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Does the Dolphins Offense Have Room for Preston Williams? (2020 Fantasy Football)

Oct 20, 2020

Preston Williams has shown flashes of talent, reliability, and production.

Preston Williams was a trendy sleeper this offseason with a solid mid-season showing in 2019, though he was probably dropped in your league after an underwhelming start. After a bit of a resurgence in Weeks 5 and 6, is Williams worth owning and using at this stage of 2020?

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Player Profile

Williams was a rookie in 2019, where he posted 428 receiving yards in 8 games, which would be a decent 856 yards across sixteen games, along with three touchdowns. Most notably from his rookie year, Williams was seemingly always involved, seeing an average of 7.5 targets per game with a minimum of five. In terms of 2019 production, it didn’t necessarily jump off the page, but it was a solid start for a speculative rookie with limited appearances.

In 2020, Williams’s production has been a bit more inconsistent. After not seeing a single game with less than five targets in 2019, Williams already has three games out of six with less than five in 2020. He currently has 213 receiving yards, which gives him a 16-game receiving pace of 568, which is almost 300 yards lower than his 2019 full-season pace. Aside from a Week 5 burst with 106 yards and a touchdown, Williams hasn’t exceeded 41 receiving yards in a game this season. He has three total touchdowns through six weeks, including scores in Weeks 5 and 6.

Williams currently ranks third in the Dolphins in receiving yards with 213, behind DeVante Parker (364) and Mike Gesicki (281). Williams leads the team in touchdowns with three.

State of the Offense

The Dolphins offense is a tricky one, as they are often trailing and throwing, but they aren’t always the most efficient or consistent in the production category. They are pretty much exactly in the middle of the league (16th) in passing yards per game with 249.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has three games this season with less than 200 passing yards and three games with more than 300 passing yards. In other words, the Dolphins offense is either producing at a high rate or not really producing at all.

The Dolphins currently sit at 3-3, and Ryan Fitzpatrick averages 233.7 passing yards per game in wins. In losses, he averages 278.

In their next three games, the Dolphins face the Rams, Cardinals, and Chargers, all of which rank in the top ten in the league in terms of offensive yardage output. Before diving into any projections or anything close to being statistically relevant, I’d bet the Dolphins enter each of those games as at least 5-7 point underdogs. After that trio of games, the Dolphins face three teams that are all in the bottom eight in offensive yardage: the Broncos, Jets, and Bengals.

Playing successful opposing offenses should be good news for the Dolphins as they will likely need to keep pace and throw in order to have a chance to compete. On the flip side, I’d temper expectations when they come across that trio of sadness in a few weeks.

Ultimately, if we want the Dolphins offense to produce, we need them to face other teams that can move the ball and/or win, which we will have for the next three weeks.

Williams’s Outlook

Williams has shown flashes of talent, reliability, and production in only 14 games in the NFL. A crowded receiving corps, however, and inconsistent passing volume for the Dolphins caps his upside quite a bit. At this point, Williams is more of a “wait and see” kind of guy rather than someone you’d pursue aggressively on the waiver wire and slot into your lineup right away. He should be seeing some decent volume over the next few weeks, so that should paint a clearer picture of who he can be.

I like Williams as a bench stash if you have an open spot or a risk/reward Daily Fantasy play, but don’t scoop him and expect him to carry his weight as a weekly starter as it stands right now.

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Donald Gibson is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Donald, check out his archive and follow him @DonaldGibsonFF

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