Joe Williams
Joe Williams
25-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
Injury Ribs
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Williams was initially considered a steal after being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, but work ethic issues in camp and a preseason ankle injury had him looking more like a bust at the draft slot. The 24-year-old apparently learned from his mistakes, and has been drawing praise in camp from coaches in regards to an improved attitude and drive this time around. Williams will compete for a backup role this preseason, and if he wins the third spot on the depth chart behind Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida, then he would become a name to monitor due to his downhill running style if either of the aforementioned backs suffer injuries during the season. Read Past Outlooks
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$Released by the 49ers in August of 2018.
Cut loose
RBSan Francisco 49ers
August 31, 2018
Williams (ribs) is getting cut by the 49ers, Tom Pelissero of reports.
Though he's reportedly making progress with his rib injury, Williams missed out on his chance to push for a spot on the 53-man roster. Coach Kyle Shanahan famously lobbied for the Niners to select Williams in the fourth round of last year's draft, but undrafted free agent Matt Breida (shoulder) turned out to be the team's rookie gem in the backfield. It won't be too surprising if Williams draws some interest around the league.
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Joe Williams lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joe Williams
NFL Injury Analysis: RB Trouble for the 49ers
253 days ago
Both Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida suffered preseason injuries. Mckinnon was diagnosed with a low-grade calf strain, and his backup, Matt Breida, will miss the rest of the preseason with a shoulder sprain.
Dynasty Watch: Undrafted Rookies to Know
263 days ago
Corey Clement rose from his undrafted rookie status to crash the fantasy radar last year, and here are seven candidates to do the same thing in 2018, including one teammate of Clement's.
Team Previews: 2018 San Francisco 49ers
273 days ago
Josh Fathollahi hones in on how Jimmy Garoppolo changed the 49ers' fortunes for the better.
Job Battles: Running Backs Pt. 1
279 days ago
In the first of two installments previewing running back training camp battles, a three-man skirmish for Indianapolis stands as the headliner.
DRAFT NFL: Best Ball Hypotheticals 3
289 days ago
Jerick McKinnon might have more buzz around him than any other player in the fantasy football community, but the author can't keep up.
2017 Fantasy Outlook
Williams seemed done with football when he walked away from the game two weeks into his final season at Utah, but the game wasn't done with him. A month later, he returned to bail out an injury-ravaged Utes backfield and ran for over 1,400 yards and 10 scores in only nine games, including a 333-yard, four-TD performance against UCLA, before being drafted in the fourth round by the 49ers. While his upright running style has led to some fumbling issues and his vision needs work, he's got breakaway speed in the open field and his tremendous burst and balance allow him to rack up serious yardage after contact. Williams struggled with ball security and picking up Kyle Shanahan's offense during the preseason, ultimately landing on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He may get a shot to compete for a major role next season, as Carlos Hyde can become a free agent after the year.
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Out for a while
RBSan Francisco 49ers
August 19, 2018
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Williams suffered a rib fracture that will sideline him for "a while," ESPN's Nick Wagoner reports.
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Suffers rib injury
RBSan Francisco 49ers
August 19, 2018
Head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed that Williams sustained a rib fracture in Saturday's preseason loss to Houston and will miss the beginning of the regular season, ESPN's Nick Wagoner reports.
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Fails to impress Saturday
RBSan Francisco 49ers
August 19, 2018
Williams carried the ball eight times for 18 yards Saturday, adding a pair of receptions for another 14 yards in a preseason loss to Houston.
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Scores touchdown Thursday
RBSan Francisco 49ers
August 10, 2018
Williams carried the ball 11 times for 27 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's preseason win over Dallas. He also secured two of three targets for 15 yards.
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Looks improved
RBSan Francisco 49ers
June 15, 2018
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Williams looks much better than he did last season, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. "I think [Williams] has a different mindset - understands a little bit more the standard of the NFL and difference," Shanahan said Tuesday. "Joe's come a long way. I think his body looks a lot better than it did last year. He put on a lot of muscle mass and he took advantage of the year of not playing."
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