Green Bay presents a peculiar dilemma for drafters. Aaron Jones is slightly overpriced as the lead back in a committee at RB16, which typically opens up value for the secondary back.
However, drafters have no real confidence in how the RB2 situation is going to shake out, driving Jamaal Williams’ ADP all the way down to RB66. Add in Williams’ balky hamstring, and plenty of early hype for rookie Dexter Williams, and the ADP for both RBs has converged just outside the top 200 players in best ball.
In season-long leagues, Jamaal Williams is a value,1 but this is an unappetizing situation for best ball leagues. Half the time you’ll get a solid bargain on the Packer’s RB2, and the other half you’ll rack a ton of zeros. Considering that neither Williams profiles as the kind of breather back we’re ideally targeting, this situation looks like a no-go, outside of GPP-style tournaments.
But things may have changed this week.
DROP CITY, BABY
This week, Packers beat reporters have noted that Dexter Williams has struggled with drops, and speculated that his roster spot is not secure. In the Ravens game Thursday, he had another easy drop on a screen pass and followed it up with a fumble near the Packers goal line.
Drops are becoming a real thing for Dexter Williams.— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 16, 2019
Jamaal Williams is sitting out with a hamstring injury, and Dexter Williams is potentially falling off the roster. Suddenly there are Green Bay RBs currently going undrafted who could threaten for RB2 touches as early as Week 1.
SHADES OF ZAC STACY
Tra Carson has been running as the next back in line, but he will turn 27 this fall and is an UDFA from the class of 2016 with zero career carries. It’s not impossible that he holds down his roster spot, but if the RBs currently behind him are any good, he should not be a significant obstacle. He’s basically an emergency injury signing from last season that has carried over to this year.
The most exciting option is UDFA rookie Darrin Hall, whom the Packers signed off waivers from the Bengals in late July. Hall was every bit Qadree Ollison’s equal at Pitt last year and has an athletic profile that is eerily similar to an old RotoViz favorite, Zac Stacy.
Even taking Hall’s Pro Day with a grain a salt, he appears to have solid size-adjusted athleticism paired with potentially elite agility. Hall was the only RB to show anything at all against the Ravens with a nice 28-yard run. Dexter Williams’ sixth-round draft capital shouldn’t be enough to hold off Hall if he’s the better back this preseason. Keep an ear close to the ground this week for any news of this depth chart changing.
DEPTH CHART FATIGUE
While fantasy football isn’t 99 percent perspiration, it’s definitely still 50-60 percent perspiration. People get tired of paying attention to guys outside the top-100 RBs, and the natural bias is to simply dismiss unfamiliar names.3 This is a great situation to attack, where “no-name” players have roughly the same chance of success as a sixth-round rookie, but are essentially ignored.
Dexter Williams’ shaky performance makes Jamaal Williams a solid value at ADP for the time being, but the big time gains, especially in dynasty leagues, will come from Darrin Hall if he manages to earn a roster spot. Hall may lack the ceiling of some of our preferred breather back targets, but cracking the Packers roster would be an excellent development for a player owned in less than one percent of MFL leagues.
Image Credit: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Aaron Jones.
- This isn’t a screaming value, but it’s fully an outdoor-voice value. (back)
- We don’t really have an accurate account of Hall’s Pro Day time, Neil’s piece quotes a report that puts it as low as between 4.4 and 4.5. (back)
- “Dexter Williams’ only competition is . . . something called Tra Carson.” (back)