Is Dez Bryant always in your starting lineup? What about Andre Johnson? Brandon Lloyd? Antonio Brown? Steve Smith, maybe?
If you answered yes any of these questions, then I pose another to you: What do all of these players have in common?
Answer: They all have fewer fantasy points this season than Buccaneer WR Mike Williams.
As a matter of fact, Williams is tied with Miles Austin, Julio Jones, Eric Decker and Larry Fitzgerald with 9.8 fantasy points per game (standard), good for 16th at the wide receiver position. Yet, of every name I have listed so far, Williams is the only one who is not owned in 100% of all fantasy leagues. He is owned in 54%.
So now the question becomes: “Should a player tied for 16th in the NFL in points make your fantasy starting lineup?” I simply answer, “Yes, yes he should.”
Fantasy owners will remember Williams’ 2010 rookie campaign where he pulled down 65 receptions for 965 yards and 11 touchdowns. An underwhelming 2011 season led to him falling off the fantasy radar, being drafted as little more than a bench filler this year. But over the last two games, heads are beginning to turn as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers show that they are not afraid to take to the air. In those two games, Mike Williams has 8 receptions for 228 yards and a score.
As Josh Freeman and the Buccaneer offense open up the passing game, Mike Williams has seen an his reception numbers rise, which points to him becoming a more consistent target as the year goes on. Of his 15 receptions so far this season, eight have come in the last two games.
But the main reason why I vote yes to Mike Williams being placed in your fantasy lineup is what the man is able to do with those receptions. Seven of his catches have been for more than 20 yards. He is tied for the NFL lead with three of the receptions going for more than 40 yards. And he is averaging more than 22 yards per catch. Of players with 10 or more grabs so far this year, only Cleveland’s Josh Gordon has a higher number.
So when setting your lineup for Sunday’s game, thank about making some room in that second receiver or flex spot for Mike Williams. It’s time to start using all of those points that have been accumulating on your bench.