Today we head back to the realm of the running back who enters free agency to discuss Jamaal Williams. Do you notice a trend yet for running backs?
Half of the running backs discussed for regression are on this series because they could lose a prominent role in the offense. Hello, Devin Singletary and Tony Pollard.
While Williams is a free agent, it is hard to imagine the role of a bruising running back being filled by anyone else if he leaves the Detroit Lions.
However, in the same vein as Singletary, it is difficult to see Williams’ usage increase if he left Detroit in free agency.
However, there are a couple of reasons why the man who broke Barry Sanders’ Lions single-season rushing touchdowns record is due for a regression.
Jamaal Williams is due for a touchdown regression
The first reason Williams should experience regression is associated with the long-standing record he just broke.
He had 17 rushing touchdowns last season. That is a record-setting amount for the Lions, and his remarkable season cannot be taken away from him.
However, there will probably be less scoring involved for Williams heading into next season.
There is a reason behind this too. The vast majority of his scoring came within the 2-yard line.
What happens if the Lions end up scoring on the plays that ended within a yard of the goal line? Well, Williams ended the season with 10 touchdowns of one yard.
That means he would have had 60 fewer fantasy points on the season. Therefore, he would have had 165.9 fantasy points if he didn’t score a single touchdown from a yard out.
With that caveat in place, Williams would have been tied for the 28th running back in fantasy football.
Obviously, this is merely an example. Of course, Williams can, and probably will score from a yard out at some point in his career. This was simply a show of how touchdown regression can be drastic for a player like Williams.
Jamaal Williams is rarely used in the passing game
What I mean by “a player like Williams” is someone who doesn’t see much action in the passing attack. Williams finished the 2022 campaign with fewer targets (16) than he had rushing touchdowns (17).
Going forward, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he stayed on the Lions and continued his minimal involvement in the receiving game. After all, that is much more of D’Andre Swift’s role in the offense.
Jamaal Williams plays a low amount of snaps
#Lions RB Snap Count
D’Andre Swift- 51%
Jamaal Williams- 30%
— The Fantasy Fanatics (@TheFFFanatics3) December 5, 2022
With that in mind, it also does not help Williams’ case that he broke a 50% snap share in only one game last season. He averaged a hair over 40% of the offensive snaps for the Lions in 2022.
Even with Swift out of the lineup due to injury, Williams did not receive the lion’s share of the offensive snaps.
His usage in the offense is low, his involvement in the passing game is minimal and he is due for touchdown regression after averaging one per game last season. When all of this is factored together, things don’t look great for one of the most lovable guys in the NFL.
As a result of all of this, a regression in 2023 for Williams is seemingly on the horizon.
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