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LeSean McCoy to Kansas City: Fantasy Fallout

In the aftermath of the surprising release of LeSean McCoy, which no one was surprised about, the Chiefs gained a valuable insurance policy.

There are many moves which can be made to surprise us. Houston made a few of them in one day on Saturday. But this release was seen coming from space like the Great Wall of China or the Grand Canyon. But this is a good thing. Not only is it good for the Chiefs and possibly LeSean McCoy. It is great for Devin Singletary in Buffalo.

In turn, there are also some losers and Damien Williams jumps to mind. His draft stock is still strong but just today Andy Reid declared the two RBs as "co-starters." How should you approach all these players on draft day and in your starting lineups going forward?

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The Buffalo Side

21-year old rookie Devin Singletary was already set to bust out. But with the veteran McCoy blocking his path, as well as the immortal Frank Gore, it would have been hard for him to do so. With McCoy now out of the way, Singletary can learn from Gore while starting from day one. Knowing the Bills want to run the ball, this makes him very interesting in fantasy drafts. Before this trade, Singletary was going in double-digit rounds of drafts. In the final draft days of the season, this number should spike into the seventh or eighth round with his ascension to starter status. Much like the spike seen by Tevin Coleman in San Francisco, when a backfield clutter is finally settled, the man left standing gains enormous value.

Frank Gore also take a step up in draft stock. But this will pale in comparison to that of Singletary. Gore, who was basically undrafted in most leagues is now a last-round flier. This might not seem like much, but it is still a jump from where he was before this news. He's worth a late pick in best-ball drafts too for the simple fact he won't post many zeros any given week.


Too Many Chiefs?

Now, what does this mean for LeSean McCoy but more importantly Damien Williams? We know the Chiefs have one of, if not the best offense in the NFL. Weapons abound with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce. Three years ago, McCoy would have been considered another one of these weapons. But he is now over 30 and on the downside of his playing days. But he is going to play for a coach that loves him in Andy Reid. The man who drafted him out of Pitt. He is not going back simply because of this but it is hard to deny this had a major role in his decision.

Had he gone to a different team, he could have challenged for a starter’s role. But in Kansas City, this is still Damien Williams' position to lose. McCoy provides much more insurance than Carlos Hyde would have. He is still a better running back than Hyde ever was. Both running and pass-catching is a strong suit for him. Should Williams get injured, McCoy could step in and the team would not lose anything in production. He is easily the best back up running back in the NFL.

A committee back system has never been the Andy Reid style. Unless he changes this now, McCoy does not figure to be anything more than a 5-8 touch per game type of player. Already going in the ninth round, this should still be the highest he is drafted. Moving from a starter to a backup is never an upgrade for value. But he has not lost all of his value despite the move.

The player this might hurt the most? The Darwin Thompson owner who was confident of a major role for him, especially if you drafted in the days just after Carlos Hyde was released and before McCoy was signed. Shady should replace Thompson in this backfield, at least for this season. Thompson is still a great dynasty stash. But for redraft? He is now back to the waiver wire in all but the deepest of leagues.

As for Damien Williams, the Chiefs have previously said he is the starter and they want it this way. Unlike a lot of teams, I actually still think this is the case. Sure, this could drop him from 22 to 17 or 18 touches per game. But this could be good as he has never been the starter, and this could help him remain fresh for a postseason push, both for your fantasy team and Kansas City. You might have to temper your thoughts of a top-10 RB for fantasy. But he is still in the talks as a top-15 RB. And this is still not bad where he is going at the end of the second or top of the third-round. Again, if you have a late draft this week you might even get him late in the third or early into the fourth round.

Yes, there have been a lot of changes after cut-down day. This happens every season. This is why you should NEVER draft early. But if you did draft early, you should still be happy with all parties involved. From Devin Singletary, who gains the most, to Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy, who drop a few spots, none of the picks will significantly cripple your team based on this change in expectation.

The concern for Darwin Thompson is there. But you should not have been drafting him any higher than the 11th or 12th round anyway. If so, don't worry - preseason hype can get the best of us all sometimes.

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