|ADP:||Round: 2, Pick: 5|
|Ht / Wt:||5'11" / 222 lb.|
|Born:||April 3, 1992|
|Drafted:||2014 / UDFA|
Coach Andy Reid said he's asking Williams to be the "full-time starter" for the upcoming season, BJ Kissel of the Chiefs' official website reports. "[Williams] has taken that challenge," Reid said. "He wants to do this thing, and he's earned the right to be that guy. And now it's a matter of production."
Analysis: Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy both have made strong comments in support of Williams, shutting down any speculation about Carlos Hyde or Darwin Thompson pushing for a starting job. Including the playoffs, Williams averaged 12.8 carries, 4.7 catches, 100.4 scrimmage yards and 1.7 touchdowns on 43.3 snaps over his final six games last season. He ceded some playing time to Spencer Ware or Charcandrick West each week, but it was Williams who dominated high-value opportunities in the passing game and near the goal line. Reid's 20 seasons as a head coach have yielded just four instances of his team's lead back failing to reach 1,200 scrimmage yards -- and two of those involved season-ending injuries in Week 5.
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said Williams is the Chiefs' starting running back, John Sleezer and Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star report. "Williams is our starter," Bieniemy said. "We expect him to excel in that role."
Analysis: Bieniemy seems to be shutting down any idea of a competition with Carlos Hyde or sixth-round pick Darwin Thompson, but that doesn't mean Williams will be the only running back with a significant role in the offense. Coach Andy Reid has a well-established history of giving his lead backs sizable workloads in terms of both carries and targets, typically relying on one player to log at least 60 percent of the snaps. Williams isn't anything special in terms of running ability, but he's a good receiver and capable blocker.
Williams could lose red zone touches following Saturday's signing of Carlos Hyde, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: It's fair to question whether the Chiefs believe Williams can be a true three-down back despite evidence supporting the notion throughout Week 15 and carrying into the postseason, in which the fifth-year back tallied 362 rushing yards, 210 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in five starts. Hyde's one-year deal likely won't stop the Chiefs from adding more depth at the position throughout the rest of the offseason, so while the two-year extension Williams signed in late December should be seen as a vote of confidence from the organization, it's difficult to project just what kind of timeshare the 26-year-old might face entering the 2019 regular season.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said the starting job at running back is Williams' to lose, Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star reports.
Analysis: Williams emerged over Spencer Ware after Kareem Hunt was released, scoring 10 touchdowns over the final six games of the season (including playoffs). The Chiefs rewarded Williams with a two-year, $5.1 million extension on Dec. 27, while Ware is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The team figures to bring in backfield help via the draft and/or free agency, but Williams should still be on track to open training camp with the first-team offense. Given that Tyreek Hill may soon join Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins atop the team's cap sheet, Kansas City isn't likely to make a splash signing at running back. There's a real chance Williams demands consideration in the early rounds of 2019 fantasy drafts.
Williams carried 10 times for 30 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots. He also caught five of eight targets for 66 yards and two more touchdowns.
Analysis: Williams managed just 3.0 yards per carry against a respectable New England front, but he was utilized often as a receiver and nearly reached 100 scrimmage yards. He enjoyed a tremendous fourth quarter, scoring on a one-yard reception, a 23-yard reception and a two-yard run to help his team climb all the way back into the game. Williams was outstanding during the postseason, piling up 154 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in two games. He signed an extension with Kansas City last month and will head into the offseason as the team's top tailback, although it remains to be seen if competition will be brought in via the draft and/or free agency.
Williams ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 and added 25 yards and five catches during Saturday's 31-13 win over the Colts. He was seen on the sideline having his feet and ankles taped up, but he stayed in through the Chiefs' final drive.
Analysis: Sophomore sensation Patrick Mahomes will get a lot of the headlines heading into the AFC championship game, but Williams deserves a ton of the credit. Playing against a Colts team that was sporadic at best on offense, Williams wore Indy's defense down and early. He sliced and diced for a 10-yard touchdown on the Chiefs' opening possession and easily converted a fourth and short on the very next drive. How he performs, particularly if the weather is a factor, in the AFC championship game will be a major factor as to whether the Chiefs will head to their first Super Bowl in 50 years. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry this season in limited opportunities against potential opponents New England and Los Angeles, scoring twice and adding 74 yards on six catches.
Williams will start Saturday versus the Colts, Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Spencer Ware gave it the old college try in effort to play for the first time since Week 14, but his hamstring didn't pass the requisite tests during a pregame warmup. With inactive status confirmed for Ware, Williams will work as the Chiefs' lead back, which previously translated to 48 touches for 322 yards and four TDs in three games to close out the regular season. Behind Williams, fellow running backs Darrel Williams and Charcandrick West will receive any reps that linger.
Williams picked up 51 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and caught one pass for eight yards during Week 17 against the Raiders.
Analysis: Williams has emerged as a key piece for the Chiefs out of the backfield with Spencer Ware (hamstring) sidelined and will likely factor into the Chiefs' playoff plans after averaging 6.0 yards per carry and notching three rushing touchdowns and four total touchdowns in the final three games of the season. He's also proven to be a capable pass-catcher, snaring 18 passes for 135 yards and two scores over the final four contests and could be a sneaky option in playoff pools.
With Spencer Ware (hamstring) inactive, Williams is in line to head Kansas City's ground game Sunday against the Raiders, BJ Kissel of the Chiefs' official site reports.
Analysis: Charcandrick West and Darrel Williams are on hand to see complementary work in the team's Week 17 backfield, but with Ware still out, Damien Williams is in a good spot to produce against an Oakland defense that hasn't been strong against the run this season.
Williams signed a two-year extension with the Chiefs on Thursday, Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports.
Analysis: The Chiefs rewarded Williams for his strong work in the wake of Kareem Hunt's release and Spencer Ware's injury. Since taking on a larger role after the Chiefs' bye, Williams has averaged 5.7 yards per carry while adding 19 receptions and five touchdowns from scrimmage. He'll be a part of the Chiefs' backfield plans moving forward, but this signing won't preclude Kansas City from exploring other options at running back through free agency and the draft.
Williams carried the ball 13 times for 103 yards in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Seahawks. He also added seven receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Analysis: Williams continued to see his workload increase on the ground, racking up a season-high 13 carries. That allowed him to surpass 100 rushing yards in a single game for the first time in his career. Williams also continued his excellence through the air, hauling in all seven of his targets while recording his second receiving score of the season. He's taken advantage of being the lead back on one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and it should be expected that he'll maintain the same role heading into a Week 17 matchup against the Raiders.
With teammate Spencer Ware (hamstring) listed as doubtful, Williams is positioned for a sizable workload Sunday night in Seattle, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Williams took full advantage of the same situation in last week's 29-28 loss to the Chargers, piling up 123 scrimmage yards and two scores on 16 touches while handling a 73 percent snap share. He'll now take aim at a defense that's allowed running backs to produce 4.6 yards per carry and 7.4 per target, though Seattle did a much better job containing opposing backfields the past three weeks (zero TDs, 222 rushing yards). Williams' career mark of 3.6 YPC isn't encouraging, but there's a lot to be said for handling the lead RB role in an offense led by Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.
Williams rushed 10 times for 49 yards and two touchdowns and brought in all six of his targets for 74 yards in the Chiefs' 29-28 loss to the Chargers on Thursday.
Analysis: The veteran proved highly capable of shouldering primary-back duties, making excellent use of his rather modest opportunities on the ground. Williams not only averaged an impressive 4.9 yards per tote, he also paced Kansas City in receiving yardage and scored two short touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter, respectively. Williams' opportunity was a result of Spencer Ware being sidelined with a shoulder injury, and it's expected the two will revert to some sort of timeshare arrangement when the latter returns. That could well come as soon as a Week 16 Sunday night battle against the Seahawks, but Williams' play Thursday may certainly have carved him out a larger swath of playing time moving forward.
Williams will start Thursday night's game against the Chargers, BJ Kissel of the Chiefs' official site reports.
Analysis: Williams' expanded role in the team's Week 15 offense is due to Spencer Ware (hamstring) being inactive. Darrel Williams and Charcandrick West (active for the first time this season) are on hand to provide backfield depth for the Chiefs on Thursday night.
Williams is likely to serve as the Chiefs' top backfield option Thursday night against the Chargers, with Spencer Ware (hamstring) inactive for the contest, BJ Kissel of the Chiefs' official site reports.
Analysis: Darrel Williams and Charcandrick West are also in the team's backfield mix Thursday, but in Ware's absence Damien Williams figures to have a path to double-digit carries, in addition to a degree of involvement in the Kansas City passing game. It's a context that makes him a worthy Week 15 lineup roll while working within the framework of the league's highest-scoring offense.
Williams is likely to serve as the Chiefs' top option out of the backfield Thursday against the Chargers with Spencer Ware (hamstring) listed as doubtful for the contest, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: There's not much in the way of tough competition behind Williams on the depth chart, as undrafted rookie Darrel Williams has played six total offensive snaps all season and Charcandrick West just signed with the Chiefs less than two weeks ago. With that in mind, Williams should have a path to double-digit carries to go with involvement in the passing game if Ware sits out. That kind of workload would be enough to make just about any back a decent fantasy option, but Williams' presence on the league's best scoring offense elevates his outlook another notch. At least for the short term, Williams needs to be owned in every league where he's still sitting on the waiver wire.
Williams accounted for 14 yards and one touchdown on eight carries, adding four catches for 16 yards and a receiving score during Sunday's 27-24 win against Baltimore.
Analysis: It was a fulfilling Sunday for Williams, who notched his first multi-touchdown game since Week 8 of the 2016 season as Kansas City picked up an overtime victory over Baltimore to remain in control of the AFC's No. 1 seed. Starting running back Spencer Ware (hamstring/shoulder) was banged around as the game wore on, forcing the Chiefs to lean on Williams more in the second half (7:6 carries split in favor of Ware in the second half, compared to a 8:2 ratio in the opening half). Ware's status merits attention entering Week 15, especially as Kansas City prepares for a crucial Thursday Night showdown against the 10-3 Chargers. Lingering injuries and a quick turnaround time have potential to limit Ware's workload at the very least, opening up flex consideration for Williams against the Chargers' top 12 rush defense (104 yards allowed per game).
Williams logged 19 of a possible 71snaps on offense in Sunday's 40-33 win over the Raiders, en route to recording five carries for 38 yards and catching two passes for seven yards.
Analysis: Meanwhile, Spencer Ware started at running back for the Chiefs on Sunday and rushed for 47 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Going forward, Williams is in line to see complementary work behind Ware, but his upside is modest, with the team expected to sign Charcandrick West, who has plenty of experience in the Kansas City offense.
Williams rushed just once for one yard during Sunday's game against the Patriots.
Analysis: Williams finished the night with just three offensive snaps in total, though he did play 27 snaps on special teams. He should continue to serve mainly as a special teams contributor for the Chiefs, but it could change if injuries arise ahead of him on the depth chart.
Williams saw just seven offensive snaps Sunday versus the 49ers, catching two passes for 16 yards on the day.
Analysis: Williams provides the Chiefs with a reliable pair of hands in the event the team is trailing and in need of the two-minute offense, but that hasn't been the case through three weeks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes under center. Williams ranks third in the pecking order for carries behind both Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware, leaving him off the fantasy radar in the vast majority of leagues.
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