Caleb Williams: Rookie Report
Caleb Williams Rookie

Caleb Williams: Rookie Report

by | Jan 28, 2024 | 0 comments

Draft season is upon us, and it’s time for our Rookie Reports. Kicking things off with USC’s quarterback prodigy, Caleb Williams. He’s a player that’s not just on everyone’s radar for rookie drafts but might also be a hot commodity in redraft leagues. His journey from a five-star recruit to clinching the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award in 2022 is remarkable. Known for his extraordinary improvisational skills, many are dubbing him a generational talent. But, let’s not forget, every hero has his Achilles’ heel – for Williams, it’s his tendency to leave the pocket too soon which can be linked to a noticeable increase in fumbles during his final college year.

Physical Attributes and Health Resilience:

At 6’1″ and 215 lbs, Caleb Williams may not have the ideal quarterback size, but he compensates with his dynamic playstyle. His relative health record is a positive sign for fantasy drafters. Notably, in 2023, he overcame a hamstring injury and a hand laceration during the Pac-12 Championship Game, displaying remarkable toughness and resilience.

Film Analysis:

Williams exhibits all the hallmarks of an elite quarterback his athletic ability and special arm talent are frequently on display. However, his performance against Top 25 teams reveals a blend of brilliance and shortcomings. Notably, his struggles against Notre Dame and a modest output against Utah raise questions about his readiness for high-level competition. This insight is crucial in evaluating his transition to the next level.

Key Strengths:

  1. Arm Talent: Williams’ arm is a powerhouse, boasting incredible strength and precision, making him a threat at all three levels of the field.
  2. Creativity in Chaos: He excels when plays break down, showcasing remarkable ingenuity and keeping defenses on edge.
  3. Mobility: Williams possesses great mobility, adeptly turning potential losses into gains. He’s not going to rush for 1,000 yards but he’s going to convert plenty of first downs

Areas for Growth:

  1. Structure Adaptation: While creative, Williams needs to improve on executing plays as designed, often resorting to improvisation.
  2. Pressure Performance: He has shown vulnerability in high-stakes games, an area ripe for growth to enhance his leadership and clutch performances.
  3. Decision Making: Has a tendency to hold onto the ball, often overlooking open receivers, is a point of concern. Speeding up his decision-making process could significantly improve his game.

Analytics and Metrics:

From an analytics viewpoint, Williams consistently shines. With an Adjusted Yards per attempt hovering around 10.2-10.3, he shows no trouble in pushing the ball down the field effectively.  However, regression in his touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2023 suggests a need for refinement in his decision-making, particularly in his pursuit of big plays.

Passing and Rushing Stats:

  • 2021: 64.5% completion, 1,912 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs
  • 2022: 66.6% completion, 4,537 yards, 42 TDs, 5 INTs
  • 2023: 68.6% completion, 3,633 yards, 30 TDs, 5 INTs

Personality and Off-Field Dynamics:

Confidence and a competitive spirit are the hallmarks of Williams’ personality. His preference for team success and his admiration for coach Lincoln Riley are notable. However, the 2023 season brought him under the microscope. Some off-field drama – from seeking equity stakes in the drafting team to controversial social media activities have raised a few eyebrows. These instances hint at potential challenges in team dynamics and how he may have a bit of a lone wolf personality.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Williams’ combination of arm talent, creativity, and mobility mark him as a top-tier prospect. His future success may hinge on his ability to adapt to structured plays, remain composed under pressure, and hasten his decision-making. Viewed as a potential long-term QB1, his performance may be influenced by the team culture he joins. Going to a team with a shaky locker room culture may inhibit his ability to meet his potential. Overall Caleb Williams stands out as the QB1 in SuperFlex or TwoQB leagues with 6-point passing TDs. In leagues with 4-point passing TDs, the debate opens up, with Jayden Daniels being a strong contender thanks to his exceptional rushing prowess.  Leagues that start a single QB, Caleb should be viewed as a top two QB option right next to Jayden Daniels. He should be considered a mid-late first round pick in rookie drafts and depending on landing spot is a top 24 QB in redraft leagues. 

Thank you for joining us on this in-depth look at Caleb Williams. We hope this analysis aids you in your fantasy football decisions!

About Jeff DiMatteo
Jeff is the Founder of Gridiron Ratings and operates today as it's primary analyst. His experience includes years of working for high school and collegiate football programs. After playing fantasy for nearly 20 years he decided it was time to build some of his own content.

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