Mike Williams / 2nd-year receivers
Posted Aug. 19 at 10:38 AM
With a young receiver like Mike Williams of the Bucs, the tendency is to assume he’ll be better in his second year. He’s been in the league for a year, he’s had a chance to see what the game is all about and he’s had time to work with his quarterback.
That’s the theory.
But it isn’t necessarily true. Look at the chart below. It shows the 23 wide receivers who’ve gone over 800 yards as rookies. Of this group, 15 finished with fewer receiving yards in their second season.
We’re not promising Williams will be a bust, but proceed with caution. The Bucs have a harder schedule, and defenses may do a better job of preparing for him now that it’s clear he’s the team’s No. 1 threat.
RECEIVERS GOING OVER 800 YARDS AS ROOKIES
(And how they fared in their second year)
Yr 1 Yr 2
802 766 1990 Ricky Proehl
818 776 1991 Lawrence Dawsey
866 821 1994 Darnay Scott
828 216 1994 Derrick Alexander
823 882 1995 Chris Sanders
1039 987 1995 Joey Galloway
883 813 1995 Frank Sanders
844 963 1996 Keyshawn Johnson
836 866 1996 Marvin Harrison
924 404 1996 Eddie Kennison
1132 431 1996 Terry Glenn
1313 1413 1998 Randy Moss
986 669 1999 Kevin Johnson
883 734 2001 Chris Chambers
976 1142 2003 Andre Johnson
1377 623 2003 Anquan Boldin
843 743 2004 Lee Evans
817 687 2004 Roy Williams
1193 372 2004 Michael Clayton
824 942 2006 Santonio Holmes
995 1022 2007 Dwayne Bowe
912 1156 2008 DeSean Jackson
980 345 2008 Eddie Royal
Posted by Shaun Hawkins | Aug. 19 at 11:00 AM
Great article, Ian. This has been a prevailing thought in fantasy since I started playing in '88. That's why FFI is the best- actually doing the research, investigating the theories, and saving me the time of doing it. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Don Goss | Aug. 19 at 11:51 AM
Ian, is this supposed to be the all-time list of WRs that have gone over 800 yards as a rookie? Jerry Rice seems to be omitted, as he posted 927 yards as a rookie and 1,570 in his second year. Andre Rison was another one - 820 yards as a rookie and 1,208 in year two. I assume you only went back to 1990 when you compiled this list?
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Aug. 19 at 01:45 PM
@Don: yes, it's the last 20 years. Upon further review, I see I didn't mention that anywhere in there. Apologies.
Posted by JUSTIN ELEFF | Aug. 19 at 02:38 PM
Curious as to whether Williams reminds you of any of the other guys on the list. I scan the names here and do think he's a better player than many of these guys - certainly better than Clayton, e.g. - but maybe he looks better because I happen to know they crapped out in the end.
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Aug. 19 at 03:38 PM
The receiver position has changed a lot in 20 years. Guys are a lot bigger now. Williams is listed at 6-2 and 212, but he doesn't look like a big receiver to me. I would have guessed more like 6-0 and 195. He's not a speedy guy; he won't blow through secondaries. But he made some damn nice catches last year with guys all over him. If I had to pick one guy off the list, therefore, I would go with Chris Chambers (and think of Miami Chambers, not the Chambers who ended up on the bench in KC last year).
Posted by JUSTIN ELEFF | Aug. 19 at 06:06 PM
And I probably would have gone with Bowe for mostly the same reasons. And both of those guys (Chambers and Bowe) mixed at least one lousy year in with their big early-career seasons (Bowe missed games in '09 but wasn't on much of a pace). So I guess there isn't much to do but wait and see on Williams.
Posted by MARK MALONEY | Aug. 20 at 03:02 AM
I'm betting on something like last year. Williams is obviously a talent, and defenses have to pay attention to Winslow and Blount. But as mentioned, tougher schedule and they're not sneaking up on anyone, Freeman included. I'm not extrapolating last year's numbers for Freeman either; unless he turns into Vick-lite I think he's middle of the pack for 2011 at best. Great topic - keep'em coming!
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