Damien Williams' Hamstring Opens Door for Carlos Hyde and Fantasy Confusion - Roto Street Journal
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Damien Williams’ Hamstring Opens Door for Carlos Hyde and Fantasy Confusion

We’ve been aboard, and even conducting, the Damien Williams train all offseason. However, a lingering hamstring injury is hampering his ability to run away with the Chiefs’ invaluable RB1 job. HC Andy Reid “sounded frustrated” about the injury, explaining: “I can’t tell you exactly when (Williams will return)…He’s missed quite a bit, missed a lot of plays”

Worse, the missed time has also opened the door for Carlos Hyde to soak up RB1 reps. The bruiser, who’s been one of our favorite Penny Stocks all offseason, has reportedly done nothing but impress. When discussing Williams’ absence, Reid added: “It’s been great for the other guys…Carlos has done a nice job. He’s getting a lot of reps and he’s taking advantage of them.” Uh-oh. 

Prior to this injury, everyone from the Chiefs’ RBs coach, to the GM, to Reid himself had endorsed Williams as the backfield centerpiece. He had, afterall, just given the Chiefs a soft landing pad from Kareem Hunt‘s absence by ripping off 10 scores in only six games, with dominant play down the playoffs’ stretch. In fact, Williams’ 22.5 FPPG as a starter trailed only Todd Gurley.

However, Hyde has always presented a bigger threat than most realized. Indeed, Hyde had clear upside as a bruising power runner, capable of feasting on the light boxes and scoring chances that KC’s offense gifts its runners.

But few seem aware that Hyde’s actually a decent receiver. Just two years ago, under Kyle Shanahan, Hyde hauled in 59 balls as a true three-down horse, en route to an RB8 finish. Hyde cited his receiving potential in this offense as a major reason for joining the Chiefs, raving:

“Seeing how explosive the offense is, how many points they put up on defense, it was a no-brainer for me,” Hyde said. “I honestly didn’t run too many screens with the teams I’ve been on,” Hyde said. “I always wanted to. You can get a big play, an explosive play out of screens. I’m definitely excited about that.”

Ultimately, any missed time is bad news for Williams. While he should still exit camp as the Chiefs’ Top-RB, there’s now some question. Worse, an extended absence could force at least RBBC consideration. Thus, I am no longer willing to take Williams at the 1st/2nd turn (+10 his ECR), and he falls a tier or two to 21 overall.

Meanwhile, Hyde’s price is (unfortunately) bound to rise. Still, I was already 50+ spots higher than his ECR, and he’s now +15 on my Big Board. Thus, Hyde will remain a consistent staple of my 2019 benches as my favorite 2019 RB Penny Stock.

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