After their win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, the Detroit Lions got more good news on Friday. Wide receiver Jameson Williams has had his six-game gambling suspension reduced, he will be reinstated effective Monday and he will be eligible to play in Week 5.
Williams had come back to the team facility this past week, but he was not able to practice, even attend practice or attend games for another couple weeks at that point. The NFL's revising their punishments under their gambling policy removes those restrictions immediately.
Beyond the implications of Williams' addition to the Lions' offense, the natural follow-up regarding the fantasy football impactions of his being able to play is here a couple weeks sooner than it would have been.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Pump the brakes on calling Jameson Williams a must-add for Week 5
Since the Lions have already played in Week 4, fantasy owners can't just run out and add Williams immediately on the news he has been reinstated. So it'll have to wait until Week 5 waivers.
Williams was out for a much of the preseason due to a hamstring injury. But upon his being able to be back in the building, head coach Dan Campbell told the media last Monday that "he's good" on the injury front. That would indicate there will be no limitations on Williams during the upcoming week of practice.
It's fair to assume Williams will be on some kind of snap count in his season debut, and at this point we can assume he will play against the Carolina Panthers in Week 5. But as we saw in his brief run last season, with his two touches both going for at least 40 yards, he only needs one play to make a noticeable impact.
Where things go for Williams after a ramp up in his first game is to be determined, and up to him to a large extent. If he struggles with drops, connecting with Jared Goff, etc., that will hurt his playing time and production .
As of Saturday morning (Sept. 30), Williams' is rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo! leagues, 16.3 percent of ESPN leagues and 48.7 percent (!) of NFL.com leagues. Those rates will surely climb substantially next week, as plenty of fantasy managers get afflicted with "FOMO" and add him before his season debut.
Williams will make a lot of fantasy waiver wire "must-add" lists for Week 5. But he's purely an add-and-stash at this point, with no guarantee he'll ever be comfortably startable or even remain roster-worthy in normal-sized leagues as bye weeks get rolling.