The Chargers extended a second-round restricted free agent tender to Williams on Wednesday, Ricky Henne of the Chargers' official website reports. While unable to match his breakout 2016 campaign, Williams made the most of his limited opportunities last season, catching 43 of 69 passes for 728 yards (10.6 yards per target) and four scores in 16 games. A second-round tender should be enough to prevent other teams from extending offer sheets, but it is possible the Chargers consider trading Williams, as they also have Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams under contract for the upcoming season. Releasing Benjamin would be another option, or the team could just stand pat with all four receivers, which wouldn't be a bad plan given Allen's injury history.
Williams, a restricted free agent, is unlikely to leave the Chargers, ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams reports. A second-round RFA tender should be enough to scare other teams away. While he predictably failed to match his breakout 2016 campaign with a healthy Keenan Allen hogging targets, the 26-year-old Williams was one of the league's more efficient receivers last season, catching 43 of 69 passes for 728 yards (10.6 per target) and four touchdowns in 16 games. There's no assurance of a larger workload in 2018, as the Chargers also have Travis Benjamin and 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams under contract, at least for the time being. Benjamin's $5.75 million salary could inspire a trade, pay cut or release.
Williams finished the year with 43 receptions for 728 receiving yards and four touchdowns, including a three-catch, 67-yard performance Sunday against the Raiders in which he also snagged a touchdown. Williams burst onto the scene in 2016, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards as seemingly the lone explosive option in an offense decimated by injuries. With players such as Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen able to play a full 16-game seasons in 2017, Williams was simply relegated to the fourth or fifth option on offense, and as a result his target count took a dramatic turn for the worse (50 less targets this season). A restricted free agent heading into the offseason, Williams is expected to return to the Chargers in 2018, but with 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams in tow, as well as speedy receiving option Travis Benjamin, it wouldn't exactly be a surprise to see the third-year receiver leave should the team be properly compensated.
Williams caught five of his six targets for 50 yards in Sunday's 14-7 win over the Jets. It was a bit surprising to see Williams receive six targets given the third-year receiver had only crossed that threshold once since the team's Week 9 bye. But with usual offensive stalwarts such as Hunter Henry (abdomen), Keenan Allen (back) and Melvin Gordon (ankle) either out or limited by their respective injuries, Williams has been forced into a larger role almost by default. As a result, the 25-year-old could wind up being a sneaky DFS play next week against the Raiders.
Williams hauled in four passes (on four targets) for 132 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 30-13 win over the Redskins. Williams was the beneficiary of a 75-yard touchdown bomb from Philip Rivers in the second quarter while also bringing in catches of 34 and 20 yards. The big-play receiver hasn't caught more than four balls since Week 4, but days like today are always possible for him with gunslinger Philip Rivers at the helm. The downside to Williams' game, of course, is that he has a tendency to disappear, with eight games of two or fewer receptions this season. Despite the strong performance Sunday, standard-format fantasy owners would likely be better off looking for a more consistent option going forward.
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