Every Friday during the 2022 NFL and Fantasy Football season, Eric Carabelle will offer his always-sensible point of view to cover the most important fantasy football storylines approaching the weekend’s games.
Once the Kansas City Chiefs emerged from the Super Bowl championship led by Patrick Mahomes with an unconventional running game to select LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Heler with the 32nd pick in the 2020 draft, fantasy managers salivated at the opportunity. Edwards-Heler was an instant hit, albeit a rather erratic one as a rookie, and was also expected to be big in his second season. Injury stopped him, but overall Edwards-Heler proved to be a valuable fantasy asset again in this third season.
This Sunday night’s home game against the Tennessee Titans is pretty important for those looking to pinpoint what Edwards-Heler is really worth in the fantasy world. In Kansas City’s last game, two weeks ago, CEH didn’t start in a crushing win against the supposedly defensive-minded San Francisco 49ers. Instead, former Rutgers star rookie Isaiah Pacheco started. It may be time for fantasy managers to re-evaluate whether Edwards-Heler remains a safe flexible option, which put him in the proverbial hot spot this week.
Edwards-Heler scored on a steep 16-yard drive in the third quarter of the 49ers’ rout, but had he not done so, he might not have gotten a touchdown from the line. Who knows? Pacheco looked good, turning a modest (to start) eight rushes into 43 yards, including a 17-yard run. CEH was equally effective in his six rushes, scoring a TD. Wide receiver Mekole Hardman, incredibly rushed for the first two touchdowns of his disappointing career, further darkened the runner’s picture here, at least a little. Few people will rely on Pacheco or Hardman this weekend. Edwards-Heler may not have his usual low-20 Sportzshala ranking in running back, but he’s not far off.
The concern with Edwards-Heler is not only that there seems to be a timeshare going on with Pacheco, who is averaging almost 5 yards per carry, but also how significant volume was originally expected to be in the passing game. Edwards-Helar is 5’7″, weighs 207 pounds, has a short build, and relies on his eyesight and agility in the open field to gain yards. In his first season, he caught 36 passes on 54 targets in 13 games. This season, Edwards-Heler has scored 16 goals in seven games and just one goal in last two games. One-time touches in consecutive games without any action when throwing Mahomes is a new problem.