Broncos rookie Javonte Williams finished as RB15 a year ago, and fantasy managers hoped that was enough evidence for Denver to hand over the true RB1 duties. But, Melvin Gordon is back for another year and that means the Williams' breakout campaign may be put on hold for one more year.
He's still a tantalizing fantasy option, and there's a reason his average draft position (ADP) sees him going as RB11 off the board.
Javonte Williams Fantasy Football Outlook
Williams and Gordon split carries right down the middle last year, both notching 203 attempts on the season. However, Williams displayed his all-around talents by out-touching Gordon, 246-231.
The two put up close to identical numbers, with Gordon's leading 918 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns compared to Williams' 903 yards and 4 scores. Gordon was also the preferable red zone option, out-carrying Williams 37-29 inside the 20. But, Williams did see more targets and receptions, and one more touchdown through the air (3).
There's not much to overthink in this conversation. Barring any health concerns, which neither running back displayed a year ago, the two will likely share much of the load again. Williams should naturally take a step forward because it's his second full year in the NFL, but the Broncos will want to maximize the value on Gordon's one-year deal.
The biggest potential difference in Denver's overall outlook is the addition of a reliable quarterback. Russell Wilson is a far better option that the combination of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, which could lead to more of a passing attack.
Denver ran the ball at the 11th-highest clip (45.7%) a year ago. If the Broncos are willing to open things up and let Russ cook then it could plays in Williams' favor. He's a better threat in the passing game, catching 81.1% of his passes at 6.0 yards per target last year.
Javonte Williams Projections
Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook foresee a bigger step forward from Williams. He's the T-10th (+2000) in odds to lead the NFL in rushing yards, with an over/under of 925.5 yards. By comparison, Gordon holds +7500 odds.
Is Javonte Williams a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
So with all said and done, is Williams a good fantasy pick? A good one, but not a great one. The No. 14 running back in The Duel's fantasy football rankings, you can feel good about taking Williams with your RB2 choice, but that ADP of RB11 is a little rich. He's a borderline RB1 candidate and would be one of the top running backs in fantasy football if not for the placement of Gordon on this roster.
There's certainly a world where Williams' role continually increases as the year goes on, simply a product of elite performance.
Oh, and if you drafted Williams with one of your early picks, then you might want to check out the best Denver Broncos fantasy football team names for your squad too.
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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.