The Detroit Lions have been one of the best teams in the NFL this season and are right in the thick of the NFC playoff race. For the most part, they have done that without getting much of a contribution from 2022 NFL Draft first-round pick Jameson Williams.
Fantasy football managers were hoping that once Williams returned from his suspension, we would see him finding value in this offense. The speedy WR has all the tools to be an NFL and fantasy star, but the consistency has been lacking so far.
With Williams finding the end zone again last week, should fantasy managers pick him up off the waiver wire?
Should Jameson Williams Be a Fantasy Waiver Wire Add in Week 12?
It feels like every other week we are contemplating whether Williams should be a waiver wire add — this week is no different.
From a pure upside perspective, he is the kind of player you want on your roster, but knowing when to start him would be tricky. Right now he feels like either a desperation add if you are struggling at WR or an upside gamble if you want a potential difference-maker down the stretch.
In Week 11, Williams hauled in a 32-yard touchdown grab to finish with 44 yards and that score on two receptions and three targets. While it was a 10.4-point fantasy day in non-PPR and a 12.4-point performance in PPR, a huge chunk of that came on that play.
Unfortunately, that is what makes Williams such a terrifying proposition in your lineup. When we look back across Williams’ season, the inconsistency terrifies fantasy managers. His non-PPR scores in the last six weeks have gone 0.2, 11.3, 0, 1.6, 1.8, 10.4, respectively. He has posted two weeks where he was a starting-level option and four weeks where he wasn’t.
The one thing that has been fairly consistent about Williams has been his targets. In four of the six games, he has seen three targets. The one game he saw more than three targets was against the Baltimore Ravens when, ironically, he scored zero fantasy points. Yeah, figure that one out.
An intriguing element this week was that Williams played a season-high 65% of the offensive snaps. Now that may have just been because the Lions were chasing the game, or it could be a sign of more to come.
Williams has consistently played either 33 or 34 offensive snaps in the past three games, but that jumped to 40 in Week 11. Since the bye, he has topped a 50% offensive snap share on two occasions.
After missing the first four weeks of practice, the Lions may have used the extended rest of the bye to get Williams more involved in packages. Hopefully, that translates to more consistent production down the line.
In a Best Ball league, if you can make midseason additions, Williams should be rostered for sure. Those explosive plays are what we know he can produce, and you want to be in the best place to capitalize on them. We’ve seen several similar style receivers to Williams where Best Ball is the only place they can regularly contribute.
In standard lineup-setting fantasy leagues, Williams is going to drive you crazy. In deeper leagues, having him as a bye week fill-in offers high upside but a low floor, so it depends if there is anyone on the waiver wire you would feel more comfortable starting in his place.
In 12-team leagues and shallower, Williams is a luxury play. If you’ve navigated your bye weeks and are just looking to add a player who could be a big contributor as his role grows, then you won’t find many with a bigger upside than Williams.
In leagues where I’m already set for a playoff spot or very close, I’m adding Williams when my bench situation allows it. He very well could be a league-winner down the stretch.
Equally, in any leagues where I know I need to shoot for the moon over the next few weeks, I’m adding Williams as a potential ceiling play if his role continues to grow.
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