The Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact of the Mike Williams Knee Injury

Ken Kelly

The 2017 NFL Draft was supposed to produce one of the single greatest fantasy football classes of all-time. After all, players like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Corey Davis, John Ross, OJ Howard, Joe Mixon and Mike Williams were flat-out dominant in college. In the end, this class is going to be known for producing a handful of decent years from some of these players, massive disappointment with others, and one of the greatest fantasy football players of all-time in the form of McCaffrey. Unfortunately, like many of the others on this list, Williams has seemingly constantly battled nagging injuries and never been able to truly string together a season everyone knows he’s physically capable of. Sadly, that may never happen now as he tore his ACL this Sunday and will now be lost for the season. The injury is impactful in dynasty circles, so let’s take a look at the players whose values are involved.

Mike Williams, WR LAC

Clemson has produced some amazing wide receivers over the past decade or so. Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Tee Higgins and many more immediately come to mind. When Dabo Swinney went on record saying Williams was the best receiver to ever play at Clemson, dynasty managers clearly took notice and burned a high draft pick on him that year. Williams has been good but not great in the league. Over his seven years and 88 total games, he’s posted 309 catches, 4,806 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns, including two different 1,000-yard seasons and two campaigns with at least nine touchdown grabs. Again, he’s been good but not great.

The challenge with Williams is now going to be his battle against two opponents – his injury recovery timeline and the undefeated by only Frank Gore version of Father Time. At this point next season, he’ll be pushing 30 years old and you have to wonder just how his body is going to respond. Chances are he makes it back just fine and can round back into form next season. However, his role in the offense may not be a given with the young talent the Chargers have on the roster. In addition, Los Angeles has an out in his contract that could make him a free agent. Regardless, Williams is going to see his ADP fall into triple digits for the first time in recorded history as a result of this unfortunate injury.


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Keenan Allen, WR LAC

The kid named Nacua isn’t the only one catching a boatload of passes in Los Angeles this year. Through three games, Allen has a whopping 32 catches and while he’s never been a huge touchdown producer, his PPR value is likely going to see a boost this season with Williams out. As Justin Herbert’s most reliable weapon and absolute target hog, Allen has quickly become a perfect trade target for a contending dynasty team, regardless of his age (31). Allen tends to get nicked up as well but he could very well put up one of his greatest seasons and contending teams should take notice. If you’re going to have a late first round pick in your league and need a receiver to put you over the top, it’s not crazy to consider it. If he stays healthy, Allen is going to make a run at leading the league in catches – he may even be the favorite to do so.

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Josh Palmer, WR LAC

While many dynasty managers are quickly thinking Quentin Johnston is going to step in and take the spot of Williams, I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. After a promising 72/769/3 season last year, Palmer was seemingly a value loser when the Chargers nabbed Johnston in the draft. However, it’s been Palmer who has been consistently better during training camp and in games this year. I wouldn’t expect that to change and I’d be much more apt to make a less expensive deal for Palmer than I would paying for Johnston and his baked-in value at the moment. Palmer’s targets this year have from one to five to seven and he’s going to see a lot of action now. Palmer’s ADP is going to go up and I think he’s still a buy candidate at the moment, despite the obvious updated (and increasing) price tag.

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Quentin Johnston, WR LAC

Don’t get me wrong, this injury certainly opens the door for Johnston. However, I wouldn’t get too excited and overpay until we see something of note from him. With just five catches for 26 yards through three games, his ADP isn’t moving up until we see results on the field, regardless of the injury to Williams. So far, Johnston has been one of the most disappointing players from this draft class. At least he should have a good chance to change that now. I just wouldn’t start putting him into lineups any time soon, though.

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Derius Davis and Jalen Guyton, WRs LAC

Chances are these two aren’t going to end up amounting to much this season but I’d certainly have both on my short list of possible waiver adds should Johnston continue to struggle. Stay tuned.

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ken kelly
The Dynasty Fantasy Football Impact of the Mike Williams Knee Injury