Edwards-Helaire Draft Debate

Thu Aug 13 3:15pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Edwards-Helaire has elite talent


The news of Damien Williams opting out of the coming season has created quite the stir with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. His draft stock is going through the roof. Many experts and fantasy players think he is worth a top-10 pick now and can be an elite fantasy back in year one. We thought it would be a good idea to examine Edwards-Helaire a little more closely before determining where we feel comfortable taking him come draft day.

First off, let’s take a look at the player. Edwards-Helaire is a very talented back. He doesn’t have elite speed but is a good one-cut runner that can get downhill in a hurry. He also catches the ball well and has the makeup for a three-down back. He doesn’t have huge size but runs with some power because of his strong legs. He really looks like the complete package at running back and a good fit for the Chiefs offense.

Head coach Andy Reid might be a pass-first coach, but he has produced some big fantasy running back numbers in the past. He has three top-10 fantasy backs in seven seasons with the Chiefs. He even had the No. 1 overall player his first season with the Chiefs, having Jamaal Charles produce a huge season. He does have two seasons, including last year, that hasn’t had a back in the top 30.

  CHIEFS TOP FANTASY BACK POSITION RANK RUSH ATTEMPTS
2019 Damien Williams 37th 111
2018 Kareem Hunt 12th 181
2017 Kareem Hunt 4th 272
2016 Spencer Ware 16th 214
2015 Charcandrick West 32nd 160
2014 Jamaal Charles 7th 206
2013 Jamaal Charles 1st 259


Reid’s play calling tendencies are pass heavy. He has two straight seasons, attempting passes at least 60 percent of the time. For his career in Kansas City, Reid throws the ball 57 percent of the time compared to running 43 percent. This is an obvious trend for Reid, throwing more than running, especially now that he has Patrick Mahomes as his starting quarterback. Reid threw a lot with Alex Smith as his quarterback, so it makes sense to see him throwing more with Mahomes as his guy.

CHIEFS RUN/PASS % RUN % PASS %
2019 39% 61%
2018 40% 60%
2017 43% 57%
2016 43% 57%
2015 48% 52%
2014 46% 54%
2013 45% 55%
TOTAL 43% 57%


So what does this all mean for Edwards-Helaire? Well, he might not get the rush attempts as some of the top backs but his ceiling remains super high in this offense. He is going to get the goal-line work and has next to no competition for carries. And the Chiefs have shown in the past that they can produce big fantasy backs despite throwing more than running. This all bodes well for Edwards-Helaire to have a good rookie season.

The issue is how much do you trust a rookie back, getting his first taste of NFL action. Well, if history is a good indicator, there is going to be a rookie back that produces big this season. A rookie back has been in the top five for running back scoring four of the last five seasons and been top 10 seven of the last 10 years. There seems to be a rookie back that emerges every year and produces a big fantasy season. 

  TOP ROOKIE BACK RANK
2019 Josh Jacobs 21st
2018 Saquon Barkley 2nd
2017 Alvin Kamara 3rd
2016 Ezekiel Elliott 2nd
2015 Todd Gurley 5th
2014 Jeremy Hill 10th
2013 Eddie Lacy 6th
2012 Doug Martin 2nd
2011 DeMarco Murray 30th
2010 Jahvid Best 23rd


Risk remains with taking Edwards-Helaire but if you want to take a chance and go for the possible huge season, there sure are indicators that could happen this year for Edwards-Helaire. We still aren’t sure taking him in the first round is a great move because you can’t miss on a first-round pick and hope to win most years. There is risk with Edwards-Helaire, maybe more so than taking a guy like Joe Mixon or Derrick Henry. But if Edwards-Helaire is sitting there at any point of the second round, take him! The data and talent show he has a chance to be special.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Julian Edelman Sep 19 12:53am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman was on the field for five of the 27 offensive snaps played with two receivers against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. From 2017 to 2019, he was on the field for 41 percent of the snaps in two-receiver sets.

Fantasy Spin: One game isn't a big sample, and Edelman was still New England's most productive receiver in the opener. Fewer snaps would lead to less consistency, but Edelman is going to have WR3 potential regardless.

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Mark Andrews Sep 19 12:43am ET

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Gerald Everett Sep 18 11:33pm ET

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Doug Middleton Sep 18 11:03pm ET

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Devante Bond Sep 18 10:53pm ET

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Mason Schreck Sep 18 10:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals TE Mason Schreck was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster Friday, Sept. 18.

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C.J. Uzomah Sep 18 10:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Sept. 18.

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Antonio Callaway Sep 18 9:43pm ET

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Lamical Perine Sep 18 9:20pm ET

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San Francisco 49ers Sep 18 9:10pm ET

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Noah Fant Sep 18 8:50pm ET

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Jerry Jeudy Sep 18 8:40pm ET

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Melvin Gordon Sep 18 8:30pm ET

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From RotoBaller

Courtland Sutton Sep 18 8:13pm ET

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From TheHuddle

Chris Godwin Sep 18 7:53pm ET

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Will Fuller Sep 18 7:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Fuller led the team in receptions, receiving yards and targets last week and showed good chemistry with Deshaun Watson. He will be facing a tougher opponent in Week 2 but can still be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

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Corey Davis Sep 18 7:43pm ET

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