The Duel

Damien Williams Fantasy Value Plummets Following LeSean McCoy Signing With the Chiefs

Dan Israeli
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Despite finishing the season on a tear after the Kansas City Chiefs waived Kareem Hunt late last year, Damien Williams remained a polarizing player in fantasy football rankings this summer. Detractors pointed to his small sample size of success, a nagging hamstring injury, and Andy Reid's whispers of a committee backfield, which coincided with the emergence of rookie Darwin Thompson.

Now, Williams has a whole new issue to deal with. Following his release from the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs signed veteran LeSean McCoy to a one-year, $4 million deal. McCoy will now be reunited with Reid, who was his workhorse, all-purpose back during their time with the Philadelphia Eagles.

While there was a debate about whether Reid's committee talk was legit or simply a motivational tactic, the signing of McCoy is a major concern for Williams owners.

Some fantasy analysts were quick to brush off the McCoy signing, due to his age and declining production, while others pointed to the money he is making ($4 million) compared to Williams ($1.05 million) as a clear indication that the veteran signee is more than just backfield insurance.

McCoy averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry (YPC) last season on the Bills, and had the lowest carry total (161) since his rookie season. He still owns an impressive 4.5 career YPC mark, and will now be playing in the greatest offense of his career, albeit at age 31.

Williams was a revelation for the Chiefs at the end of last season, finishing December with 397 all-purpose yards, 20 receptions and six touchdowns. The sample was very small, of course, as Williams only had 50 rush attempts on the season. He did go on to score four more touchdowns in two playoff games, while racking up an additional 250 yards from scrimmage.

It's uncertain how Kansas City's backfield will shake out at this point, but the safest assumption to make is that McCoy, Williams and Thompson will all cannibalize each other's value.

If McCoy was signed to be a very expensive backup, he will hurt Thompson's value more, and make Williams a sneaky selection as he is sure to plummet in leagues yet to draft. If McCoy is thrust into a bigger role, however, it can result in an unpredictable backfield on a week-to-week basis.


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