19 Overvalued Running Backs

Footballguys staff members discuss running backs who are overvalued

The flip side of succeeding with value players is failing with overvalued players. These are players that will not put up stats commensurate to their draft spot, and avoiding them is another of the important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out these players, we asked our staff to look through the Top 150 and identify players that should underperform their draft position.

Player Receiving 7 Votes

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City

James Brimacombe: The Chiefs are the best offense and to target in the league and have the best coach when it comes to the running back position in Andy Reid. He also has draft capital as he was the first and only running back selected in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft. My worries with Edwards-Helaire is that the price is too high for a potential running back committee with Damien Williams. It is true that Edwards-Helaire will see the passing work but it might still be Williams who is seeing the majority of the carries on the ground. Much like all pieces of the Chiefs offense if you want the player you are going to have to pay a high price to draft them on your fantasy team in 2020.

Andrew Davenport: It's not that Edwards-Helaire can't turn into a valuable fantasy asset at some point during the season, because he absolutely can. The issue is, do fantasy players want to sit on him long enough until he turns into the player they drafted? There is every indication that Damien Williams will remain, if not the starter, very involved in the Chiefs offense. In order to justify Edwards-Helaire's ADP, drafters are treating him as though he can step in and start for fantasy teams right away. With the coronavirus impacting all rookies and their ability to assimilate into the league, it's highly unlikely that he'll jump into a role that justifies his price tag before half of the season is gone. If Williams gets dinged up, as he has done, or if Edwards-Helaire grabs the job and runs with it, then his ADP can pay off. But those are two very big hurdles to clear, and it's likely that the high draft pick necessary to grab the Chiefs back is going to weaken a fantasy team that needs to rely on him early in the season. That makes him far too expensive at his current ADP.

David Dodds: In dynasty, Edwards-Helaire will likely be a star for many years to come. It's a perfect situation for him as soon as he learns to adequately pass-protect. And therein lies the rub for me. He's being anointed as the day 1 starter on the Chiefs and I am not buying it. Damien Williams has crushed it the last two years in the playoffs combining for 500 yards and 10 touchdowns in 5 contests. You don't just instantly bench that kind of production and move away what was working. Add less practicing (because of COVID-19 restrictions) and the shark move is to pass on drafting Edwards-Helaire and look to acquire him via trade after Damien Williams starts the year at the position.

Justin Howe: It's tempting to get excited about Edwards-Helaire's rookie prospects in the Kansas City offense. But it makes more sense to temper expectations in redraft; it seems unlikely he'll seize the amount of work expected at this ADP. Probably in 2021, but not just yet. Damien Williams, who should have won Super Bowl MVP in February, returns as a tailor-made back for this offense. He's explosive and, most importantly, simply outstanding in the passing game. Edwards-Helaire was a versatile stud at LSU but is several years behind Williams, who's among the best as a blocker and receiver. He'll need to thoroughly beat out Williams in both aspects to approach high-end RB2 volume. Most of the fantasy appeal of Kansas City's RBs, after all, hinges on touchdown opportunity. Last year's crew combined to touch the ball 394 times, a ho-hum chunk of volume that doesn't lend itself well to a timeshare.

Jeff Pasquino: Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the final pick of the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft in April, and he landed in an ideal spot with the Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid employed a committee approach to his Super Bowl-winning season last year, splitting time between Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy (plus Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson), so a reasonable assumption for the rookie would be a split role with Damien Williams. Assuming that Edwards-Helaire can prove to be effective as a rusher, receiver and pass protector, expect a full committee backfield approach this season that will likely keep both backs’ fantasy values in the RB3 / flex range this season.

Matt Waldman: Edwards-Helaire has the talent to become a fantasy RB1 and the Chiefs offense seems like a glamorous fit for the back that Andy Reid compared favorably to former fantasy RB1 Brian Westbrook. However, it took Westbrook five years to earn fantasy RB1 production and his run as a fantasy RB1 only lasted two years. Kansas City has an experienced and talented depth chart and a proclivity for using a committee-style ground game when needed. Unless Edwards-Helaire shows more pop between the tackles as a power runner and addresses his deficiencies in pass protection quickly, I'd rather place my bets on Jonathan Taylor as the most impactful rookie runner in 2020.

Jason Wood: Edwards-Helaire was the only running back drafted in the first round of this year's draft, and his fantasy stock skyrocketed. Few dynasty managers had Edwards-Helaire atop their pre-draft rankings, but his perceived situational gain was so profound, he became the consensus No. 1 pick in rookie drafts. The enthusiasm is understandable, as he steps into the league's most potent offense fresh off a Super Bowl and returning all of its other key offensive cogs. The only hole offensive last year, if there was one, was the lack of an every-down running back. But there are questions that need answering. Can any rookie running back step into a No. 1 role this year given the shortened timelines driven by the pandemic? Can Edwards-Helaire handle a full-time workload? Can he block well enough for Andy Reid to trust him, when the team has multiple veteran options who absolutely know how to keep Patrick Mahomes II upright? There's no question Edwards-Helaire has No. 1 fantasy upside, but you're paying for what might be without any discount. Reid won't hesitate to use a committee approach and Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson, and Darrel Williams remain.

Player Receiving 5 Votes

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