The Denver Broncos had not one, but two reliable running backs to turn to last season in both rookie Javonte Williams and veteran Melvin Gordon. Both finished with just under 1,000 yards for the year and both were top-25 tailbacks in fantasy football.
The Broncos re-signed Gordon to a one-year deal in the offseason, ensuring the duo will share the backfield for another year. Prospective fantasy managers will be faced with the question of which one to choose heading into their respective drafts
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
As a rookie in 2021, Williams lived up to the preseason hype he received and gave Broncos fans a taste of what’s to come for the next several years. He took 203 carries for 903 rushing yards (4.4 ypc) and four touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 43 of 53 targets for 316 receiving yards and three touchdowns as well. Williams finished the year as the 17th ranked fantasy running back in PPR formats and enters this season as RB11 in average draft position.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
Any concerns over age sneaking up on Gordon were squashed as he still held his own even in the presence of Williams. He had 203 carries for 918 yards (4.5 ypc) and eight touchdowns, all of them coming from within the red zone. Gordon finished the year as the 21st ranked fantasy running back in PPR formats and enters the season as RB34 in ADP.
Fantasy football verdict
Both will be effective fantasy running backs this season but I do think that this will be the season where we start to see a decline in Gordon’s play. He’s inching closer to 30 and at some point, he’ll hit a wall.
Meanwhile, Williams should improve upon last season and has also proven himself as an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield. Fantasy managers should prioritize him over Gordon in their drafts.