Fantasy Football: Caleb Williams Is the Ideal Late-Round Quarterback to Draft

Austan Kas
Austan Kas@AustanKas

Being the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft doesn't guarantee success in Year 1 -- just look at Bryce Young's 2023.

But Caleb Williams, the 2024 top overall pick, has a chance to have a much better rookie campaign than Young did, both in real life and in fantasy football.

What is Williams' fantasy outlook for 2024, and should you take a shot on him in one-quarterback drafts? Let's dive in.

Caleb Williams Fantasy Football Outlook

A Dream Situation

Typically, quarterbacks who go first overall in the NFL Draft walk into situations that are pretty dire -- poor offensive line, not many weapons, and so on -- giving them an uphill battle to fantasy relevance in Year 1.

That's not the case with Williams, and it's a huge reason why he's an appealing fantasy option in 2024.

Williams will be throwing to a pair of legit, proven wideouts in D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen, the latter of whom the Chicago Bears acquired via trade this offseason. But that's not all as Chicago drafted receiver Rome Odunze ninth overall this spring and also signed running back D'Andre Swift in free agency.

On paper, this is a superb situation for Williams. Allen has made at least 97 catches in six of the past seven years while Moore is coming off a 1,364-yard, 8-touchdown season in 2023 and has been a quality producer throughout his career. Swift brings juice as a pass-catcher, too, averaging 353 receiving yards per season. Oh, and Odunze was the third wideout taken in the 2024 NFL Draft, so he has plenty of talent, too.

Wait, there's more. Up front, Chicago boasts an offensive line that PFF ranks 11th-best.

In truth, it's hard to imagine a No. 1 pick QB walking into a better situation than what Williams is getting in Chicago. All the boxes are checked in terms of situation.

What Does Williams Bring to the Table?

Of course, the situation won't matter much if Williams doesn't play well. While we can never know for sure what any quarterback will look like until we see him out there in games, we can feel good about the upside Williams offers, and that upside is what we're after.

Williams -- who FanDuel Sportsbook lists at +115 odds to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year -- was forecasted to be the No. 1 pick from pretty much the time he took over at Oklahoma as a freshman and put up 21 tuddies with 4 picks. He then transferred to USC and amassed 72 touchdowns to 10 interceptions across his final two years.

His career college numbers are pretty silly: 10.3 adjusted yards per attempt, 66.9% completion percentage and 93 passing touchdowns to 14 picks.

The numbers tell you he's special, and your eyes do, too.

In today's fantasy landscape, it's difficult to be a QB1 (top 12) without at least some rushing production. Williams should be able to do enough in that regard. He ran for 442 yards and 382 yards his first two seasons before rushing for just 142 yards in 2023. He's shown a nose for the end zone, too, scoring 27 rushing TDs over his three college seasons.

Where Should You Draft Him?

Williams is firmly in the late-round-quarterback range in one-QB formats, and he's a very appealing target at that average draft position (ADP).

According to FantasyPros' ADP data, Williams is currently the QB17, going right around signal-callers such as Justin Herbert (QB15), Trevor Lawrence (QB16, Kirk Cousins (QB18), Matthew Stafford (QB19) and Aaron Rodgers (QB20).

You can make a case for Williams having more upside than any of those guys.

Caleb Williams Fantasy Football Projection

numberFire's NFL projections are bullish on Williams' fantasy prospects for 2024, ranking the rookie as the QB12.

numberFire's model projects Williams for 4,024 passing yards and 26.3 passing touchdowns in addition to 310.9 rushing yards and 3.3 rushing scores if Williams stays healthy over a 17-game season.

When you compare those numbers to his ADP, Williams looks like a great late-round QB to zero in on in season-long leagues and in FanDuel's best-ball drafts.

Sportsbooks are high on Williams' rookie campaign, as well. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL passing props have his lines at 3450.5 passing yards and 22.5 passing touchdowns -- lofty numbers for someone yet to make his debut. He's also listed at -115 odds to lead rookies in passing yards.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.