One of the most hyped up rookies we’ve seen in a long time was none other than Clyde Edwards-Helaire last season. After being selected by the reigning Super Bowl champs Kansas City Chiefs in the 1st round, and his counterpart Damien Williams opting out of the season, he found himself shooting up draft boards. By the end of August, he was a consensus top 6 pick in redraft and dynasty leagues. Unfortunately he didn’t fully live up to the hype, despite putting up solid 2020 numbers. He finished the year with 217 touches for 1100 all purpose yards and 5 TDs, very respectable numbers for a rookie. We just didn’t see those elite numbers we were hoping for with a 1st round pick on an explosive offense like the Chiefs. However, everything is about to change in year 2.
There’s no reason we shouldn’t see those mediocre numbers move up into that elite territory in year 2. Kansas City has already shown their trust in Edwards-Helaire this offseason as they released Le’Veon Bell, didn’t draft a running back and only brought in the injury prone scat back Jerick Mckinnon as depth. Just take a look at the splits for CEH, with Bell out of the lineup, Clyde had 23 touches per game, putting up workhorse type numbers.
Lack of Competition
With Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson as his biggest competition, Clyde is poised to see at least 70% of the touches in that backfield. Based off what we saw last year, you might assume it’ll be another committee in 2021, but that’s never been something Andy Reid likes to do. Historically he’s always loved rocking with one guy, and he even said last year that Edwards-Helaire was a better version of Brian Westbrook, one of the best RBs Reid coached as a member of the Eagles. Do we think that opinion has changed for Andy Reid? I doubt it. It wasn’t until his 3rd season Westbrook even eclipsed 1000 yards from scrimmage, where he went off for 1515 yards and 9 TDs. All it took was Duce Staley leaving the team for Westbrook to do his thing, now Reid is giving Clyde that same chance.
Something that needs to be mentioned is just how bad the Chiefs offensive line was at run blocking in 2020. They were among the leagues worst in terms of run blocking efficiency, and that’s something they addressed in a major way this offseason. Kansas City brought in 8 new starter worthy offensive linemen, including Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Kyle Long and 2nd round pick Creed Humphrey. It’s safe to say Clyde will be seeing some much bigger holes in 2021.
Goal line Efficiency
Finally, a major issue for CEH was his goal line efficiency and lack of total goal line carries in 2020. He had just 9 carries inside the 5 yard line, with only one of them going for a touchdown. However, if you paid attention to what happened on each individual play, Clyde was given no shot on nearly all of those attempts, getting blown up by multiple defenders in the backfield consistently. This revamped offensive line should give a massive boost to his efficiency, and the departure of Le’Veon Bell should give up a lot more opportunities. Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson combined for just 1 carry inside the 5 last year, showing Reid still has a lot more confidence in Edwards-Helaire than his counterparts.
With an ADP down at 40 per RotoViz dynasty superflex rankings, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a steal at that capital. I’ll be drafting him in the 3rd round of my dynasty drafts every day of the week.