Fantasy Football Sleeper: Mike Williams

      June 27, 2012 @ 17:27:13 PDT


We at KFFL have high hopes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. All the pieces seem to be coming together - on both sides of the ball - and with new head coach Greg Schiano to keep everyone in line, I'm on board, too.

Could we be seeing the Bucs in the postseason for the first time since 2007? They haven't won a playoff game since defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Williams
Not walking the plank this year

Josh Freeman, who struggled in 2011 in his second full season, has more weapons than he's ever had with the addition of Vincent Jackson and rookie running back Doug Martin. Schiano's leadership will stabilize Freeman and make him a nice candidate for a rebound.

Martin, the former Boise State Bronco, will be the lead back in just his first season, and he'll complement LeGarrette Blount nicely. Both rushers can be valuable on your fantasy football squad, and Blount's price tag makes him an intriguing target in the event that Martin struggles.

The addition of Carl Nicks on the O-line is an immediate game-changer up front and should impact the running and passing attack right away. All of the new faces might make one forget about Mike Williams. He's still on the squad, but now he'll serve as the No. 2 wideout across from V-Jax.

Many believed Williams would take the next step after a 65-catch, 964-yard, 11-TD effort in 2010. 2012 was a disappointment, however; he snagged the same amount of passes but only put up 771 total yards and three scores. Williams struggled to prove himself as the No. 1 receiver, but in his defense, Freeman was inconsistent and he didn't have anyone to take the attention away from opposing defenses.

With Jackson in tow, Williams will have the benefit of drawing less coverage. A healthy Dallas Clark roaming the middle of the gridiron will help further. Although Williams' size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) doesn't make him a large target, he showed in '11 that he has a knack for finding the end zone.

Jackson does an exceptional job of stretching the field, leaving Williams available to rake it in on intermediate routes this year. Look for him to be heavily involved and improve his productivity from a year ago. He could easily become a strong No. 2 fantasy wideout if Freeman and the rest of the offense play up to their capabilities.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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