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Start or sit Tyrell Williams in Week 1 fantasy football?

With Antonio Brown released, Oakland needs a new leading receiver. Do the Raiders have one in Tyrell Williams? We look at his upside getting into Week 1

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams runs onto the field before the NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals on August 15, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the Oakland Raiders signed Tyrell Williams in March they already had traded for Antonio Brown. They had their no. 1 receiver in place and just added depth to the unit with the addition of Williams. Turns out, that depth turned into all the Raiders can hold on to entering Monday’s game against Denver. Brown was released and now Williams is the de facto leading receiver of a team depleted of options at the wide receiver position.

It’s been a while since Tyrell Williams had a leading role, but he played to that level in 2016 for the Chargers as a sophomore racking up 1,059 yards for seven touchdowns. Once the 2017 and 2018 years rolled around, though, he was used on a much lesser role under Keenan Allen and it showed: he didn’t reach 750 yards either year, although his efficiency numbers weren’t bad with an average of 10.3 yards per target. He can play and in the slot position, and there is probably no player available at a higher rate in fantasy football with a better situation than Williams’ is without Brown sitting on the Raiders table anymore.

Fantasy Impact: First things first: Tyrell Williams should not be your WR1, nor probably the WR2 in fantasy leagues. That being said, his new role opens a massive door for him in terms of upside. Derek Carr has lost his main target twice this preseason: Jared Cook left for New Orleans, then Antonio Brown was cut. That leaves Tyrell Williams as the clear-cut no. 1 option in Oakland’s passing game. This week, the Raiders face an above-average defense against WR in that of Denver. In two games last year, they gained 219 yards in Week 2 but only 89 in Week 16. Williams will be covered by Chris Harris Jr, but even with such a hard matchup, Williams will be thrown as many balls as he can handle. More chances equal more fantasy points. Bet on Williams this week.

Recommendation: Start at WR3/FLEX

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