Kyren Williams’ return to the Los Angeles Rams’ lineup last week after his four-game absence was downright special. He had the second-highest rushing game of his career while catching a pair of TD passes. It looked like he hadn’t missed a beat from his great start to the year.
But is it too early to give up on Royce Freeman, who has also been productive lately? We’ll give you the fantasy football outlook for each player entering Week 13.
Should You Start Kyren Williams or Royce Freeman This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say Williams is the player to start. His projected 14.3 points include 54 rushing yards and five receptions for 41 receiving yards. That projected stat line easily outperforms the consensus projection of Freeman (8.3 points).
Freeman has been solid this year, but how could you not have Williams in your lineup after his performance last week?
Fantasy Outlook for Williams This Week
In the game before he injured his ankle, he rushed for a career-high 158 yards. In his first game back after missing four games with that ankle injury, Williams rushed for 143 yards, the second-best game of his career.
Now, it could be a coincidence that both of those games happened to be against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals’ rush defense is ranked 30th, and the Rams’ opponent this week has a much better defense, maybe the best in the league.
The Rams play the Cleveland Browns this week. While their defense is still ranked very highly, if you have watched them recently, the team isn’t quite playing at the elite level they were before.
Yes, the Browns are No. 1 in the NFL in total defense, allowing only 247.9 yards per game. But their rush defense hasn’t been great of late, ranking 22nd since the start of October in rush yards per game allowed (126.1).
Another issue for the defense is that it is starting to get banged up. Myles Garrett has been dealing with a shoulder injury, and their best cornerback, Denzel Ward, is out with an injury.
Williams, meanwhile, has been one of the best young all-around talents in the NFL, averaging well over 100 scrimmage yards per game (109.3).
When the Rams have had their full complement of offensive weapons this year, they have been an explosive offense. With Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua both back and healthy, the Browns won’t be able to focus on just the rushing game. Combine that with the versatility of Williams, and it wouldn’t be a shock at all to see Williams right around that 109.3 total yards of offense mark.
Fantasy Outlook for Freeman This Week
In his last two games, Freeman has rushed the ball 30 times for 150 yards. Last week, he rushed the ball 13 times for 77 yards and one touchdown. That comes out to a solid 13.7 non-PPR point day.
However, with a healthy Williams back in the mix, finding time on the field could be tough for Freeman. He only saw time on the field on 23 offensive snaps for the Rams last week, his fewest over his last five games. Add in the fact that he also isn’t a threat catching the ball, and these last two weeks may be his best two of the season.
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