The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty owners, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profiles and where they fit.
Name: Jameson Williams
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Detroit Lions
College Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Draft Status: Round one, 12th overall
COMBINE/PRO DAY REVIEW
- Can rapidly get to top gear
- His top-end speed is dangerous
- Eats cushion like a pit bull puppy
- Very sudden with his movements
- A monster when it comes to getting yards after the catch
- Underrated change of direction skills allows him to break off routes
- Changes speeds and tempos during the route to trick defenders
- Hands are consistent
- Doesn’t have a creative release package against press coverage
- Defenders can get into his basket at the catch-point
- Not ideal size at 179 pounds
The Detroit Lions traded up in the draft to select him. Williams’ deep speed has a new dimension to the offense. This is something they were chasing when they signed DJ Chark earlier in the off-season. Since they decided to spend premium draft capital on a deep threat with tremendous after-the-catch ability, it is a major indicator that the organization values Williams’ skill set. With how he plays the game, there’s a good chance he owns a large share of the team’s air yards. His ACL injury was already baked into his player profile and the Lions still decided to select him at 12 overall. The Lions wanted him and they intend to give him every opportunity to succeed.
The Detroit Lions are currently rebuilding. It’s hard to project what this team is going to look like in the next few years. Amon Ra St. Brown is a young wide receiver who could demand a larger role in the offense as he develops. The team also has TJ Hockenson who owns a sizable target share for a tight end. D’Andre Swift is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league and his role in the passing offense could increase over the next couple of years.
The sheer competition for targets in the offense is a threat to Williams’ long-term player value in dynasty. If the team decides to lean more on the run to smooth out the transitioning process for a younger quarterback prospect, then there might not be enough volume to fuel multiple pass-catchers in the offense.
Jared Goff appears locked in for the short term. However, we don’t know when this team is going to decide to make an investment at quarterback for the future. This is another event that could impact Williams’ long-term player value, considering there could be a quarterback controversy combined with a transition period to the new quarterback.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON
Williams looks like a more explosive version of Will Fuller. He is also more dynamic after the catch. Both players excel at getting behind the defense and tracking the ball while it’s in the air to make the big play. Williams runs with more pop in his step which allows him to switch gears quickly. The added burst allows him to change speeds and accelerate past defensive backs. His burst also makes him a more dangerous threat with the ball in his hands.
John Ross is another wide receiver who compares to him. I believe Williams has the ability to beat Ross’ 4.22-second 40-yard dash time. Especially this year, considering the times seemed to be a little faster than normal. Speed and size are their most comparable traits. Williams is more nuanced in the route running department. He is also more dynamic after the catch.
PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE
According to DLF’s May Rookie ADP, Williams is currently holding a 6.20 average draft position. He is the fourth wide receiver off the board. The “Big Three” wide receivers – Treylon Burks, Drake London, and Garrett Wilson – are being drafted directly ahead of him. There are times when he gets drafted a few spots higher, but for the most part, he’s locked into the sixth-overall range. You could see him drop a few spots if managers in your league prefer Chris Olave, Skyy Moore, or any other player in that range.
He’s holding the exact same value in superflex. The quarterback class is weaker than usual, creating a 1QB experience for superflex gamers. There are times when Kenny Pickett gets drafted in the top five, but that’s few and far between.
For the most part, I feel that dynasty gamers are valuing Williams correctly. His ADP is a reflection of his draft capital, athleticism, and his production at Alabama. There are a few players from the backend of the first round you can make the case to draft over him. However, when you look at his profile as a whole, there’s also an argument one could make to promote him among the “Big Three” of this year’s wide receiver class. As of right now, he’s just hovering around the middle of the first round.