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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: BRANDON WILLIAMS TIGHT END CAROLINA PANTHERS

It was exactly one year ago that a completely unknown tight end by the name of Julius Thomas was just entering into the consciousness of the fantasy football community.  The latest in a recent long line of former basketball standouts who became a project at the NFL level in converting to tight end, Thomas caught a grand total of one pass during his rookie season.  However the Broncos liked his athleticism and soon unleashed him in the 2013 preseason in order to see if his skills could translate to the field.  Well one year later it is safe to say that Thomas was pretty much an overnight sensation as he finished that 2013 season with 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 big touchdowns which placed him right behind Jimmy Graham in the 2014 tight end hierarchy.  The reason we mention Thomas today is because of the similarities he shares with Carolina Panthers rookie tight end Brandon Williams.  Who you say?  Good question as the 26-year-old has been well off the radar for awhile as he goes back to junior college in 2009 when he last scored a touchdown.  However Williams refused to give up his dream of playing in the NFL and the receiver-needy Panthers saw something in him to invite him to camp.  Williams took full advantage of the opportunity in the team's preseason opener, catching three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown from Joe Webb.  He was also lauded by Ron Rivera for his pass blocking.  Put all together and the Panthers might have something here with Williams as the team's plans to employ a two-tight end formation much the same way the New England Patriots once did with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.  While Williams has a lot to prove with regards to showing that his preseason debut was not a fluke, the tools are there for him to have an impact this season.  For the price of a last round draft pick, Williams could turn out to be a lottery ticket that pays off handsomely at a shallow position.  With a nice blend of size and speed that reminds some of Thomas and Antonio Gates, Williams is worth the long look.

 

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