With the season-ending injury to Hunter Henry, there are fantasy points to go around in the Los Angeles Chargers’ receiving game. And while Keenan Allen will inevitably take a large percentage of the available targets, there’s likely going to be a second viable fantasy option. Although Mike Williams is a possible breakout candidate, Tyrell Williams is the forgotten man who may very well be the favorite to become a WR2 in PPR leagues.
Tyrell Williams is the most proven option outside of Allen and, at worst is the WR3 on a team that has consistently finished among the top 10 in total pass attempts for multiple seasons.
Philip Rivers has started all 16 games each of the last 12 seasons, and entering his age 37 season, there’s little reason to believe that he won’t be available during any week this season. And while he’s only led the league in passing attempts one time during his career, he has attempted at least 570 passes each of the last four seasons.
Even with a conservative estimate, Rivers likely projects with 570 passing attempts in 2018, which should easily put him in the top half of the league.
Past Production and 2018 Potential
2017 was a down season for Tyrell Williams, finishing as the WR43 with only 139.8 PPR points. He saw a decreased workload in 2017, but was able to improve on his already good efficiency.
The reason for Williams’ increased workload in 2016 can be explained by the injury to Allen early in the season. During 2017, Allen managed to play all 16 games for the first time in his career which, paired with the emergence of Henry, meant that Williams experienced a significant decrease in opportunity.
Allen’s 27-percent target share from 2017 is likely sustainable for 2018. If you remove those targets from the previously projected 570 pass attempts, that leaves about 415 targets for the rest of the offense. What stands out when looking at Ken Whisenhunt’s past offenses is the lack of separation between the WR2 and WR3 in target share.
So even if Mike Williams is the WR2 and Tyrell Williams is the WR3, their target shares are likely to be very close. Using the FFDraftPrep projection machine with his 2017 efficiency and the 3-year average of Whisenhunt’s WR2 shares, we can project Tyrell Williams for 77 targets, 48 receptions, 819 yards, and five TDs. That would give him 157 PPR points, which would have finished as WR36 in 2017.
That would make him a WR3, but if Allen misses any time or Mike Williams fails to perform, Tyrell Williams could have WR2 upside.
Average Draft Position
According to the RotoViz MFL10 ADP app, Tyrell Williams is currently being drafted as WR60 in the 14th round of MFL10s at pick 159 , an almost identical draft spot to his unproven teammate, Mike Williams.
Mike Williams’ only advantage when it comes to potential target share is his draft capital from 2017, but after missing significant time in college and during his rookie season, there’s reason to believe that the coaching staff won’t overload him with targets during his first full season in the NFL. Tyrell Williams has already proven the ability to be a high volume WR with efficiency.
WR60 is well below even his 2017 finish, and as we’ve seen, he should get a larger workload in 2018. Based on the this projection, Tyrell Williams appears to be a player who should easily outperform his ADP, and he will also likely have some week-winning upside on best ball rosters.