Even before the season, we knew there were a couple of things that were almost surely going to keep Williams from maxing out in fantasy terms.
First off, Mike Martz was no longer the Lions' offensive coordinator. Martz is notorious for throwing as often as possible, which meant Williams was involved enough in the offense to keep him happy.
Williams made mention of that to reporters on Monday: "The first week, I had five balls thrown my way, caught three for 47," Williams said. "This week, I had six come my way -- three for 48 ... But in Mike Martz's system, I would have had at least 10 to 12 balls come my way."
It's hard to deny that, considering that Williams caught fewer than four balls only four times in 12 games last season.
The Lions defense, however, is embarrassingly bad right now; they've allowed 82 points in the first two contests. They haven't established anything resembling a running game, either. So with no rushing attack and a woeful D, they've had no choice but to go pass-happy just like they did with Martz as the offensive architect.
In fact, QB Jon Kitna has thrown more passes (74) in the first two weeks of the '08 campaign than he did in the first two weeks of '07 (68).
So if the Lions are still passing at a desperate rate, to whom is Kitna throwing if not Williams?
Well, that would be the other reason we had to be concerned about Williams not maxing out this year: Megatron!
Calvin Johnson, the second overall pick in the '07 draft, has pulled in 13 passes over the first two games, topped 100 yards in both and scored twice on Sunday against the Packers. The kid is an absolute physical freak. And as good as Williams is -- he's a genuine talent -- Johnson already brings more to the table: particularly size and insane speed.
That's left Williams as the clear No. 2 option in Detroit thus far. Don't write him off as dead, though.
To begin with, you shouldn't have drafted him as your WR1; he should have been your second, or ideally, your third WR option because of all the factors just discussed. So, keeping expectations realistic, Williams is actually a fine buy-low trade target.
With the Lions in possession of two weapons as talented as Johnson and Williams, double-teaming by opposing defenses will be limited, so he's going to be open a lot. And when Williams does get the ball, he has the skill to take it to the house from anywhere on the field. And when the ball comes to him in the end zone, he usually pulls it in for a score.
Despite his concerns, Williams is going to have several 100-yard-plus games and should score another 5-6 TDs the rest of the way.
The trouble will be consistency, as he's bound to have more of these 3- or 4-catch, scoreless games in between his monster games. But with two bad games already out of the way, acquiring him now will give you pretty good odds of catching the big ones for your fantasy squad.
And should Megatron get hurt (he was dinged up most of last season), Williams could be a monster -- especially since he's in the last year of his contract and wants to perform as well as possible for the next deal.
Go ahead and toss out some cheap offers to the owner in your league who has Williams, and you might get a quality WR2 for a good price.