By Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros), Thu, Sep 1st 2022, 10:27am EDT
Although Clyde Edwards-Helaire's rookie season showed signs of hope - RB11 through his first six professional games - the step backward in Year 2 is cause for concern.
CEH finished 59th out of 64 qualifying running backs in yards after contact per attempt (2.4) and third-to-last in target rate per route run at the running back position (13%). The poor rushing efficiency is bearable, but the poor receiving usage is hard to ignore. Especially considering his calling card out of LSU was catching balls out of the backfield.
His 0.73 yards per route run ranked 64th out of 68 qualifying running backs - also significantly worse than his teammates Darrel Williams (1.28) and Jerick McKinnon (1.15).
Some may also feel that the Ronald Jones addition is the final nail in the coffin for CEH, but it's not that black and white. Don't get me wrong though - Jones is a significant threat to earn more carries than Edwards-Helaire after the former first-rounder posted worse rushing efficiency numbers than his rookie season. But full transparency - Jones was not much better ranking 51st in the same category (2.5).
It's actually a positive sign for Edwards-Helaire that the team brought in Jones instead of re-signing McKinnon or Williams. Those ex-Chiefs backs were proven pass-catchers and limited CEH's role as a receiver.
I'd presume that Edwards-Helaire will fully take over the primary pass-catching role - which was the reason why the Chiefs drafted him in the 1st round in any way - while also working in tandem with Jones as a rusher on early downs.
Jones splitting work might also help keep CEH healthy after his 10 missed games the past two seasons.
The other RBs on the Chiefs current roster include Derrick Gore (4th-year UDFA), Isiah Pacheco (2022 7th-rounder), Jerrion Ealy (2022 UDFA) and Tayon Fleet-Davis (2022 UDFA).