Sep 14, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Andre Williams (44) runs the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during a game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Fantasy Football Sleeper Alert
I know I speak for many fantasy owners who were pretty bummed when Giants running back Rashad Jennings went down last week versus the Falcons with a sprained MCL which could sideline the workhorse back until Big Blue returns from their bye week towards week 9. Jennings was looked as a solid number one running back in terms of fantasy football especially in PPR leagues where Jennings’ ability to catch passes out of the backfield proved to be a huge boost for his fantasy numbers.
Jennings was a solid option to have due to his guaranteed workload in a year where top-tier running backs like LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson have not lived up to potential with the latter of the two being sidelined indefinitely, leaving fantasy owners to scramble to find a suitable replacement like a workhorse back like Jennings was.
But now with Jennings seemingly sidelined for the next couple of weeks, the Giants as well as many fantasy owners, now look to rookie running back Andre Williams to step into a much larger role than he is used to and show more of the speed and strength he showed in his limited opportunities thus far.
Williams should be available in most leagues and is garnering a lot of attention this week because of his potential as well as a positive matchup tonight versus the Giants’ arch rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles and their defense that comes into this game with many question marks.
Cincy on the Prowl
So, is Williams worth the hype as well as a spot on your fantasy squad’s roster? I’m here to tell you as far as this week goes, yes he is. Williams will shine this week against an Eagles defense that is already allowing a porous 132 yards per game rushing and is even worse in the passing game.
The Eagles are also banged up at the linebacker position having already ruled out inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks with a calf injury. Fellow inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans is nursing a groin injury and is officially listed as a game-time decision.
Even if Ryans plays, there will be a glaring hole in the inside linebacker spot with inexperienced backers Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho tasked to try to fill the void left by the injuries to Kendricks and possibly Ryans as well.
The Giants will look to exploit the Eagles’ thin linebacking corps behind an offensive line that has been flawless over the course of the Giants’ current three game winning streak. Big Blue’s offensive front has dominated the line of scrimmage the last three games despite being hit with the injury bug and have opened up many holes for the running game as well as giving quarterback Eli Manning plenty of time in the pocket which has enabled the Giants to control the tempo of the game and execute their offensive game plan.
That’s great news for Williams who has been told that the plan is for him to get 20-25 carries tonight which will give him plenty of opportunities to attack a weakened Eagles defense and earn himself a prominent role in Big Blue’s offense going forward.
Williams possesses every great quality a team looks for in a running back with his 5’11, 230lb frame giving him the size and strength to not only break tackles, but to pass protect for Manning which he has excelled in thus far. Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin loves a running back who can pass protect and hold onto the football, which Williams has also done well at. The only question mark for Williams is whether he can become a dual threat and make some catches out of the backfield like Jennings did.
If Williams can show he can catch and make plays out of the backfield, he will see plenty of time on the field and will have all the opportunity he will need to seize the spotlight and make a household name for himself. I believe he is worth picking up and starting as flex player with extremely high potential.
Williams has all the tools to succeed behind a strong offensive line in a very favorable matchup against a banged up defense that has not played very well this season. So go ahead, take the chance on GIANT Dre this week, because he will put up solid fantasy numbers and could be a viable fantasy option going forward.