Benjamin (knee), not Mike Williams, is listed as the No. 3 wide receiver for the Chargers, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. Williams cautions that Benjamin seems to have a precipitous hold on the No. 3 WR job, as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mike Williams, could push him for the starting spot. However, the two wideouts play vastly different positions within the offensive scheme, meaning should Benjamin lose his starting spot he still figures to play a smaller role as a stretch-the-field speedster on the outside, or even in the slot. Given the draft capital invested in Williams, it seems likely the Clemson product will see the field sooner rather than later, mitigating Benjamin's fantasy value. Don't rule out the 27-year-old in best-ball formats, however, where his speed and big-play ability could help him score highly in random weeks.
The Chargers surprisingly opted to use the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 draft on Clemson wideout Mike Williams, who will join a receiving corps that already includes Benjamin (knee), Tyrell Williams and Keenan Allen (knee), Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times reports. Despite signing a four-year, $24 million contract last offseason, Benjamin already finds himself in danger of slipping to the No. 4 spot on the depth chart. Mike Williams is a pro-ready prospect with potential to start from Day One, and Tyrell Williams is coming off a breakout 1,000-yard season. Meanwhile, Benjamin is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2016 campaign in which he struggled with a knee injury, ultimately requiring arthroscopic surgery in January. The Chargers expect both Allen and Benjamin to be ready for Week 1, but the latter may be limited to a part-time role on offense, along with his usual spot in the return game.
Benjamin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week, Adam Caplan of ESPN reports. Benjamin took advantage of a bruised and battered Chargers offense in the early stages of the 2016 season, cranking out two 100-yard outings and hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions within his first five games with the team. However, his ability to practice was hindered by a knee injury beginning in Week 7, after which he required two DNPs (Weeks 10 and 17). During that stretch, he didn't surpass four receptions or 75 yards in a given appearance, ending the campaign with 47 catches (on 75 targets) for 677 yards and four touchdowns in 14 contests. Last week's procedure was undertaken in order to clean up a Grade 2 PCL sprain but shouldn't impact his readiness for the offseason program, which will kick off on April 3 in Los Angeles.
Benjamin finished the 2016 season with 47 catches for 677 yards and four touchdowns. A key offseason addition last year, Benjamin never materialized as a consistent receiving threat during his inaugural season with the Chargers. With Keenan Allen (knee) expected to start next year healthy following yet another season-ending injury and Tyrell Williams emerging as a play-making threat, Benjamin will likely settle in as the team's slot receiver, a role in which the Chargers envisioned for Benjamin before injuries forced the team to reshape its depth chart.
Benjamin is inactive for Sunday's game aganst the Chiefs, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune reports. With Benjamin not in action Sunday, Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman are on track to head the Chargers' Week 17 wideout corps.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/24||Kansas City Chiefs||18||22.41|
|5||10/08||@New York Giants||13||21.29|
|8||10/29||@New England Patriots||7||19.74|
|15||12/17||@Kansas City Chiefs||18||22.41|
|16||12/24||@New York Jets||19||22.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||82||44||652||4||26||14.82||89|