As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of wide receiver Mike Williams.
Mike Williams’ Dynasty Outlook and Value
For years, we’ve been waiting for Williams to overtake Keenan Allen as the Los Angeles Chargers’ WR1. The strange part is, despite being drafted four years after Allen, Williams is just 2.5 years younger. More importantly, neither of the Chargers’ top two receivers are in the front half of their careers.
Williams’ career got off to an ominous start. His 95 total yards as a rookie justified completely writing him off. In the event you wanted to give a top-10 pick more leeway, Williams’ second, third, and fourth seasons provided ample reasons to bail on him.
As a sophomore, Williams averaged 11.1 fantasy points per game and did so despite scoring 10 touchdowns. He followed that up with back-to-back seasons of declining fantasy production. Williams averaged 10.8 ppg in 2019 and 10.2 ppg in 2020. There was no reason to expect a fifth-year breakout.
Yet, it occurred. In 2021, Williams caught 76 passes for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 15.4 ppg. But I remember that season quite well. It was a tale of two halves.
Between Weeks 1 through 5 (excluding Week 4), Williams averaged 28.5 ppg. Then, in Week 11, he scored 20.7 points, 16.0 in Week 13, and 15.3 in Week 17.
To be fair, Williams provided 6-7 weeks of WR1-ish production. But the other eight games were typical Williams stuff. He scored single-digit fantasy points in seven of them and lost fantasy managers more matchups than he won them.
This didn’t stop the 2022 Williams hype train, though, as his redraft ADP jumped into the third round. While Williams wasn’t bad, his 13.6 ppg was certainly a step back. A high ankle sprain cost him essentially five games, but even before he got hurt, Williams was his usual erratic self. From Weeks 1-10, he scored at least 19 fantasy points four times and 8.5 points or fewer on three occasions.
Williams is now entering his seventh NFL season. We have no reason to believe he’ll be anything other than who he’s been his entire career.
In 2022, Williams’ target share dipped to 18.2% — outside the top 40. He was only targeted on 21% of his routes run, a rate outside the top 50. Williams did dominate contested catches, as usual, finishing inside the top 15 in contested-catch rate, and his 9.6 yards per target was 12th in the league. It all adds up to what we know Williams to be — a boom-or-bust fantasy WR3.
Mike Williams’ Fantasy Ranking
Williams is in the second year of a three-year extension he signed before the 2022 season. He’ll be on the Chargers’ roster in 2023, but Los Angeles can cut him ahead of the 2024 season with just a $7 million dead cap hit.
Fantasy managers with Williams should probably look to cash out now. If the team cuts Allen, then definitely cash out. I would imagine Williams’ dynasty value would tick up if he was the presumptive WR1, and it could provide a great opportunity to extract maximum value.
Williams oozes potential, but at 28 years old, it’s time to stop talking about potential. If he finally ascends into WR1-ville during the last two seasons of his 20s, I’ll tip my cap. That’s something I will continue betting against and happily be wrong about if it happens. As a dynasty WR3, Williams appears to be a bit overvalued.
We currently have Williams at WR36 (No. 90 overall) in our dynasty Superflex rankings. Given his age and production profile, it’s a fair ranking, and one that will probably end up being too low relative to individual seasons but will be pretty on point when it comes to his worth over the remainder of his career.
I would not be targeting Williams in dynasty startup drafts.
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