2021 Fantasy Football UnderValued - Clyde Edwards-Helarie
In almost every rookie draft last season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was being selected with the 1st or 2nd overall pick (Jonathan Taylor was the other). If we combine the fact that he was selected in the 1st round (32nd overall) and went to the best offense in the NFL, many thought CEH would be a fantasy stud starting day 1. Unfortunately, CEH ended up finishing as the RB22 in total points and RB22 in fantasy pts/gm (if we don’t count Antonio Williams 21.3 point performance in the week 17 beatdown that the Bills had over the Dolphins). CEH actually had a good rookie season, but was overshadowed by fellow rookies Jonathan Taylor, Antonio Gibson, James Robinson, De’Andre Swift, JK Dobbins and Cam Akers (late season surge). According to current ADP data, CEH is going behind all but Robinson in drafts. I am here to tell you that CEH will finish in the top 3 out of these sophomore RBs in terms of fantasy points.
The Chiefs are one of the best offenses in the NFL, as they led the NFL with 415 yards/gm of offense last year (16th in rushing yards/game). In addition to being in a great offense, Le’Veon Bell is also no longer on the team, which vacates 63 rushing attempts and 17 targets. This may not seem like a lot, but when taking a closer look at CEH before vs after Bell, we can see that CEH’s production was hindered once Bell arrived. In the first 6 games, CEH had averaged 17.8 carries/gm, 84 rushing yards/gm, 3.5 rec/gm, 29.5 receiving yards/gm, and 1 total TD. After Bell arrived in week 7, these numbers dropped to 10.5 carries/gm, 42 rushing yards/gm, 2.14 rec/gm, 17.14 receiving yards/gm and 4 total TD’s. I expect CEH to operate closer to the averages that he had the first 6 weeks of last season rather than week 7 and after. If he does, he would’ve had 228 fantasy points (assuming 70 rushing yards/gm, 3 rec/gm, 20 receiving yards/gm and 6 total TD’s over 16 games), which would’ve been good for the RB9 in PPR leagues. CEH has legit RB1 upside in one of the NFL’s most potent offense, which is tremendous value for a RB being drafted as a low end RB2. Draft CEH as a player who has a high floor and great upside.