The Cowboys gave up a boatload of draft picks to obtain Roy Williams from the Lions last year in the hopes he would provide an explosive second option at the position opposite Terrell Owens. The move didn’t have the intended results as Williams bombed with just 19 receptions for 198 yards and a score in ten games in Dallas. Although Williams had to learn the playbook in a short period of time, his marginal production was still surprising.
With Owens released and now in Buffalo, Williams moves into the lead receiver position in Dallas and the team is counting on him to produce. With a solid stable of skill position players and an aging but still effective offensive line, the Cowboys figure to be a top ten offense in 2009. For fantasy purposes, the issue is whether Williams will be worth a relatively high draft pick that it will cost to get him.
At 6’3″, 220 pounds and possessing good speed, Williams certainly looks the part of superstar receiver and potential fantasy stud. However, the bottom line is that he has one 1,000 yard season in five years in the league. On average, he has produced 56 receptions for 816 yards and six TD which makes him a decent low end second receiver for fantasy purposes. Now that he’s in Dallas, the Williams bandwagon is expanding but he certainly seems like a risky option where he is being drafted. With tight end Jason Witten expected to be the Cowboys top receiving threat and also an excellent red zone option, it remains to be seen how Williams will react to playing second fiddle. In addition, the team has received solid production from Patrick Crayton, they are high on young wideouts Miles Austin and Sam Hurd and will rely heavily on the running back trio of Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice.
While Williams certainly has the talent and supporting cast to produce a solid season, there are more reliable options where his current draft position is. If he falls in your league, he’s worth taking a gamble on but don’t reach for Williams. ~ Dave
Roy Williams never reached his potential in Detroit, partly because of his attitude and partly because of the abominable team he was playing on during those years. The move to Dallas in 2008 was widely considered to be a rebirth for Williams as he would be playing on a good team in a high powered offense. Looking back we know that the transition didn’t pan out the way Williams owners would have hoped, but that doesn’t mean it is time to give up on him. Williams still has all of the characteristics that made him a high draft choice and now has a full year in the Dallas offense under his belt.
Looking at the situation in Dallas, Williams is really only competing with Jason Witten for catches in the passing game. Also-rans like Miles Austin and Sam Hurd are no threat to Williams, and Dallas will want to prove the investment in Williams and jettison of Owens was a positive move by the franchise. Naturally, the talented backfield will pick up a large portion of the offensive touches, but an effective running game will open up and ease the passing game. It might be just a gut feeling, but I think OC Jason Garrett will use the space created in the running game and the attention paid to Jason Witten to create openings for Roy Williams on the outside and in the deep zone.
Williams has the opportunity to land amongst the top 10 WR when all is said and done. Don’t pay that much for him, and you shouldn’t have to unless you reside in Dallas, but if you can get him as a late drafted WR2 or even WR3, you could be sitting on a difference maker for your fantasy squad. ~ Andy