The news of Damien Williams informing the KC Chiefs that he will be opting out of the 2020 season over concerns with COVID-19 sent some shock waves throughout the Fantasy Football community. Williams wasn't projected to be a Top 10 Fantasy RB or anything like that by any means, BUT he was the main competition for highly touted rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. As a result, the door has not only been left wide open but probably been blown off its hinges in terms of opportunities for CEH in 2020.
Up until this point we were one of the places that were telling you to pump the brakes on CEH and other rookie RB's, but with news like this we MUST reevaluate the 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Up until the Damien Williams announcement CEH was seeing his ADP usually around the back part of the 2nd round, depending on your league settings. At that point in time this was a MAJOR over value as CEH still had a proven veteran presence in front of him and was hurt by all the fall outs from the NFL dealing with COVID-19. Well, just like that the value for CEH has actually caught up to his ADP and most likely even catapulted him into the 1st round Fantasy Football Drafts.
Just for reference prior to all of this we had CEH projected for 850 rushing yards with 7 rushing TD's and 30 receptions for 200 yards and 3 receiving TD's, which had him finishing as our 22nd and 23rd overall RB in Standard and PPR scoring formats respectively. However, at this point in time we have adjusted these expectations and have CEH projected for 1050 rushing yards with 9 rushing TD's and 50 receptions for 450 receiving yards and 4 receiving TD's. As a result, CEH has now skyrocketed all the way into our Top 10 RB's for 2020 coming in at #7 while ahead of names like Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry, and Kenyan Drake! With that being said, just from a pure projection and ADP standpoint we can finally say that the hype is warranted for CEH.
But let's go a little bit further because after all Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the ONLY 1st round rookie RB selected in this year's NFL Draft and also the ONLY 1st-roud RB Andy Reid has EVER drafted. Last year at LSU ha 1414 yards catching 55 passes for an additional 453 yards and a combined 17 total TD's. Keep in mind this was against some stiff competition as LSU faced several Top-10 teams on the season. The last rookie RB to be featured for the Chiefs as we all probably remember was Kareem Hunt who in his first year put up over 1300 rushing yards with 50+ receptions for 455 yards and 14 total TD's. In fact, the majority of years under Any Reid when there hasn't been a RB committee he has had Fantasy relevant RB's, just look at guys like Kareem Hunt, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, and Brian Westbrook. In fact in 10 of his 19 seasons, his best running back has put up Top 10 Fantasy numbers in Standard scoring.
The current RB depth for the Chiefs behind CEH includes DeAndre Washington, Darrel Williams, and Darwin Thompson. The most intriguing name here is likely to be Washington as he is a guy that the Chiefs pursued in free agency and also has experience playing alongside Patrick Mahomes while at Texas Tech. In fact Washington put together some pretty impressive numbers during that span but let's not get ahead of ourselves since the Chiefs did take CEH in the 1st round of the NFL Draft for a reason.
The bottom-line is that CEH is a well-rounded RB with a firm hold on the presumed #1 RB spot in one of the best offenses in the NFL lead by the BEST QB in the league, Patrick Mahomes.
Overall, our advice when it comes to CEH is that he should be viewed as the #1 RB in Kansas City. With that comes a likely Top 10 Fantasy RB finish across all formats with a bit of a higher ceiling in PPR scoring. We would go ahead and endorse drafting CEH now towards the end of the 1st round or start of the 2nd round with RB 1 expectations on a high octane offense. For some insurance if you want to go ahead and get another KC RB we recommend DeAndre Washington in late rounds. CEH now should be in line for the next great rookie RB season similar to Ezekiel Elliott, Leonard Fournette, or Saquon Barkley.