Lions running back Jamaal Williams has been a major fantasy football find this year, but here’s why he can legitimately be dropped from rosters in Week 17.
Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams had the look of a fantasy sleeper heading into the season, and to say it has paid off would be an understatement. Entering Week 17 he’s RB11 in standard scoring leagues, spurred by a league-high 14 rushing touchdowns.
But Williams has not scored in three straight games, with 81 total rushing yards on 36 total carries. In the seven games he has not scored a touchdown this season, he has reached double-digit fantasy points once and he needed a two-point conversion run to get to 10.10 fantasy points.
The field conditions at Bank of America Stadium last Saturday were not good, and Williams suffered a leg injury in the game. So, pending the practice reports from Wednesday and Thursday and any final injury designation on Friday, his status is naturally a little iffy for Sunday against the Chicago Bears. If he does play his snap count may be limited, and how effective he’ll be is a question until shown otherwise.
Jamaal Williams can be dropped from fantasy football rosters in Week 17
If you’re competing for a fantasy title, in a third-place game etc. in Week 17 and you have Williams on your roster, he has played a role in your being here. But this is also a week to be a little ruthless, and narrow to rostering players you will start or your opponent may have use for–up to including team defenses and kickers if it’s appropriate.
Jennifer Eakins of 4for4.com has outlined the case for Williams to be dropped from fantasy rosters this week.
"Williams’ usage and output are trending down, as he hasn’t topped 37 yards since Week 12 and crossed the pylon since Week 13. His touches have also decreased in each of the last three contests, going from 16 to 13 to nine from Weeks 14-16.The Lions do get a better matchup for their backfield this week with the Bears, who sit 26th in RB schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed, and chances of the RBs getting game-scripted out of production like last week are smaller. However, with D’Andre Swift back in the mix and Williams dealing with a leg injury, we’re at the point of hoping Williams slides in for a touchdown, and that type of dependency isn’t ideal for a fantasy championship. If your opponent is truly RB needy and you think Williams could be used against you, then push him to the end of your bench, but chances are if they’re in the final game they have better choices at the position and so do you."
In terms of raw fantasy points allowed to running backs this year, the Bears have allowed the fourth-most in the league (Yahoo!, 0.5-point PPR). So it’s a good matchup for Lions running backs, and one that’s hard to turn away from if you have Williams or D’Andre Swift with something at stake this week.
The range of weekly outcomes for Williams has always been wide this year, it’s just that he’s hit a touchdown-driven ceiling a lot. Week 17 is not the week to embrace the risk attached to his floor, leaving aside any injury concern which may exist come Sunday. So a calculated decision to drop him is absolutely in play as good process, as odd as it may sound.