Isiah Pacheco Dynasty Profile: Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings

Coming off a strong rookie season, what does Isiah Pacheco's future look like, and what is his value in dynasty fantasy football leagues going forward?

As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of running back Isiah Pacheco.

Isiah Pacheco’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

The Kansas City Chiefs spent a first-round pick on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2020, only to make him a healthy inactive in the Super Bowl because they’re good with their 2022 seventh-round rookie.

We can rag on the Chiefs plenty for lighting a first-round pick on fire by using it on a running back, but they deserve credit for not allowing draft capital to get in the way of them committing to their best player at the position.

Jerick McKinnon was certainly a revelation over these past two seasons, but Pacheco sure looks like the Chiefs’ answer at the running back position.

Pacheco joined Kansas City after having to fight for a mere roster spot. If he simply made the team as a healthy inactive every week, that would’ve been a huge accomplishment.

MORE: Top Dynasty RB Trade Targets 2023

Instead, Pacheco not only vanquished veteran Ronald Jones immediately, but he also earned playing time in the first week of the season. That’s unheard of for seventh-round rookie running backs.

Pacheco’s 7.9 fantasy points per game don’t really tell the story of his 2022 season. Had he merely averaged 7.9 ppg, it would still have been impressive, given his draft capital, but we wouldn’t really care for fantasy purposes.

From Weeks 1-9, Pacheco was just a rotational backup. He primarily played special teams, and his offensive snap share never crested 30%. But in limited action, Pacheco looked good. So much so that you could see the winds of change were upon the Chiefs’ backfield. Even before his injury, CEH was being phased out, and in Week 10, Kansas City fully committed to a Pacheco-McKinnon backfield.

From that point forward, Pacheco operated as the team’s lead runner. He played about 45% of the snaps while dominating carries, and from Weeks 10-18, Pacheco averaged 11.7 ppg. On the season, he averaged 4.88 yards per carry and 5.2 yards per touch. He wasn’t overly efficient, but he ran hard and powerfully, which was a bit of a surprise for a guy who profiled as a speed back with his 4.37 40 time.

Isiah Pacheco’s Fantasy Ranking

Pacheco is 23 years old. If he is the Chiefs’ running back of the future, he’s going to be fantasy relevant for as long as he has that role. Pacheco’s limited passing game work will always cap his upside, but he can be a fantasy RB2 on carries and touchdowns alone.

The concern, as always, is he’s still a seventh-round pick. That will never not be the case. We’ve seen far too many Day 3 and UDFA running backs excel for stretches early in their careers, only to get replaced at the first chance their team gets.

Pacheco will constantly have to fight for his role, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Chiefs spent a Day 2 pick on a running back in one of the next two drafts.

MORE: Dameon Pierce Dynasty Profile

This puts dynasty managers in a precarious position. If Pacheco is the truth, you have this tremendous value, given that he didn’t cost anything to acquire last year. And we’ll end up being much too low on him as our RB29 (No. 93 overall) in dynasty Superflex rankings.

But if you don’t try and trade him now, there’s a nonzero chance he’s a valueless asset by this time next season. Unless I’m getting a sizable discount, I would not be targeting Pacheco in dynasty startup drafts. If I had him, I would be looking to cash out now.

I’ve just seen this story play out so many times with running backs who had better rookie seasons. Think of guys like Phillip Lindsay and Andre Ellington. Given that I don’t think Pacheco has true RB1 upside, if you can get the right deal, I don’t think you’ll end up upset even if he is the Chiefs’ RB1 for the next five years.

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