Early on this season it appeared that Clyde Edwards-Helaire had quickly entrenched himself as the Chiefs newest star. A first round selection, the rookie exploded in Week 1 (138 yards and 1 TD), but since then has been ordinary at best:
In Week 5 he failed to break a run longer than 9 yards. While he has added to the numbers thanks to his ability to catch the football, even that has taken a step backwards with 3 catches in each of the past two weeks. Obviously no one is going to draw a conclusion off of five games, and Edwards-Helaire will eventually emerge as the top option for the Chiefs.
However, it would appear that his time is not now. While Le’Veon Bell wasn’t lighting it up with the Jets (19 carries for 74 yards), it was also a disastrous situation that seemingly created an atmosphere for failure.
We’ll learn quickly whether or not Bell simply has little left, but the move to Kansas City where he won’t be viewed as the centerpiece will certainly help. Opposing defenses won’t be focusing on Bell, instead they need to account for Patrick Mahomes and the passing game. That will open up opportunities, and while he may not be the same player he was in 2016 and 2017, Bell has the potential to put up similar numbers in this offense.
Edwards-Helaire isn’t going to disappear, but it would seem that he’ll be regulated to more of a third down back. Unfortunately even that isn’t a guarantee, with Bell more than capable of handling pass catching duties. While he’s not going to be rendered useless, until we see how this plays out Edwards-Helaire is more of a player to stash on your bench.
- Le’Veon Bell – Immediate RB2 with RB1 upside
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Could still be a FLEX, but more of a bench stash starting in Week 7 for now
New York Jets Fallout
The situation is far different in New York. The Jets are left with a pair of possible options in Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine. For a floundering franchise it makes sense for the team to see what they might have in Perine, a fourth round rookie who has shown flashes. However does anyone trust that Adam Gase and company will look towards the future, as opposed to the present in an effort to save their jobs?
That said, does anyone really believe that Gore provides a better chance to win? Stepping in for an injured Bell, he posted a meager 3.2 yards/carry on 64 carries. At 37-years old he may be a short-term play, but it’s impossible to anticipate much production moving forward.
The team should be looking towards the future, instead of the past. Consider Gore a short-term play, but don’t anticipate a long-term lineup fixture. Instead stashing Perine makes a lot of sense.
- Frank Gore – Desperation FLEX play, but just in the short-term
- La’Mical Perine – Immediate stash, for when his opportunity comes
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com