What You Need to Know:
- Tyrell Williams ranks 6th among 68 qualifiers in yards per catch and 5th in yards per target over the past 3 seasons.
- He finished as PPR WR18 on 119 targets in 2016. He dipped to 69 and 65 targets the past 2 years.
- Williams has a shot to see 100+ targets this season in Oakland, where he should be the clear #2 WR behind Antonio Brown.
Few WRs have been more efficient than Tyrell Williams over the past 3 seasons. He’s hauled in 60.5% of his targets and averaged 15.9 yards per catch during that stretch. Among 68 WRs with 100+ grabs since 2016, only 5 averaged more yards per catch. Williams’ 9.64 yards per target over that span ranks 5th.
He just didn’t always see enough volume with the Chargers. He did in 2016, when Williams turned 119 looks into a 69-1,059-7 line and an 18th-place PPR finish. But he garnered just 69 and 65 targets the past 2 years, ranking 43rd and 49th in PPR points.
Williams should blow by those 2017 and 2018 target totals this season — and has a chance to approach the 119 he saw back in 2016. The Raiders handed him a nice 4-year, $44.3 million deal in March, making him the league’s 17th highest-paid WR in terms of average annual salary.
Oakland, of course, also added WR Antonio Brown, who should easily lead the team in targets this season. But Williams looks like the clear #2 option in this passing game. Behind him on the WR depth chart sit guys like Ryan Grant, J.J. Nelson, Marcell Ateman and 5th-round rookie Hunter Renfrow. The Raiders’ TE group is 1 big question mark with Darren Waller, Luke Willson, Erik Swoope and 4th-round rookie Foster Moreau.
Williams will be dealing with a QB downgrade from Philip Rivers to Derek Carr. But Carr was better last year than you probably think. His 68.9% completion rate was a career best and ranked 5th among 30 QBs with 300+ attempts. He jumped to 3rd in Pro Football Focus’ Adjusted Completion Rate, which takes into account drops, throwaways and batted passes.
Carr finished a less-impressive 18th in yards per attempt (7.3). That was largely due to his average throw traveling just 7.1 yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus. That was tied with Matt Stafford for dead last among 29 qualifiers. But remember that after Amari Cooper was traded away in October, Carr’s WR corps read: Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, Marcell Ateman, Brandon LaFell. Not exactly a dynamic group.
The good news for Williams is that Carr was effective when he did chuck it deep. His 49.0% accuracy rate on throws 20+ yards downfield ranked 5th best. That meshes well with Williams, who’s been effective going deep. Last year, he tied for 11th in catches 20+ yards downfield and finished 11th in catch rate on targets of 20+ yards among 89 qualifiers.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Antonio Brown was the Raiders’ big WR acquisition this offseason, but Williams might turn out to be the better value in 2019 fantasy drafts. He seems locked in as the #2 option in this passing game, giving him a clear path to 100+ targets.
And Williams has been 1 of the most efficient WRs in the league over the past 3 years, averaging 15.9 yards per catch and ranking 5th among 68 qualifiers in yards per target.
The last time Williams saw ample volume, he turned 119 targets into an 18th-place PPR finish. He has that type of ceiling this season and looks like a prime target as your WR3 or WR4. He’s flying well under the radar in current fantasy drafts, with an ADP in the 13th round.