Owning the principle pieces of the Cowboys’ passing offense has been a rather fruitful experience halfway through the 2013 fantasy season. Tony Romo typically came at a nice draft discount (ADP of 71st overall) because of some weird, irrational hatred of him, and now he’s fourth overall in fantasy points at his position (147). Then there’s Dez Bryant, who has fully justified the high draft investment you made to obtain his services while averaging 80.1 receiving yards per game with eight touchdowns. DeMarco Murray has missed some time because that’s what he does, but his 8.9 fantasy points per game has still been pretty alright in a year when running backs have mostly sucked. Jason WItten has been the only true disappointment, and even he’s still the seventh best fantasy tight end.
So all is well and jolly in Dallas for fake footballing purposes, and today it’s about to get even better for those of you who paid the steep price to acquire waiver wire darling Terrance Williams a few weeks ago.
You’re starting Williams today, and you’re not thinking about doing the opposite for even three seconds. The Cowboys host Minnesota, welcoming their defense with warm, open arms because the Vikings’ secondary is giving up the fourth most passing yards per game (287.9), and it’s also conveniently tied for the second most passing touchdowns allowed (16).
So the winning strategy here is abundantly obvious, not that it will change the Cowboys’ gameplan much. Tony Romo has attempted 295 passes, while he’s been asked to handoff only 174 times. That means while Bryant and Witten will get their share as always, there will be plenty of targets to be distributed against a secondary with Harrison Smith, its best defender, on the injured reserve (Williams’ targets rose abruptly to 10 last week after he had been targeted only four times in Week 7). And in turn, that could lead to a booming day for Williams, who you’ve typically been using as a high-end WR3, but his production today should climb much higher than that.
Williams has made a lot out of little lately, scoring in four straight games despite a modest 15 receptions over that stretch. His scoring alone clearly bodes well against a defense giving up all the passing touchdowns, but it gets better. Those touchdowns have often come on deep, long bombing, as two of them have been on catches of 60 yards or more (a 60 yarder last week in a loss to Detroit, and an 82 yarder in Week 5 against Denver). That blazing vertical speed is what’s led to Williams’ average of 22.4 yards per catch over the past month, which is pretty video-game like.
What Williams does well — run far and fast, and then catch a ball — fits quite well with what the Vikings don’t do well. Over their last three games Minnesota has given up two +70 yard receptions, in addition to a 50 yarder to Victor Cruz. So even if Bryant and Witten catch more of Romo’s eye, or even if a returning DeMarco Murray sparks a heavier run lean, there’s still strong reason to believe in significant contribution from Williams.
During a pretty facepalm-y week with Cruz, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and all the Broncos receivers sitting out with their byes, WR1 production could be forthcoming from a receiver who was sitting on waiver wires just a few weeks ago. So yes, if ya’ll wanna win, give Williams a spin.