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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2022 Half PPR Draft Rankings

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Note
Clyde Edwards-Helaire photo 28. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (at LV)
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).
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Ronald Jones II Note
Ronald Jones II photo 44. Ronald Jones II (at LV)
The Kansas City Chiefs signed running back Ronald Jones to a one-year deal to help bolster their running back room behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

The former Buccaneer took a major step backward in 2021, being regulated to strict backup duties after losing out on the starting gig in Tampa Bay to Leonard Fournette. And even when loaded to take on the bell-cow role with Fournette sidelined during the end of the season, RoJo failed to fire.

He earned 20 carries in Week 16 versus the Panthers but totaled just 65 yards. The plodding runner also finished 51st out of 64 qualifying running backs in yards after contact per attempt (2.5).

Jones is a one-dimensional grinder back, whose fantasy value will be super reliant on carry-volume, offensive line play, and overall offensive efficiency.

That in itself means he will have fantasy appeal as a late-round running back in redraft if he can carve out a role on early-down and/or at the goal-line in a high-powered Chiefs offense.
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Jerick McKinnon Note
Jerick McKinnon photo 70. Jerick McKinnon (at LV)
Kansas City re-signed Jerick McKinnon to a one-year deal, adding him to a backfield alongside Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones and Derrick Gore.

It'd be easy to brush off the McKinnon signing based on the mid-June timing, had he not fully taken over the backfield during KC's playoff run in 2021. In fact, from Week 18 through the first 3 rounds of the playoffs, McKinnon averaged 14.3 fantasy points (PPR) and over four receptions per game. When CEH returned from injury in the Divisonal Round, McKinnon doubled his touches (30 vs 15). 

With an established pass-catching background and obvious trust from the coaching staff to let him loose during the postseason, McKinnon should be considered with a late-round pick across all fantasy formats. 

As for Edwards-Helaire, it further creates doubt about his pass-catching role in the Chiefs offense.  His 0.73 yards per route run ranked 64th out of 68 qualifying running backs in 2021. The mark was also significantly worse than his teammates Darrel Williams (1.28) and McKinnon (1.15).
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Isiah Pacheco Note
Isiah Pacheco photo 88. Isiah Pacheco (at LV)
Derrick Gore Note
Derrick Gore photo 107. Derrick Gore (at LV)
The most appealing part about the KC backfield is identifying the potential goal-line back. And there's a scenario where that guy is Derrick Gore.

New Cardinals RB Darrel Williams played that role last season, and Gore flashed red-zone usage last season in Week 8 with six red-zone touches. Many will point to Gore's undrafted status as a reason to believe he won't be a factor in 2022. But the team's belief in fellow UDFA Williams suggests that the team won't shy away from Gore if he is indeed the best option for the job.

He was superior to both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones last season in PFF rushing grade and yards after contact per attempt. Gore was also uber-efficient in the passing game, finishing fourth in the NFL in yards per route run. It's a small sample size with just nine targets, but it's encouraging that he shows proficiency in the receiving game.
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Jerrion Ealy Note
Jerrion Ealy photo 134. Jerrion Ealy (at LV)
Michael Burton Note
Michael Burton photo 163. Michael Burton (at LV)
Tayon Fleet-Davis Note
Tayon Fleet-Davis photo 223. Tayon Fleet-Davis (at LV)