Over the weekend it was announced that Karlos Williams was released by the Buffalo Bills. It was pretty shocking, and I don’t think many people saw it coming. The Bills tend to be one of the more patient organizations, so it will be interesting to hear what the final nail was in Williams’ proverbial coffin.
Karlos Williams Fallout:
After an efficient rookie season where he rushed for 517 yards on 93 carries for a 5.6 YPC and found the end zone seven times, things were looking up heading into his sophomore campaign. Well, that is until reports came out that he was severely overweight. He came out and said that his wife just had a baby and it was purely sympathy weight. Then we received a Lee Corso “Not so fast, my friend!” after a four-game suspension was handed to him for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. So was the weight gain actually from him bringing his bundle of joy into the world, or was it one too many bong hits? Either way, those are some pretty major red flags. After his release, reports have suggested that he began to put the weight back on that he had lost from his “sympathy weight” gain. Which is what ultimately led to his demise. So where do Karlos Williams and the Bills go from here? Good question.
The Buffalo Bills figure to once again be a gound-and-pound style of offense. They logged the third highest rush attempts at 508. Of course, some of that was due to Tyrod Taylor and his 104 attempts which was second most by any Quarterback. Regardless that left 404 (I can subtract!) attempts up for grabs. 203 went to LeSean McCoy, 93 to Karlos Williams, 47 to Gillislee, and the rest divided up between Anthony Dixon, Dan Herron, and Jerome Felton. Things won’t be changing in 2016, either. The Bills will once again implore a run-first offense and if something happens to Shady McCoy fantasy gamers will be flocking to the waiver wire to add whoever will be dubbed the starter.
LeSean McCoy: Williams was never a threat to McCoy. Although, he was in a good spot as his handcuff. McCoy is a solid RB1 who could easily finish as a top five RB based purely upon the sheer amount of volume he will see. In 12 games, he rushed for 895 yards and three touchdowns with 32 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Over a 16 game pace, he would have finished with 1,193 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with 389 receiving yards and an additional 3 touchdowns. That would have been 161 FP or a low-end RB1.
Draft Spot: He’s currently coming off the board in the second round (2.08), but could easily outplay his ADP. He’s worth every bit of a mid-second round pick.
Mike Gillislee – After Mike Gillislee’s spot on the depth chart was called into question over the weekend when he was the fourth running back to enter the game behind LeSean McCoy, Reggie Bush, and Jonathan Williams. However, Rex Ryan cleared the air when he said ” Gillislee is probably the No.2 back right now”.
Despite limited playing time in 2015, he finished the last five weeks as the RB21 in standard leagues. He averaged 9.5 FP per week off of 47 carries, 267 yards, and three touchdowns. Although, it’s a small sample size, he is an injury away from being a big part of the offense. He’s worth a look in deeper formats as a late round flyer.
Draft Spot: His stock figures to rise, and how could it not as he’s currently being undrafted. Despite the concussion, he could be an appealing late round flyer in 12 team leagues.
Reggie Bush: Early reports from beat reporters indicated that Reggie Bush could be the handcuff to McCoy. If true, Bush holds little value. He’s currently going outside of the top 50 RBs drafted according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com. Reggie Bush was once an explosive runner, but he appears to be on the downside of his career. At 31, we can’t reasonably expect for him to come in and be an every down grinder but could offer some PPR appeal, especially with Mike Gillislee going down with a concussion over the weekend.
Draft Spot: I’d pass on Reggie Bush, especially at his age and coming of a major knee injury.
Jonathan Williams – Here we have the most intriguing prospect of them all. Jonathan Williams is a talented runner coming out of Arkansas and was selected in the fifth-round. At 5’11 and 220 pounds, he profiles as an in-between-the-tackles grinder. However, after watching some tape you see how crafty of a runner he can be. He’s patient and allows his linemen to set up his blocks. Another positive for him will be his willingness to pass protect which is often a trait that most rookies don’t possess. Overall, he’s a worthy late-round flyer or worth an add if you’ve already drafted. In a heavy run first offense, he will get some opportunities and shouldn’t take long to supplant Bush as the handcuff to own for LeSean McCoy.
Draft Spot: Like I mentioned above, Jonathan Williams is certainly the most intriguing option among all of the backs behind Shady. If I was going to take a flyer on any of these guys, I’d certainly use it on Jonathan Williams who could turn out to be a draft day steal.
What’s next for Karlos Williams?
As for Karlos Williams himself, he’s certainly a talented runner and should be picked up by an organization sooner rather than later. Looking at his numbers from last season, you see why teams would be lining up to pick him up. He’s a super efficient runner with a 5.6 YPC average which was 3rd highest of all running backs with at least 50 carries. He posted the 8th highest yards after contact with 2.9. He also converted 4 of 11 red zone opportunities for touchdowns inside the 20-yardline, and three of the four came from inside the five.
Possible Landing Spots:
Washington: They just lost Matt Jones to an AC Sprain. Without any definitive information as to how long he could be out, the reports have not been encouraging. Then you factor in they will be left with just Keith Marshall, Chris Thompson, and Robert Kelley as the only options, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add additional help.
Detroit: They could desperately use a power back to compliment Ameer Abdullah. With Theo Riddick (pass-catching), Zach Zenner, and Steven Ridley also on the depth chart, they could seriously use an upgrade. Williams would instantly be an upgrade over the current options.
Philadelphia: Ryan Mathews is the current starter, but he never stays healthy. Williams would make for a nice insurance policy if something happened to the oft-injured Mathews.
New York Giants: Does anyone have any faith in Rashad Jennings staying healthy? Not me. Well, once you get past him it’s Andre ‘meh’ Williams, and rookie Paul Perkins. They could easily release Andre Williams, and spin the tires on Karlos Williams.
Cleveland: I get it, this is purely speculation at it’s finest. I’m just not sold on Crowell as the lead-back. Karlos Williams could fill-in nicely as the “Jeremy Hill” of the of the offense.