While we have yet to see the true potential of Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams, it will have to wait a little longer after the second-year pro was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.
The dynamic wideout missed the majority of his 2022 rookie season as he recovered from knee reconstruction after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament at the end of his collegiate career. The dangerous vertical weapon was poised to ascend to WR1 status in Detroit’s offense this upcoming season, and the loss of DJ Chark Jr. as the team’s top deep threat paved the way for at least a defined path to fantasy viability. Instead, we’ll have to wait to see him until midseason, and then there’s always the concern of whether he’ll be rusty and need a few appearances to get back into the flow.
Detroit has enough weapons to survive, but there’s no way this doesn’t set the offense back from reaching its full potential. Jared Goff will remain a shaky fantasy backup, at best, and there will be more to go around for Amon-Ra St. Brown, Marvin Jones, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds. Jones should be relevant in the first half of 2023 and benefits the most from Williams’ absence.
Williams himself goes from what would have been a WR3 with No. 2 upside fantasy option to a draft-day fourth receiver. That’s not to say he won’t generate WR2 returns during the second half of the season and be a formidable part of a championship run, but it’s going to require patience as well as surviving the occupation of a valuable roster spot. Fortunately, there is only one week where byes come into play during his hiatus, unless Detroit gets an early vacation.