The Gut Check No.529: 2020 Review

This week, Matt Waldman looks back at the strategies he used and recommended.

Nobody wants to hear about your fantasy team, but everyone wants to know how the analyst you're reading on a weekly basis and considering his recommendations did in his.

This week's Gut Check will be a season review that's a mix of my strategies, recommendations, and bold calls.

Review of Bold Calls

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Most bought into the RB1 hype for the rookie. There were a few of us at Footballguys who saw him as an RB2, at best. Edwards-Helaire is a good young back, but he's not a power runner. I hear about his power all the time on television, but they are wrong.

He's powerful for his size but he isn't a true power runner as much as he is an after-contact player who minimizes the level of contact that reaches him. Instead of bouncing off direct hits or pulling through wraps above his knees from defensive linemen and linebackers, he runs through reaches and lower-leg wraps from those defenders and earns a push against defensive backs who deliver glancing shots.

Edwards-Helaire is an open-field bully whose acceleration and short-area quickness is good enough to make him an NFL starter with RB2 value on a team that has 3-4 better options in the passing game and some holes in its offensive line that prevent them from sustaining its ground game. This combination of factors was why the Edwards-Helaire buzz was too great and much of football media reinforced it after a huge night against the Houston Texans defense—a unit that is among the worst in the league against the run.

How would one know Houston would be that bad at the time in order to make the right call on Edwards-Helaire? You wouldn't but you can see what Helaire didn't do well and understand how that would translate moving forward.

This was from September 17. My conclusion from the original piece at my site: "The strengths of his game and his offense will put him well within the range of delivering production among the top 15-20 backs in the league. However, if Edwards-Helaire earns the buzz that he will be a top-five running back in terms of 2020 productivity, he’ll have to score touchdowns and break tackles. It’s early but so far, he has work to do or it won’t happen."

He has work to do to match the hype. He's a good back, but not (yet at least) a great one.

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