Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams is dealing with a toe injury that limited him on Wild Card Weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chiefs are getting healthier at running back overall, but there are plenty of concerns around Williams. Is Williams playing this weekend, and what can fantasy football managers expect from this situation in the Divisional Round?
Update 01/23/22: The Chiefs announced that Darrel Williams will be inactive for their game against the Buffalo Bills. For the full list of inactives, make sure to visit our Bills vs. Chiefs Injury Report.
Darrel Williams’ 2021 production
Williams found plenty of success in a timeshare at running back for Kansas City this season. He posted 562 yards and 6 touchdowns on 145 carries. He also added 47 receptions for 452 yards and 2 TDs on 57 targets.
Williams had his best rushing performance in the Chiefs’ Week 17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, recording 88 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 carries.
His best receiving game came in a 41-14 win against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10. Williams caught 9 passes for 101 yards and 1 score on 9 targets. He added 43 yards on the ground in that game as well.
With that said, Williams is coming off of one of his worst outings of the season. Dealing with a toe injury, he recorded just 4 yards with a fumble on 1 carry against the Steelers last week in the Wild Card round.
How would his absence affect the Chiefs’ offense?
Williams’ absence wouldn’t be a major issue for Kansas City this weekend. He was more or less a non-factor last week, with Jerick McKinnon taking on the largest workload and Derrick Gore getting a few carries.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a full participant in practice throughout the week, and he will return this week. Regardless of Williams’ injury status, CEH will likely take on an early-down role with McKinnon finding more passing-down snaps.
Overall, it’s tough to see Williams carving out a big role at the moment. The Chiefs favored McKinnon over him last week, and it’s clear Williams is still dealing with his injury as he struggled to practice throughout the week. Adding in Edwards-Helaire muddies up KC’s running back situation a bit more.
If he plays, it’s unlikely Williams gets more than a few touches in this game.
Will Williams play vs. the Bills this week?
Williams suffered a toe injury a couple of weeks ago, and he struggled with it last week. Even though he was able to suit up against Pittsburgh, he saw limited snaps and touches. It was clear he was struggling with that injury.
This week, Williams failed to practice on Wednesday or Thursday. After recording two DNPs, it was imperative for his status that he practice on Friday. And in fact, he was able to get in a limited session to end the week.
There hasn’t been any official word on Williams, as he’s currently listed as questionable. He’s a true game-time decision, and we may not know his status until Kansas City lists their inactives prior to the game.
With that said, head coach Andy Reid was hopeful that Williams would suit up, although he’d likely see a limited role if he’s able to.
Are fantasy points available vs. Buffalo?
There are fantasy points available for Williams and Co. against Buffalo. The Bills rank as an average defense, allowing 17.5 fantasy points per game to running backs.
Nevertheless, Kansas City’s backfield has multiple players that will see touches. Edwards-Helaire and McKinnon are likely to be the focal points, with Williams potentially taking a few touches away from each of them.
This is a situation to avoid overall in terms of fantasy football. Edwards-Helaire and McKinnon both come with upside because of playing in the Chiefs’ offense, but they come with significantly more risk than reward at this point.