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How to handle Chiefs RBs, Isiah Pacheco injury for fantasy football in Week 16

Pacheco is expected to return, so what does that mean for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon? We go over the fantasy football impact on Monday.

Running back Isiah Pacheco of the Kansas City Chiefs runs the ball during an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 3, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day. The Chiefs’ offense has looked stagnant recently, and they aren’t putting up the numbers we are accustomed to seeing from them. Kansas City should get Isiah Pacheco back in the backfield this week, so how should you handle the Chiefs’ backfield for your Week 16 fantasy football lineups?

This will be the second time that Kansas City has taken on Las Vegas. They met in Week 12, and the Chiefs picked up the 31-17 victory. Pacheco had 15 carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Jerick McKinnon didn’t appear on the stat sheet, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire played minimally, finishing with three carries for five yards.

Pacheco heads into this week with 779 yards and six touchdowns on 176 carries in 12 games. He’s added 209 yards and a touchdown on 33 receptions. Pacheco is the overall RB18 in half-PPR scoring. He had success a month ago against a Raiders defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Pacheco can be started in 10-team leagues or larger.

McKinnon has been ruled out of the game due to a groin injury. He has played in 12 games, bringing in 25 of his 32 targets for 192 yards and four touchdowns. While McKinnon has been a PPR monster in the past, it hasn’t translated to this season, and he hasn’t had as much value. His being sidelined won’t be as impactful, but it could lead to some extra touches for CEH.

Edwards-Helaire has seen most of his value relegated to games without Pacheco. CEH has played in 13 games and has 216 yards and a touchdown on 64 carries. He’s come down with 13 of his 17 targets for 137 yards and another score. Edwards-Helaire should get some work, but usually just to give Pacheco a breather. It would be risky to start him this week in leagues with fewer than 14 teams. Edwards-Helaire does make for an interesting DFS play to save some salary while hoping he finds the endzone.