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Game-By-Game Projections: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2020 Fantasy Football)

Jun 8, 2020

Clyde Edwards-Helaire fell into the league’s best offense

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Below are the game-by-game projections for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It takes into account all factors from athletic profile and volume of touches to offensive line talent, surrounding skill player talent, matchups, game scripts, and the likelihood of injury to CEH and those surrounding him. Let’s take a look at his game by game expectations in 2020.

You can find our entire 2020 Player Game-By-Game Projection series here.

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Week 1: vs Houston Texans
You might not like to hear this but rookie running backs don’t often receive much of a workload from the get-go. Look back at Miles Sanders (12 touches), David Montgomery (7 touches) and Devin Singletary (9 touches) in Week 1 last year if you need proof. The same will likely be true for Edwards-Helaire, especially considering Damien Williams‘ aptitude and the shortened off-season.

Predicted stat line: 3 carries, 14 yds, 0 TDs, 3 receptions, 23 yds, 0 TDs, (5.2 fantasy pts)


Week 2: at Los Angeles Chargers
The minimal workload for rookies doesn’t stop in Week 1 most of the time, and when it happens to those who drafted Edwards-Helaire at the 1/2 round turn, they’ll be panicking. This matchup against a stout Chargers’ defense most certainly doesn’t scream efficiency for opponents either.

Predicted stat line: 5 carries, 22 yds, 0 TDs, 2 receptions, 5 yds, 0 TDs, (3.7 fantasy pts)


Week 3: at Baltimore Ravens
Slowly but surely, we will see Andy Reid increase Edwards-Helaire’s touches. More than likely, it will come in negative game-scripts where this pass-catching stud is thrown on the field while they play from behind. Typically, an offensive will prepare a rookie RB to play several packages early on but not the full playbook.

Predicted stat line: 3 carries, 20 yds, 0 TDs, 6 receptions, 48 yds, 1 TDs, (15.8 fantasy pts)


Week 4: vs New England Patriots
After a solid performance against Baltimore, Edwards-Helaire finds his way into more carries, albeit against a lights out Patriots’ defense. Fantasy owners are pulling their hair out and will trade him for pennies on the dollar. Be sure to pounce when this happens.

Predicted stat line: 7 carries, 13 yds, 0 TDs, 3 receptions, 41 yds, 0 TDs, (6.9 fantasy pts)


Week 5: vs Las Vegas Raiders
You didn’t think Edwards-Helaire was going to be disappointing all season, did you? The Raiders are far from a strong defense and with CEH still increasing his touches per week, a blow-up was bound to happen before long.

Predicted stat line: 12 carries, 104 yds, 1 TDs, 4 receptions, 28 yds, 0 TDs, (21.2 fantasy pts)


Week 6: at Buffalo Bills
Not everything is linear in fantasy football as we like to believe it is. There will be spikes in performance followed by a disappointing number of touches. It happens year in and year out yet we tend to believe it won’t happen to our players. Forunately, CEH got into the end-zone, but those who claimed he was the starting back moving forward took a bit of a hit.

Predicted stat line: 8 carries, 45 yds, 1 TDs, 5 receptions, 29 yds, 0 TDs, (15.9 fantasy pts)


Week 7: at Denver Broncos
And finally it happened, Edwards-Helaire was on the field during the first and second drive for Kansas City, going nuts on the Broncos until he sprained his ankle. Like it or not, top 36 drafted running backs miss an average of 2.6 games per season due to injury. Edwards-Helaire doesn’t return to the game but fantasy owners are crossing their fingers for next week.

Predicted stat line: 5 carries, 78 yds, 1 TDs, 2 receptions, 10 yds, 0 TDs, (15.8 fantasy pts)


Week 8: vs New York Jets
Rather than risk it with their prized rookie running back, the 5-2 Chiefs declare Edwards-Helaire inactive well before kickoff. 

Predicted stat line: 0 carries, 0 yds, 0 TDs, 0 receptions, 0 yds, 0 TDs, (0 fantasy pts)


Week 9: vs Carolina Panthers
Although Edwards-Helaire could have returned for this cake matchup, their bye in the following week so they decide instead to sit him an extra week so that he can fully recover. Besides, this home game against the Panthers will be a steamrolling anyways.

Predicted stat line: 0 carries, 0 yds, 0 TDs, 0 receptions, 0 yds, 0 TDs, (0 fantasy pts)


Week 10: BYE WEEK


Week 11: at Las Vegas Raiders
Edwards-Helaire is back and fantasy owners are hoping he quickly becomes the head honcho again, especially considering he tore up the Raiders earlier in the season. That isn’t what happens, though, as they ease him back into his prior workload.

Predicted stat line: 6 carries, 20 yds, 0 TDs, 1 receptions, 1 yds, 0 TDs, (2.6 fantasy pts)


Week 12: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After getting just 35% of the offensive snaps in Week 11, Edwards-Helaire is back to the 65% workload he was seeing just before his injury. Unfortunately, the Chiefs quickly find themselves playing from behind in Kansas City and so most of CEH’s work comes through the air.

Predicted stat line: 6 carries, 35 yds, 0 TDs, 7 receptions, 57 yds, 1 TDs, (18.7 fantasy pts)


Week 13: vs Denver Broncos
The Broncos’ stellar run defense holds Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a rough outing but Mahomes terrorizes their defense and the game-script gets out of hand so CEH never piles up the fantasy points in this one.

Predicted stat line: 11 carries, 37 yds, 0 TDs, 1 reception, 26 yds, 0 TDs, (6.8 fantasy pts)


Week 14: at Miami Dolphins
Early on in the game, Damien Williams is knocked out for a mild injury and CEH finally receives a three-down bell-cow workload. He proceeds to obliterate one of the worst defenses in football, compiling 169 total yards and two scores just in time for the fantasy football playoffs.

Predicted stat line: 18 carries, 144 yds, 2 TDs, 4 receptions, 25 yds, 0 TDs, (30.9 fantasy pts)


Week 15: at New Orleans Saints
Williams is out for Kansas City and CEH owners are licking their chops, but the Saints have the best run defense in football and the negative game script has Andy Reid quickly abandon the run. 9 receptions keeps this from being a total disaster for fantasy owners but he isn’t the RB1 they had hoped for in the semi-finals.

Predicted stat line: 10 carries, 22 yds, 0 TDs, 9 receptions, 53 yds, 0 TDs, (12.0 fantasy pts)


Week 16: vs Atlanta Falcons
It’s championship week and although Damien Williams is finally back, this is clearly CEH’s backfield by now. He totals 21 touches in a 70-point shootout and finds his way into the end-zone twice to become the week’s #1 fantasy running back.

Predicted stat line: 16 carries, 93 yds, 1 TDs, 5 receptions, 88 yds, 1 TDs, (32.6 fantasy pts)


Week 17: vs Los Angeles Chargers
With the AFC bye already wrapped up, the Chiefs’ starters are only on the field for the first half of this game. Edwards-Helaire performs adequately in limited touches but doesn’t get into the end-zone.

Predicted stat line: 9 carries, 43 yds, 0 TDs, 4 receptions, 37 yds, 0 TDs, (10.0 fantasy pts)

2020 Season Totals

See the chart below for full weekly stat breakdowns (for half-PPR leagues) along with season totals:

Week Opponent Touches Rushes Rushing Yds Rushing TDs Receptions Receiving Yds Receiving TDs Fantasy Points
1 vs HOU 6 3 14 0 3 23 0 5.2
2 @ LAC 7 5 22 0 2 5 0 3.7
3 @ BAL 9 3 20 0 6 48 1 15.8
4 vs NE 10 7 13 0 3 41 0 6.9
5 vs LV 16 12 104 1 4 28 0 21.2
6 @ BUF 13 8 45 1 5 29 0 15.9
7 @ DEN 7 5 78 1 2 10 0 15.8
8 vs NYJ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 vs CAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 @ LV 7 6 20 0 1 1 0 2.6
12 @ TB 13 6 35 0 7 57 1 18.7
13 vs DEN 12 11 37 0 1 26 0 6.8
14 @ MIA 22 18 144 2 4 25 0 30.9
15 @ NO 19 10 22 0 9 53 0 12.0
16 vs ATL 21 16 93 1 5 88 1 32.6
17 vs LAC 13 9 43 0 4 37 0 10.0
Totals 175 119 690 6 56 471 3 198.1

 

Summary

You may feel outraged seeing this game log if you are a Clyde Edwards-Helaire truther. Folks, I love CEH too for fantasy, but Andy Reid only gave LeSean McCoy 195 touches as a rookie and that was in 16 games. Likewise, David Johnson was the obvious best back for Arizona in 2015 but he saw just 161 touches. Folks, this is just the way life goes for rookie running backs sometimes, and it is even more likely when you’ve got a solid RB like Damien Williams who darn well almost won the Super Bowl MVP last year.

You may think 119 carries is minuscule but it would have led the Chiefs last season, who only gave 307 carries to running backs. You should be happy that he had 5.7 yards per carry (would have been 2nd in football last year) in my projections. He is going to be a beast in this offense as soon as the backfield is all his. I’m just not expecting that to happen immediately and you’d wise to be cautious as well.

Even so, this stat-line would have made CEH the #15 fantasy running back last season (his ADP is also RB #15) which is exactly where Miles Sanders finished up after competing for touches for half a season. Sanders actually had a better offensive line, lesser competition for touches and managed to stay healthy all 16 weeks. This isn’t saying CEH doesn’t have an enormous upside, only that tempering your expectations might prevent you from wasting an early second-round pick.

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