Yardbarker Horiz

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fantasy Alert: Mike Williams

Now don't get used to this. I like Fantasy Football but I prefer doing analysis on Reality Football. Nonetheless I am all about the Pewter Nation and if I can help Tampa Bay Buccaneer fans dominate on the fantasy field I have to put it out there. Here it is:

If you are in a fantasy keeper league (retain players over the offseason) you need to get 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneer draftee Mike Williams. Like, yesterday. You should be able to get him for a song -- and retaining him will be something you can enjoy for a long time particularly as a Buccaneers fan.

If you are in a fantasy draft league (draft a new team every year) you need to watch his performance in Buccaneers games very closely. I don't think you want to draft him outright, but as the season goes on he could be "That Free Agent Pickup" that gets you over the top in your league.

I am hearing so, so much about the young man that is very, very positive. I mean, all teams certainly love their draft picks. And all coaches and personnel people are giddy after rookie camp with the renewed hope rookies bring regarding the upcoming season. There is always a lot of praise.

And let me be clear I hear a lot of great things about Arellious Benn, the first wide receiver the Buccaneers selected in the barely-cooled-off 2010 NFL Draft. Benn could be the kind of yards after catch threat the Buccaneers have been missing since Joe Jurevicius but with more speed and more size. He is described as a "punishing" runner -- when was the last time you heard that about a wideout??

Benn was drafted in the high 2nd round and seems to be a first round talent. Excellent.

Williams was drafted in the 4th round and several sources tell me he is also a first round talent. Freaking Awesome!  If true, it appears that Tampa Bay has landed five first-round-talent players in a single draft, absolutely unheard of in the modern NFL.

Other media sources have directed their energies about Mike Williams into digging up mistakes he has made as a person around schoolwork and curfews. And while the schoolwork issue was nothing small, a curfew violation in college is par for the course. Unfortunately, rules in place made for harsh choices, possibly emotional decisions. No laws broken, no people injured, no football related issues, but plenty of judgement mistakes. Taking all that into consideration, Williams is definitely a kid who deserves a second chance.

Of course, there will always be people who judge from a distance, perhaps never meeting the person they are condemning (see the "Worst Fourth Round Pick" section). The world is harsh and some people enjoy tearing down others.

But, Tampa Bay fans, I am recommending you see Mike Williams for what he is. Give him a clean slate but expect him to be better, to do better, to learn and grow.

And watch out for an explosive fantasy player to emerge in Tampa this year. I warned you. I told you. Don't cry if you miss out -- I suspect there will be more in the years to come.

P.S. Mike Williams, I know you are out there somewhere. You may never find this, but I want you to be able to find it if you go looking for it. You were the 13th wide receiver taken in the 2010 NFL draft. After your teammate Arrelious Benn was selected in the 2nd round, another receiver was taken in the 2nd round, seven were chosen in the 3rd round, and one was chosen in the fourth round (just two picks before you). Here is what I want you to know/find some day: The teams that passed on Mike Williams by selecting a different wide receiver are: Titans, Broncos, Patriots, Panthers, Cardinals, Steelers, Bengals, Seahawks, and Rams. By the way, those last six are on the 2010 Schedule. So have a great offseason and preseason -- and BRING IT to the field in 2010!  Welcome to the Buccaneers!!

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