How High Can Mike Williams' Fantasy Ceiling Climb in 2022?
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What You Need to Know:
- Williams set career highs last year in all fantasy scoring systems, finishing 14th among WRs in PPR points, 13th in half-PPR and 12th in non-PPR.
- He was a volatile weekly producer:
- Williams scored as a top 14 PPR WR 6 times.
- He finished outside the top 40 in 7 weeks.
- Four of Williams’ 6 top-14 outings came over the first 5 weeks of the season. He ranked 2nd among WRs in PPR points over that stretch.
- Williams ranked 28th in PPR points from Week 6 on.
- His volume and efficiency shrunk from his first 5 games to his final 11.
- It’s worth noting that Williams hurt his knee in Week 5. He didn’t miss any games, but he was limited to just 36% of the snaps in Week 6 and might have been impacted by the injury beyond that.
- Williams tied teammate Keenan Allen and ranked 5th league-wide with 12 targets inside the 10-yard line.
- Williams ranked 22nd in Pro Football Focus receiving grade and 15th in yards per route run among 89 WRs with 50+ targets last year.
- He beat Keenan Allen in both metrics. (Allen ranked 23rd and 28th.)
- Allen turned 30 in April and has seen his yards per route run decline in 4 straight seasons.
- Williams is 27 and coming off a career-high in yards per route run.
- The Chargers gave Williams a 3-year, $60 million contract extension with $40 million guaranteed in March.
- Williams finds himself in a similar situation this season as last.
- HC Brandon Staley and OC Joe Lombardi return for year 2 with the Chargers.
- QB Justin Herbert enters his 3rd NFL season.
- The Chargers return 6 of last year’s top 7 target-getters. TE Jared Cook will be replaced by TE Gerald Everett, which should be a lateral move in terms of target share.
- So Williams should again benefit from a fast-paced, pass-heavy offense. The 2021 Chargers ranked 6th in both situation-neutral pace and situation-neutral pass rate. They finished 3rd in pass attempts.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Williams is coming off a career year in terms of fantasy production and yards per route run. He was volatile from week to week, as he’s been for most of his career. But the spike weeks were there.
He returns to the same offense with the same QB and very similar target competition in 2022. Williams will at least be the #2 WR in 1 of the game’s best passing attacks. And it’s within the realm of possibility that he passes up Keenan Allen for the #1 spot on the depth chart this year.