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Javonte Williams start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Javonte Williams ahead of the Broncos Week 1 matchup against the Raiders.

Javonte Williams of the Denver Broncos tries to break a tackle during the first half of a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images

While the Broncos didn’t put Javonte Williams on the PUP list to start the year, Broncos offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that Williams’ workload could be limited at the start of the season, which could impact his fantasy production in Week 1.

Fantasy Football analysis: Broncos RB Javonte Williams

In 2021, Williams broke out in his rookie year with 903 yards rushing and 316 yards receiving but he failed to gain on that production last season as he only played in four games before suffering tears to his ACL and LCL, an injury that ended his season.

Start or sit in Week 1 PPR leagues?

Sit ... unless you can afford the risk

Williams presents an interesting fantasy case. When he was on the field in 2021 he was a dynamic runner who was able to make an impact as both a rusher and receiver. But now, based on Lombardi’s comments, it seems like his production will be limited against the Raiders. While the Raiders did allow the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs last season (21.4 PPG) and ranked 19th in rushing defense (122.8 YPG allowed), it sounds like Williams will split snaps with backup Samaje Perine and third-string running back Jaleel McLaughlin. At this point, Williams isn’t a RB1 or 2, and should only be in your lineup as a flex if you feel you have the depth in your starting lineup to afford a slow day from him.

Start or sit in Week 1 standard leagues?

Sit. As mentioned above, Williams holds some value in the passing game, and with his standing already shaky, starting him in a standard league is an even worse idea. While the Broncos offense should be better this year, it’s worth stowing Williams on your bench until his injury situation clears up.

Player(s) you would start ahead of Williams

Williams ranks as the No. 29 running back at Fantasypros between Jamaal Williams and Brian Robinson Jr. I personally think Jamaal Williams’ ceiling for Week 1 is much higher than that of Javonte Williams’, as Jamaal will be the Saints’ main running back for the next three weeks of the season while Alvin Karama is suspended. Another option is Perine (if you have him), as he’ll pick up almost all of the production left behind by Williams.