Jameson Williams is a pretty easy early breakout candidate for the 2023 season, and an ESPN fantasy analyst is on the bandwagon.
After a limited six-game ramp up to end his rookie season, as he worked his way back to full strength coming off a torn ACL, the bar is being set higher for Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams moving toward his second season in 2023.
Williams teased his potential this past season. There were a couple of near-misses in his limited work, but his lone catch was a 41-yard touchdown and his other touch was a 40-yard run. He’s obviously not going to average 40.5 yards per touch in his career. But the talent that made him the 12th overall pick, even with rehab from the torn ACL in its early stages, was obvious.
If the Lions lose DJ Chark in free agency, Williams is in line for a far bigger role next season. Even if Chark re-signs, a fully healthy Williams off a healthy offseason may be the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver.
ESPN fantasy analyst gets on Jameson Williams breakout bandwagon
ESPN gathered several of their writers and analysts for an early NFL predictions piece for next season. The Lions were tabbed as the most interesting team of the offseason by a couple writers (Mike Clay, Tristan Cockcroft). In the breakout candidates part, fantasy analyst and injury expert Stephania Bell named Williams.
"Bell: Jameson Williams, WR, Lions. The exciting rookie out of Alabama didn’t make his season debut until Week 13 after recovering from a torn ACL, but he gave us a glimpse of what could be in Week 14 when he scored a 41-yard TD against the Vikings in just his second NFL game. With more recovery time under his belt and a chance to work with the team through OTAs and training camp this year, Williams will be a star in a potent Lions offense."
It’s no secret that the further a player is removed from a torn ACL, now a little over a year for Williams, the better. But in a broad sense, Bell’s perspective as an injury authority adds some weight to her prediction. Williams’ surgeon suggested his injury was a straight forward ACL tear, meaning little or no damage to other parts of the knee and a less complicated recovery.
The Lions were cautious with Williams in Year 1, as they should’ve been. But they seem ready to take the governor off him next season, and the breakout bandwagon will only grow as the offseason rolls on.