Fantasy Football Free Agency: Tyrell Williams Signs With The Oakland Raiders
The wide receiver market was not nearly as good in free agency as it was via trade, making Tyrell Williams one of the best options out there for teams to sign. The Raiders made what appeared to be a sizable commitment for him – four years and $44.3 million – but all $10 million guaranteed come in the first year of the deal. Oakland is giving Williams a chance to prove he can be their WR2 behind Antonio Brown, but can cut bait after 2019 if things do not work out.
There is a good argument to be made that Williams has talent. For starters, he has been efficient at most target depths for his career.
Of course, Tyrell Williams has had the luxury of playing with a Hall of Fame-caliber QB in Philip Rivers, so it is fair to question just how much credit he gets for his own efficiency. One easy way to evaluate how Williams has done is to just look at players Rivers has thrown to. Here is his AYA chart by WR over the past five seasons.
You can see that Williams has actually been the most efficient WR over the past five seasons for Rivers in terms of AYA, including Keenan Allen. Even accounting for target depth, it would appear to be unwise to discount Williams.
Tyrell Williams 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook
Williams will likely face very little competition for targets after Brown takes his 25 to 30 percent off the top. Oakland released Jordy Nelson, and Jared Cook remains a free agent. The trio of Marcell Ateman, Seth Roberts, and new signee J.J. Nelson do not present much of a threat for work. It is likely that the biggest threat to Williams’ target-load will be added via the NFL Draft.
The Raiders will middle of the pack in 2018 with 556 pass attempts. Having added a premier weapon in Brown likely keeps that number from going too much lower in 2019. 80 targets (15 percent of 550) is a reasonable floor here, and if nobody is able to push Williams for the WR2 spot, that number could get as high as 115 (20 percent of 575) or so.
The Williams addition has not received a lot of buzz, and folks are likely disappointed that he ended up with the Raiders. However, right now this appears to be a terrific destination for WR talent. Williams will rarely see an opposing defense’s best corner and has already proven that he can maximize his opportunities.
The biggest question mark in this equation is certainly Derek Carr, who most media folk have as a dead-man walking right now. However, Carr’s 2018 may not have been as bad as people think. He completed 69 percent of his passes, and was 20th in passing yards per attempt despite playing more than half the season without Amari Cooper. With Brown now in tow, the quality of the entire offense is likely to rise, and that tide should raise the Williams ship as well.
Fantasy Football Free Agency Signings:
Featured Image Attributed to Jeffrey Beall