Monday, August 8, 2022

Dynasty Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Add Isiah Pacheco as a bench stash off waivers

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It was only two years ago that the Fantasy Football community fell all over itself for Clyde Edwards-Helaire because of Andy Reid’s history with running backs. Since then, it’s been a mixed bag to end all mixed bags. Edwards-Helaire has flashed at times but has mostly been hurt or sharing with guys like Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon. As he entered Year 3, he saw the Chiefs add Ronald Jones in free agency and then bring back McKinnon. Those additions have driven Edwards-Helaire’s ADP down, but we may have been worried about the wrong guy.

Isiah Pacheco is the most recent running back drafted by Andy Reid, in Round 7 of the 2022 NFL Draft. And if the first week of training camp is any indication, he’ll be sticking around. Pacheco has earned reps with the first team already, working ahead of Jones often enough for multiple reporters to notice it. He also earned the praise of special teams coach Dave Toub and will open the preseason as the team’s primary kick returner. While he’s still a darkhorse to make an impact in redraft in 2022, it’s time for Dynasty managers to get acquainted with the Chiefs’ rookie, and add him to their bench if they have a spot.

Pacheco had an uninspiring college career on an abysmal Rutgers offense, but his work at the combine shows you just what kind of upside he has. His 4.37 40-yard dash at 216 pounds earned him a speed score at Player Profiler which ranks in the 98th percentile for draft-eligible running backs. Add in 27 reps on the bench press and you’ve got yourself an elite athlete who just happened to land on one of the best offenses in football surrounded by flawed competition. 

For most of you, it’s now time to make sure he’s not on the waiver wire in your Dynasty league. If you’re in one of the few leagues that haven’t had your rookie draft yet, Pacheco is worth a pick around the three-four turn, but a few more positive camp reports could elevate that. 

We’re still weeks away from the major inflection point when we find out if both McKinnon and Jones have made the roster. If that happens, we may be dropping Pacheco for the hot Week 1 waiver wire add. But this is exactly the type of player I would like to have on my bench just in case he turns into this year’s James Robinson or Elijah Mitchell.

Here are my updated Dynasty running back rankings:

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