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What's that? They just traded their first-, third- and sixth-round picks in the 2009 draft to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver Roy Williams? Perfect.
In real-football terms, the return of Williams to the Lone Star State (he played his college ball at the University of Texas) doesn't make a 10-gallon hat's worth of sense. The Cowboys already have Terrell Owens and Jason Witten leading their receiving game, and Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin have been OK this season, catching 27 passes on 46 combined targets. By way of comparison, Williams has caught 17 of 39 targets this year, although, to be fair, balls thrown by Jon Kitna and/or Dan Orlovsky maybe shouldn't count as full targets. Anyway, Owens and Williams do a lot of the same things -- they create size mismatches with defensive backs, they toast one-on-one coverage but aren't true speed-burners, they catch it over the middle and are good in the red zone -- and you have to wonder whether Williams will be anything more than a third option in Big D. I can't help but feel that, given Adam Jones' indefinite suspension and Terence Newman's injury troubles, the team needed a cornerback a heck of a lot more than another prima donna receiver.
In fantasy football terms, this might not be as huge a deal as it first appears. By switching his silvery Lions togs for a silvery Cowboys uni, Williams probably will lose targets and, at least while Brad Johnson is at the helm for Tony Romo (likely at least three games), might lose fantasy viability altogether. (Although again, to be fair, the looming Orlovsky administration was about to do that for him anyway.) When Romo returns, all the passing-game options in Dallas will become more valuable again, but you won't see Williams, for example, match the nutty 18 targets he got in Week 5 against the Bears. Heck, he'll be lucky to see double-digits in a single game the entire season. Romo might get a touch more valuable down the stretch, but he was already pretty valuable, and Owens and Witten could lose a tad of upside, but I wouldn't stress about that. There'll be games, I'd say, when Williams will break into No. 2 fantasy wideout territory, but there'll also be games in which he will be a mere decoy. Crayton probably is the hardest-hit player here; he's left without fantasy value.
|Calvin Johnson will see more passes -- and defenders -- headed his way.|
Christopher Harris is a fantasy baseball, football and racing analyst for ESPN.com. He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writing Association award winner across all three of those sports. You can e-mail him here.