As I’ve been doing some drafts in the last 24 hours I’ve talked myself into two more players that didn’t make it on to my initial WR target list – even if the title of that post should have precluded any amendment. The two names are Marques Colston and Mike Williams.
I’ll start with Williams because I think the case for him is much more straightforward. He doesn’t even have an ADP right now and I’ve been personally slow to come around to the idea that he could be relevant this year. But that’s because I assumed the Bills were just screwing around with their WR depth chart and didn’t actually intend to start him. But I’m more willing to take them at their word now. Also, the aforementioned draft cost does mean that it’s very difficult to make a mistake on Williams if I am wrong. There are two reasons that I think most people are still reluctant to add Williams and those two reasons are in conflict. One is EJ Manuel. The other is Sammy Watkins.
But those two objections can’t co-exist with each other. If Manuel can make Watkins fantasy relevant and worth Watkins’ WR38 ADP, then there’s no reason that he can’t make Williams relevant as well. In fact we already know what Mike Williams can do with a horrible QB because he played with Josh Freeman for so long. Josh Freeman is out of football. So then is it the case that Watkins is so much better than Williams and therefore will be a target hog that will make it impossible for Williams to have fantasy value? If you buy into the Sammy Watkins transformational talent narrative then I guess. I think Watkins will be a fine pro but I don’t think there’s anything transformational about his talent. He is fast, can take screens to the house, and can get behind defenses. But Williams probably has the more prototypical WR1 skillset. If you want to compare their “prospect-ness” here’s a heatmap from the College Career Graphs App.
While Williams played at Syracuse and did not encounter the same level of opponents that Watkins did, Williams’ performance on the two Market Share numbers is equal to or better than Watkins. Also consider that a really great season for Watkins to have as a rookie would be 950 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mike Williams has already had that kind of a season. It happened when he was a rookie.
The chances that Williams’ hamstrings are totally shot are probably fair to middling, but I’m still adding him as my last pick in leagues this year.
Then as to Marques Colston it simply occurred to me while writing my QB target piece that there would be little chance for Drew Brees to really have a huge season without getting a good year from Colston as well. Players like Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks will be good for rolling up yardage, but Brees will need touchdowns from Colston and Jimmy Graham in order to sniff 45 touchdowns. The only reservation you can really have with Colston is related to his age and his feet. But if you’re taking recent plantar fasciitis victim Jimmy Graham in the first round, I don’t know how you can pass up Marques Colston in the sixth round. Note that over the last half of 2013, Colston was pretty much the same guy he’s been for every year of his career.
Hopefully you’ll note that in these two targets I’m also trying to get guys who are bigger receivers and have reasonable chances to be the top option in their pass game. Colston’s odds of being the top option are probably reduced, but when you adjust for price paid, I think they look a lot better.