31-Year-Old Linebacker – Chicago Bears
2013 Fantasy Football Outlook
With Brian Urlacher gone, Williams will assume an every-down role with the Bears in the middle. He was limited to seven games in his final season with the Broncos due to two seperate suspensions. He h...
D.J. Williams Contract Information:
Williams was re-signed to a one-year contract with the Bears in March of 2014.
Williams (chest) re-signed with the Bears on a one-year contract Tuesday, ESPN Chicago reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
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D.J. Williams: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Williams is a tackle machine when he's on the field, although that will be his main problem for the 2012 season. After being found guilty of violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy, Williams has been suspended for the first six games of the year. To make matters worse, he was also arrested for drunk driving during the offseason, which could certainly allow the commissioner to extend his time away from the team. And finally, he angered the coaching staff after tweeting out a picture of his iPad that showed multiple defensive plays from the playbook. All told, Williams will certainly not have his usually high accumulated tackle totals and could be in even deeper trouble if he keeps his off-the-field issues going.
Williams isn’t really a threat to make plays in coverage (he has just two interceptions in his seven-year career), but he’s extremely efficient as a run stopper and has shown an increasing ability to rush the passer in recent years. His 5.5 sacks from last year were a career high, and he has 475 tackles in his last 59 games. That equates to roughly 129 tackles in a 16-game stretch. Williams is a rare athlete for a linebacker, making him a three-down, sideline-to-sideline playmaker. He might not get the opportunity to rush the passer with Denver switching back to the 4-3 this year, but he should remain a high-floor, high-ceiling IDP option nonetheless.
After a disappointing 2008 season that only allowed Williams to play in 11 games due to injury, he returned in 2009 with a solid season and 122 total tackles. He will most likely lead the Broncos in that category again and is always a possibility to be near the top of the League lead.
Williams was a tackle machine in 2008, leading the league in the category for the first seven weeks of the season with 86 total tackles. A sprained MCL kept him out of action until week 15 and he was a limited performer in the last three games of the season. Williams also had offseason shoulder surgery, but he is expected to be back to full strength for training camp and should resume collecting tackles at a high rate in 2009.
Williams moved to the inside last season and responded with career-high 141 tackles. This season, though, he could shift to the weak side, replacing the departed Ian Gold, with free agent Niko Koutouvides playing middle linebacker. That could mean fewer tackles, but Williams works well in space, and in his rookie year he excelled on the weak side, which offers the most space of any linebacker position. Wherever his spot, he has enough strength, quickness and technique to offer fantasy value. Check the situation through training camp to see where Williams ends up and adjust accordingly.
If Williams is indeed the man to slot into the middle now that Al Wilson is gone, he's due for a big jump in value. After a fantastic 2004 rookie season on the weak side, Williams has played mostly on the strong side, where fantasy points are few and far between. His value rebounded at times last year when he and Ian Gold switched between weak and strong sides, but any time spent on the strong side killed his fantasy value. Now Williams will have a lot more space with which to work. He might actually be better mixing it up in the box with blockers, but he excelled on the weak side, which offers the most space of any linebacker position. Moving to the middle shouldn't be a problem—so long as he has the smarts for the position. We know he has the strength, quickness and technique. Check in during training camp to make sure he's the man in the middle, then give him a look on draft day.
Williams returns as Denver's starting strong-side linebacker and joins Ian Gold and Al Wilson in one of the stronger linebacking units in the NFL. The Broncos want to get Williams on the field more in passing situations, but aren't sure if they want to take Wilson or Gold off the field in nickel packages in order to do so.
Williams’ entire fantasy season rides on whether he or Ian Gold is given Denver’s weakside spot, and who goes to the strong side, where fantasy linebackers go to die. With free reign over the weak side, Williams should really blossom after an impressive rookie season. Scouts have a hard time poking holes in a game that includes fantastic speed, range, closing, tackling, rushing and pure athleticism. He’s a superior talent to Gold, but if it’s Gold in the weak spot, he can be a fantasy asset as well. We’d like to see Williams avoid the four games with just two solo tackles and one game with a lonely one solo, however.
Williams took a step backwards during the June minicamps and now finds himself in a battle with Donnie Spragan for the starting weakside job. The team is high on Williams but he'll need to step to the plate and deliver this summer during training camp in order to have an immediate impact for the individual defensive player leagues.