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Mike Williams: Complete Fantasy Profile & Draft Strategy

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons dives to tackle Mike Williams #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during play at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons won 45-24. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2012

Mike Williams was one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football last season after his excellent 2010 rookie campaign for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though fantasy owners should temper any expectations with Vincent Jackson now in town, Williams should be a better player this year.

With Williams showing up in better shape this summer and Jackson likely to draw double-coverage throughout the year, Williams should have the opportunity to put up nice if unspectacular numbers this season. His upside is capped by Jackson, but he should produce nonetheless.

Let's take a closer look at the No. 2 option in the Bucs passing game.

 

What Round Should You Target Him?

In ESPN snake drafts, Williams has an ADP of 142.7, meaning he's going in the 15th round in 10-team leagues. I would target him in the 13th round as a WR4 or WR5 with upside.

 

Injury News and General Updates

Not too much new to report on Williams. He's healthy heading into Week 1 and starting opposite of Jackson. Based on his training camp, it would seem he should be a better football player this year than he was in his disappointing 2011 season.

That's what Bucs' receivers coach P.J. Fleck said back in August about Williams (via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times):

"If you truly want it, there is a price to pay. And a lot of people will pay the price for a little bit. And when it gets uncomfortable, they'll stop. Mike, when it got uncomfortable, has found a way to break through the barriers that once were there and went to the next step on the mountain. And if keeps doing that, I think he's going to like what he sees at the end."

Jackson had nothing but positives to say about Williams as well:

"He's been a sponge," Jackson said of Williams. "He's taken to coaching. He's become such a better receiver in the last few months, watching him put in the work and buy in."

 

Stat Projections

62 receptions, 800 yards, five touchdowns.

 

Usage

In 15 games last year, Williams was targeted 124 times. Only 13 wide receivers in the NFL had more (and yes, they all managed more fantasy points then Williams). With Jackson in town, expect the targets to decrease. Look for him to finish in the 60-70 receptions range, however.

 

Wide Receivers With a Similar ADP That You Should Draft Before Williams

Rueben Randle, Danny Amendola, Laurent Robinson, Leonard Hankerson, Nate Burleson, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery, Greg Little

 

Wide Receivers With a Similar ADP That You Should Draft Before Williams

Randy Moss, Kendall Wright

 

Final Word

Vincent Jackson will steal some of his targets, but there is no reason Williams can't post 800 receiving yards and five touchdowns as Josh Freeman's second option in the passing game.

 

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