Darrell Williams Has Leapfrogged Darwin Thompson in Chiefs Backfield

Dan Israeli
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The Kansas City Chiefs backfield has been banged up early in the season, with both of the team's co-starters (Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy) dealing with lower body injuries. Williams was ruled out ahead of Week 3's game against the Baltimore Ravens, and with McCoy playing on an injured ankle, it looked like it was time for rookie Darwin Thompson to receive his biggest workload operating as the No. 2 back.

Instead it was Darrell Williams, the second-year undrafted back out of LSU, who ended up seeing the most work in the KC backfield. Williams rushed the ball nine times for 62 yards and caught five passes for 47 yards. His 14 touches outnumbered McCoy by three, though McCoy did score two TDs before being forced to leave the game early in the 4th quarter after aggravating his ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Thompson carried the ball just four times for eight yards against Baltimore, failing to draw even one target in the passing game. It is clear that the rookie is fourth on the running back depth chart, despite the playmaking ability he showed in the preseason.

The Chiefs struggled mightily to run the ball against the Raiders in Week 2, as Shady and Damien combined to rush 20 times for 31 scoreless yards. However, the running lanes opened up big time in Week 3, as McCoy and Darrel turned 17 total rushes into 116 yards.

While Darrel is still just a third-stringer at best when all of the Kansas City backs are healthy, that is not currently the case. Damien is likely questionable leading into Week 4, while McCoy now has to hope his tweaked ankle doesn't keep him out a week. Both injuries seem minor, but there is a chance that Darrel can operate as part of a two-man committee in Week 4 against the Lions, and potentially as the clear-cut lead back if both Shady and Damien are forced to sit.

For those making waiver wire pickups strictly with Week 4 in mind (perhaps if you're dealing with a bye week for Le'Veon Bell or a San Francisco 49ers RB), Williams could have immense upside thanks to the uncertainty in the backfield. He is widely available, owned in just seven percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues as of Monday afternoon.


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