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10 Re-draft Targets in 10 Days: #3 Tampa Mike Williams

8328255383_efeb64e5b7_b_thumb.jpgThis is day three of my re-draft target series and thus far I’ve given you two WRs that you can get for WR16 and WR25 ADP, who combined for 23 touchdowns last year and have 39 total touchdowns between them over the past two seasons. Translation, they’ve shown a decent track record of doing something that gives you 6 points on fantasy Sunday.

Today I’m going to add a guy who caught 9 touchdowns last year and is available for WR40 in ADP. That player is Mike Williams.

In just three players – none of whom cost more than WR16 and one costs as little as WR40 – I’m giving you 32 touchdowns from 2012. That might seem like a stupid offer given that we can’t actually apply 2012 touchdowns to 2013 fantasy results. But to illustrate how much value is actually there, let’s look at some other players that have higher ADPs, but didn’t combine for 32 touchdowns last year:

2012 Touchdowns ADP
Larry Fitzgerald 4 WR8
Percy Harvin 5.3* WR7
Wes Welker 6 WR15
Randall Cobb 8.5* WR9
Calvin Johnson 5 WR1
Total 28.8

*based on per game rate applied to a full season

There are five receivers on that list. THERE ARE FIVE FREAKING RECEIVERS ON THAT LIST!! They didn’t combine for the number of touchdowns that my value plays combined for and the very cheapest of those five (Welker) is being drafted ahead of my most expensive WR (Colston).

An important point to discuss here is my emphasis on touchdowns. One school of thought might be to ignore them because of mean reversion. But while it’s true that a 2012 touchdown doesn’t have a 1:1 value correlation with a 2013 touchdown expectation, demonstrating ability to catch touchdowns does matter and is also related to the physical attributes for a player. We’re often going to be targeting players that either have shown a repeated ability to catch touchdowns, or have the types of bodies that tend to be able to repeat touchdown totals. Then we’re going to get discounts on those players so we get some extra cushion.

Excuse me for that mini-rant. Let’s move on to Mike Williams.

If I told you how you could pick up, for WR40 type of prices, a player that looked like a high upside guy coming out of college, had already logged a top-20 season at his position, had just caught 9 touchdowns in the previous season, and was basically tied for being the #1 WR on his own team…is that something you might be interested in?

Mike Williams the High Upside Prospect

Williams now has three years in the league, which makes it easy to forget his college resume, but I always like to revisit a player’s college production because I think it can help inform our expectations of what kind of ceilings we should expect players to have as pros. Below I’ve posted Williams’ college stats along with some other high upside players using the heatmap tab of the College Career Graphs App. Williams’ market share of yards (49%) and touchdowns (55%) in his final college season really stand out. He looks just as good as the other high upside guys on the heatmap. He was also efficient in college, posting over 10 yards per target.

download (34)

Even though Williams has been in the league for three years already (and has posted two very good fantasy seasons) it’s worthwhile to remember that this is the kind of career we should expect out of someone who dominated college competition like he did.

Mike Williams the #1 WR

If you count up passing targets after week 8 of the 2012 season, here are the leaders for Tampa Bay:

Player Targets
Mike Williams 90
Vincent Jackson 87

Mike Williams is tied for being the #1 WR on his own team. You can get him at WR40. His co-#1WR is going at WR12. That’s the deal of the century (I say this a lot, so you should probably keep that in mind when evaluating whether or not it’s actually the deal of the century).

My WR model has Williams projected as the 17th best WR for the 2013 season. That model considers Williams’ size and 2012 production. I’m even allowing for mean reversion in Williams’ touchdown totals when I make that prediction. My most likely outcome right now is that Williams maintains all of his 2012 receiving yardage numbers and then his touchdown numbers fall off a little. But the important thing to keep in mind about mean reversion is that it happens to every player. That’s why it’s important to look for players with the best chance of repeating results (large receivers tend to do this) and also why it’s important to get a discount.

Here’s the case for Mike Williams in summary:

  • He’s a big wide receiver. Big wide receivers that have caught touchdowns in the past are the best bet to catch touchdowns in the future.
  • He’s in his physical prime and has three years of NFL experience under his belt. After players have been in the league for a few years, their results stop varying wildly and become more predictable.
  • He’s available in the part of the draft where people will be taking their 4th WR. I have him forecast solidly in the WR2 group in a 12 team league (again, I have him forecast to be the 17th highest scoring WR).
  • He’s tied for being the first option on his own team.
  • He’s available at a discount to similar players from 2012.
  • If you add up these points, they make Williams the ultimate safe pick because he has all of the things in place that help guarantee reproduction of prior results.

If you can find another young player that is co-#1WR on his own team, is a big bodied WR with a history of production, and is available for WR40 or cheaper, let me know and I’ll add that guy to my target list.

Thus far I’ve given you Marques Colston, Eric Decker and Mike Williams. Three down, seven to go.

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