Dynasty Dilemma: Jameson Williams
By Alex French
Jameson Williams, along with five other NFL players have been suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on gambling. Williams will miss the first 6 games of the 2023 season. This is a tough loss for a Lions offense expecting to take a step forward in 2023. Widely regarded as one of the top talents in last year's NFL draft class, Williams missed a majority of 2022 while recovering from a torn ACL in January. It’s time to decide what to do with him for your fantasy teams.
One of the most improved teams of 2022, the Detroit Lions exceeded all expectations. The duo of Quarterback Jared Goff and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson proved to be a great match as they led the Lions to a 9-8 season. The Lions won eight of their last nine games en route to a top five finish in scoring offense. The offense proved so efficient that Ben Johnson became a top head coach candidate before he informed teams he wanted to stay in Detroit. Johnson created an explosive and balanced offense that averaged over 6.5 yards per pass play and over 5.2 yards per carry. Looking forward, another year in the Ben Johnson offense should only improve efficiency as well as allow the offense to play with more tempo. Continuity and a strong offensive line should help the Lions have another successful offense in 2023. With a little background into the Lions offense, now we can decide if it's worth acquiring Jameson Williams.
Initially recruited to Ohio State in a class with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Jameson Williams chose to transfer to Alabama for his final collegiate season in 2021 as a junior. His lone season. With the Crimson Tide proved to be his breakout season. As a transfer, Williams commanded a 20.7 percent target share, which translated. To an over 31 percent dominator rating. That translates to 79 receptions, 1,572 receiving yards and 17 total Touchdowns. Williams features elite-level 4.30 speed, with excellent route running. He averaged a stellar 19.9. Yards per reception, which appears to indicate he’s primarily a deep threat, however Williams is great after the catch, as indicated by his average 9.3 yards after the catch per reception. In all, Jameson Williams is an excellent talent at the wide receiver position. His profile has many of the indicators of a fantasy superstar, but let’s weigh the risk.
Let’s put aside the suspension for a minute, and further evaluate. Jameson Williams famously tore his ACL in the National Championship game in January of 2022. He spent the next few months rehabbing before making his NFL debut week 13. He played just 6 games in his rookie season, never playing more than 25 percent of snaps. Fast forward to 2023. Williams is now suspended for the first 6 games of the year. So we have a second year receiver, who has only played very limited snaps with his quarterback, missing the first 6 games of his sophomore season. That’s quite a bit of risk to take on for a 180 pound unproven young receiver. But what's the cost you might ask?
This is where I believe the good outweighs the risk. Jameson Williams was drafted number 12 overall in last year's NFL draft. He was also universally a top 10 rookie draft pick in 2022 rookie drafts. One year later, his fantasy managers are likely frustrated with the lack of production and availability, which creates a potential acquisition window. I think we should capitalize on this. I'd begin negotiations with a 2nd round pick. I think this is a great starting point, and I think any pick in the second round is fair value. More often than not, round two rookie picks are a coin flip. With this in mind, I'm more than willing to take a shot on the talent of Jameson Williams. An incredible talent that p;played for two powerhouse schools known for producing NFL receiver talent, Williams has a chance to be a fantasy star. Though the suspension is unfortunate, we can take advantage of the situation to add talent to our roster. I believe a 2nd round pick could get a deal done, but if not, I'd be willing to add a later round rookie pick to ensure a deal is done. Throw some offers out there and let us know how it went, and feel free to follow me on Twitter to let me know what you think.