Mike Williams had a lost 2017 rookie season, catching 11 passes in 10 games. Then he had a breakthrough in 2018, with 10 touchdown catches to finish as WR20 in standard fantasy scoring.
Then last year Williams topped 1,000 yards for the first time, and he led the league in yards per catch (20.4). But he had just two touchdown catches, and fell to WR37 in standard fantasy scoring.
Heading into 2020, with easy correction to see coming in the touchdown column, Williams was easy to point to as a fantasy sleeper.
Williams, with Tyrod Taylor starting, had four receptions (on nine targets) for 69 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. Then in Justin Herbert’s first two starts, he had a total of three catches for 31 yards on five targets. A hamstring injury in Week 3 led to him missing Week 4.
Mike Williams Had A Big Game in Week 5
Williams caught a touchdown from Herbert early in Week 5 against the New Orleans Saints. Then, Keenan Allen missed the second half of the game with a back injury. Williams had a 64-yard touchdown on a blown coverage, and showed his athleticism on a key catch late in the fourth quarter. He had five catches for 109 yards with those two touchdowns in the game, finishing as WR2 for the week in standard fantasy scoring.
A Week 6 bye should help Allen be healthy for Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Any lingering of Williams’ hamstring issue should be aided by the week off week.
Of Williams’ 14 career touchdowns, six have been from 20 or more yards out with another that was 19 yards. Averaging over 20 yards per catch with Philip Rivers as his quarterback last year says a lot, and makes Herbert’s deep ball proficiency noteworthy.
After this week’s bye, the Chargers get the following matchups. Rankings are based on Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR scoring, through Week 5.
Week 7: Jaguars (13th-most fantasy points to WR)
Week 8: Denver Broncos (tied for 6th-most fantasy points to WR)
Week 9: Las Vegas Raiders (14th-fewest fantasy points to WR)
Week 10: Miami Dolphins (14th-most fantasy points to WR)
Week 11: New York Jets (15th-most fantasy points to WR)
Those middle-of-the-pack matchups (Jaguars, Raiders, Dolphins and Jets) are more favorable than they look. Of the above five teams, only the Raiders aren’t in the top half of the league in total targets allowed to wide receivers. And the Broncos have only played four games.
Mike Williams Fantasy Outlook
Williams always has some boom-or-bust to him. But he will be on the flex radar in 12 and 14-team leagues as bye weeks get going, with WR2 potential some weeks.
The rough two-game stretch, followed by the missed game in Week 4, led to Williams being dropped in a chunk of leagues. So he’s 41 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues, 40.4 percent owned in ESPN leagues and somehow only 4 percent! owned in NFL.com leagues. For fantasy managers who can do it, Williams is well worth an add-and-stash before the competition catches up next week.