Here are Jamaal Williams’ full NFL stats.
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The Packers drafted Williams out of BYU in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. At the time, they had recently moved on from the previous starter Eddie Lacy, and they had converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery as their nominal starting running back. The Packers also selected Aaron Jones in the fifth round of the same draft, creating a three-way competition at running back.
Williams saw almost no playing time through eight games, totaling only 11 carries during that period. Montgomery played as the clear lead back, and Jones received playing time ahead of Williams once Montgomery faltered. However, eventually, the Packers turned to Williams ahead of Jones. Even though Jones was far more effective, Williams led the Packers in carries in 2017.
Going into 2018, the Packers had an open three-way competition between Montgomery, Jones, and Williams for touches in the backfield. Jones served a two-game suspension to open the season, allowing Williams a shot at the starting gig. However, Williams was ineffective in the lead role, opening the door for Jones.
Once Jones claimed the starting job, Williams never seriously challenged him again. However, Williams continued to receive relevant touches in both 2018 and 2019. Williams often carried fantasy value when Jones missed time, and he provided RB4 value when Jones played. The Packers always seemed to like Williams as a player, even though he offered none of Jones’ spark.
2020 Performance and Outlook
The Packers drafted bruiser AJ Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, signaling the end of Williams’ tenure in Green Bay. However, through four weeks, Williams had 29 carries to Dillon’s eight, and he’s excelled as a pass-catcher. Williams continues to be a PPR RB4, especially considering the Packers’ lack of receiving weapons.
If Jones ever suffered an injury, Williams, not Dillon, would step into the starting job and have RB2 value. While I think the Packers would create a committee between Williams and Dillon, Williams would hog the passing-game work. Head coach Matt LaFleur loves throwing to his running backs, and I think he would keep doing so even without Jones.
Both Jones and Williams will be free agents after the 2020 season. While the Packers might extend Jones, there is virtually zero chance they will re-sign Williams. Williams will turn 26 years old in April, so he’s not that old. However, NFL teams don’t typically sign running backs of that age to any significant deals, and Williams has proven that he can help a team win as a backup running back.
Therefore, I see Williams as a nice dynasty stash. He’s never going to be a lead back, but you need players like Williams on your bench to provide running back depth. There are always lots of running back injuries and absences, so Williams is a great player to have around.
Look for him to sign a decent contract as a pass-catcher behind a two-down grinder, and I expect him to maintain his PPR value from 2020. Additionally, unlike other pass-catching backs, Williams has proven that he could play as a workhorse back if the starter goes down, even if he isn’t great at that job. That additional handcuff value makes Williams even more valuable on your dynasty team than many deep dynasty stashes.
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