2021 Fantasy Football: Clyde Edwards-Helaire Injury

by Preston White
2021 Fantasy Football: Clyde Edwards-Helaire Injury

Sadly, injuries are a part of the Fantasy Football game we know all too well. No matter how skilled of a Fantasy Football player you are, injuries are inevitable.

What separates a good player from a bad player is knowing how to press forward after losing a star player.

With that in mind, I'll be breaking down the available options for Fantasy Managers who just lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

For more injury outlooks, check out this piece on the JuJu Smith-Schuster injury.

2021 Fantasy Football: Clyde Edwards-Helaire Injury

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Injury Recap

During Kansas City's Week 5 matchup against Buffalo, Edwards-Helaire suffered an apparent MCL sprain. Initially, it was reported that Edwards-Helaire would miss a few weeks, but Adam Schefter followed up the next morning to announce Edwards-Helaire was placed on injured reserve.

Team Outlook

With Edwards-Helaire out a minimum of three weeks, it's important to look at how Fantasy Managers can handle the situation during that time. First and foremost, let's address how Kansas City will operate moving forward. This can give us an idea as to what type of Fantasy value Edwards-Helaire's backup can provide for the time being.

Following Edwards-Helaire's departure from the game, Darrel Williams out-touched Jerick McKinnon 10-to-3, per FantasyData. Williams saw more utilization in both the rushing and passing departments.

Additionally, we have further evidence of Williams operating in absence of Edwards-Helaire. Last year, there were two games in which  Edwards-Helaire was out, and both Williams and Le'Veon Bell were active.

In the first instance, Bell out-touched Williams 14 to 8, racking up more touches on the ground and in the air. The second occasion was quite the opposite. Williams instead out-touched Bell 16-to-10, with more utilization on the ground and in the air.

Obviously, this isn't a direct one-for-one, as McKinnon and Bell are two different players. But we've seen Kansas City feature Darrel Williams as the lead back in the absence of the RB1 dating back to the Damien Williams era.

I'm willing to take the bet on Williams taking over a bulk of the work while Edwards-Helaire is out. The main issue is the volume, and how much Fantasy production this RB1 role will even result in.

There certainly isn't the same ceiling available that someone like Alexander Mattison has. However, if Williams takes over, he can provide a solid enough floor for Fantasy Managers, especially with bye weeks starting this week.

Waiver Wire Outlook

For Edwards-Helaire managers, it's important to consider all available options. In my opinion, Williams is a fine plug-and-play in the absence of Edwards-Helaire. Williams has the ability to return a solid floor of 10-to-14 PPR points on a weekly basis.

As it stands, Williams is only available in 49% of ESPN leagues. However, for those in much deeper leagues, McKinnon is available in almost all leagues. McKinnon is at least worth the shot in case he manages to take over, or at the very least, sees a decent increase in his role.

For those of you in more typical 10 or 12 team leagues, who missed out on Williams, let's take a look at a few more running backs available in over 50% of ESPN leagues:

Khalil Herbert, CHI

With David Montgomery out another two to four weeks, Herbert stepped up into a larger role than expected. In Week 5, the rookie logged 18 carries and 0 targets, while Damien Williams handled 16 carries and 3 targets.

As it stands, Damien Williams is also limited at practice with injuries. Regardless though, Herbert is a useful fill-in with his current volume, and any usage in the passing game would make him a solid start.

Latavius Murray, BAL

Murray's disappointing Week 5 box score can be largely attributed to Baltimore playing from behind essentially the entire game. Based on snaps and touches, Murray still appears to be the lead back.

We know this offense can create efficiency on the ground, and Baltimore's upcoming schedule should help as well. Murray could be a sneaky start in Week 6 against an LAC defense giving up this sixth-most points per game to running backs, per ESPN.

Brandon Bolden, NE

Bolden has essentially taken over the James White role since White went down with an injury. Over the past two weeks, Bolden has seen six and four targets, as well as the occasional carry or two.

With his utilization in the passing game, Bolden stands as a nice floor play. After all, White was the RB12 over the first two weeks, prior to going down with his injury.

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