Fantasy football: Where to draft Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams
Few running backs have made as significant a jump in position rankings than Denver Broncos sophomore Javonte Williams. He went from being an RB4 with upside as a rookie to the top of the RB2 charts this year. Big things are expected, but they may need to be tempered just a bit.
Below, we look at Javonte Williams' 2022 fantasy football average draft position (ADP) and where you should draft him.
You couldn't have found a backfield timeshare more evenly split than Williams and Melvin Gordon last season. Both of them had 203 rushing attempts and almost identical yardage numbers. Enter new head coach Nathaniel Hackett, stage left. Hackett has always spoken of running backs in terms of having "a stable" - something that may be at odds with Williams' current ranking.
Javonte Williams' ADP: 25.75
(ADP data courtesy of MyFantasyLeague.com)
Williams has quickly moved into some rarified air and passed a couple of fantasy football staples with his current ADP at 25.75, although there is some distance between the top names and where he lands. He's behind Aaron Jones (Green Bay Packers) at 21.16 and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) at 51.00 and ahead of established vets Leonard Fournette (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) at 27.80 and Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) at 32.07.
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Javonte Williams' 2021 stats
Carries | rushing yards: 203 | 903
Rushing touchdowns: 4
Receptions | receiving yards: 43 | 316
Receiving touchdowns: 3
Where should you draft Williams?
If you've seen Williams play, you know why there is so much steam behind him. There may be no other running back in the league that routinely makes the first and second guy miss when hitting a hole and he fights for every yard on every run.
The issue is Gordon and Hackett. Williams was drafted to be Gordon's replacement when he free agency this spring. However, the Broncos brought him back on an incentive-laden deal that pays him pretty well even if he only marginally produces. It was a franchise investment bringing him back. The fact they both had 203 carries last year speaks to the organization's belief in both of them. Gordon's strong suit is finishing drives in close with short TD runs. No running back in the league has more double-digit touchdown seasons over the last decade than Gordon.
Hackett is a problem because of his history. He likes to run multiple backs in his offense and that lends itself to keeping everyone fresh but not allowing for one true bell-cow back.
Williams' talent makes him the main man in the Broncos backfield, but he will likely have about 15-18 touches a game unless he completely blows up. That's something both Fournette and Elliott will have if healthy - and a handful of 1-yard touchdown runs as the cherry on top. Williams is going to be great, but I get the feeling we're a year too early to anoint him as a new big dog in the yard.
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