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|
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 %|
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|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
The Los Angeles Chargers placed cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (foot) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday and promoted defensive back Jahleel Addae to the active roster in a corresponding move. Harris suffered a foot injury in the Week 3 loss to the Panthers that is expected to keep him out for at least a month and potentially up to six weeks. With All-Pro safety Derwin James (knee) already out for the year, it's another blow to a strong Chargers secondary. The good news is that Harris will be back this season. Against a strong Buccaneers passing attack this Sunday, the Chargers Defense could be a bit more vulnerable, especially against wide receiver Chris Godwin in the middle of the field.
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock (shoulder) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Sept. 29. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (quad), CB Davontae Harris (hamstring) and RB Phillip Lindsay (foot) were limited. CB Bryce Callahan (wrist), DE Shelby Harris (neck, quad), S Kareem Jackson (back) and S Trey Marshall (wrist) practiced in full. The Broncos did not hold a practice Tuesday, so the report was an estimation.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll be out at least three weeks. In a corresponding move, the team signed tight end Hakeem Butler to the active roster off the Panthers practice squad. Goedert has a small fracture in his left ankle and also an ankle sprain. He'll be back this year, though, and was a big part of the team's passing game before going down, so he's worth stashing if you have the extra roster space. A banged-up Philly receiving corps will now rely more heavily on Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson, if he's healthy to go in Week 4. Greg Ward Jr. might be worth a flier off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Chargers CB Chris Harris Jr. (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a foot injury Tuesday, Sept. 29. S Jahleel Addae was elevated from the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Carolina Panthers S Natrell Jamerson was activated from the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list and returned to the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent S Earl Thomas (Ravens) has already taken in offsite physical - likely in preparation to sign with the Houston Texans - but the Texans sent him home before his scheduled workout after the NFL asked all 32 teams to review their COVID-19 procedures for bringing in new players, according to sources.
Free-agent PKs Kai Forbath and Elliott Fry are expected to work out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Fantasy Spin: Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the "hope" is that Goedert can return at the end of his three-week IR stint, although it sounds like it is far from a guarantee. In the meantime, his absence should lock Zach Ertz into nearly 10 targets per game for an offense that may need Greg Ward to handle a similar workload given all the injuries at receiver. Owners should hold onto Goedert, as he has incredible upside at a position that lacks a lot of it for fantasy purposes.
Atlanta Falcons DE Austin Edwards was elevated from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 29. The Falcons also released CB D.J. White and LB Deone Bucannon from the practice squad.
Atlanta Falcons CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a hamstring injury Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien is expected to get the start on Thursday against the Jets over Jeff Driskel, according to sources. Driskel looked terrible, albeit against a strong Buccaneers Defense, in the Week 3 loss, and Drew Lock (shoulder) will miss at least another week of action while he recovers from his injury. Rypien, 24, saw his first game action last Sunday with the game out of hand, going 8-for-9 for 53 yards and one interception. Even against a Jets Defense that has looked terrible, Rypien won't have much upside in an offense missing their top receiver for the rest of the season. Downgrade rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant for this one. If Rypien struggles early, don't be surprised if Denver goes back to Driskel.
Washington Football Team DE Matt Ioannidis (biceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 29. DE Nate Orchard was signed off the practice squad to replace him on the roster.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) may not be able to play in either of the team's next two games as he recovers from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 3 versus the Denver Broncos.
Fantasy Spin: It appears he would have an outside chance of playing in Week 5, but the Buccaneers are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears two Thursdays from now. With Scott Miller (hip, groin) batting his own injury issues, Justin Watson could be thrust into action as Mike Evans' tag-team partner in Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If that ends up being the case, Watson should probably be considered a low-end flex option.
There is a chance that Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (shoulder) could play in Week 5 against the Patriots, but the Broncos have more hope that he'll return in Week 6 in a more favorable matchup against the Dolphins. This is why Denver didn't place the 23-year-old on short-term Injured Reserve. The offense was just unable to get into any kind of flow in Week 3 against a tough Buccaneers Defense, and it also doesn't help that wide receiver Courtland Sutton (knee) is lost for the season. Lock's return should make rookie Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant more attractive in season-long and DFS leagues, but the second-year signal-caller will remain a midrange QB2 until further notice with the Broncos dealing with so many injuries. Until Lock returns, Jeff Driskel is a desperation QB2 streamer in superflex setups.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton (shoulder) and offensive tackle George Fant (concussion) will all be limited in Tuesday's walkthrough practice. All three players are trending toward playing on Thursday night against the Broncos. It's good news for a Jets offense that has been pitiful without Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell the last two games. If Crowder suits up this week, he should be quarterback Sam Darnold's top aerial target, which would put him on the flex radar in PPR leagues. Crowder could see even more targets if Breshad Perriman misses another contest with his injury.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie cornerback Damon Arnette (thumb) is visiting a thumb specialist on Tuesday after he injured it in the Week 3 loss to the Patriots, and he could be sidelined up to six weeks. In a worst-case scenario, Arnette would be placed on Injured Reserve. The first-round pick fractured the same thumb in training camp, so this is certainly something to watch moving forward. Either way, Arnette should be able to return this year for the Raiders secondary. The 24-year-old has been improving and has tallied 14 tackles (11 solo) and one pass defensed in the first three games of his NFL career.
Free-agent WR Jermaine Kearse (Lions) announced his retirement Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a small fracture in his ankle that will keep him out multiple weeks. He's not expected to require surgery.
Fantasy Spin: Goedert's absence will force the Eagles to rely more on Zach Ertz and Miles Sanders. Richard Rodgers could see a few looks, but it's not enough to move the needle in fantasy.
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) has a left ankle fracture and not a sprained ankle, according to an NFL source. Head coach Doug Pederson said that Goedert will be out for an extended period of time, but the source said the timeline for a return shouldn't be too lengthy. Everything will depend on how Goedert's recovery goes. It's bad news for those that roster Goedert, as he had 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the first two games before getting injured after just six snaps in the Week 3 tie with the Bengals. Zach Ertz should see his target share increase with Goedert out, especially since Philly's receiving corps is really banged up. If you have the room, Goedert is worth stashing in an Injured Reserve spot since he should return at some point in 2020.
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes became the fastest player to 10,000 passing yards in NFL history during the Week 3 win against the Baltimore Ravens, doing so in just his 34th career game.