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Fantasy Football Impact: Damien Williams Opts Out Due to COVID-19

Jul 29, 2020

With the news breaking this afternoon that Chiefs running back Damien Williams will sit out the 2020 season due to his concerns over COVID-19, players everyone are wondering what fantasy football implications this move carries.

Our analysts are here to provide their take on the fantasy football impact of Williams opting out for the 2020 NFL season.

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1) Where are you now ranking Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and which running backs would you now draft CEH ahead of?

I’ve moved Clyde Edwards-Helaire up to RB5 in Half PPR with the news. It may seem a bit overeager, but there is virtually zero chance he doesn’t get the workhorse duties from Week 1 unless they bring in a Lamar Miller or Devonta Freeman, and even so, he probably still would. We saw with Kareem Hunt in his rookie season that an electric young back can step right into this offense and dominate from day one. I’d grab him just ahead of Dalvin Cook (until the contract dispute ends), Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake, and Miles Sanders.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

Clyde Edward-Helaire jumps 11 spots in my rankings up to RB8 in 1/2 PPR leagues. Even with the usual hesitations that come with a rookie running back with this bizarre offseason, there’s just no way to keep him outside of the RB1 range. But, I admit that I’m not ready to vault him into top-5 status at this stage. Andy Reid continued to give LeSean McCoy carries last year well after he showed that he had little to offer, and there are still plenty of other names in the Kansas City backfield who can gather up touches. For now, I still have him behind the likes of Dalvin Cook and even Joe Mixon, but I’d draft him before Nick Chubb, Kenyan Drake, Miles Sanders, and Josh Jacobs.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has now been moved up to RB6 in my 1/2 PPR rankings. He’s tied to the most dynamic offense in the league, and he’s a phenomenally talented player. He’s going to be a factor in the passing game out of the backfield, and there’s no reason to doubt that he could finish in the top 10 at the position this season with Damien Williams now out for the year. I’m ranking him above guys like Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake, Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, and Nick Chubb in any form of PPR.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

2) Who are you targeting behind CEH as the backup to own in Kansas City?

I can’t imagine they’ll proceed without signing someone to fill that role, be it Miller, Freeman, or bringing back in LeSean McCoy. Depending on who it is, they may be the best handcuff, but more likely than not, there is no direct replacement were CEH to suffer an injury. This would probably end up being a heavily split backfield as we’ve seen Reid use before when his starter goes down. Darwin Thompson is the best bet who is currently on the roster, though.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)

I’m not targeting anyone as of now because, frankly, we just don’t know who the primary backup will be. But if I’m drafting today, the first Chiefs running back not named Clyde Edwards-Helaire that I’d be drafting is DeAndre Washington. The concerns about the lack of preseason games apply to Washington, too, but the bottom line is that the Chiefs went out and signed Washington, the exact type of veteran back that Andy Reid likes to have in his system, despite having Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams on the roster. So, if I absolutely had to choose a backup, it would be him. But, because we don’t know how this shakes out, including whether the Chiefs sign someone new, I wouldn’t even bother worrying about it much if you’re drafting today.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

I fully expect the Chiefs to sign someone that’s currently a free agent like Devonta Freeman or Lamar Miller, but if you’re in a deep Dynasty league right now and you have an open spot at the end of your bench, DeAndre Washington is worth adding to your roster just in case.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

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