Everyone remembers Clyde Edwards-Helaire tearing up college football defenses with the LSU Tigers en route to their Championship in 2019/20. That led him to be selected 32nd overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, who thought they were getting an impact running back to balance out their offense. It turns out that they drafted the completely wrong guy and took who appears to be a JAG (just another guy) instead of Jonathan Taylor or AJ Dillon, oops. CEH hasn’t been able to stay on the field, appearing in 23 of 33 possible regular season games. He’s been met with lackluster vision, elusiveness, and a lack of a red zone presence.
2021 Season Review
Edwards-Helaire only played in ten games in 2021 due to various injuries, including gall bladder issues. He rushed 119 times, an average of 11.9 rushes per game, for 517 yards, four touchdowns, and a 4.3 yard per carry average. His receiving work consisted of only 23 targets, catching 19 for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He fumbled twice as well. CEH was clearly not healthy. He was stuck in a committee of backs. When he did play, he did nothing to prove he was better than the other running backs.
2022 Season Preview
The same story continues in 2022. Instead of battling Darrel Williams and others, CEH will battle Ronald Jones and others. It’s another committee. The hope for Edwards-Helaire is that he gets a ton of passing work. Jones is better suited for rushing the ball. Jerick McKinnon is an excellent pass-catching back who will take targets. The big wild card is rookie Isiah Pacheco. He’s doing tremendously in the preseason and proving he belongs on the Chiefs roster. Edwards-Helaire has to stave him off if he wants to be relevant in 2022 or on any dynasty roster (as if he cares, but FF players do!).
Therefore, I have him dropping his rushes per game significantly. Edwards-Helaire will get a ton of passing work. That’s what will determine his future in the NFL and dynasty. His value is sunk if he doesn’t get at least 50 targets. I expect RB3 numbers out of CEH this year. I project him to average 11.9 PPG. That’s in PPR. It’s spread over 14 games. I don’t expect an entire season. The hope is that Pacheco sits this year.
Buy/Sell Clyde Edwards-Helaire
I would not buy Edwards-Helaire in dynasty. He’s only 23, yet it’s risky. He will be in a timeshare. Jones isn’t a great RB. However, Andy Reid keeps bringing in RBs. This signals that he doesn’t fully believe in CEH. Plus, he hasn’t played an entire season yet. I get he’s in a potent offense that will pass more to their RBs.
It’s not worth paying multiple seconds or a late first. The chances of his option being exercised are low. That means Edwards-Helair will be out of the Chiefs offense in two years. I don’t want a risky RB3 on my team. If I’m rebuilding, I’ll take a shot. He could pay off. If he doesn’t, it helps me get a lower draft pick.
As mentioned above, Edwards-Helaire is a risky RB to own in 2022. He could pay off. Or he could be a big weak spot on your roster. I wouldn’t pay up for him. See if you can get him very cheap if you believe in him. I will try to avoid him. There are a lot of other backs I’d rather have. In another committee, why deal with those headaches if he isn’t a sure thing? Edwards-Helaire will be lucky to play a whole season. If he plays a whole season, maybe he finishes as a low-end RB2. That’s a big if, though. Just play it smart.
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As always, May the Force be with You…