Buy Tyrell Williams
Tyrell Williams signed a 1 year, $4,000,000 contract with the Detroit Lions, including a $2,000,000 signing bonus, $4,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $4,000,000. In 2021, Williams will earn a base salary of $2,000,000 and a signing bonus of $2,000,000, while carrying a cap hit of $3,000,000 and a dead cap value of $4,000,000.
Starter: Tyrell Williams; Second: Breshad Perriman; Third+: Quintez Cephus, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Geronimo Allison, Victor Bolden, Kalif Raymond, Chad Hansen, Damion Ratley, Tom Kennedy, Sage Surratt, Javon McKinley (CBSSports.com).
According to fantasypros.com Williams is being drafted in PPR leagues as the WR85 (#284 overall). Behind guys like Josh Reynolds, Zach Pascal, Amari Rodgers, Olamide Zaccheaus, Breshad Perriman, and Josh Palmer. And just before guys like Jakobi Meyers, Preston Williams, Scotty Miller, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Bryan Edwards.
Tyrell Williams: Ht: 6034; Wt: 204; Hand: 09 7/8; Arm: 33 1/2; Wingspan: 78 3/8; 40 Yrd Dash: 4.43; 20 Yrd Dash: 2.59; 10 Yrd Dash: 1.51; Vert.: 39 1/2; Broad: 10’07’’; 20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.17; 3-Cone: 6.74; Western Oregon
Comp. (C. Kupp): Ht.: 6016; Wt.: 204; Hand: 09 1/2; Arm: 31 1/2; Wingspan: 74 3/8; 40 Yrd Dash: 4.61; 20 Yrd Dash: 2.70; 10 Yrd Dash: 1.57; Vert.: 31; Broad: 09’07’’; 20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.08; 3-Cone: 6.75
Comp. (C. Claypool): Ht.: 6042; Wt.: 238; Hand: 09 7/8; Arm: 32 1/2; Wingspan: 80; 40 Yrd Dash: 4.42; 20 Yrd Dash: 2.57; 10 Yrd Dash: 1.56; Vert.: 40 1/2; Broad: 10’06’’; 20 Yrd Shuttle: n/a; 3-Cone: n/a; Notre Dame
- G: 69;
- Tgt: 322;
- Rec: 197;
- Yds: 3181;
- Y/R: 16.1;
- TD: 23;
- 1D: 144;
- Lng: 80;
- R/G: 2.9;
- Y/G: 46.1;
- Ctch%: 61.2%;
- Y/Tgt: 9.9
Best Yr (2016):
- G: 16;
- Tgt: 119;
- Rec: 69;
- Yds: 1059;
- Y/R: 15.3;
- TD: 7;
- 1D: 48;
- Lng: 51;
- R/G: 4.3;
- Y/G: 66.2;
- Ctch%: 58.0%;
- Y/Tgt: 8.9
At 29 years of age and with a career that can be described as modest at best, Tyrell Williams has fallen off the fantasy radar as he transitions to his 3rd NFL team. His current concensus ADP (pff.com) is as the WR85, a WR8 in 12 team leagues. That’s way too low and he’s a ‘buy now’ wide receiver in all leagues.
Admittidly, Williams hasn’t spent the last few years stuffing the stat sheets and rewarding fantasy owners that invested in him. His last two years for the Raiders have mostly been marred by injuries. But, his highlights from there show that he was a significant factor when healthy. After the solid start to his tenure as a Raider he developed plantar fasciitis that affected him through most of 2019, and then he missed all of 2020 with a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Before his stint with the Raiders Williams was with the Chargers where he stepped in admirably in 2016 after the loss of Keenan Allen, racking up a 1000+ yard 7 TD season, counting for 48 first downs. He brought in 58% of his targets and averaged 8.9 Y/Tgt and 15.3 Y/Rec. In Detroit Williams will be reunited with Anthony Lynn, who also coached him in that 2016 season. After his breakout season Keenan Allen returned and Williams returned to his number 2 duties until his move to Oakland. All-in-all Williams was an effective receiver with the Chargers and was able to handle the attention of being a team’s top wide receiver well.
If he can stay healthy, we see Williams as the most likely receiver to be Jared Goff’s new Cooper Kupp. And if Williams can stay healthy he brings the upside of a more physically gifted receiver along the lines of a Chase Claypool. And if he’s healthy his record shows he’s not only the highest paid wide receiver on the Detroit Lions roster but he’s also the only receiver that has produced as a team’s top receiver in the NFL.
Should Williams be on the field for all 17 games this season we expect him to produce on the same level of efficiency that he has his whole career and fill the role that Goff had with Kupp. And we see his stats reflecting that which was seen somewhere around what he did as the WR1 for the Chargers in 2016 and what was typically seen by Kupp with Goff throwing him the ball. There are many similarities between the Lions and the Rams, so these comparisons appear to make sense.
Over 16 game seasons, Kupp was targeted 134 and 124 times in 2019 and 2020, respectively. In Williams only full year as a WR1, in 2016 under Anthony Flynn, Williams had 119. Over this year’s 17 game season, if Williams can stay healthy, it’s reasonable to assume he’ll see a career high targets around 130. While some may say Williams is a deep ball specialist and Goff doesn’t throw deep, the truth is actually that winning deep 50/50 balls and winning contested catches is something that Williams added to his game in his later years with the Chargers. Originally, a lot of his yards were from drags and crossing routes that he turned into huge yards after the catch. There’s no reason to think Goff won’t have the arm to get him the ball. We think Williams efficiency numbers will fall somewhere between his 2016 season and the 2019 and 2020 seasons of Kupp.
2021 Projections (17 Games): 85 Receptions | 1,233 yards | 9 TDs
That sort of production would make Williams atleast a WR2 in most leagues. And the only risks to him not reaching this is injury. They signed Breshad Perriman but paid him less and he’s been inconsistent in camp. They drafted St. Brown, but he’s a rookie and projects for a role more similar to a Randall Cobb — a good WR2.
If you are in a dynasty league and Tyrell Williams is still out there… roster him immediately. He’s 29 but that’s still young enough to earn himself a decent committment if he capitalizes on this year’s opportunity. In redraft leagues he should be drafted as your WR4/5/6 until his ADP moves up later in the preseason… But you can probably wait to grab him If reports confirm as the WR1 in Detroit he can be considered a WR3/4 with upside. Act accordingly.
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