Damien Williams went from what could have been the Super Bowl LIV MVP against San Francisco in February to likely the bench this year with the addition of Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Kansas City. Williams is only worth drafting with a mid-round pick. Now, he could prove to be the best running back for the Chiefs ahead of Edwards-Helaire, but that would be a surprise after Kansas City invested a first-round pick in the rookie in the NFL Draft. The Chiefs also have Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams and DeAndre Washington, on the roster, but Edwards-Helaire is the biggest threat. Williams also needs to stay healthy after missing five games last year, but we saw when healthy and given enough work, he can be a star. He had five games in 2019 with double digits in carries, and he scored at least 13 PPR points in all of them. That workload will be hard to come by, and Williams is trending in the wrong direction in 2020.
Despite competing with Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield, Williams expects to enjoy a breakout season in 2020, Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports. Williams is 28 years old and entering the second season of a two-year, $5.1 million extension, while Edwards-Helaire is a 21-year-old first-round pick. The rookie may be the one with the significant investment behind him, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll enter Week 1 in the lead role. An abbreviated offseason program should work in favor of Williams, who already has two seasons of experience in Andy Reid's offense, highlighted by 540 total yards and 10 touchdowns in five playoff appearances. The workload division in KC's backfield figures to be one of the leading fantasy storylines throughout summer and into the fall.
Chiefs GM Brett Veach told Pro Football Talk that Williams will retain his spot atop the depth chart while sharing the backfield workload with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Veach may be referring to training camp -- whenever that happens -- rather than making any promises for Week 1. After all, Veach may have referred to Williams as his starter, but the GM then referred to the rookie as a "franchise running back" and "special and unique." The Chiefs presumably will allow Williams and Edwards-Helaire to compete for touches, giving the first-round pick an opportunity to emerge as the lead back even if the veteran technically remains the starter. Given the immense potential for backfield fantasy production in an offense led by Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, the breakdown between Williams and Edwards-Helaire is sure to be a heavily discussed topic throughout the summer and into fall.
Williams has a new competitor in the backfield following the Chiefs' selection of LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Adam Teicher of ESPN reports. Edwards-Helaire's smaller frame (5-foot-7) and an unconventional offseason ahead for NFL teams could still position Williams to play a key contributing role for the Chiefs during the 2020 season. However, the first-round selection of a running back dims Williams' prospects of serving as the team's workhorse of the future, especially with his contract set to expire following 2020. In addition to rushing for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns on 215 carries (6.6 YPC), Edwards-Helaire reeled in 55 passes at LSU last season, so there's no part of Williams' game that Edwards-Helaire can't match or exceed if he proves he can hold up in pass protection.
With the Chiefs planning to pick up Williams' contract option, the running back is slated to earn $2.3 million in 2020, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Over his past two campaigns with Kansas City, Williams combined for 161 carries for 754 yards, to go along with 53 catches for 373 yards and 13 total TDs through 27 games. The 27-year-old capped things last season by rushing 17 times for 104 yards and a TD while hauling in four passes for 29 yards and another score during the Chiefs' 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. As things stand, Williams continues to profile as the team's top backfield option, with the likes of Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and Elijah McGuire also currently in the mix.
Williams rushed 17 times for 104 yards and a touchdown and brought in four of eight targets for 29 yards and another score during the Chiefs' 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. He also fumbled once, but it was recovered by the offense. Had it not been for Patrick Mahomes' spectacular second-half performance, Williams arguably had a rightful claim to MVP honors with his impressive performance in a stadium he once called his home field. The former Dolphin consistently fought successfully for yardage against a stingy 49ers defense, and he sealed the victory courtesy of a back-breaking 38-yard scoring scamper with 1:12 remaining in the contest. A drive earlier, Williams got into the end zone through the air, successfully getting the ball across the goal line just before his foot stepped out of bounds for a five-yard, go-ahead touchdown. Williams missed five games during the regular season due to injury, but he played a pivotal role in the postseason with six total scores (four rushing, two receiving). Williams enters the final year of his contract in 2020 and is on the books for $1.85 million, a highly reasonable figure for a lead back with his upside.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/20||@Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.88|
|4||10/04||New England Patriots||2||11.94|
|5||10/11||Las Vegas Raiders||15||17.38|
|8||11/01||New York Jets||9||14.50|
|11||11/23||@Las Vegas Raiders||15||17.38|
|12||11/29||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||10.63|
|15||12/20||@New Orleans Saints||5||13.24|
|17||01/03||Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.88|
|3 Year Avg||69||312||3||24||176||2||76|