As the preseason rolled around, we got a nice look at a healthy Cadillac Williams. After much speculation, it's official: Cadillac Williams is the starting running back for the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Now, we know that Derrick Ward will get his touches and Earnest Graham will probably too. So how does this depth chart move affect the value of Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham?
Cadillac Williams: When a team puts a player at the top of their depth charts, they are trying to say that the player is the best out of all the rest. Derrick Ward might have been a great RB last year but apparently Williams has been impressing so much in the preseason that he snagged the starting gig from Ward. Cadillac Williams was going undrafted in many leagues and this needs to change from this day forward. He needs to go around #80 overall. If he is a free agent in your league, stop reading this article and go pick him up...we'll be here when you get back.
He won't see 20 touches a game but he should be a serviceable flex player or #3 RB with 15 total touches per game.
Derrick Ward: I've heard a lot of praise about Ward this year from fellow fantasy owners. He tore it up as a backup for the Giants, so of course he would prosper in a starting gig for Tampa Bay, right? Now that he is the backup for Tampa Bay, expect around 10 total touches per game and 40-60 yards per game. I wouldn't be surprised if Williams saw goal-line carries so Ward might not be as valuable this year as he was last year.
You can't draft Ward around #50 overall anymore with this news...I'd drop him to round 8 or 9.
Earnest Graham: I've never been a fan of Graham in the first place. I feel like his success a couple years ago was because he got so many touches per game, not because he is a talented rusher. With Cadillac Williams leap-frogging him in the depth charts, I don't think Graham will see enough carries to be fantasy relevant this year unless there is an injury. Don't draft him and don't keep him on your bench, there are better guys out there with more upside than Graham.