How To Treat Isiah Pacheco as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Isiah Pacheco.
Chiefs running back roulette has not been the most enjoyable experience this season. Chances are that if you’ve turned to one of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Isiah Pacheco or Jerick McKinnon, you’ve been burned in some capacity.
For instance, a lot of people thought Pacheco would pop in Week 9 against the Titans. K.C. was coming off its bye week and the rook was being touted as the lead option – he promptly turned in five rushes for five yards and drew the ire of the fantasy community.
Naturally, his breakout game came a week later, as he totaled 82 rushing yards against the Jags in Week 10.
It’s anyone’s guess if that performance means anything going forward, so just read below for what Action Network’s fantasy football scribes make of it.
Chris Raybon: Pacheco logged a season-high 56% snap rate in Week 10, rushing 16 times for 82 yards. His talent is evident: He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry to Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 4.2 and Jerick McKinnon’s 3.8 behind the same offensive line.
The rookie has led K.C.’s backfield in carries in each of the past three games and has run more routes than Edwards-Helaire in each of the past two.
However, he hasn’t been very involved as a receiver even when he is on the field for passing snaps, catching just three passes for 13 yards on 56 routes. He appears to have settled in as a game-script/TD-dependent RB3.
Samantha Previte: The Edwards-Helaire experiment may be done.
Edwards-Helaire, who was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, was expected to lead the Chiefs backfield this season. He has been on the decline since a hot four-game start to the year — primarily fueled by touchdowns — and recorded zero touches in Kansas City’s decisive 27-17 win over the Jaguars. He saw just four snaps all game to Pacheco’s 35 and McKinnon’s 24.
Pacheco served as the team’s primary ground threat. He recorded 16 carries for 82 yards, while McKinnon tallied seven touches for 58 all-purpose yards.
McKinnon’s role is slightly more game script-proof as the primary pass-catching back, with Pacheco utilized more when the Chiefs are leading. Both could be viable RB3s against the Chargers, whose defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs and ranks fourth-worst in rush DVOA.
Mike Triplett: My optimism is cautious here — the Chiefs remain a pass-first team and Pacheco is splitting time with their preferred passing-downs back (McKinnon).
But you can’t ignore how dramatically the rookie seventh-round pick vaulted ahead of Edwards-Helaire, with 16 carries for 82 yards on 35 snaps — Edwards-Helaire disappeared with just four total snaps and zero carries.
The Chiefs have been steadily increasing Pacheco’s role over the past month because they feel like he brings more pop to their run game, and the floodgates opened this past Sunday.
Pacheco did lose his first fumble of the season on the opening drive. But the Chiefs stuck with him and trusted him to run out the clock while protecting a lead, which is the type of game script we could see a lot from this team.