If you had Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams on your fantasy football team, congratulations. Your stashing him in that injured reserve slot all this time paid off in a massive, massive way.
Williams might single-handedly swing thousands of fantasy leagues across the country for the rest of the season and the roto playoffs if his raging success of a comeback on Sunday was any indication. He certainly swung millions of Week 12 matchups with his monster performance.
Not one, but two receiving touchdowns? For a running back? PPR enthusiasts the world over were either rejoicing over Williams’ instant production upon his return, or lamenting that they had to face him.
Kyren Williams jumps into the end zone then jumps into stands to celebrate with the Rams fans
Ya boy happened to have Williams stashed on the bench. I got burned last week by spot starting Miami Dolphins one-man electric factory De’Von Achane upon his return from injured reserve. That gave me some pause to plug Williams this week, but my goodness, am I ever glad I did.
What’s wild is, Williams’ big afternoon in the Rams’ 37-14 romp over NFC West foe Arizona on the Cardinals’ home turf could’ve been considerably better. It took one of the most incredible hustle plays by a defender all season to keep Williams out of the end zone on what was still a 56-yard run:
Kyren Williams (56-yard run)
Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson reached a top speed of 21.76 mph to make a touchdown-saving tackle, the 3rd-fastest speed by a tackler on a play from scrimmage this season.
Rams coach Sean McVay opted to give the dynamic tailback a rest once the outcome was indubitable. Royce Freeman proceeded to spell Williams and ran for 77 yards on 13 carries, including a 23-yard TD. Nevertheless, Williams piled up 143 rushing yards on 16 totes and six receptions for another 61 yards. Not a bad day at the office.
Everyone who’s anyone was hyped to see Williams flourish coming off an ankle injury.
The other more relevant IRL layer to Williams’ fantasy football studliness is that he has the Rams believing they can compete for the playoffs again.
Unlike the deep AFC where nine teams have a winning record and a quality outfit like the Buffalo Bills ranks 10th in the conference, the NFC is super top-heavy. Thus, LA is 5-6 and only one game out of the seventh and final postseason seed held by Seattle.
Bear in mind that even though the Seahawks are ahead in the standings right now, these Rams swept them in both meetings this season. They’ll easily have the head-to-head tiebreaker. With Minnesota at No. 6 in the NFC, it’s clear LA has the best quarterback among the second-tier contenders in Matthew Stafford. If he can stay upright, and the Rams can get anything at all out of Aaron Donald and a bunch of no-names on their defense, folks may not want to sleep on this team for long.
…But the X-factor in all this is Williams. He brings a dynamic element and balance to LA’s otherwise highly Stafford-dependent offense. If the Rams can keep establishing the run like this, look out!
I should say: I realize the deck is stacked against the Cardinals. However, Kyler Murray was playing at a damn high level coming in. LA shut him down for the most part to build a massive lead and easily held on to win.
I’m not saying the Rams have returned to their Super Bowl form from two seasons ago. I’m just saying, they could be frisky in the NFC with Kyren Williams helping the cause.