In the midst of an offseason that has put him in the news for the wrong reasons, Mike Williams’ future with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in serious doubt with a new regime in place. An outright release looked possible, but the Buccaneers found a trade partner and have sent Williams to the Buffalo Bills for a sixth round pick.
Can Williams re-establish himself as a viable option for fantasy football owners with his new team?
Williams led all all rookie wide receivers in receptions (65), receiving yards (964) and touchdowns (11) in 2010, and he had more than 60 catches in each of the following two seasons and set a career-high with 996 receiving yards in 2012. But he missed the final nine games last season with a torn right hamstring, and finished with just 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns and two touchdowns in six games.
Williams final season at Syracuse coincided with Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone’s first season as head coach there in 2009, and even though Williams was dismissed from the team before that season ended it can be assumed the move to acquire him came with Marrone’s approval. Williams is also a Buffalo native, so going back to his hometown may help him get his career back on track.
The Bills don’t have a lot of proven options at wide receiver, with Robert Woods and Steve Johnson as the top two options right now. But there has been a lot of speculation surrounding Johnson’s future in Buffalo, and if he is traded or released Williams or a highly-drafted rookie would be in line to start.
Williams’ various recent issues may bring a suspension from the league at some point this offseason, which could then put his status with the Bills in doubt. But if he is on track to be in uniform for Week 1, his proficiency in the red zone (25 career touchdowns) would put Williams on the radar as a potential late-round pick in deeper, touchdown-heavy fantasy leagues.