Jameson Williams Fantasy Outlook Week 13: What Should We Expect on His Return?

What is the fantasy outlook for Jameson Williams in Week 13, and should fantasy managers risk him in lineups if he is active against the Jaguars?

Rookie Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams appears to be getting closer to returning to the field, which will be music to the ears of fantasy football managers. With Williams potentially set to be activated as soon as Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, all eyes will be on him when he does get out on the field.

The question fantasy managers are asking is whether Williams is a player they can trust in their lineups in Week 13. Let’s takes take a look at Williams’ outlook for this week and whether he is worth the risk in starting lineups.

Update: Jameson Williams has been activated from the NFI list ahead of Week 13.

Jameson Williams’ Fantasy Outlook for Week 13

We do not know for definite whether Williams will be active this week. On Monday, head coach Dan Campbell gave somewhat conflicting answers when the Lions opened practice on Monday. Initially, Campbell said it would be a “tall order,” but he went on to say the team was “open to anything” and they would “get a real good look at them.”

We may not find out the definitive status of Williams for Week 13 until Saturday. The rookie has to be activated from the Non-Football Injury list by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday if he is to be active. If he is activated, then the intriguing thing to see is how much he will play in these first couple of weeks. That element is why it could be a bit of a rollercoaster for Williams’ fantasy managers in the coming weeks.

We have seen Williams looking good in practice, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the WR is back at full speed. However, the likelihood is that the Lions will somewhat ease Williams back into game action, likely with a limited snap count. If that is the case, then Williams will most likely prove to be a boom-bust type receiver for fantasy managers.

MORE: Week 13 Fantasy WR Start/Sit Recommendations

The other aspect to consider is what role there is for Williams in this offense. His style is somewhat different from the other receivers that the Lions have. We have not really seen another pure speedster in the style of Williams, so we do not have a frame of reference around what his ceiling could look like.

What we have seen is the trio of Josh Reynolds, D.J. Chark, and Kalif Raymond being used as deep threats. That trio all have an average depth of target (ADOT) of 10 yards or more. Between them, they have averaged just under five targets, three receptions, and 35 receiving yards per game. Additionally, the trio has only found the end zone four times combined.

Assuming Williams does slot into that deep-threat style, he is naturally going to end up having a boom-bust nature about his play. There will be games where he reels in a high percentage of his targets and scores a lot of points, but there will also be frustrating moments.

Hopefully, the Lions can have Williams running a mixed route tree, allowing enough deep targets to give him an exciting ceiling while having enough shorter routes to mean he has a solid floor. If that is the case, then when we see Williams up to full speed in this offense, he has the potential to be very exciting indeed.

Should Fantasy Managers Start Williams in Week 13?

From this point on, we are assuming Williams is active this week. It would be a surprise to see Williams playing significantly over 50% of the offensive snaps in Week 13. The most likely outcome is that the Lions have a little package of plays that they want to work Williams in on.

That type of usage can work both ways when it comes to fantasy output. Naturally, the less a player is on the field, the less chance he has of getting targets and, therefore, fantasy points. However, when a player is on a snap count, in order to fully utilize him, there can often be a high percentage of plays in those snaps that are designed to get the ball into his hands, which can be a benefit.

MORE: WR Injury Report Week 13

That uncertainty means that Williams is a high-risk but potentially high-reward option this week. His game-breaking speed means that if the Lions do get the ball into his hands, he can break a big play at any time. However, the floor is extremely dangerous as we could be looking at a wide range in terms of the target number.

Even in the Lions force the ball his way four or five times, it only takes good defensive plays or slight misfires from Goff or Williams to result in a couple of those resulting in no catch or a very short reception. Therefore, the approach for Williams this week somewhat depends on your situation.

If you feel you need to try and go big to get the win, then he would be a fun player to put in lineups. However, if your lineup is full of boom-bust type players and you are looking for a little more security from your final WR or Flex spot, then Williams might not be the right call.

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