Coach Matt LaFleur said Wednesday that he believes a committee approach in the backfield is the best way to deploy Williams and Aaron Jones, Michael Cohen of The Athletic reports. General manager Brian Gutekunst had a different take, noting that he wants Jones on the field as much as possible, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The GM's comment is backed by a drastic gap in per-touch production between the two running backs, though it's easier to understand LaFleur's stance after accounting for Jones' issues with durability and Williams' solid work as a pass blocker. While Jones is still the far superior asset for dynasty leagues, it seems the new coaching staff will evaluate multiple options in the backfield, potentially including additions via free agency and/or the draft.
Williams accounted for four yards on eight rushes, adding three receptions for 16 yards during Sunday's 31-0 loss to Detroit. Williams has been entrusted with an expanded workload since the injury to Aaron Jones (knee) during the first quarter of a Week 15 loss to Chicago. Prior to the season finale against Detroit's top-15 rush defense, the second-year back had made the most of his opportunity, accounting for 253 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against the Bears and Jets. The Lions may rank as a slightly above-average rush defense on the season, but the team's defensive interior looks completely transformed since acquiring Damon Harrison, permitting just one rusher (Todd Gurley) to exceed 75 yards on the ground over the past seven outings. Williams looked overwhelmed Sunday, as the Lions contained him to measly 0.5 yards per rush. After a disappointing finale, the powerful Williams looks forward to returning in 2019 as the Packers' No. 2 option at running back behind Aaron Jones.
Williams rushed 15 times for 95 yards and a touchdown while adding six catches for 61 yards on nine targets in Sunday's 44-38 overtime win over the Jets. Heading Green Bay's backfield with Aaron Jones (knee) on injured reserve, Williams delivered a strong performance when fantasy owners needed it most. While he left to get checked out for a concussion at one point, Williams was able to return to the contest. He found paydirt from seven yards out late in the first half and was the only Packers running back to get a carry in this one. Williams could have had an even bigger day if either of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' pair of one-yard rushing touchdowns went to the running back instead. He's primed to finish the season strong against the Lions in Week 17, barring any injury setbacks.
Williams has left Sunday's road game against the Jets to be evaluated for a possible concussion, Ethan B. Greenberg of the Jets' official site reports. Prior to his departure, Williams racked up 10 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown while hauling in two of his three targets for 16 yards. With Aaron Jones (knee) on IR, Kapri Bibbs and Lavon Coleman are the sole health running backs on the active roster.
Williams was limited at Wednesday's practice due to a toe injury, Michael Cohen of The Athletic reports. In the wake of Aaron Jones (knee) landing on injured reserve, Williams is left as the Packers' top running back, but an injury of his own is impacting his practice reps to begin Week 16 preparations. Assuming Williams maintains that workload (at worst) or elevates to full participation, he should handle the majority of the work out of the backfield Sunday against the Jets. His sole competition for touches is Kapri Bibbs, who was claimed off waivers Monday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||10/28||@Kansas City Chiefs||31||23.78|
|9||11/03||@Los Angeles Chargers||24||20.00|
|12||11/24||@San Francisco 49ers||20||19.00|
|13||12/01||@New York Giants||23||19.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||137||510||4||26||236||1||104|