Lions running back Jamaal Williams remains a top-end fantasy option in Week 5 vs. Patriots

Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

He certainly has a tougher matchup this week, but here’s why Lions running back Jamaal Williams remains  a top-end, must-start fantasy running back in Week 5.

After scoring two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings, Lions running back Jamaal Williams had the lead back role to himself in Week 4 with D’Andre Swift (ankle/shoulder) out.

Williams delivered against the Seattle Seahawks, with 19 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns (including a 51-yard score). He leads the league with six rushing touchdowns through four weeks, he has at least 11 carries in all four games this season with over 50 yards in the last three (more than 85 in the last two). He will be a fantasy asset all season, independent of Swift’s health.

Swift is set to miss his second straight game Sunday against the New England Patriots, as expected when he added the shoulder sprain to his prior ankle issue and the Lions’ bye coming in Week 6.

So Williams is lined up for one more week as Detroit’s lead back. It will naturally be a tougher matchup though, as the Seahawks are among the worst defenses against running backs so far this season.

Fantasy Football: Jamaal Williams still a top-end running back for Week 5

New England enters Week 5 allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs (Yahoo!; 0.5-point PPR), and they are the only team in the league who has not allowed a rushing touchdown to the position thus far. But they are trending the wrong way in some regards, with Packers running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combining for 183 rushing yards (on 33 carries) in Week 4.

In the last two games, with Swift increasingly banged up and then out, Williams had 22 and 20 touches respectively. So 20 touches is the easy expectation for him as the lead back, which he’ll of course be again against the Patriots.

Barring something unforeseen, the Patriots won’t build a huge lead on Sunday and force a negative game script on the Lions’ offense. So Williams will get his 15-20 carries again pretty easily, with a couple catches sprinkled in and a chance at a touchdown (or two?).

Williams belongs in fantasy lineups with Swift out, and Week 5 is no different. He is an easy RB2 this week, but a top-10 finish for the week is absolutely in play again, even in a tougher matchup against the Patriots on the road.

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