Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams has taken over as the starter with Clyde Edwards-Helaire injured. Williams has played a bigger role for Kansas City in recent weeks, finding success in each of his last three games. However, now dealing with a toe injury, will Williams be able to play on Sunday against the Steelers, and what can fantasy football managers expect from him if he does?
Update 01/16/22: Darrel Williams is officially active for the Chiefs. For the rest of the Chiefs inactives, make sure to check out our Wild Card Round Inactives.
Darrel Williams’ 2021 production
With an inconsistent role in Kansas City’s offense, Williams has seen mixed results throughout the 2021-2022 season. He posted 558 yards and 6 touchdowns on 144 carries, adding 47 receptions for 452 yards and 2 scores on 57 targets over 17 games.
Williams has flashed the ability to take on a massive role for the Chiefs. In Week 6, against the Washington Football Team, he recorded 89 yards and 2 TDs on 24 touches. Likewise, in Week 10 vs. the Raiders, Williams totaled 144 yards and 1 TD on 20 touches.
Taking over for the injured Edwards-Helaire, Williams has recorded double-digit touches in each of his last three games. Over that span, he averaged 79.7 yards and 0.7 touchdowns on 13.7 touches per game.
How would Williams’ absence affect the Chiefs’ offense?
If Williams were to miss this game, Derrick Gore and Jerick McKinnon would likely split snaps. Gore would be the early-down option, while McKinnon would take on passing-down work.
Gore’s seen a bigger role in recent games, helping ease Williams’ toe issue on the field. He recorded 110 yards on 22 carries over his last three games, but he has struggled in extended snaps.
McKinnon’s coming off of his biggest workload of the season after seeing 8 touches against the Denver Broncos. Impressively, he turned those touches into 50 yards and 1 touchdown. McKinnon’s performed well in limited snaps, and he adds versatility to the Kansas City backfield.
Nevertheless, with Williams set to play, this is all unlikely to matter.
Will Williams play vs. the Steelers this week?
Despite the toe injury, Williams hasn’t missed any time because of it. This week, he’s recorded three consecutive limited practices and is officially listed as questionable. With that said, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid stated that Williams would be available this week barring something unexpected happening. Adam Teicher of ESPN also stated that Williams is trending toward playing.
It seems as if the questionable tag is more precautionary for Kansas City. Williams is likely to play, and he’ll be locked into the starting running back slot with Edwards-Helaire out this weekend.
Are fantasy points available vs. Pittsburgh?
There will be plenty of fantasy points available for Williams against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is allowing 21.5 fantasy points per game to running backs, which is the sixth-most in the NFL. They’ve struggled the most against RBs, which is the easiest way to attack their defense.
The Steelers are allowing a league-high 146.1 rushing yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry this season. Pittsburgh’s also given up 17 rushing touchdowns, which ranks in the bottom half of the NFL.
Williams is locked into a sizeable role for Kansas City, but he’ll lose some snaps to Gore and McKinnon because of his toe. Nevertheless, Williams comes with plenty of upside, specifically in this matchup. He’s a solid RB option in the playoffs.