Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco is a filthy steal in early fantasy football drafts

Stylistically, Isiah Pacheco is an almost perfect football player.

Very few running backs in today's NFL offer his particular blend of reckless brutality and breathtaking elusiveness.

If you don't enjoy watching this gentleman run the ball, then the game itself probably isn't for you:

Last year, Pacheco averaged 84.2 scrimmage yards per week and 5.0 yards per touch while reaching the end zone nine times in 14 games. He also caught 44 passes on 49 targets, showcasing a skill we only rarely saw in his rookie season.

When the playoffs arrived, Pacheco reminded us that he is essentially lab-built for January football. In Kansas City's four-game Super Bowl run, he delivered at least 82 total yards each week, making three house calls and catching a dozen balls on as many targets. Attempting to tackle Pacheco under any circumstances seems like an un-fun experience, but it's just an absolute nightmare in sub-zero conditions:

To date, the only move Kansas City has made at running back this offseason was the re-signing of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, so it seems pretty clear that Pacheco is firmly established as the team's featured runner. He handled 20 or more touches in seven of his last nine games last year, postseason included. The Chiefs aren't about to add anyone who can possibly emerge as a serious challenger to Pacheco's workload, because everyone who might fit that description landed elsewhere.

Basically, we're talking about a dynamic 25-year-old featured back in an elite offense — a player the internet has loved from the start — and yet, for whatever reason, his 2024 draft cost is shockingly reasonable. It's wild. He's a screaming value. Pacheco is going off the board in the 40s in the earliest best ball leagues, an ADP he's gonna crush.

It's not as if this is a running back who's a pure product of team context, just for the record. Eye-test and advanced stats agree: Pacheco is pretty great. He averaged 3.04 yards after contact per attempt last season, forced 37 missed tackles (as many as James Cook, more than Saquon Barkley) and 11 of his rush attempts went for 15 or more yards. He's also caught 90.5% of his targets over two NFL seasons, so, again, we're not dealing with Shonn Greene here.

Pacheco is approved for use on any down, in any situation.

If you happen to be of the opinion that KC remains a top-tier team with a top-tier offense and not of the opinion that CEH will be an equal partner in a backfield committee, then you should be outraged by the disrespect for Pacheco in best ball circles right now.

For me, he's a first-round fantasy talent available at a third or fourth-round price.

This is the sort of player who can legitimately win leagues for his managers. None of us should be at all surprised if he delivers 1,500 total yards and 15 scores. Pacheco is simply a great back in an ideal situation — and scandalously undervalued.