Kyren Williams’ Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Is the Los Angeles Rams RB Here To Stay?

Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams finished as the overall RB2 last season. Is he worth a top-five pick at the position in 2024 Best Ball drafts?

Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams had one of the greatest “out-of-nowhere” seasons in fantasy football history.

Was 2023 a fluke, or is Williams poised to be an elite RB1 for the next several years? What should fantasy managers do in 2024 Best Ball drafts?

Kyren Williams’ 2024 Fantasy Outlook

We may never see anything again like what the Rams did in 2023. They provided two of the most impactful waiver wire pickups in the history of fantasy football and did so in the same season. It is important for fantasy managers not to view Williams the same as WR Puka Nacua, though.

With Nacua, I completely buy in. Everything about his production screams it’s for real. He is very much worth a second-round pick in 2024 fantasy drafts. Williams is a different story.

Based on what Williams did in 2023, he should be the overall RB2 behind San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey. We already know he’s not going to be drafted there.

Williams was a waiver wire pickup. I will preface this part of the analysis by acknowledging that Williams performed at a level far greater than other top waiver wire running backs of years past. It’s one thing to go from waiver wire guy to high-end RB2 status. Williams went from the waiver wire to elite RB1. That puts him mostly in a category by himself … mostly.

We will have to compare Williams to guys like him. That is, running backs who went from waiver wire pickups one year to top 3-5 round picks the next year. Think of guys like Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Anderson, Alex Collins, Isaiah Crowell, and Jeremy Langford, to name a few.

Not a single one of these guys wound up being worth his ADP the next season. Not one. Williams would be the ultimate outlier.

Injury limited Williams to just 12 games last season, but in those 12 games, only CMC was a better fantasy back. Williams averaged an impressive 5.0 yards per carry and scored 15 touchdowns. He was active in the passing game with an 11.5% target share.

In an era where very, very few running backs play all three downs, Williams led the league with an 84% snap share and was fourth with a 78.4% opportunity share. His 21.3 fantasy points per game were good for an overall RB2 finish.

The Rams need to upgrade their running back depth behind Williams. The combination of Ronnie Rivers and Royce Freeman isn’t good enough. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean whoever they sign or draft is going to have a role other than to take a series or two per game like Rivers did when both he and Williams were healthy.

Should You Draft Williams in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

The path to Williams being merely okay just doesn’t exist. He’s either going to be the guy he was last year — and we’re taking him too low — or he’s going to be like all those who came before him and not be worth it.

One argument for Williams is head coach Sean McVay has always used one back. In an era of committees and timeshares, McVay likes his one guy. In 2023, that was Williams. That’s great for him if he remains the top dog. Unfortunately, there is no actual reason it needs to be.

The only real job security at running back in the NFL is draft capital. First- and second-round picks get longer leashes than guys who go Round 3 or later.

Williams was a Day 3 pick. If someone better comes along, they will have little incentive to turn back to Williams.

I would love to be able to give you a definitive answer on Williams. However, the fact is that no one knows. And this early in the offseason, we don’t have nearly enough information to draw reasonable conclusions on what Los Angeles will do with its backfield this year.

As of now, Williams needs to be a pure value proposition. If he slips below his ADP, he’s worth taking. But be careful not to overexpose yourself. The guys going around Williams are all very good. If you pass on Williams for a top-end wide receiver, it’s probably not going to cost you.

KEEP READING: Best Ball Stacking Strategy

There’s definitely an argument for embracing the uncertainty. However, I am not fully sold on Williams just yet.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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