Jul 16, 2012
“I feel like I’m almost back” – Ryan Williams (June 13, 2012)
Question marks and potential surrounds Ryan Williams, the 2nd year running back drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
The question marks are related to his health.
The potential is based off the memory of his 2009 college football season at Virginia Tech that resulted in Williams being named the 2009 ACC rookie of the year.
Ryan Williams is almost back from a ruptured patella tendon suffered in the 2011 preseason against the Green Bay Packers. The 38th selection overall from the 2011 NFL Draft has not played a single regular season snap for the Arizona Cardinals due to the season ending knee injury. Williams also saw limited action in the 2010 college football season due a slight tear of his right hamstring, which resulted in reduced playing time and him missing four games during his sophomore year for the Hokies.
Although Williams has been limited on the playing field since his dynamic 2009 ACC rookie of the year campaign, he does have top tier fantasy potential written all over him. Williams is a powerful, tenacious running back that rolled up 1655 yards rushing to go along with 21 touchdowns in his only full season as a Hokie. That alone give Arizona Cardinal fans and fantasy football owners hope.
Another promising piece to the Ryan Williams fantasy football puzzle is the tumultuous relationship between Arizona Cardinal starting running back Chris “Beanie” Wells and head coach Ken Whisenhunt. There have been numerous times over the past three seasons the Cardinal coaching staff have been frustrated with the former Ohio State star over his ability to stay on the field.
Like Williams, Wells is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Unlike Williams, Wells has had his toughness questioned by the Cardinals during this offseason. As recent as last week, Coach Whisenhunt challenged Wells to “bust his tail” over the next few weeks because other Cardinal running backs (see Ryan Williams) have looked good in recent OTA’s.
Coach Whisenhunt will not hesitate to go to Williams in key situations and has always held true to the philosophy the best players play. Additionally, given Williams success at finding the end zone when he was healthy at Virginia Tech, expect the 2nd year back to get some goal line opportunities in an above average Cardinal offense. Do not be surprised if the man who goes by the name @lilsweetness34 on twitter because a consistent fantasy scoring option this season.
Talent, tenaciousness and turmoil may be the proper mixture that pays above average dividends for 2012 fantasy football owners of Arizona Cardinal running back Ryan Williams.
Besides, anyone that pays tribute to the late great Walter Payton gets the benefit of the doubt in my rankings any day.