As we anticipate the start of the 2017 NFL season, the DFF Degenerates (@DFF_Degenerates) are tearing down every team in the NFL – #32teams32days. We’re going round-trip to tackle the entire country – AFC East to West, then NFC West to East. We didn’t have to do it, but we did.
Buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride. We’re traveling to another dimension between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge… that’s the signpost up ahead – our next stop – the RED ZONE.
Continuing our series, we visit the
Los Angeles Chargers
Is Mike Williams a jinxed NFL name?
@DynoEconomist: The injury is not promising, but people are overreacting. I feel he was over-drafted, but Mike Williams is very talented. He has shown the ability to dominate the game at the biggest stage of college football. If you can get him for a 2nd round rookie pick price tag, jump all over that.
@DiBari22: He’s just the most recent bust at WR named Mike Williams, and the second #7 overall pick to be garbage in the last three years just like Kevin White before him. I was low on him before the draft, but now I’m super-duper extra low on him. By the time he’s healthy, Cardale Jones will be his quarterback, yuck.
@DynastyGOAT: Mike Williams is supremely talented, but a lower back injury at such a young age is a terrible sign for his long-term health. The name itself could be jinxed, but the Chargers wide receiving corps in general, seems to be jinxed as well. Keenan Allen has fallen to season ending injuries twice in as many seasons. His lacerated kidney was a completely random event resulting from a rogue helmet to his back. Mike Williams was only the latest victim of this injury bug, Tyrell Williams better watch his back.
@bdhawkes: Clemson’s Mike Williams has no relation to the previous wide receivers who bear his name; his game doesn’t resemble their games. This version of Mike Williams has a resume that includes dominant performances versus the best cornerbacks college football has to offer. If you want to know how the Los Angeles Chargers front office views this situation, follow their wide receiver paychecks at the close of 2017:
- Mike Williams – $12.5 million dead cap
- Keenan Allen – $5.7 million dead cap
- Tyrell Williams – $0
Being the seventh overall pick in the draft carries significant weight, and it will result in significant opportunity for the former Clemson Tiger.
@DFF_Walk: I was not particularly high on Mike Williams, in what was a weak wide receiver draft class, before the injury so needless to say my opinion hasn’t improved with the herniated disk in his back. No one seems to talks about the fact that he fractured his neck in college and I’m no doctor, but neck and back would seem to be the foundation of the skeletal system. We’re talking about a big bodied wide receiver who relies on physicality to win. Williams is a prototypical Philip Rivers wide receiver much in the way that Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd were in years past. It’s my contention that if the Chargers didn’t select Williams he would have likely fallen out of the 1st rd of the 2017 draft.
What if Rivers gets hurt? Who helms the offense then?
@DynoEconomist: Colin Kaepernick.
@DFF_Walk: If Rivers gets hurt it doesn’t matter who’s under center much like 30 other teams in the league (the Patriots have already proven otherwise). Career backup Kellen Clemens and 2nd-year project Cardale Jones certainly aren’t the answer. It’s entirely possible that Kaepernick is still on the street and would take the call (HC Anthony Lynn does have experience with mobile quarterbacks see Tyrod Taylor).
Is Keenan Allen the best WR on this team? What to make of Tyrell Williams?
@DynoEconomist: Tyrell Williams is a backup level receiver who should never be starting unless there is an injury. San Diego drafted Mike Williams for a reason. Keenan Allen is a much better player.
@DFF_Walk: Keenan Allen is a technician at wide receiver and when healthy a superior talent to Tyrell Williams. That is outside of the old adage that ‘the best ability is availability’ which clearly goes to Williams. From a fantasy perspective, both experienced their best statistical seasons as the primary recipient of wide receiver targets from Philip Rivers. Add a 2nd-year Hunter Henry, the rotted corpse of Antonio Gates, a sprinkle of Travis Benjamin, and whatever they get from Mike Williams in 2017 – and both disappoint on their own right.
@DFF_Madman: I’m a big Tyrell Williams fan. I like him as much as Allen. He’s a metrics marvel: tall, fast, athletic and fights for jump balls. Through his experience starting last year he became a great slot WR.
His opportunity came because of injuries to others, but he seized the chance to become a viable starting WR for the Chargers. He’s also going to stick around based on ROI alone. Tyrell Williams had over 1000 yards and 7 TDs at the low cost of $525,000. Most dynasty owners picked him up for free, or cheaply. This UDFA became a household name and saved fantasy football seasons. He isn’t going away. Mike Williams is hurt. Allen will find a way to get injured again. Everything Tyrell did last year is sustainable.
Melvin Gordon, then what?
@DynoEconomist: Branden Oliver will probably catch some passes, but he is only worth rostering in very deep leagues. If Gordon goes down I do not expect his backups to be worth starting. It will be an ugly RBBC.
@DFF_Walk: I believe the correct phrasing is Melvin Gordon – What? Call me skeptical but I saw a running back that was totally volume-dependent among a lack of options in 2016. Sure he had 10 rushing touchdowns, but he also had 82% of the rushing attempts through week 13 (Gordon was injured early in week 14). Now Oliver, Farrow and Andre Williams aren’t exactly a murderers’ row of running backs behind him but I think Oliver resumes his role as the passing-down back which severely caps Gordon’s value as the only show in town. I can easily see Gordon finishing outside the top 10 at the running back position.
Hunter Henry – worth his ADP?
@DynoEconomist: Nope. Henry is being drafted close to his ceiling right now in both redraft and dynasty. I will pass on him every day of the week.
@DFF_Walk: No, but tight end is as touchdown-centric fantasy position as there is in the NFL. Henry experienced a 15% touchdown rate that is sure to regress with the return of Keenan Allen and the continued presence of Antonio Gates in the red zone and goal-to-go situations. Henry is currently being taken in redraft leagues at pick 103 overall according to FantasyPros. I’ll happily wait and take Eric Ebron (118) or Jack Doyle (125), a full 1-2 rounds later.
@DFF_Walk: Gus Bradley will have the Rams defense playing a hybrid 4-3/ cover-3 defense which will allow Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to come screaming off the edges. Couple that, with talent on all three levels of their defense (Perryman injury leaves them thin in the middle) and I see a defense that could threaten Top-5 status this season. Desmond King is a name for the IDP Dynasty community to keep an eye on. All the kid does is make plays!
San Diego is definitely not as nice as I was told. And the climate is worse too… all the smog and traffic. Oh… wait. That’s right. The Chargers are in Los Angeles now. Well, that wraps up the AFC. Tomorrow, we’re on to Seattle and the NFC West.
Thank you for reading. We hope this helps you on your quest to find the Holy Grail of dynasty football.
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Previous articles in this series are available here.