Which Ravens RB should you start in fantasy football in Week 1?

The Ravens RB landscape has changed over the last week, but will Ty'Son Williams emerge as the top fantasy option in Week 1?

The Ravens RB landscape has changed dramatically for fantasy football managers over the last week. As Sunday’s NFL slate is near, you may be pulling your hair out trying to determine who you should start in Week 1. With Ty’Son Williams likely to get the start on Monday night against the Raiders, what kind of fantasy impact could Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell, and Trenton Cannon have behind him in the Ravens’ RB room?

A brief rundown of what happened

Earlier this week, the Ravens suffered multiple devasting injuries to its backfield in a short amount of time. The first domino to fall was J.K. Dobbins, who tore his ACL during the preseason.

Next was Justice Hill, who tore his Achilles and will miss the remainder of the season. As a result, the Ravens waived Hill. Other teams can claim him, but he’s expected to clear waivers and revert back to the team’s injured reserve list. This opened the door even more for Gus Edwards to showcase his talent in an expanded role. However, the unthinkable happened shortly thereafter.

The Ravens played the NFL equivalent of musical chairs

Edwards suffered a torn ACL in Thursday’s practice and is done for the season. This was the Ravens’ third season-ending injury in 12 days at the running back position. Nevertheless, Baltimore handled the adversity well.

They announced four roster moves on Friday, including the signing of former Saints running back Latavius Murray. He’ll join training camp and preseason sensation Ty’Son Williams and Trenton Cannon. The Ravens also announced the practice squad signings of Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell.

Baltimore still has one of the best rushing attacks in the league

The Ravens are prepared to start the regular season despite the haymakers they’ve been dealt. This group of running backs is intriguing. Baltimore led the NFL in rushing attempts (34.6) and rushing yards (192) per game in 2020. This should continue in 2021 with the NFL’s most prolific rushing quarterback in Lamar Jackson under center.

Even so, it remains to be seen who will finish as the top fantasy RB for the Ravens this season. Still, I do have a recommendation for Week 1.

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Don’t hesitate to start Ravens RB Ty’Son Williams in fantasy

It may be hard to comprehend the possibility of having an undrafted free agent who played for three teams in college in your starting fantasy football lineup for Week 1. But as previously mentioned, Williams had a phenomenal training camp and preseason. He showcased his physicality as a runner, turning 24 rushing attempts into 130 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens are blessed with a very good offensive line and have a favorable matchup against the Raiders’ defensive front in Week 1. According to the betting lines, Baltimore is projected to defeat the Raiders on the road by a slim margin. The total on this matchup is 50.5.

The Ravens will still run the football even though their running backs haven’t been in their scheme very long. Over the last four seasons, Baltimore has averaged 539.5 rushing attempts.

You should feel comfortable starting Williams as a low-end RB2 or flex. The Ravens backfield is crowded, but he has the most experience with the team’s playbook. Williams is in a position to be provided a sizeable workload against the Raiders.

Eric Moody is a Senior Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association). He is also the co-host of the In The Mood for Fantasy Football podcast. You can read more of his work here and follow Eric on Twitter @EricNMoody.

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