WR Mike Williams, Free agent
HT: 6-2, WT: 221, Born: 5-18-1987, College: Syracuse, Drafted: Round 4
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Turbin (241), A Holmes (242), Mike Williams (243), C Sims (244),
Position: J Blackmon (240-WR78), A Holmes (242-WR79), Mike Williams (243 - WR80), J Brown (250-WR81), M Sanu (255-WR82)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: C Latimer (221), Mike Williams (222), E Royal (223),
Position: R Woods (214-WR72), C Latimer (221-WR73), Mike Williams (222 - WR74), E Royal (223-WR75), D Thomas (231-WR76)
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The fall from grace of Mike Williams in Tampa Bay was a precipitous one as he went from looking poised to become a force among NFL and fantasy wide receivers to being unceremoniously shipped off to Buffalo for pennies on the dollar. Attitude on the field and in the classroom as well as trouble away from the game were his downfall. An agreement he had with a Tampa court regarding the misdemeanor criminal mischief and trespassing charges which facilitated his departure from Florida was recently thrown out, but it shouldn't concern owners or Bills fans, as he will probably face no more than probation and community service from the courts and likely nothing from the league. Which then leaves his performance on the field. Williams should be fully healed from a torn hamstring which cost him the second half of 2013 and has suffered no setbacks healing from that or the stab wound he took back in March. Williams isn't an exceptional talent, but when he is on his game he is a very solid red zone target and while he seems to be destined to start the season behind Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods as the third wide receiver, he could be a very useful end zone target for quarterback EJ Manuel. Ultimately though, Williams currently is no more than a WR6 or WR7 at bestóbench depth until he proves he can put up points and that Manuel won't hold him back.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Freeman continued to look Williams' way in the red zone From 17 yards out, Williams lined up as the split end on the left side of a shotgun formation. He used his hands to get a clean release to the outside and beat his man down the sideline. Freeman fit the ball into a tight window between a converging safety and trailing corner. Williams made a very nice catch in traffic that was also thrown low and not exactly on target. Williams opened up the game with a back shoulder reception for 7 yards, a route they often run for the athletic receiver. In addition, he came down with a 7-yard square in and a slant when he found a hole in the Jets zone coverage. Many of the targets Williams didn't come up with were uncatchable balls at his feet and over his head. He left the game in the third quarter with cramps, but returned shortly after.
Week 2 - Williams struggled to get open against the Saints corners. They did a great job of jamming him at the line and disrupting the rhythm between he and Freeman. He saw a mix of Jabari Greer and Keenan Lewis, but both did well locking him down all day. He did receive one red zone target, a back shoulder fade that he probably should have caught, but the Greer jarred it loose it the air and they both crashed to the field as the ball trickled out of the end zone. He shook free from Keenan Lewis on a crossing route over the middle that netted 6 yards for his longest gain of the day. He also caught a 3 yard hot read when Freeman read blitz, but Malcolm Jenkins made a nice play and stopped the play from going anywhere.
Week 3 - Williams became the number one option for Freeman midway through the game after the Jackson injury. Williams received the most targets from any Bucs player in the game with nine. Williams began the game with two catches on the opening drive. The first catch consisted of Williams beating press man coverage to the outside and Freeman lofting over the defensive back and into Williams arms. The second came when Williams beat the corner to the inside on a slant for about 7 yards. Williams physicality somewhat neutralized the Pats game plan of bumping receivers off routes, but they did have success at certain points in the game disrupting timing and rhythm. After a crossing route from a trips bunch formation, Williams came up lame with a leg injury in the 2nd quarter, but he did return to the game. However, after being injured, he only caught one more pass for 4 yards. If Jackson misses any time, Williams will see increased targets for the Bucs.
Week 4 - With Jackson ailing, Williams became Glennon's most trusted target throughout the day. Williams connected with Glennon for the lone score in the first quarter. From a trips bunch right formation, Williams lined up on the left and beat corner Jerraud Powers on a slant to the inside. Powers played soft coverage and didn't react quick enough to even contest Glennon's throw giving Williams the easy six. Williams mainly ran short or intermediate routes attempting to get Glennon comfortable and in a rhythm, which explains the low 9.5 yards per catch average. Williams made a nice play in zone coverage by running a square in and sitting down in the hole of the zone. Glennon found him for 14 yards on this first catch of the game. Williams caught a 13 yard out route against Powers in which he snapped off the route a tad early because he recognized blitz from the Cardinals. The blitz almost reached Glennon, but he made an ill-advised back foot throw to Williams who came out of his break early to snag the ball. If he had run his entire route, Glennon would have either been planted into the grass or Powers would have intercepted the ball. Williams converted on four of six targets with no drops. He remained on the field in almost all formations and ran passing routes on almost every designed pass play. He continues to block well in the run game, also. He's proving to be an all-around and trustworthy player.
Week 7 - Glennon targeted Williams five times in Sunday's loss to the Falcons. The hamstring injury that plagued and sidelined Williams the previous week may have had something to do with his low targets. Williams looked slow in and out of cuts. At certain times, it appeared he was taking plays off as well. He couldn't beat single man coverage much all game, so the Dirk Koetter started calling rub routes, or pick plays, to free him up. On two different occasions, Williams ran a slant over the middle from the right split end position. On both plays, tight end time right ran a sideline route trying to jam up Williams man. Both plays worked and Williams netted seven. Williams also ran a short drag route and an 11 yard comeback. The Bucs tried to get Williams involved, but it appeared as though he was still hobbled a bit. They tweaked the routes being called for him and even tried to run combo routes to get him free. Glennon and Vincent Jackson were dialed in however, and half of Glennon's 44 passes were intended for Jackson
Week 8 - Williams didn't play much of a role in the loss to the Panthers. He also reportedly injured his hamstring to a greater degree than it had been going into the game. He only saw six targets, two of which were terribly bad drops. On an out route early in the first, Williams dropped a wide open pass toward the boundary. Later in the game, Glennon lofted the ball to Williams on a post route over a drop linebacker. Williams leaped for the catch, but the ball bounced off Williams hands as he fell to the field. He caught a 12 yard hitch on a broken play as Glennon lasered the ball right into his chest. This was his only substantial gain of the night. He also caught a WR screen for a five yard gain and a 3-yard square in. Williams' hamstring seemed to keep him in check most of the night as he was having trouble getting separation from his defender.