Arizona Cardinals running back Darrel Williams has been situationally productive over his past two seasons in Kansas City. Now, he joins a Cardinals backfield with a wide-open depth chart behind starter James Conner. What is Williams’ fantasy football outlook and ADP in fantasy drafts for the 2022 season?
Darrel Williams’ fantasy outlook for 2022
In 2018, Williams latched on with the Chiefs as a UDFA and played the first four years of his career there. He was never supposed to matter, but injuries forced him into the field.
Williams surprised everyone with very competent play. Running backs with 4.72 speed aren’t supposed to be able to cut it in the NFL. And yet, Williams has played 42 games in the NFL and proven that if he gets the volume, he can produce in fantasy.
In games where Williams handles at least eight carries, he averages 15.7 PPR fantasy points per game. Those are just under RB1 numbers. Last season, Williams averaged a career-best 11.5 ppg for the season. In every game where he had double-digit carries, Williams scored double-digit fantasy points.
How the Cardinals’ depth chart impacts Darrel Williams’ fantasy projection for the season
Williams is not exactly a player who is making guys miss or doing anything flashy. He averaged just 1.7 yards after contact per carry last season. But what he can do is get what’s blocked and fill in when needed. Put Williams in a good offense and give him volume, and he can produce.
Leaving Kansas City isn’t great, but he landed in an ideal spot to potentially reemerge as fantasy relevant.
Last season, James Conner averaged 17.2 ppg as the Cardinals’ top fantasy running back. Chase Edmonds, meanwhile, is now in Miami. The only other backs on the roster are rookie sixth-rounder Keaontay Ingram, 2020 seventh-rounder Eno Benjamin, and 2020 UDFA Jonathan Ward.
Arizona may have only given Williams a one-year, $1,187,500 contract, but I really don’t think he’s at risk of getting cut. Outside of Conner, the Cardinals have no commitments to any of their running backs. They will just keep the best ones, and I’m certain Williams is better than Ward and Benjamin, at least.
Williams will matter if Conner gets hurt
Williams will likely have a role behind Conner. However, he’s not going to be a full-on replacement for Edmonds, operating as the primary passing down back. Conner was a three-down back when Edmonds was hurt last season, and I expect that to continue for as long as it can.
That’s the key — as long as it can. Running backs, in general, have a high likelihood of missing games. Conner, in particular, has never been the pinnacle of health.
At some point in the 2022 season, Conner is likely to miss games. When that happens, Williams will become one of the most popular waiver wire adds that week. He’s definitely worth drafting as your RB4 or RB5. While I don’t see Williams having any standalone value, his fantasy outlook will turn up pretty quickly if and when Conner gets dinged up.
Darrel Williams’ ADP for 2022
Williams has proven he has upside as long as he’s in a good offense. It’s fair to say he’s once again in a good offense. If Conner gets hurt, Williams will be a must-roster player. For that reason alone, you’re justified in taking a shot on him if you want.