Jerick McKinnon vs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Which RB Should Fantasy Mangers Target in Week 14?

Jerick McKinnon vs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire: who should fantasy managers target in Week 14?

Isiah Pacheco has been ruled out for the Chiefs Week 14 showdown with the Buffalo Bills. Given Pacheco’s status as the Chiefs’ featured runner, this opens up a massive opportunity for the back-up RBs.

Yet, who should fantasy football owners target between Jerick McKinnon (25% rostered) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (13%)? Which RB has the stronger Week 14 Fantasy outlook for those needing an RB streamer?

Isiah Pacheco OUT: Massive Vacated Opportunity for Chiefs’ RBs

Isiah Pacheco has operated as the Chiefs lead RB all season, logging 52% or higher of the snaps in every game since Week 2. Moreover, he has not dipped below 67% of the rush attempts since Week 4, and he even has led the backfield in route share in every games this season.

In particular, Pacheco has been a volume-magnet the last four weeks:

Usage via FantasyLife’s Utilization Hub.

Pacheco has notched 76%, 69%, 75%, and 82% of the carries, alongside a healthy 51%, 40%, 68%, and 49% route share.

This increased workload has especially boosted his fantasy output over the past two weeks, with back-to-back games over 20 FPs (26 and 21), and two straight Top-8 fantasy finishes.

Needless to say, Pacheco’s absence opens up a serious “fantasy value hole.” Yet, who’s the better choice to fill it: Jerick McKinnon vs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire?

Jerick McKinnon Week 14 Fantasy Outlook

If I have my choice between the two, Jerick McKinnon is the no-brainer winner here.

First, McKinnon is an absolute freak athlete. Via PlayerProfiler, he ranks 92nd percentile or higher in all athetic measurables:

More importantly, though, McKinnon has a proven track record of success when he sees meaningful volume in Andy Reid‘s offense. Coincidentally or not, this always seems to happen right at the end of the season.

Just last year, McKinnon ended up being a legitimate league-winner. From Weeks 14-17, he scored 32.4 FPs (RB1), 34.2 FPs (RB1), 12.8 FPs (RB19), and 22.6 FPs (RB7), and ultimately ended up being one of the most-rostered RBs on championship rosters in all of fantasy.

In this span, he posted the following stat lines:

-15 touches (7 rec, 9 tgts), 134 yards, 2 TDs

-18 touches (8 rec, 8 tgts), 122 yds, 2 TDs

-8 touches (3 rec, 3 tgts), 38 yds, 1 TDs

-7 touches (5 rec, 6 tgts), 56 yds, 2 TDs

Ultimately, this late-season explosion led to McKinnon leading all RBs in fantasy points per opportunity for 2022.

Yet, this isn’t the only late season surge we’ve seen from McKinnon in a Chiefs uniform. During the 2021 NFL playoffs, McKinnon averaged 17.1 FPPG, never dipping below 12.8 FPs thanks to the following stats (via PlayerProfiler):

Andy Reid has routinely maximized McKinnon’s receiving skillset, especially as a Red Zone threat.

Whether or not Clyde Edwards-Helaire gets the first crack at carries or not, give me McKinnon all day. CEH has never sniffed this level of production, and McKinnon should be leaned upon in his receiving role, at minimum.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Week 14 Fantasy Outlook

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been nothing short of a colossal bust since being drafted in 2020. He has missed at least 4 games in every season, and consistently logs some of the worst efficiency numbers in the league.

In 2020, he got his chance to be the Andy Reid bellcow – a nearly bulletproof role that has produced countless monsters. He ranked Top-10 in opportunities per game, and yet… he finished as the RB20 in FPPG.

After this, it’s all been downhill for CEH, both from a volume and production standpoint. Yet, even still, Helaire will apparently be given the chance to be “the No.1 guy” this week:

Granted, CEH did start last season on fire. Through the first four weeks, CEH was the RB4 in fantasy, thanks to 22.4, 15.8, 14.9, and 22.4 point efforts.

Ultimately, his production severely tailed off, and McKinnon never hit double-digit fantasy points again, with all but one game under 6 FPs.

Sure, there was preseason buzz that CEH had gotten into the best shape of his career, and was thriving throughout OTAs as a pass-catcher. I’ll still go with the track record (re: garbage) and say I’d rather avoid.

Still, if you find yourself desperate for a Pacheco fill-in or just need a flex option who could see 10-12 touches, CEH isn’t the worst option. I vastly prefer McKinnon, but he is far more owned.

If CEH regains last year’s early spark, he could come through huge when you need him most. That’s just a massive if.

Summary: Week 14 Fantasy Outlook for Jerick McKinnon vs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Bills have surrendered the 13th most FPs to RBs in 2023. In four of their last 5 games, Buffalo has surrendered 17+ PPR FPs to an RB. Indeed, this a ripe spot for the Chiefs backfield, which has a massive opportunity hole without Isiah Pacheco.

Jerick McKinnon is absolutely my preferred option in the Chiefs backfield for Week 14. He has a league-winning track record, coincedentally right around this time of the year. No RB scored more FPs in the fantasy playoffs last year, and McKinnon has the upside to both go nuts in Week 14, and then carry this into future success with the fifth easiest playoff schedule in 2023.

Still, if McKinnon is unavailable, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a mediocre backup plan. He had a Top-4 start to 2022, and isn’t devoid of upside should he see the most work as some beat writers project. I still vastly prefer McKinnon’s skillset and historical production, but CEH is a fine fallback plan for those who are desperate.

In my knee-jerk reaction, McKinnon has leaped all the way to my RB17 in Week 14 Fantasy Football Rankings, just ahead of Javonte Williams, James Cook, D’Andre Swift, and Derrick Henry.

Meanwhile, CEH joins the viable streamers, sliding in at RB35 within the Roschon Johnson, Kareem Hunt, and Devin Singletary tier.

Wondering if you should start Jerick McKinnon or Clyde Edwards-Helaire in your RB2 or Flex spot over someone else? Get that take of RotoBot – our brand new AI Fantasy Tool!

Author

  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn