Derrick Henry ($8,700) and Damien Williams ($7,000) are both surging as they head into the AFC Championship Sunday. Henry has set an NFL record as the first player in history to rush for at least 180 yards in three straight games, while Williams has scored six total TDs in his last three. But if you had to pick one to put into your lineup, which should you choose?
Fantasy Football Advice: Titans RB Derrick Henry
The Titans offense has become the Derrick Henry show. Henry had more carries in Sunday’s playoff win over the Ravens (30) than QB Ryan Tannehill has pass attempts in both playoff games combined (29). A positive game script helped against the Ravens, but the Titans led by more than a single point for just five minutes and 59 seconds in their Wild Card Round win over the Patriots. The Titans are handing the ball to Henry on more than two-thirds of their snaps because they believe that Henry gives them the best chance to win.
His current run is unprecedented. While unprecedented runs can be scary — regression comes for us all, eventually — Henry’s dominance is impossible to ignore and the matchup is favorable. According to DVOA, the Patriots were the sixth best run defense; the Chiefs’ run defense ranks a miserable 29th. Kansas City has already given up six 100-yard rushing games this season, including 188 to Henry in Week 10.
There are a few downsides, however. Henry’s salary is so high that in order to profit he probably has to score in addition to continuing his awesome pace. And while the Titans have stuck with Henry when they’re down by a small amount, what will happen if the Chiefs explosive offense builds up a multi-score lead? The Titans have only lost by double-digits four times this season, and Henry was out for one of those. In the other three, he averaged just 15 carries for 45 yards. Henry averaged 23 carries in his 14 other games.
Fantasy Football Advice: Chiefs RB Damien Williams
It took a while for the Chiefs’ backfield to sort itself out, but Williams eventually emerged victorious. He’s led Chiefs RBs in each of his last five healthy games, and he’s turning into a touchdown machine. Over those last five games, he’s averaging 87.6 yards on the ground and 22.6 on the ground. Perhaps most importantly, when the Chiefs are running the ball with a lead late in the game, Williams gets all of the action. In last week’s Divisional Round win over the Texans, seven of the team’s last eight plays were either a Williams run or a screen pass to Williams.
The Titans are on an incredible run, but do we really believe that they can limit the Chiefs’ offense? The Titans’ offense scored only twice in their win over the Patriots, and 14 of their 28 points against the Ravens came off turnovers where the Titans’ drive began at the Ravens’ 35 and 20 yard-lines. The Titans’ pass defense is ranks in the bottom third of the league by most metrics, and the Chiefs — unlike the Patriots and Ravens — excel in the passing game. Williams’ recent production would make him a solid play regardless of the expected game script, but the likelihood that he gets extra work late accentuates his appeal.
Take the $1,700 in savings (or $2,600 in Showdown) and start Damien Williams over Derrick Henry
I am an avid fan and user (my username is arikleen) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.