Remember the last time we saw Jameson Williams on the football field? Before tearing his ACL in the College Football Playoff championship game against Georgia, Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards, and 15 touchdowns in his only season with Alabama.
Picture a weapon with difference-making speed like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and crisp route-running chops being added to the mold with an alpha receiver like Amon-Ra St. Brown. Throw in an offense with a suddenly struggling passing attack and a defense that openly invites shootouts and you have a potential fantasy-stretch, playoff hero waiting in the wings.
After the first four games, Jared Goff averaged 281 yards and almost three touchdowns before those averages plummeted to 219 yards and 0.7 touchdowns across the last six games.
Injuries to players like D’Andre Swift and the departure of tight end T.J. Hockenson have created an opportunity vacuum for Williams to have an immediate impact once he returns to the lineup.
However, caution should be exercised. The Detroit News highlighted how cautious the Lions have been with bringing players back from injuries. In his first game since coming off of IR, D.J. Chark logged only 11 snaps.
The Lions have won three straight games and sit at 4-6 overall. With seven games left in the season and several winnable games ahead of them, the Lions are in a position to make a playoff push.
OPPORTUNITY AND UPCOMING SCHEDULE
With a projected December return date, according to Dan Campbell, trotting Williams out there upon his return offers major risk.
“When he can go, I think it would be good for him to go,” Campbell said two weeks ago. “He needs some in-game experience, even if it’s only for a couple of games, two or three games. I think those are critical to get under his belt before next year if you can do it.”
Goff doesn’t press the ball downfield often. In fact, he averages an average depth of target of only 7.61. It’s worth noting every primary Lions WR not named St. Brown has an aDot north of 10 and none have the speed and yards after the catch ability of Williams.
St. Brown has averaged just south of nine targets per game and Goff averages around 32 pass attempts per game.
With upcoming tilts against the Bills, Jaguars, and Vikings, Williams has many opportunities for fantasy-friendly matchups and game scripts.
The Lions’ fantasy playoff schedule is especially juicy with the Jets, Panthers, and Bears to end the season.
Williams drips in explosive potential and league-winning upside off the Week 12 Waiver Wire and offers plenty of opportunity to immediately contribute upon return. Keep an eye on The Wolf’s Rest of Season Rankings to see our rest of season outlook for the speedy wideout.