Until Maxx Williams finds meaningful playing time this fall, Fantasy managers shouldn't bother adding him to rosters.
Williams announced via Twitter that he is signing with the Cardinals. Williams, who caught 16 passes in 13 games last season, never really panned out on a tight-end friendly Ravens team over the past few years. However, he's now picked an interesting spot to revive his career in a Kliff Kingsbury-led offense quarterbacked by 2019 No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. Having showed impressive after-the-catch ability in college at Minnesota, there's upside to be had if Williams can secure a roster spot and ultimately steal snaps from Charles Clay and Ricky Seals-Jones.
Williams appeared in 13 games in 2018, recording 16 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets. The Minnesota product was more effective in 2018 compared to his 2017 season, but the writing was on the wall for Williams when Baltimore spent two high draft picks on tight ends this past April. Williams did produce when given the opportunity, as evidenced by his 8.4 YPT mark and 94 percent catch rate, but the chances were hardly there on a consistent basis. Provided that the Ravens don't re-sign Williams, he should draw some interest in free agency because he does have tools that aren't always easy to find on the open market. Williams was a solid athlete coming out of college who has since developed into a reliable pass-catcher and run-blocker. Some of his athleticism may have tailed off after a major knee injury cost him much of the 2016 season. Still, he'll be entering his age-25 season in 2019 and won't be out of a job long assuming the Ravens turn the page with Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst.
Williams caught one of his two targets from Sunday's 20-12 win over the Buccaneers for a six-yard gain. Though he hauled in a touchdown pass in Week 14, Williams has been ineffective with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, with just two catches in four games. Sunday featured the first time all season that Williams was targeted for a pass and didn't catch it, but that's a tiny sample size -- just 17 targets all season. If Williams was unable to put up big numbers against a bottom-10 pass defense in Tampa Bay, it'd be a surprise if he broke out against a top-10 Chargers pass defense Saturday.
Williams caught his lone target, a 10-yard touchdown pass, during Sunday's 27-24 loss to Kansas City. Williams tied the game up in the third quarter when Lamar Jackson made the run fake and tossed it to Williams out in the flat. Williams reached back across his body to reel in the errant pass and cut upfield for the score. It was the fourth-year tight end's first touchdown of the season and first reception from the rookie passer. The Ravens tight end room has been hard to read all season, especially when mixed with a run-first attack with Jackson under center. Sunday brings a bottom-10 pass defense in Tampa Bay, but Williams' production this season has been too minute to trust.
Williams (shoulder) is absent from Wednesday's injury report. Williams suffered a stinger during Sunday's win over the Falcons but appears to have already gotten fully healthy. The 2015 second-round pick is on track to suit up Week 14 and will serve his usual depth role in Baltimore's offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/20||@New York Giants||19||7.38|
|8||10/27||@New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|9||11/01||San Francisco 49ers||4||4.75|
|10||11/10||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
|11||11/17||@San Francisco 49ers||4||4.75|
|13||12/01||Los Angeles Rams||23||7.89|
|17||12/29||@Los Angeles Rams||23||7.89|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||12||10||76||1||4||7.60||13|