Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire a No-Brainer RB1?

Aug 03, 2020
Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire a No-Brainer RB1?

I had my annual Pros vs. Joes draft last night (TE-premium/FFPC-style best ball tournament) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire went 1.01 overall. In the league chat, I said: “Merry Christmas” to the owner of the 1.02 pick and the 1.01 owner responded in the chat that Christian McCaffrey wasn’t going to go for 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. I’m not sure that’s a reason to pass on McCaffrey at 1.01, but there we were. That owner obviously believes in Edwards-Helaire and knew he wasn’t going to be there at 2.12, so he went and got his guy.

Is the Edwards-Helaire hype out of control?

Last night’s draft aside, the short answer is “no, I don’t think so.”

His ADP over the last four days in FFPC best balls is 1.08 (h/t to the excellent FFPC site, as the RB7. I think that’s entirely reasonable after researching the situation over the weekend.

The primary issue is that we’re not exactly sure what his role is going to be as a rookie. Before the Damien Williams opt-out, I was firmly in the CEH-is-being-way-overdrafted camp, but with Williams out of the way, the path is clear for a big role for the rookie, even with this weird preseason we’re having.

Note/Rant: I didn’t believe that the Chiefs were going to send the Super Bowl hero Williams to the bench just because they used a first-round pick on a running back. Over his last seven games, Williams had a stranglehold on the Kansas City backfield, turning 18.6 touches into 110 total yards and 1.57 touchdowns per game, including the postseason. (He had 133 total yards and two touchdowns in the Super Bowl.) His closing numbers in 2018 are eerily similar: 18.6 touches for 114 total yards and 1.60 total touchdowns in the Chiefs’ final five games. He had built up tremendous capital over the past two seasons, culminating in a terrific Super Bowl-winning performance, and I think he would have spent the 2020 season with 55-60% of the touches as the team groomed Edwards-Helaire for the starting job. Teams don’t just bench that type of production without a changing of the guard. Sadly, with Williams’ opt-out, we’ll never know. End rant.

Andy Reid’s Running Backs

Below is a list of the top running back on each of Reid’s teams since 1999.

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