Mike Williams Fantasy Outlook Week 9: Can you trust the Chargers WR to bounce back?

    Mike Williams was drafted to ride your bench in fantasy football, but now that he's taken off, should you trust him against the Eagles?

    Mike Williams has been a hot name in fantasy football this year. Before the season, he had an ADP of 120th overall in 1QB leagues. This put him at the end of the 10th round in 12-team drafts. Through eight weeks, he’s definitely rewarded fantasy managers that took a shot on him, even if he’s been hard to pin down as of late.

    Mike Williams’ fantasy outlook

    Williams started the year in a wild way. Since he was going in the 10th round, he started the year on the bench for most teams, but that didn’t last long.

    Mike Williams’ hot start

    After catching 8 of 12 targets for 82 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, Williams immediately moved into starting lineups. He caught another TD in Week 2 and 2 more in Week 3. He scored 14.2, 15.1, and 26.2 PPR points in those three weeks, respectively. There was no way anyone was benching that kind of production.

    Through the first five weeks of the season, Williams scored a total of 116.1 PPR points. Among wide receivers, only the Rams’ Cooper Kupp scored more in that timeframe. Williams was averaging 23.2 PPR points per week and was officially a clear-cut starter. Most managers were even relying on him to win matchups — he was just that good out of the gate.

    Things cooled off

    Williams had a dud week in Week 4 when he only caught 1 ball for 11 yards. He rebounded nicely in Week 5, scoring 28.5 PPR points against the Browns, putting his fantasy managers’ minds at ease. “Week 4 was a fluke!” they said. “Nothing to worry about!”

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    Not so fast. Williams caught 2 passes each in Week 6 and 7, scoring 2.7 and 1.9 PPR points, respectively. Were these two weeks more flukes, or was Williams finally settling back into where he truly belonged? Fantasy managers everywhere are worried that their diamond in the rough might turn out to be a lump of coal.

    Herbert has been cold as well

    QB Justin Herbert hasn’t exactly been consistent this year himself. He has the highest fantasy score for a quarterback on the season, scoring 42.82 points against the Browns in Week 5. But since then, it’s been a different story.

    In the last two games where Williams struggled, Herbert did as well. Herbert has only put up an average of 13.9 points since Week 5, 25th in the league in that timeframe. If Williams is going to produce this week, then Herbert will have to help him out.

    Williams’ Week 9: Can you trust him again?

    Let’s see if we can try to predict how Week 9 will go and figure out if Williams is worth risking in your starting lineup again.

    The Eagles’ defense is pretty tough

    In Week 9, the Los Angeles Chargers face the hapless Philadelphia Eagles. I say hapless because we have no idea what to expect from them on offense. Their defense, however, has been a little more predictable. They’re allowing the 11th-fewest overall yards to opposing teams (1,888) but the 10th-most receptions (199).

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    This combination of stats gives Philadelphia’s defense a league-leading 9.5 yards per reception on the year so far. For comparison, Williams is currently averaging 14.8 yards per catch this year. If the Eagles can keep the Chargers’ offense in front of them as they’ve been able to do most of the year, Williams could be in trouble.

    Should we start Williams again in Week 9?

    It might not be pretty, but I’m still starting Williams in nearly every format this week. He’s still the WR16 overall and the WR13 in points per game. It’s hard to bench a player with 30-point upside, especially as injuries and bye weeks are depleting available starters. His floor might be low, but his ceiling is almost unmatched this year.

    I think Week 9 will be a get-right game for the Chargers, and for Herbert and Williams specifically. The game is in Philadelphia, but it’s in the late window, giving the Chargers at least a home-time advantage of sorts. I’m playing Williams where I have him, but I can’t be too upset if he puts up another dud. That’s just how it goes sometimes playing this game within a game.

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