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Should I Start Isaiah Pacheco in Week 3? RB Fantasy Football Rankings Analysis

Isiah Pacheco - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Rookies

It’s hard to trust running backs who seldom catch passes, especially in PRR formats. Players like Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Aaron Jones are elite options at the position because of their pass-catching floors. 

Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco is such an intriguing talent because of his size, speed, and brute running style, but doesn’t provide much-added value in the passing game. He only caught 47 passes over four years at Rutgers (barely over 1 reception per game), and in his first season as a Chief, he only managed 13 receptions in 17 games. 

Players like Pacheco who do almost all their damage on the ground are much more matchup and touchdown-dependent. Here we take a look at how the Chiefs RB1 has fared through the first two weeks and whether or not he should be started in Week 3.

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Isiah Pacheco Fantasy Football Outlook

Pacheco, unfortunately, suffered a hamstring injury in the Chiefs' win last week at Jacksonville. The second-year back missed practice Wednesday, but got in limited sessions Thursday and Friday, giving fantasy managers some hope that he’ll be able to go this weekend. He carries a questionable tag heading into the contest, so continue to monitor this situation closely. 

The 2022 seventh-round pick has been a slight disappointment through two weeks, finishing as RB30 and RB29. In Week 1 vs. the Lions, Pacheco only rushed for 23 yards on eight carries but salvaged his day by catching all four of his targets for 31 yards - the third-highest mark of his career. 

Pacheco then came back down to earth as far as receiving goes in Week 2 catching one pass for 0 yards, but was much more efficient on the ground. The former Rutgers standout took 12 carries and turned them into 70 yards (5.8 YPC). The Lions and Jaguars actually boast surprisingly good run defenses, so it’s promising that Pacheco was able to carve up one of those squads. 

The Chicago Bears are a complete dumpster fire on both sides of the ball thus far, setting up Pacheco for a breakout performance in Week 3. Chi ranks 27th against running backs to start the year.


Isiah Pacheco Running Back Rankings Analysis

Pacheco slots in at #24 for RotoBaller’s staff rankings this week, which is a bit low across the industry, but his slow start to the year and injury designation are dragging him down. A perfect time for the Chicago defense to provide Pacheco the boost he needs to get his season going. 

There are some very solid options in Pacheco's range this week, but I like him over guys like James Conner, Zack Moss, and Gus Edwards.


Should I Start Isiah Pacheco In Week 3 Fantasy Football?

If Pacheco is active, you likely want him in your lineup, especially with running backs dropping like flies across the league. It’s encouraging that he was able to get at least two limited sessions this week, so he shouldn’t necessarily be on a snap count if he suits up. There’s always risk starting guys that carry injury designations but the matchup is too good to keep Pacheco on the pine. 

The Chiefs should be up big in this one, and if that’s the case they will be leaning on the services of Pacheco to close out the game. I’m a believer in Pacheco for season-long and DFS leagues this week if he’s able to go.

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