Clyde Edwards-Helaire may be the next star Kansas City Chiefs running back.
They used the last pick of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to select the starting running back off the 2019 National Champion LSU Tigers. Edwards-Helaire is in a group of about five rookie running backs who could make serious headway this fall. From a fantasy football standpoint, he might end up having the best season of the bunch. However, is he ready to be a bona fide RB1?
Clyde Edwards-Helaire needs to become more involved the passing game.
In his first game as a pro, Edwards-Helaire had 25 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. That gives him 19.8 fantasy points is his NFL debut. For a guy that has never played an NFL snap before, not even a preseason game, you’ll take those points every time you can. However, he didn’t have a single reception out of the backfield for the Chiefs in his NFL debut. That has to change.
Though he nearly punched it for a second time late in the fourth quarter, which would have gotten him over the 25-point threshold, Edwards-Helaire needs to become a more involved part of the passing game. Otherwise, defenses will stack the box when he’s on the field because they know he’s not a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield at all whatsoever.
This is a big reason Edwards-Helaire may not end up being a sure-fire RB1 in fantasy this season. At his best, he might be in that Josh Jacobs, Dalvin Cook range of nearly cracking the top five. Unless he emerges as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and averages a trip to pay dirt per ball game, it’s going to be hard for him to be a top-12 fantasy back in football if he can’t receive.
No doubt this was a phenomenal start for him as a professional, but there is work that needs to be done to ensure he’ll become one of the best backs in the league. For now, you can trust starting Edwards-Helaire as your RB2 and definitely in the flex. But if he’s your team’s RB1, you may get burned if he simply cannot factor as a receiver as a rookie, assuming the touchdowns dry up.
The volume is certainly there for him as a bell-cow, but his fantasy game needs more versatility.