One can argue that RB Isiah Pacheco has been the most consistent fantasy football producer from the Kansas City Chiefs offense throughout the 2023 season. Of course, fans who have Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kelce may not agree, but Pacheco’s production, efficiency, and reliability have been a key asset for many fantasy managers this year.
Unfortunately, those who have been relying on Pacheco in their starting lineup throughout the 2023 campaign may want to start formulating a contingency plan for the team’s Week 14 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Let’s take a closer look at the most recent news we have on Pacheco and the potential fantasy impact this injury could have on the Chiefs offense.
Latest Injury Update on Isiah Pacheco
Editor’s note: Pacheco has been ruled OUT for Week 14.
When Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the media about Pacheco’s shoulder injury on Wednesday, it didn’t seem as if he was too concerned about the status of his starting running back.
“Pacheco actually came in with a shoulder contusion,” said Reid. “We will see how he works out here. He’s getting that checked, so he won’t work out today.”
Regardless of Reid’s concern about Pacheco’s availability heading into Week 14, fantasy managers need to worry about the current RB depth on their roster after Adam Teicher’s recent report mentioning Pacheco’s absence from Thursday’s practice. This means Pacheco has missed the first two practices of the week.
Will Pacheco Play This Week?
After Pacheco got ejected in the second half of the Chiefs’ 27-19 loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, many fantasy managers may have dismissed Pacheco’s absence from practice on Wednesday.
MORE: Fantasy News Tracker
However, missing two practices to start the week is a bit more concerning. Pacheco still has another chance to get on the practice field on Friday. If he does get a practice in before their matchup with the Bills, it will drastically improve his chances of taking the field on Sunday.
If Pacheco fails to get on the practice field for the final session of the week, then I would immediately start formulating a backup plan at RB for Week 14.
What Does This Mean for Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s Fantasy Ranking?
Pacheco has been one of the few consistent producers from a normally explosive Kansas City offense through the first 12 games of the season. His 988 total yards and seven scores on 209 touches this season currently have him as the RB10 in PPR formats.
Similar to the receiver group, the Chiefs do tend to rotate in different backs for different purposes based on their opponent.
A groin injury to RB Jerick McKinnon ultimately kept him out of the lineup against the Packers, which helped filter more work in the direction of Pacheco.
But if Pacheco and McKinnon are both unable to go against the Bills on Sunday, then Clyde Edwards-Helaire may be a quality Flex option for Week 14.
Edwards-Helaire had a productive rookie year, producing 1,100 total yards and five TDs for an RB22 finish in PPR formats. Unfortunately, his role has diminished significantly every season of his career due to injuries and being outplayed by other backs on the roster.
Despite falling short of the high expectations many had for Edwards-Helaire entering this backfield, he is still a very capable back when given an ample amount of opportunities. After all, he started the 2022 season with four straight games of 14+ fantasy points in PPR formats.
Don’t let his disappointing fantasy career blind you from the fact he is a fringe top-24 play at the RB position this week if both Pacheco and McKinnon are inactive against the Bills.
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