Mike Williams Injury Update Clouds Fantasy Outlook as Game-Time Decision in Week 1

Jason Schandl
Mike Williams' injury update clouds the fantasy outlook of the Chargers' offense in Week 1.
Mike Williams' injury update clouds the fantasy outlook of the Chargers' offense in Week 1. / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

After struggling with injuries to start his NFL career, Mike Williams played 31 of a possible 32 regular season games in 2018 and 2019. Those injury woes seemed to be behind him, leaving room for big fantasy football upside.

He's off to a rough start in 2020, however, and he's already being talked about as a game-time decision with a shoulder injury in Week 1.

Williams only caught 49 passes in 2019, but he did see 90 targets, and he turned that volume into 1,001 yards thanks to a league-leading average of 20.4 yards per reception. Even with a potential downgrade from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor at QB, Williams is going to be a high-upside fantasy option if he suits up — especially in Week 1 against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that ranked 29th in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric in 2019.

The injury definitely leaves some room for concern, however. And if Williams doesn't suit up, things become tricky in the Chargers' offense.

Rookie wide receivers Joe Reed and/or K.J. Hill would be called upon to pick up the slack in the offense. With no clarity as to which one is the team's preferred option and with both being late-round picks (fifth round for Reed and seventh for Hill), neither would be exciting fantasy options.

What Williams' absence could mean is more work for the team's top-three receiving options: Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler. With Williams' primary role being that of a downfield threat, however, they wouldn't likely see a huge boost either.

With so much uncertainty around this situation, any fantasy managers who are expecting to start Williams in Week 1 should have a back-up plan at the ready. Given the Chargers vs. Bengals game kicks off at 4:05 p.m., if Williams is going to be a true game-time decision the best move would likely be to just start someone else if you have a similarly strong option playing at 1 p.m.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.