Fantasy Football Week 5 Running Back Preview: Projecting the Chiefs backfield with Damien Williams back

One of the most appealing things about drafting Damien Williams was supposed to be Andy Reid's consistent usage of a bell-cow back in the past. While the job has still been profitable for Fantasy owners, it hasn't been a bell-cow situation, and it mostly hasn't been Damien Williams. 

LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams have taken advantage of the fact that Damien Williams has missed the past two weeks with a knee contusion, but it looks like he'll return on Sunday night against the Colts. That makes everything a little messier in what is still a fantastic situation.

The back that seems the easiest to project is McCoy. No matter who he was sharing with, McCoy has consistently seen between 11 and 14 touches in all four games. That's not very many touches, but it's enough in this offense. He has double digit PPR points in three of four games and has scored three touchdowns in the two games Damien Williams missed. 

I projected McCoy for 13 touches, 80 yards and a very good shot of at least one touchdown against the Colts. That makes him a low-end No. 2 running back better in non-PPR. 

As for Damien and Darrel Williams, I feel far less certain. I expect Damien Williams will be the No. 2 back this week and have him projected for 10 touches. But he's been very inefficient in limited work, so he's a flex at best. What really scares me is the way the Chiefs have used Darrel Williams as a closer. 

In the past two weeks Darrel Williams has 12 fourth-quarter touches. He's turned them into 78 yards and a touchdown. If Damien Williams sees 40% of the touches in the first three quarters and then Darrel Williams is used to seal the deal late,  you probably won't want to start either of them. 

Week 5 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 5 at this time. Here's what it means:

GB Green Bay • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
The Packers looked like they were set to give Jamaal Williams even more work on Thursday. If he can't go, Aaron Jones should have close to a feature role.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 111 - Touches for Christian McCaffrey. That's 19 more touches than any other player in the NFL this year. If he holds up to this workload, he's going to be the most valuable player in Fantasy.  
  • 44.3% - The percentage of Frank Gore's carries that have come against eight in the box. That's the highest mark in the league, which makes it even more remarkable that he's been Fantasy relevant.
  • 6 - David Johnson has at least six receptions in three of four Cardinals games. There is a huge difference between his value in non-PPR and PPR right now. 
  • 2.8 - Yards per carry for Sony Michel. That's last among running backs with at least 40 attempts. He's also not catching the ball, making him extremely touchdown-dependent. 
  • 0% - Not to pick on Michel, but this is his broken tackle rate. He hasn't broken one all season. 
  • 0 - Touchdowns for Leonard Fournette this season. And he's still a top-10 running back in both formats. There's enormous upside with the volume he's getting. 
  • 21 - Broken tackles for Chris Carson on Sunday. He answered the bell in a big way and should hold on to his feature role for now. 
  • 16 - Second-half touches for Ronald Jones. No other Buccaneers RB had more than one. It may finally be happening. 
  • 3 - Catches for Josh Jacobs this year. That is not going to cut it if you're looking for a top-20 season. 
  • 6.1 - Yards after contact per attempt for Jordan Wilkins this year. That's best among running backs with at least 10 carries.
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
IND Indianapolis • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Week 5 Matchup
@
KC
The Chiefs are allowing 5.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the worst mark in the league. The Colts should try to establish the run and take the air out of the ball like Detroit tried to do with Kerryon Johnson.
OAK Oakland • #28
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Week 5 Matchup
vs.
CHI
Jacobs has looked every bit the first-round talent, but he runs into a stiff test in Week 5. The Bears have only allowed 11.5 Fantasy points per game and a lot of that damage has come through the air, where Jacobs hasn't been used.
NO New Orleans • #28
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Week 5 Matchup
vs.
TB
The Buccaneers are allowing 2.9 yards per carry to opposing running backs. This is not the week to hope Murray can provide flex appeal with limited touches.
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 5 Adds
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
31%
Even with Mack likely active, Hines could be a solid play against the Chiefs. He caught six passes last week while chasing the score. My problem with Hines is his inefficiency when they throw him the ball. He's turned 97 career targets into just 499 yards. That's Carlos Hyde level inefficiency.
ATL Atlanta • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
29%
If you're really desperate this week, plug Smith in there and hope he gets the goal-line work as he did in Week 4. There should be plenty of touchdowns to go around in this game.
Stashes
MIN Minnesota • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
55%
I don't have any new justification, but Mattison is going to remain at the top of this list because of his situation. He's the clear handcuff to a back who has yet to play 16 games in a season. He's also on a team that strives to be one of the most run-heavy teams in the league and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
DAL Dallas • #20
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
52%
Much like Mattison, Pollard is just one injury away from a featured role in a very good situation. I prefer Mattison because of Cook's injury history, but both Pollard and Mattison need to be rostered virtually everywhere.
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top Plays
CAR Carolina • #22
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Week 5 Prices
FanDuel
$9,100
DraftKings
$8,700
McCaffrey is the highest priced back on both sites, but he's also the best value. Based on my projections, you'd either have to price McCaffrey over $10,000 or price everyone else below $8,000 to make someone else No. 1. He has eight more carries than any other back while averaging nearly 5 yards per carry. He leads the position in receptions and is averaging better than 8 yards per catch. He's the No. 1 player at the position and he's probably had rotten touchdown luck. There's no reason to get cute; just play McCaffrey.
Contrarian Plays
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Week 5 Prices
FanDuel
$5,700
DraftKings
$5,200
Early in the week there's a lot of guess work when it comes to projected ownership, but Montgomery hasn't done much yet to make people excited about playing him. I expect that will change in Week 5 against the Raiders. They'll be without Vontaze Burfict, which helps, but mostly I'm just counting on Montgomery's volume paying off. He had 24 touches last week and he has 16 or more in each of his past three games. Dalvin Cook is he only running back with at least 16 touches against the Raiders this year, and he posted 143 yards and a score.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

1

1

Christian McCaffrey

22.41

28.10

2

2

Alvin Kamara

19.49

25.04

3

3

Dalvin Cook

19.09

22.56

7

4

David Johnson

14.84

20.22

11

5

James Conner

14.35

19.84

4

6

Nick Chubb

16.03

19.38

8

7

Leonard Fournette

14.59

18.52

5

8

Ezekiel Elliott

16.02

18.42

13

9

Aaron Jones

13.60

18.02

15

10

Le'Veon Bell

13.06

17.83

22

11

James White

11.51

17.40

12

12

Joe Mixon

13.69

17.32

9

13

Marlon Mack

14.49

16.73

17

14

Austin Ekeler

12.80

16.33

14

15

Chris Carson

13.27

16.14

6

16

Derrick Henry

14.85

16.11

10

17

Mark Ingram

14.48

15.82

21

18

Devonta Freeman

11.56

15.55

20

19

Melvin Gordon

12.21

15.44

16

20

David Montgomery

12.87

15.26

23

21

Wayne Gallman

11.39

15.21

19

22

Lesean McCoy

12.35

14.51

18

23

Todd Gurley

12.51

14.44

29

24

Phillip Lindsay

10.62

13.73

35

25

Chris Thompson

8.22

13.58

26

26

Jordan Howard

11.23

13.24

32

27

Royce Freeman

10

12.97

28

28

Tevin Coleman

10.95

12.92

25

29

Carlos Hyde

11.24

12.26

27

30

Josh Jacobs

10.96

12.02

24

31

Sony Michel

11.37

11.61

30

32

Frank Gore

10

11.46

31

33

Matt Breida

10.16

11.37

34

34

Damien Williams

8.42

11.27

37

35

Devin Singletary

7.19

10.32

40

36

Tarik Cohen

6.33

9.87

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 5 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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