Darwin Thompson Flashes Fantasy Upside Once Again as Carlos Hyde Struggles - Roto Street Journal
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Darwin Thompson Flashes Fantasy Upside Once Again as Carlos Hyde Struggles

In only two preseason games, Darwin Thompson has become my must-draft “Penny Stock” Sleeper RB in fantasy football. Though not quite as stat-stuffing as his NFL Debut, Thompson once again flashed the traits that could help him earn time in the NFL’s most explosive offense. Meanwhile, Carlos Hyde, one of Thompson’s main fantasy roadblocks, continued to blow.

Thompson’s final “box score” won’t wow: 4 carries, 31 yards (7.75 YPC). However, he helped carry the Chiefs to their only scoring drive of the night. Thompson’s burst was again on full display, as he gained the edge on outside runs of 14 and 11 yards. He also flashed his ability to fight through contact, forcing 5 missed tackles on his 10 touches so far.

Perhaps most importantly, Thompson flashed excellent pass-protection. He consistently picked up blitzes and kept his QB upright, including an excellent block that allowed Chad Henne to hit Mecole Hardman for a 17-yard TD strike.

After earning the praise of his RBs coach and MVP Patrick Mahomes in Week One, Thompson elicited positive reviews from HC Andy Reid:

“He’s playing hard, aggressive football,” Reid said of Thompson. “I don’t think he had quite as many touches as last time, but when he had opportunities I thought he did a good job. He’s seeing things. He’s patient enough to where he can bounce (outside). His vision’s good. And then he’s got a pretty good understanding of the pass game.”

Meanwhile, Hyde was putrid. He entered the night as a rumored cut candidate, apparently needing a “good performance” to “earn his way back.” Hyde’s response? Fumbling the ball in his lone drive with the starters. He then played extensively with the second-stringers. At minimum, Damien Williams seems to have gained distance as a starter.

But for Thompson, Hyde’s removal would be crucial. The tiny back has routinely impressed when used, and one less (fat) body would allow him to showcase his value. Considering Reid has announced a “committee-approach,” Thompson may even have a shot at becoming a lead-back here at some point. Though small in stature, he’s a tightly packed cannon-ball of muscle capable of shouldering the load.

The value of volume in this offense cannot be overstated. Williams had been a career nobody, and even he racked up 10 TDs in only 6 games, finishing as the RB2 in Fantasy PPG as a starter.

Thompson offers similar appeal, and needs to gain your consideration by Pick 90-100. His explosion up my Big Board continues.

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