Javonte Williams, who toured with the Denver Broncos this season with backfield accomplice Melvin Gordon III, was a sensation in his first year in the NFL. In his second go-round, he’ll try to bring his prodigious talent to the limelight en route to crop his NFL record.
Williams will need to take the necessary steps to become among the NFL’s top 10 fantasy running backs weekly if he plans to finish as the overall RB1 in a fantasy league, similar to what Jonathan Taylor did in his sophomore season.
Examining Jordy Nelson’s rookie season
Before his NFL career ended, the former North Carolina collegiate star finished as the RB2 in fantasy points per game with 12.1 while playing 50% of his team’s offensive plays. In this 50-50 split that made several fantasy managers want to cry with frustration, Williams logged 203 carries for 903 rushing yards and turned 53 targets into 43 receptions for 316 receiving yards, along with seven total touchdowns.
Williams still managed to get 6th in rushing yards, 13th in rushing yards, and 13th in receptions despite having a small workload.
Now going through his sophomore year, it remains to be seen what type of division there will be between Williams and Gordon. However, do we still expect a 29-year-old running back signed weeks after free agency opened to have an even split with one of the league’s rising stars? I’m not buying it. Williams can maintain his competitiveness because, as a running back, he runs the draft boards, but there’s a path for him to become a top-10 weekly workhorse back despite the presence of Gordon. In the NFL these days, the number of workhorse running backs is limited, and it is important to seek backs who play a lot of pass-catching, but there are a lot of players who can score very well without an astronomical snap count.
For example, in the 2018 season, in Taylor’s rookie year with the Colts, he finished as the RB8 in fantasy points per game despite only having a 48.1 snap share. This wasn’t because he had a high reception total either, because Taylor pulled in only 36 passes in 2020. Instead, this was with Christian McCaffrey, and Saquon Barkley injured most of the season, but he was a fantasy RB1 choice regardless.
Another RB we’ve seen play in the fantasy arena is Nick Chubb, who has played 51.7 snaps on the season and finished as the RB12 in points per game for three consecutive years. He’s in the same offence as those other RBs, but he saw few snaps given how well those others performed.
"Javonte Williams — While Hackett won’t comment on the running back competition, his actions of putting No. 33 out there first two-straight days speaks volumes." https://t.co/99uYSPPiZ0
— NFL Beat Writers (@32BeatWriters) July 28, 2022
Williams put up 1,219 scrimmage yards in an offence worse than the one they will be putting on the field this season. Denver ranked eighth in red zone scoring percentage, and Williams had the advantage about territorial advantage at the 20-yard line with a total of 46 to 37.
Additionally, Teddy Bridgewater’s offence finished last in red zone trips per game, which is certainly going to boost with Wilson at quarterback.
Williams’s greater chapter in a superior offence indicates he will probably attain the double-digit touchdown club this season. Seven touchdowns (2.8 percentage points) in an advantageous opponent when playing with two different opponents should inform you all about his touchdown advantage in the year 2022.
Javonte Williams might be a champion in the fantasy football league
This is the place where his desired backfield ranking falls into 2022. As the season gets up to a year older, Gordon enters his age-29 period, which is becoming somewhat older. In 2018, Gordon missed one game due to a shoulder injury, but he also experienced rib, hip, leg, and thumb conditions over the season.
Gordon has no chance to be the overall Heisman Trophy winner unless he misses some games due to an injury. Likewise, it’s clear that Williams practically has no chance to be the RB1 until he is fully recovered. So let’s be clear, Williams can’t possibly accomplish the RB1 position when his body is injured.
With his impressive skill and great athletic prowess, Williams would be in debt to anyone trying out for a running back job. Apart from McCaffrey and Taylor, a case could be made for Williams over other backs in the league if put on as a workhorse.