So much for watching an epic battle flourish between two first round wide receivers for league wide domination. We knew that Chargers’ rookie receiver Mike Williams was recovering from a herniated disc in his back but many hoped it wouldn’t affect his rookie season. Now, we’re not so sure:
Chargers' first-round pick Mike Williams might need season-ending back surgery, sources tell ESPN.... https://t.co/pfMCKYyCdB— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 19, 2017
There are conflicting reports about whether or not surgery will actually be needed, but nonetheless, it’s clear Williams’ season is in jeopardy. So what does this mean from a fantasy perspective?
Luckily the Chargers are pretty loaded with wide receiver talent so while adding a player like Williams—especially in the red zone—would’ve helped Philip Rivers, not having the first-year receiver isn’t going to break him. Rivers still has plenty of pass catchers to throw the ball to, including Hypetrain alum Keenan Allen and second-year tight end Hunter Henry. If Allen can stay healthy, he’s now the clear number one guy with no one nipping at his heels. Henry will look to build off a strong rookie campaign in which he led the Chargers in receiving touchdowns.
The biggest benefactor of the Mike Williams’ injury is Tyrell Williams. Williams was the Chargers leading receiver last year in receptions (69), targets (120), yards (1059) and second in touchdowns (7). Even with Allen back fully healthy, there will be a well established role in this offense for the older Williams. I was initially setting lowered expectations for Williams this season simply because of the addition of the younger Williams. However, with him likely starting on the season on the shelf, expect Tyrell Williams to continue to build off of his breakout season last year. Williams now climbs my WR rankings out of the 49 spot into the 32nd spot, replacing DeSean Jackson.
Who do you think benefits most from Mike Williams’ uncertainty?
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