Did you know that Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams leads the league with four touchdowns from scrimmage through the first two games of the 2023 NFL season?
Is he a great sell-high candidate to trade off of your fantasy football team? Let’s take a closer look.
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Should Fantasy Football Managers Trade Kyren Williams?
Those of you fantasy managers who invested middle-round draft capital in running back Cam Akers were burned for a second consecutive season after he fell out of favor with the coaching staff in Week 1.
However, last season the Rams and Akers were able to work out their differences and eventually worked him back into a feature role to finish the season.
Well, that definitively will not be happening in 2023.
The Rams traded Akers to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this week, which now firmly puts Williams atop the RB depth chart in Los Angeles moving forward. The real question, though, is, should you take this opportunity to sell high on Williams?
Sure, on the surface, he’s a great sell-high candidate, but you really need to understand what you’re potentially trading off of your team.
Los Angeles’ running back group saw 21 total touches in the team’s 30-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. Williams accounted for 20 of those touches (14 carries and six receptions).
His 10 targets led all running backs in Week 2. Meanwhile, his four touchdowns lead all running backs in the league through the first two weeks of the season.
KYREN WILLIAMS TD²
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2023
Sure, Williams’ touchdown rate is highly unlikely to continue, but he’s finding the end zone… which shouldn’t be completely ignored/dismissed either.
We’ve also seen running backs with very high usage for short stretches in this Sean McVay offense — guys like Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, and C.J. Anderson — before being phased out of the offense.
While I’m not sure I see Ronnie Rivers or Zach Evans being huge threats to Williams’ feature role in this offense, I said something similar for Akers with regard to Williams heading into the season. The role looks secure for the moment, but it could always change.
At this point, we should be valuing Williams as a fringe RB1/solid RB2 option at the running back position moving forward due to his dominating workload out of this backfield and expanded role in the passing game.
With that said, he’s certainly worth shopping in your league to see if you can get an elite option with a more secure role moving forward through the rest of the 2023 season.
What Should Fantasy Managers Look To Acquire When Trading Williams?
The fact that Williams is the RB2 overall in PPR formats through the first two weeks makes it very tricky on who exactly to target in return for dealing him.
If you are skeptical about Williams’ fast start and feature role in L.A.’s offense, then I would definitely be open to trading him for an elite wide receiver who is off to a slow start. Names like A.J. Brown or Jaylen Waddle come to mind.
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However, if you’re unable to get an elite-level player for Williams, I would be okay with trading him for multiple players in return, which could get you a combination of Isiah Pacheco and Nico Collins.
As always, the players you can get depend a lot on your league format, roster requirements, and league-mates.
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