After watching Avengers: Endgame, I couldn’t stop thinking about the multiverse. Then, my mind drifted to the Projection Machine, which acts as a fantasy football time machine. Every little tweak in the timeline of fantasy football can have a wide range of repercussions that echo across the league. So, in this series, I’ll dial up that Projection Machine to examine players who could experience big swings in fantasy value if certain things break the right way.
Anthony Lynn’s Tenure
Anthony Lynn has 21 regular-season wins through the first two years of his tenure as Chargers head coach. They’ve been somewhat pass-heavy with 56% and 58% passing rates over the past two seasons, respectively. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has shown a tendency to lean on the pass as well. In each of his past five years as OC, Whisenhunt’s passing rate has fallen somewhere between 56% and 60%.
With a projection of 9.5 wins from Vegas, we’d expect to see similar play-calling tendencies in 2019. There’s been plenty of discussion about the Chargers’ RB corps all offseason with plenty of different conclusions, but there’s another position group that’s catching my eye.
What Will Probably Happen…
We’ll split the difference of the past two years and call it a 57-43 split between pass and run plays this year for our base projection.
The wide receiver situation is interesting since Keenan Allen is already banged up and won’t play until the regular season. Even if Allen is at 100% and gets his full complement of snaps, what is Mike Williams’ outlook? He’s currently going as WR25 in FFPC drafts after a solid 2018. There’s some volatility to his ADP, though, with Williams coming off the board anywhere from the 46th to the 97th pick of the draft.
Even with Allen getting 25% of the market share, there are still plenty of targets to go around. The floor projection for Williams has him with 90 targets on the year and somewhere in the vicinity of 185 PPR points.1
What Could Happen…
The upside for Williams is exciting because there are a couple of avenues for him to break out this season. In his floor projection, I assumed just a 17.5% market share and gave Allen a 27% share. If Allen is already starting the season off at less than 100%, it’s reasonable to assume that Williams could see more of a featured role.
Giving him just over 100 targets for the season gives us a breakout for Williams. I knocked down his TD efficiency a touch but even a 70-catch season in the Chargers offense could be useful. This projection puts him at 221 PPR Points which would’ve been good for a WR17 finish last year.2
We’ve had articles calling for some potential regression for Williams from a TD perspective but eight seems reasonable. Even with the return of Hunter Henry on the horizon, the volume bump for Williams will make up for any efficiency dip that may be coming his way.