2019 Fantasy Football: How to handle the Chiefs RBBC situation

How should you handle the Kansas City Chiefs RBBC situation in fantasy football, and which back is worth drafting and which should you leave behind?

NFL teams are clearly moving away from having a single three-down running back. Long gone are the days where teams would have a stud RB and just feed him the ball 30-40 times per game. The game is faster, the hits are harder, and injuries are more prevalent than ever, so it’s not shocking when we hear about a team opting to implement a “running back by committee” solution, or RBBC. That is why those players that still receive high volume as bell cow backs that typically return high fantasy football production are drafted at the top of boards.

If recent news is to be believed, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs are looking at that as an option for this upcoming season, so what does that mean for you as you head into your draft?

How to handle the Chiefs RBBC Situation

Damien Williams – ADP: 27 / PFN: 22

RB Damien Williams ended the season last year with what could be one of the best four-game stretches we’ll ever see in terms of fantasy football production. Because of that, plenty of people were moving him into their top ten RBs this year. It’s not hard to figure out why: historically, the lead back in an Andy Reid led offense has a lot of value. When Reid came out a few weeks ago and said that Williams was their guy, the entire fantasy football world lapped it up and his value rose steadily.

But that was before his injury kept him on the sidelines for the start of camp and forced him to miss the first preseason game. This provided Carlos Hyde and the others to step up and make their case to the coaches, eventually leading Reid to flat out say “I did a little bit of that when I was in Philadelphia, a kind of running back-by-committee deal and we had some success with it.” So if Damien is involved in an RBBC, where should you draft him exactly?

ADVICE: If you are a Damien truther then there’s not much that can be said to change your mind at this point, he’s your guy. If you weren’t a big Damien fan before, then this is the proof you needed to avoid him. However, if you’re on the fence and are looking for what to do, we’re here to help. Given the skills we’ve seen and the earlier coach speak, it’s safe to go after Damien in the late second/early third, just don’t draft him to be your RB1 until we get more evidence of anything.

Generally speaking, it’s not advised to use a high draft pick on someone this uncertain, but if you like taking risks and are fine with the idea of managing your team week to week via the waiver wire and trades, then he’s a great fit for your team. Even in an RBBC, he’s the clear leader of the group, which makes him the most valuable back to own right now. Just stay on top of it in case something changes.

Carlos Hyde – ADP: 150 / PFN: 127

If Damien falters, or just comes out of the gate flat, look for Reid to turn to journeyman RB Carlos Hyde to handle the bulk of the workload, even in a committee. Hyde is known for having poor metrics, which continues to polarize the entire fantasy community. The numbers say he’s just not very good at the position, but the eyes might tell us something different if we squint.

Hyde is knowledgeable enough in pass protection, and at least for now, healthy enough to take over the lead back duties, but that’s hardly enough of a reason to anoint him the starter alone. In an RBBC situation, he could still see 10 touches a game, which really isn’t all that bad.

ADVICE: We have Hyde ranked as a tenth round pick, but that could change as the preseason continues. If you’re drafting today and are looking to take a flyer on a guy as your RB4 or RB5, then Hyde is a great option for you. Either he gets the job and you have a terrific RB2/Flex play every week, or he loses it and he becomes a handcuff. Either way, odds are good that you’ll be able to get more for him than you paid if you wait that long to take him in your draft.

Darwin Thompson – ADP: 286 / PFN: 184

Rookie RB Darwin Thompson is fourth on the “official” depth chart but the third RB option for fantasy purposes. Thompson was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 draft but has done a lot to impress his coaches and the press since joining the team.

In the preseason Week 1 matchup, he got a team-high 5 carries for 22 yards and 1 reception for 29 yards and a touchdown. It’s hard to read too much into this though, as he was going against the backup defense of the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, but it was enough to elevate him onto people’s radars, especially with all the talk about Damien missing the game himself.

ADVICE: Our rankers have Thompson as a 15th round option and it’ll be hard to recommend taking him any earlier without more concrete news about Damien’s role on the team. If Reid is to be believed, however, and he truly does go with an RBBC approach, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Thompson get sprinkled into the gameplan early and often, making him a very valuable option for a bench stash to start the season.

Darrel Williams – ADP: 406 / PFN: unranked

The fourth running back of note in the Kansas City backfield is RB Darrel Williams. Darrel played in six games for the Chiefs last year, only getting 13 rushes for 44 yards. He also caught 3 passes for 27 yards but didn’t really do much to make an impact. If injuries affect the guys ahead of him, he could see some real playing time, but until then it’s unlikely he sees much action at all.

ADVICE: Only in the deepest of leagues with the deepest of rosters is it worth stashing Darrel, at least for now. He’s going to have the most value to a Damien/Hyde owner who likes to handcuff, so his market is going to be very small if anything at all. Don’t bother picking him up yet, but keep an eye on things and be ready to add him if something significant happens before Week 1.

Hit us up on Twitter @PFNFantasy with your thoughts on which running back you think will lead the Chiefs in fantasy points in the 2019 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit the Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also visiting our new Fantasy Football section.

Andrew Hall is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @AndrewHallFF on Twitter.

Andrew Hall is a writer covering the NFL and fantasy football and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewHallFF and find more of his work for Pro Football Network here.

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