Stylistically, Derrick Henry and Clyde Edwards-Helaire could not possibly be more different. Henry is a 6-foot-3, 238-pound bruiser while CEH checks in at 5-foot-7 and 209 pounds. Edwards-Helaire is an adept pass-catcher, with 55 receptions at LSU last season, while Henry has never caught more than 18 balls in a season at the NFL level.
Despite all of that, these two are going just one pick apart in best ball leagues, with Henry at RB6 and the rookie at RB7. With that in mind, let's break down which RB you should target in your 2020 fantasy drafts.
Derrick Henry Fantasy Football Outlook
Henry's incredible performance down the stretch has obscured the fact that he wasn't great at the start of the year. Before the Tennessee Titans switched to Ryan Tannehill, Henry averaged 69.3 rushing yards per game, scoring 4 rushing TDs. He was the RB15 during that span in PPR leagues.
He was the RB2 the rest of the way, ultimately finishing the year at RB5. However, it's unlikely that Henry will be able to repeat that performance.
From Week 7 to the end of the year, Henry racked up 1,124 rushing yards and 12 TDs. That made him one of just seven players in NFL history to have tallied 1,100 rushing yards after Week 7 – and he did it in fewer games (nine) than anyone else on the list. Interestingly, only two players ahead of Henry on this list improved their overall rushing total the following season.
In fact, Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson both fell off the year after accomplishing this, with LJ getting 559 rushing yards on 3.5 YPC and the 2005 NFL MVP tallying 896 rushing yards on 3.6 YPC.
While he's indeed a special talent, it does look like Henry's being drafted at his ceiling. With no value as a pass-catcher, Henry might need another historic rushing season to justify his ADP – that's a risky bet.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Fantasy Football Outlook
Spending a first-round pick on Edwards-Helaire is not for the faint of heart, either. He's a rookie entering the league in 2020, which is potentially the most difficult season for first-year players ever.
But he has landed in, perhaps, the best situation possible. With Damien Williams opting out of the year, CEH is set to be the lead back in one of the league's most explosive offenses. It's also suited to his strengths.
Andy Reid's RB1 has been a top-8 back in PPR leagues in 13 of the past 16 seasons. That's thanks in large part due to Reid's usage of RBs in the passing game, which is where CEH really shines, coming off a 55-catch, 453-yard junior year at LSU. He's no slouch between the tackles either, having tallied 1,414 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the ground.
Set to handle the bulk of the touches in Kansas City's backfield, Edwards-Helaire has as much upside as anyone – though he's undoubtedly a risky pick.
In PPR formats, Edwards-Helaire has a clear advantage over Henry. It's a closer call in standard-scoring leagues, but Henry probably has a slight edge there. Ultimately, this call will depend on your scoring settings, given how different these backs are.
Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.