Jameson Williams Fantasy Outlook: Will the Detroit Lions Phenom Live up to His Hype?

    After an injury-plagued rookie year, Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams now faces a six-game suspension. What is his fantasy outlook in 2023?

    At PFN, we’ve researched more than 350 fantasy football players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here is Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams’ fantasy outlook for 2023.

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    Jameson Williams’ 2023 Fantasy Outlook

    When the Lions traded up with Minnesota for the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they landed one of the top WR prospects in Williams. Paired with Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson, this trio could become a dominant offensive force.

    But Williams spent most of the year recovering from a torn ACL, resulting in an essentially lost rookie campaign in which he caught one of nine targets (albeit for a 41-yard touchdown). And after violating league betting rules, he’s been suspended for the first six games of 2023.

    Meanwhile, Hockenson is long gone, traded to the Vikings midseason. And while rookie Sam LaPorta could play a significant role in Year 1, this passing attack remains pretty top-heavy, especially with RB pass-catching extraordinaire D’Andre Swift now in Philly.

    So Williams is in an interesting spot. How long will it take him to get acclimated once he retakes the field in Week 7? Because if he can get on the same page with Jared Goff and this offense, then he could be a fantasy star in an ascending offense with realistic visions of their first NFC North title.

    If he’s as good as advertised, then yes, he could even push St. Brown for the No. 1 WR role. Or at least, that’s what Detroit expected when they drafted him.

    But a realistic worst-case scenario would find Williams scuffling in his first few games as he tries to find his NFL footing. An efficient running game led by rookie Jahmyr Gibbs might hum along nicely in the first six weeks, leading the team to continue a balanced attack — something this franchise didn’t have in 2021 but which they pushed for (in part by necessity) in 2022.

    The hope for managers who draft and stash Williams is that the aging Marvin Jones will be a distant No. 3 WR when Williams returns, while the old guard (Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond) will remain firmly in the background. Surely Goff can feed two or three guys per game.

    In fact, Goff enjoyed his best season since 2019 despite essentially not having Williams.

    The veteran quarterback even produced three of his four highest-yardage games in three of the final six weeks — when Williams was a mere shell and when Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra were trying to fill Hockenson’s shoes.

    There’s a lot of chaos in this offense, to be sure. And that’s normal for a unit that just added their RB and TE of the future while also bracing for the “arrival” of their coveted No. 12 overall pick from the year before. The additions of Jones and David Montgomery simply add to the confusion.

    But if you’re betting on talent, then Williams needs to be rostered at or before his ADP.

    You’re basically hoping that he figures things out in time for the fantasy playoffs. It’s a worthwhile risk in a league where exceptional abilities often rise to the top.

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