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Jamaal Williams start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Jamaal Williams ahead of the Detroit Lions Week 1 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers
Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are entering a new era after trading franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams during the offseason. The Lions will move forward with Jared Goff under center and a new head coach in Dan Campbell, hoping to lay the foundation for future playoff runs.

UPDATE — NFL Network is reporting Williams is expected to start and “carry the load” in Week 1 vs. the 49ers. This would mean he’s a solid FLEX play in most standard fantasy football leagues and may even look more like an RB2 if he gets enough touches/usage. D’Andre Swift owners may be in trouble if he isn’t as involved as we once thought.

Fantasy Football analysis: Lions RB Jamaal Williams

Williams enters the fray after signing a two-year, $6 million deal with the team. He was originally slated to back up D’Andre Swift, but it appears Campbell has bigger plans for Williams. Couple that with Swift’s injury history and Williams has a chance for a career season. He routinely saw more than 100 touches in Green Bay each season despite being the backup, so there will be opportunities.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

The Lions take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. The Niners have one of the best defenses in the league, which makes starting any Detroit player questionable for fantasy purposes. However, Williams is a better option than most complementary backs given the questionable nature of Detroit’s starter. Swift is expected to play, but Williams will get plenty of touches. He’s worth a start, especially in deeper leagues and leagues with multiple flex positions.