Fantasy Football: Be Wary of Damien Williams

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Fantasy footballers, be wary of Damien Williams. The Kansas City Chiefs running back may be in over his head at the worst time of the fantasy season.

The Chiefs offense is still firing on all cylinders despite the team’s release of Kareem Hunt. Spencer Ware was the primary backup running back for the Chiefs, but he is doubtful for their week 15 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Enter Williams, who will play a vital role for Kansas City down the stretch to end the season, and he may be the piece that puts your fantasy team over the top in the playoffs.

Why Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Damien Williams Will Have Success

After receiving only six touches in the first 12 weeks of the season, he has been involved more lately. Williams has racked up 19 touches and two touchdowns in the two weeks following Hunt’s departure. If Ware is indeed out this week, Williams will be utilized even more in the screen passing game and rushing attack. Hunt and Ware accounted for 46 total receptions this season, along with their 232 combined carries.

It is no secret that the Chiefs spread the ball and get their backs involved. With Ware likely held out of Thursday night’s game, Williams will play a crucial role in the game plan. Williams has shown the ability to find the end zone when he is given the opportunity. In 2016, he scored six times on 58 total touches and averaged 6.3 yards per touch.

Reasons for Concern

Williams has only had one season with considerable numbers out of the backfield. In his four seasons outside of 2016, he has only managed to score five times on 185 touches. His numbers have been far from spectacular so far, and there is no reason to expect him to thrive in a starting role if he takes on that role for the Chiefs. He has only started four games in his career to this point with minimal success. In his four starts in 2017, Williams had 34 rushes for 149 yards and failed to reach the end zone. His 4.4 yards per carry average was nothing spectacular. To make matters worse, it was drastically altered by a 69-yard run in that span. Take away that busted run and Williams would sit at 33 attempts for 80 yards, a 2.4 yards per carry average. However, he did catch 12 passes for 105 yards and a score in his four starts.

Although the Chiefs have a high-powered offense, they are heading into the final stretch with two games against tough defenses. Their week 15 matchup with the Chargers pits them against a tough defense that has allowed just nine rushing touchdowns. In week 16, they travel to the Seattle Seahawks, another strong rushing defense that is in the top 10 in rushing yards and touchdowns allowed. Williams is not the type of back that can come in and dominate against the cream of the crop of NFL defenses.

The Verdict

Based on past performances and the lack of a breakout game for Williams, he is a risk during the fantasy playoffs. He will get a few opportunities in the wide-open Chiefs offense, but he lacks the ability to create plays himself. The schedule does not look promising for Chiefs running backs. Be wary of Damien Williams during the most important week(s) of the fantasy season.

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