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How to handle Mike Williams injury in Week 1 fantasy football

It’s looking like the Chargers will have to make a game-time decision on Mike Williams. We break down what his injury means.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams makes a touchdown catch. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

9:27 a.m update: Well, quick change from Schefter! He is now reporting as well that Williams will play Sunday against the Bengals. He’s a strong start in this matchup when healthy. He’s a slight downgrade with the shoulder, primarily out of concern that he aggravates the injury. If you have a comparable option, I’d say start them in case something goes bad in pre-game warmups for Williams.

Game day morning update 9:25 a.m.: Late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported Mike Williams was NOT expected to play on Sunday. However, at 8:51 a.m. Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport reported Williams “is likely to play today.” Rapoport tweeted that he’s “not 100% and the team wants to see him warm up. But there is optimism that he’ll be out there against the #Bengals.” The Chargers and Bengals kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET, so you might have to make a decision without complete information.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams is officially questionable on this week’s injury report. Williams is dealing with a shoulder injury, and the team is expected to make a game-time decision on his status for a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fantasy football analysis, Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams

Williams hurt his shoulder in practice late last month, which put his status for the opener in doubt week ago. He was able to practice this week, albeit in a limited fashion. Jalen Guyton is projected to start opposite Keenan Allen if Williams can’t play, and Joe Reed would see a boost in playing time.

Coming off a breakout year in 2019, when Williams topped 1,000 yards for the first time since coming into the league in 2017, expectations for the receiver were high coming into the season. We’ll see what happens as the season goes along and he and new QB Tyrod Taylor are able to form a connection.

For now, Williams is probably best left on the bench or on the waiver wire in your fantasy lineups. If he does play, he could be somewhat limited if his shoulder is still nagging him. And being a game-time decision, he’s not worth waiting for.