It's never too early to start your fantasy football research, and we here at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best information possible heading into your drafts. Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?
Today's video focuses on Kansas City Chiefs rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Draft or Pass at current ADP (average draft position): 28 (RB14)
Andy Reid is 62 years old, entering his 22nd season as a head coach in the NFL.
In 22 drafts, a Reid coached team has never taken a running back in the first round. That changed in 2020 with the selection of LSU's Edwards-Helaire with the final pick on day one to Kansas City.
It's genuinely a perfect fit. The skill-set he provides to this particular offense where running backs are utilized on screens leads to a giddy fantasy outlook. The Chiefs offense is the real-life version of the Scrooge McDuck GIF falling into a sea of coins.
In three seasons at LSU, Edwards-Helaire finished with 2,123 rushing yards, 595 receiving yards, and 23 touchdowns. Teams rarely use first-round draft picks on running backs anymore, but then again, most teams aren't as loaded from an offensive standpoint.
It’s also important to remember the context fantasy owners found themselves in just a season ago with Damien Williams.
Coming off a terrific stretch in 2018, including the playoffs. It moved Williams up draft boards to as high as the No. 8 running back overall before the acquisition of LeSean McCoy.
Williams dealt with injuries in training camp, only started six games, and rushed 111 times for 498 yards, five touchdowns, and caught 30 passes on 37 targets for 213 yards and two scores through the air. However, it's important to note that just like in 2018, Williams' best production came down the stretch, running for 98 yards per game in four of his last five outings, scoring four of his seven total TDs. In the postseason, he rushed 46 times for 196 yards and four touchdowns while also catching 11 passes for 94 yards and two additional scores.
With the Chiefs essentially bringing back the same squad that got them to a Super Bowl victory a season ago, I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that Williams won't remain a part of this offense, even with the draft capital spent on a first-round rookie running back.
As Edwards-Helaire becomes acclimated to the Chiefs' offensive system, fantasy owners must ask themselves the same question that was asked regarding Williams a season ago: "In this elite fantasy offense, with what looks to be a defined role, how early is too early?"
After being drafted by Kansas City, Joe Andrews of Arrowhead Report recently wrote about the Chiefs' outlook for Edwards-Helaire. He has drawn comparisons to another top-tier, multi-faceted, versatile running back that Reid coached in Philadelphia.
His versatility has drawn comparisons to former NFL running backs, Brian Westbrook and Darren Sproles. Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough said it is too soon to parallel Edwards-Helaire to anyone.
“You see those things, you look at the stature and body build and everything, yeah you could start doing those things,” McCullough said. “But, until I get him on the field at this level, and we start doing some of the things that we’re asking him to do on this level, I don’t think that’s a fair comparison until Clyde actually puts his cleats on and puts a Chiefs uniform on and goes out there and starts balling, which I expect him to do.”
In a 12-team PPR league, Edwards-Helaire's ADP currently stands at 28 (RB14), which puts him as an early to mid-tier third-round pick.
I understand the excitement for Edwards-Helaire, and I think he's an absolutely worthwhile investment in dynasty leagues. But I can't fathom reaching for him at the beginning of the third round, knowing the Chiefs don't need more production out of their running game to be a dynamic offense. They went from 14 rushing touchdowns in 2018 to 5 in 2019, and still won the Super Bowl!
There are too many well-established players to feed targets in this offense, causing me to be slightly more skeptical of CEH at this ADP.
MORE FROM SI FANTASY: