The first day of the NFL draft was a fun one for fantasy purposes as we saw the snow globe of the wide receiver position continue to shake this offseason. We had six wide receivers selected in the first round on Thursday, with another two young stars changing teams as part of the evening.
With that, we are going to walk through the fantasy-centric selections and trades of the opening night.
Following two Ohio State teammates the previous two picks, Jameson Williams actually transferred from Ohio State to Alabama when it was clear that he was road blocked by both Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
Immediately stepping into an offense losing both DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle to the NFL, Williams exploded for a 79-1,572-15 line in 2021.
At 6’1” and 179 pounds, Williams has a similar build to the previous two wideouts, but he won downfield more than both. Williams is the draft’s premier deep threat among the top prospects, averaging 19.9 yards per catch. 28.3% of his targets were on throws over 20 yards downfield (fifth in this class) while no receiver in this class has more yards (544) and touchdowns (seven) on throws 30-plus yards in the air this season. All of that went into Williams sporting 3.51 yards per route run (fifth in this class).
The one thorn for Williams is that he suffered an ACL injury in the National Title game on January 10th, pushing back his availability this offseason and potentially the start of his rookie season.
With the return of Williams in question for 2022 at this time, the majority of Williams’s appeal is tied to Dynasty formats.
Taking that route, we still need a quarterback change for the Lions’ big picture. On throws 15 yards or further downfield, Goff has ranked 35th (31.9%), 29th (38.4%), and 30th (39.0%) in completion rate over the past three seasons.