The Duel

Damien Williams' Injury Could Make Carlos Hyde a Sleeper in 2019 Fantasy Football

Max Staley
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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Andy Reid seems to have the magic touch when it comes to fantasy football running backs. Over the last seven seasons, Reid has gotten five top-10 fantasy finishes out of Jamaal Charles (2012, 2013, 2014) and Kareem Hunt (2017, 2018).

But now that Hunt is a member of the Cleveland Browns, it looks like Damien Williams is the Kansas City Chiefs' No. 1 back. Unfortunately, Williams has been slowed by injuries in training camp, which could open the door for Carlos Hyde.

One of the reasons RBs have been so successful in Reid's system is his reliance on them in the passing game. Hunt racked up 378 receiving yards and seven TDs in 11 games played last year, and Williams tallied 210 receiving yards and three TDs over his final five games (including the postseason).

While Hyde isn't nearly as prolific a pass catcher as Williams or Hunt, he's proven he can be a reliable option when called upon. In 2017, Hyde amassed 350 receiving yards on 59 receptions, and his efficiency looks poised to increase if he carves out a role in Kansas City's offense. Currently being drafted as RB46 in 2019 fantasy football, Hyde is well worth a late-round flier.

Of course, Hyde's biggest roadblock to fantasy relevance will likely be Williams. But if Williams' hamstring injury lingers into the regular season, or is re-aggravated, Hyde could be thrust into a featured role in one of the most explosive offenses in football, making him a potential deep sleeper in 2019 fantasy drafts.

At the very least, Hyde should be viewed as a handcuff for Williams, but he could instantly become a viable fantasy starter with RB2 upside if he gets the starting nod at any point this season.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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