off the board in fantasy drafts since he is one of the few rushers to be guaranteed the starting job. Still, fantasy team owners shouldn’t grab him too early. His ceiling is probably somewhere between the RB6-RB10 range, but his floor could land him around the RB20 range. A safe spot to snag him would be to meet in the middle and take him around the third round, or as the 13th running back off the board.
Some questions about him to be answered are if he will still split time with the other runners on the roster, and how often he stays on the field on third down. Edwards-Helaire also has a smaller frame, at five-foot-eight, so durability will be a concern for him as well. Still, the upside should make him a prime target in this year’s drafts.