Having to share carries with veteran Melvin Gordon last season, Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams still delivered a solid rookie campaign. The North Carolina product came up just short of a 1,000-yard campaign and is posed to having a vital role in the Broncos offense for years to come.
Entering this season, he will once again share the limelight with Gordon in the backfield. Can he possibly establish separation and entrench himself as RB1?
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Williams took 203 carries for 903 yards (4.4 ypc) and four touchdowns. He had two fumbles for the season.
Receiving: He caught 43 of 53 targets for 316 yards and three touchdowns.
Fantasy: Williams finished the season as the 17th ranked fantasy running back in PPR formats. He compiled 204.9 points to the tune of 12.1 fantasy points per game.
Broncos offseason moves
One of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason came in March when the Broncos traded for quarterback Russell Wilson. The team made a huge upgrade at QB and the presence of a nine-time Pro Bowler like Wilson will dramatically impact the offense in a way that could benefit backs like Williams.
2022 best case scenario
The best case scenario for Williams is his youth prevailing this season. Gordon just turned 29 and despite a productive season last year, the potential for a dropoff is always around the corner. That could turn into a situation where Williams establishes himself as the defined RB1 in Denver by the end of the season, benefitting fantasy managers.
2022 worst case scenario
Barring injury, the worst case scenario for Williams is continuing to split carries with Gordon throughout the season. While he’d still get plenty of work, it would cap the ceiling on his fantasy production.
I’ll predict that Williams does indeed entrench himself as RB1 in Denver by the end of the season. It’ll be a gradual process considering that MelGor is still productive, but he’ll gain momentum and will be getting a bulk of the touches down the stretch.