Shawn Siegele looks at what it means for Javonte Williams to avoid PUP and what his trajectory will likely be if he stays healthy in 2023. Where should we be selecting him now in fantasy drafts?
On a few podcasts last week, I mentioned that if the prices for Breece Hall and Williams were reversed, I’d still be trying to create at least some exposure to each player. Then training camps started and we got positive news on both guys. Hall was put on PUP but is supposedly looking superhuman in workouts. He’s a fun player to rank, as his upside is the type of production you want to see from the 1.01.
Williams avoided PUP, which obviously sent reverberations throughout the fantasy community. The potential star RB is not my highest-rostered RB as I take a lot of a certain late-round RB who will be the focus of a Zero RB piece soon, but I’m just above 30% on him. As I was commenting to Ben yesterday, this is both good and bad. I’m glad I have such an extreme exposure at prices that will look really good in a month, and it’s a relief that all of those shares aren’t printed on funny money. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to add him in those prices for another 30-50 drafts, and certainly not in the all-important FFPC Main Events.
Of course, just having Williams on the field doesn’t mean he’s healthy. Cam Akers’ performance in his lightning return from the Achilles injury, and J.K. Dobbins’ lingering issues from an injury that shared similarities with Williams’ knee damage are two recent examples.
But avoiding PUP does provide tangible insight into his progress in a way that mere offseason proclamations about being “ahead of schedule” do not. The most obvious takeaway is that Williams’ price will rise, and if you’re a Williams believer, you’re probably going to chase his price and be happy to get shares all the way up. Beyond the injuries, how should we be thinking about Williams as a football player and how does that factor into our overall game plan for 2023?