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Mike Williams named potential fantasy bust for 2023 season

Will the addition of Quentin Johnston keep Mike Williams from being fantasy relevant?

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Mike Williams had the most productive season of his career in 2021 when he led the team in both receiving yards (1,146) and receiving touchdowns (nine) despite missing a lone game due to injury. This past season, Williams saw his production take a hit due to missing another four games while also playing in an inconsistent offense scheme that did little to benefit its wideouts. His final receiving yardage total was fine at 895 but only finding the end zone four times likely wasn’t anywhere near his personal goal for the season. He’d go on to finish as the year’s WR32

With new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore now leading the way, can we expect a bounce back for Williams and others in regards to the fantasy game? If you’re ESPN fantasy analyst Liz Loza, you actually believe Williams is set to potentially be one of the bigger busts this year amongst the wideouts.

Her reasons? Recent injuries and the addition of first-rounder Quentin Johnston into the receiver room.

“Williams has dealt with lower back issues since before his rookie season officially began. He most recently suffered a spinal fracture in Week 18 of last year. Back problems don’t just go away. That’s probably part of the reason the Chargers spent a first-round pick on Quentin Johnston, who profiles as a deep threat and averaged 18.8 yards per reception over his college career. Given Williams’ lack of consistency in tandem with a potential dip in volume, the 28-year-old should be ranked outside the top 30 fantasy players at the position.”

Fortunately as we head into training camp later this month, Williams has long since been medically cleared from that back injury. Still, it’s not all that surprising for fantasy analysts to believe he’s in a worse situation this season compared to the past two campaigns for two reasons: Josh Palmer wasn’t a factor during his career-best 2021 season and the Chargers hadn’t just drafted a first-round wideout. With Johnston expected to play the “CeeDee Lamb” role — currently the Cowboys’ top wideout — it’ll be tough to predict just how many looks Williams will ultimately receive with even more mouths to feed in an offense that’s been quite crowded over the past few seasons.

Will Williams ultimately break 1,000 yards in 2023 through 17 healthy games? Will Johnston eat too much into his target for him to be fantasy relevant this season? Go ahead and let us know what you think in the comments below, along with any and all Chargers-related fantasy predictions you may have!