RB - KC - OPT-OUT
Week 7 Outlook
RB Damien Williams has elected to opt out of the 2020 season.
In a statement from Chiefs GM Brett Veach, "As an organization. we certainly understand and respect Damien's choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family." "He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we're going to miss having him around this season." Williams, coming off a monster performance in the playoffs was projected to be the Chiefs starting RB and form a one-two punch with first round selection Clyde Edwards Helaire. Williams is set to rejoin the Chiefs for the 2021 campaign. Edwards Helaire has a clear path to serve as the Chiefs top running back, and is projected to be a top-10 pick in redraft leagues.
Running backs coach Deland McCullough believes RB Damien Williams’ “maturation” in the Chiefs offense “is going to be a big jump this year.”
“When he shined, he shined at a level that helped us get over a hump in a few games — and obviously helped us in winning the Super Bowl,” McCullough said of Williams. Willams played just 11 games last season, splitting time with a number of Chiefs RBs, but he was the primary ball carrier the majority of the games he played. He rushed for 104 yards and a score in the Super Bowl, and for that the Chiefs may have to give him opportunities early on this season. Williams is only under contract for one more season, and Kansas City went ahead and drafted his eventual replacement in Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round. It’ll be interesting to see the split between the two backs, but figure they’ll both play a role early on in the season.
Damien Williams is expected to return as the Chiefs’ starting running back. He will form a one-two punch with rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, per Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach.
Williams will remain the team’s starting running back, but Edwards-Helaire will “compete for playing time.” The Chiefs selected former LSU RB Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. “I certainly think it’s going to be a shared load,” said Chiefs GM Brett Veach. Damien has been in this offense a long time and has certainly shown what he can do on that playoff run. The guy’s a really good pass protector and can catch the football. I mean both these guys can run and catch and Damien Williams will come in as the starting running back and Clyde will have to come in here and compete for playing time, which we think he”ll do. But I think it will be a one-two punch.” Despite how productive Williams has been in the playoffs, he’s never logged more than 111 carries in a single season of his career. Both running backs will share carries and form a committee barring an injury. Whomever the team’s RB is will be productive in an a fantasy-friendly offense. Williams is currently ranked 39, while Edwards-Helaire is 11th among all running backs in the latest expert consensus rankings.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the Chiefs are planning to pick up their contract option for Damien Williams.
Williams was considered a fantasy disappointment throughout most of 2019 as he dealt with injuries and a timeshare at running back. However, he got hot late in the year and went bonkers in the playoffs. In the Super Bowl victory over San Francisco, Williams totaled 133 yards and two touchdowns. He'll make $2.3 million in 2020 and will be an RB2 for fantasy purposes.
Damien Williams rushed 17 times for 45 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs' 35-24 win over the Titans Sunday. He added five receptions for 44 yards on six targets.
Williams was solid again on Sunday as the Chiefs' clear RB1. Owners will need to see how the offseason shakes out to value him properly for next season.