Isiah Pacheco’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Should the Chiefs RB Be Viewed as a Top-5 Option in 2024?

Following a successful sophomore campaign, should Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco be viewed as a top-tier RB going into 2024 Best Ball drafts?

Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco took a massive step forward in his sophomore season. Now firmly entrenched as the Chiefs RB1, can he also be an RB1 in fantasy football? How should managers approach Pacheco in Best Ball drafts?

Isiah Pacheco’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

There were questions surrounding Pacheco as he entered his sophomore season. Late in his rookie campaign, he fell behind RB Jerick McKinnon as the Chiefs’ lead running back, resulting in a depressed 2023 ADP.

As it turned out, that just wound up making Pacheco a great value. He firmly took control of the Chiefs’ RB1 role.

As impressive as Pacheco’s 2023 season was, it’s important to remember how rare it is for seventh-round picks to matter. You and I may believe Pacheco has proved himself, but the fantasy community also felt that way about the likes of RBs Phillip Lindsay and James Robinson in the past.

It’s very hard to shake that draft capital stigma. With that said, I believe Pacheco is the real deal.

Pacheco averaged 15.3 fantasy points per game in his second year in the league, finishing as the overall RB14. He started the season in a timeshare, hovering around a 55% snap share. However, by the end of the season, but notably with McKinnon out, Pacheco’s snap share pushed more toward 70%.

No one will mistake Pacheco for an elite running back. He certainly doesn’t possess the upside of guys like New York Jets RB Breece Hall or Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson. But he was exceptional in a bunch of metrics.

Pacheco had the 11th-highest percentage of carries to go for 15+ yards. He created 3.59 yards per touch, 18th in the league. What encouraged me the most was his increased passing game role.

Pacheco’s 9.9% target share was only 26th in the league, but it’s a significant improvement from the 2.3% target share he saw as a rookie. Fantasy managers don’t need Pacheco to be former RBs like Matt Forte or Steven Jackson.

We just need him to not be Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb. If he can register two to three catches per game, that’s enough.

Should You Draft Pacheco in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

I would be remiss to discuss Pacheco without mentioning his running style. The man is the angriest runner I’ve ever seen. It looks like he’s trying to stomp holes in the ground. It’s enjoyable to watch, but his violent style leaves him susceptible to injury.

Pacheco sprained his shoulder and suffered a concussion this past season. He also exited a couple of other games with what turned out to be minor injuries before ultimately returning. Of course, this isn’t a reason to fade Pacheco. It’s just something fantasy managers should be aware of moving forward.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

Given the poor state of the running back position overall, Pacheco’s ADP is going to end up inflated this season. Ever since Browns RB Kareem Hunt was cut, fantasy managers have been chasing his 2017 season, trying to find that next lead back in a Patrick Mahomes offense. Pacheco currently having that role may make him more expensive than he should be.

By no means is Pacheco a player to avoid. However, I struggle with the notion of drafting him as a top-12 RB. At cost, I much prefer the wide receivers or an elite QB.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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