Karlos Williams was a running back I was very interested in targeting in my 2016 Fantasy Football leagues when the 2015 season ended. Last year, he averaged 5.6 yards per cary, scored nine touchdowns in 11 games, and turned 104 touches into 613 total yards.
Compared to other players with similar rushing attempts last season, he was absolutely dominant.
I’m not a big fan of LeSean McCoy because of where he is being drafted, and Williams is someone I would much rather draft in the later rounds and hope he got a bigger role due to injuries or inefficiencies from McCoy.
But William’s potential Fantasy success started to disappear as the 2016 NFL season got closer and closer.
First, he was overweight when he reported to training camp. It was so bad that he was actually held out of camp. Williams attributed the weight to eating more because his fiancee was pregnant, and he reportedly gained an extra 20-25 pounds.
That was on June 14.
Then almost exactly a month later on July 15, Williams was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Almost a month after that, Williams was released by the Bills on Aug. 20.
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This creates an interesting situation for Fantasy players. He still has to serve a four-game suspension no matter where he lands, so he will miss about 25% of the season and will have to quickly get accustomed to the offense for him to be worth starting in Fantasy lineups.
He met with the New York Jets today (which is a troubling sign for Matt Forte owners), and there are reportedly a total of five teams that reached out to him.
The good news for Williams is if a team really needs him, he could be thrown into the mix quickly after his suspension. He might have enough touches to be Fantasy relevant, regardless of what type of shape he’s in.
Other teams may be comfortable with just adding him for depth and hoping he develops down the road.
I would generally say wait to add him from the waiver wire, but if he lands in an optimal situation he could be scooped up quick. If it’s just the last round of the draft, I would target him now and just be patient.
If he lands in a crowded backfield before your draft, let someone else draft him or let him hit waivers. If the backfield is lacking depth, add him.
It’s a very slim chance he’ll be relevant, but that’s what I thought when I drafted Justin Forsett in Round 20 in 2014 in the Scot Fish Bowl…
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