Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

ADP Showdown - Leonard Fournette vs Damien Williams


In this ADP showdown, let’s take a look at two running backs on vastly different teams and in two completely different situations.

On one hand, we have Leonard Fournette. A back on a Jacksonville Jaguars team who is known more for their defense rather than their offense. A team which has already voided the guaranteed money due to him because of immaturity concerns. Concerns which frankly are correct based on actions seen. The other running back is Damien Williams. He is on a Chiefs offense who, if it wasn’t the best before Friday, sure is now. With the return of Tyreek Hill leading to even more explosiveness in Kansas City, the bell-cow back could just become a top-five back in the league this season.

With the participants in this showdown defined, we can now take a look at the argument for each of them and you can decide which one you prefer.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

The Case for Leonard Fournette

Playing in only eight games due to injury, suspension and plain indifference led Fournette to be a major bust in 2018, but the final numbers are not the whole story.

Yes, he was a bust for sure. He has not been healthy since high school and the likelihood of him being on Jacksonville much longer are not great. But he does have two things going for him.

First and foremost, the Jaguars want to run and play defense. This means despite not even averaging 4.0 yards per carry, he will get the rock. The other key factor is his unsecured spot for the future. The team will pound him into the ground before letting him ride off into the sunset. In the NFL of today where running backs are a dime a dozen, he will be given all the work he can handle to prove himself.

Although he only finished as RB39 last season based on total points, he was still a top-15 back when it came to points per game at 13.7. Of course, these numbers can be taken any way you want them to be. I can play in one game, have a big run and a touchdown and never play again thus making the average high. But eight full games are a solid sample size for this number, and it was only a few years ago when he was a rookie, that Fournette was a top-10 running back for the entire season.

Longevity is not going to be a friend of Fournette. Even as it relates to backs in the league, he is more of a short-term player than others. But one season is short term. If the Jaguars want to get back to sniffing the postseason with Nick Foles and company, Leonard Fournette will be a big part of the equation. He will not be asked to catch the ball, thank goodness. But he will be asked to pound the rock 18 to 20 times a game or more. Last season, Ezekiel Elliott was the only running back in the league with over 300 rush attempts. The next closest was Saquon Barkley with 281. This season you should expect Fournette to join that 300-rush club and it could go much higher as well.

Currently, Leonard Fournette is going as RB15 at pick 3.02 in drafts. Despite his lack of pass-catching profile, this is a solid value for a player who should be pushing for the league lead in rush attempts. Even if he just gets to 4.0 yards per carry, he should amass 1,200 rush yards. If he can play in all 16 games, he could also reach double-digit touchdowns in the low-powered but run-heavy Jacksonville offense.

 

The Case for Damien Williams

We loved Damien Williams all offseason. Especially after Andy Reid came out and named him the starter. The starter in an Andy Reid rush attack is great, as it means bell-cow work. As the bell-cow, last season Kareem Hunt saw 71% of the snaps in the offense. In the four total games in which Damien Williams started and finished in 2018? He saw 73%. He also averaged 128 yards per game and 20.3 touches in those games.

With Tyreek Hill now back on the field officially, Williams becomes even more valuable. But also, more expensive.

Currently going in the late second-round as RB13, this number is going to climb to incredible heights in coming months leading into the season. Before the season starts, it is likely he will make his way into the late first round. But at worst the high second-round. Bell-cow back or not, for someone with limited production in his career, this could be just right for some people.

A first-round price would put him above players such as James Conner and Dalvin Cook. Both of whom could easily finish higher. But they are also players on lesser offenses, even if not significantly worse, and they also have concerns with injury. This is not a concern we have seen with Williams. All three of these backs could finish back to back to back in the ranks and all should be in consideration this high in drafts. At this point, it is your preference on which one you want to take a chance on.

Is it going to be the guy in Minnesota who cannot seem to stay healthy? The guy in Pittsburgh who may be in a split backfield with a player in Jalen Samuels whom the coaching staff wants to get on the field? Or the man in Kansas City. The man whose coach has already named the starter and is playing on the best offense in the NFL with potentially the number one QB and WR on his team.

 

Final Thoughts

Damien Williams has not shown much in the NFL. But to be fair, other than being drafted far too high, neither has Leonard Fournette since his rookie year.

Fournette will get the work in the run game as long as he stays healthy. But based on the work he received as the starter last season; Williams may not be far behind in the rush attempts in 2019. With the offense in Kansas City poised to set records, it is hard not to choose the guy on this team. You may decide to go opposite and take the riskier Fournette and this is your choice. If you do this, I hope it is because you were able to lock down the receiver position in the first two rounds of your draft.

But if you are looking for an RB one out of either of these two? Damien Williams is not only safer but also has a higher potential finish. This makes him a double threat and at least in my mind, the clear pick.

More ADP Showdown Articles


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




More Recent Articles

 

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More


Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to miss another game this week. Evan Engram and Daniel Jones are not expected... Read More


All-Day For the Win: Why Adrian Peterson Matters Again

I don't think anyone could ever be happy at any sports player getting injured. It just makes no sense, so please leave the hatred out now and forever when it comes to that. That being said, though, we're talking about just a branch of sports here with fantasy football, and we all know what is... Read More


Fantasy Football IDP Rankings for Week 15 (Top 100)

One of the great things about implementing IDP in fantasy football is that it balances out some of the insanity that the offensive players produce in some weeks. If you started a lineup with Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Boston Scott, A.J. Brown, Darius Slayton, and Noah Fant then you undoubtedly crushed your opponent while a... Read More


Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White

If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week. The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then... Read More


Show Me The Money! Stashes That Could Win Your League

Success in the fantasy playoffs is all about planning ahead. Your bench is no longer a safe space for high floor players without much of a ceiling; they won't win you the big game. You need to look ahead and stash players with exploitable matchups in the weeks to come so that you don't get... Read More


Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 14 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. If you are preparing for Week 15 matchups, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed... Read More


The King's Week 15 Lineup Rankings and Analysis (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers! Below you will find my Week 15 fantasy football lineup rankings for the second round of your playoffs. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR, and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions, especially on the weekends. Skill Position analysis versus... Read More


Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids

Week 13 was a pretty chalky one with just three underdogs winning outright. The biggest upset was the Broncos absolutely annihilating the Houston Texans who were still celebrating their "Super Bowl" win against the Patriots the week prior. Three weeks remain and I'd be a fool to think there are hundreds who are reading this... Read More


The Tape Tells All - Robby Anderson Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who's shaken off a slow start to the 2019 season by going... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery: Sit Your Studs?

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


Week 15 Warning Signs: Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, Julio Jones

You made the playoffs. Awesome. Now you have even won your first game. That is even better. But now what? There are many players, some of whom performed in the first round, who may not be so fortunate this week. Whether it is a bad matchup or injuries to key players around them, this could... Read More