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Over the next few weeks, we will ask our staff a single question on a variety of topics ranging from a huge news event to a tough fantasy decision or player evaluation.
If you like this format, come back tomorrow for another Question of the Day. Today, we look at the least-accomplished of the 2022 first-round wide receivers, Jameson Williams. Picked 12th overall, Williams missed most of the 2022 season with an injury and will also sit for the first six weeks of this season due to a gambling suspension. He's an intriguing player for 2023.
Here's the question we asked.
When Jameson Williams returns from suspension, where will he fit in the Lions' target hierarchy, and can he be a top-25 fantasy wide receiver over the second half of the 2023 season in PPR scoring?
Here's a quick glance at whether Williams has top-25 potential:
- Yes - 5
- No - 10
But even some of the "No" answers think Williams could have some nice spike weeks.
Here are the full answers. Enjoy!
Jason Wood: Jameson Williams will disappoint anyone betting on him and won't sniff top-25 value when he returns. He's dropping passes with aplomb in camp, and the Lions are in a win-now mode with a maturing offensive structure. They're not waiting around for him, and absent a stellar preseason, neither OC Ben Johnson nor Jared Goff will trust him enough to force targets into him away from proven veterans and exciting rookies Jhamyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta.
Jeff Haseley: I believe that Jameson Williams has the potential to excel in the NFL, but he seems to be holding himself back. Once he completes his six-game suspension, he will need some time to adjust to the team's offense and vice versa. Detroit will have multiple top targets, including Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, and possibly Marvin Jones. Even if Williams returns from his suspension fully prepared and knowledgeable of the playbook, he will still need to compete for opportunities. My impression is that if Williams wants to become a top-25 wide receiver, it will likely be a pleasant surprise rather than a given.
Dave Kluge: Williams likely falls as a third option when he returns this season and will struggle to put up top-25 production. Between the pre-draft ACL, the lack of experience as a rookie, the gambling suspension, the recent injury, reports of dropped passes, and a punch thrown at a teammate, the bust meter is starting to buzz. When healthy and plugged in, Williams' talent is off the charts. But we saw it in very small glimpses last year. He's up there with Kadarius Toney as wide receivers with the widest range of outcomes in 2023.
Phil Alexander: The arguments against Williams as a top-25 wide receiver once he returns from suspension ring hollow.
- Tore his ACL in college? When Williams returns from suspension, he'll be 22 months removed from the injury.
- Lacks experience? So did Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at this time last year. Williams was drafted right alongside those guys.
- The gambling suspension? Not ideal, but now he has a similar ADP to Tyler Boyd.
- A camp scuffle? Should we also avoid Travis Kelce?
- Immaturity? The Venn diagram of successful NFL players and immature behavior has significant overlap.
- A few dropped passes? Please. Amon-Ra St. Brown dropped two balls in Monday's practice.
- Has to compete? With who? Josh Reynolds and Marvin Jones?
We're talking about a starting receiver with game-breaking speed on a top-5 offense. While his big-play profile suggests inconsistency from week to week, Williams will have enough monster games to accumulate WR2 numbers.
Daniel Harms: Williams has the game-breaking speed to put points up in a hurry, but he's not going to hit the ground running to WR2 finishes after his suspension. Continuity in an offense is vital to its impact and effectiveness. While Williams will surely have an impact on the on-field product, he won't have the target share required to consistently put up top-25 wide receiver fantasy numbers. Others will establish themselves in the pecking order, and Williams will have his spike weeks. But his chances of being a larger part of the offense are better a year from now.
Kevin Coleman: The camp reports of Williams struggling seem overplayed and can be chalked up to your everyday early camp struggles for most players. He is an exceptional talent, and while he doesn't have on-field experience, he has now been in this system a full year, and I don't see why offensive coordinator Ben Johnson won't trust the former first-round wide receiver once he returns. With his big play ability and lack of competition in that wide receiver room outside Amon-Ra St. Brown, he should step into at least six targets a game. With his big play potential, he should be able to finish the season as a top-25 receiver and is the perfect high-upside flex that can help you win down the stretch of the season.
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