Javonte Williams Injury Update: Will the Broncos RB play in Week 15 or is this Melvin Gordon’s backfield?

With Javonte Williams missing practice due to a leg injury, what should fantasy managers expect from him and Melvin Gordon this week?

The amount of carnage around the NFL right now is ridiculous, decimating fantasy football rosters everywhere. Javonte Williams, who had a monster breakout game two weeks ago, did not practice on Wednesday with a knee injury. Terrific. What’s the injury risk and the fantasy expectations for Williams and Melvin Gordon this week?

Javonte Williams injury update

According to head coach Vic Fangio, Williams did not practice today because of “a little bit of a leg issue,” which specifies exactly nothing. However, when asked if he expects Williams to play in Week 15, Fangio said, “yeah.”

That’s some high-quality coach speak right there. It sounds like the knee injury for Williams isn’t too much of a concern. Thus, he should play against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15.

Melvin Gordon has been solid in his own right

Last week, Gordon came out hungry and reminded people that he isn’t conceding this backfield without a fight. After Williams posted 178 scrimmage yards and a touchdown two weeks ago, Gordon put up 111 rushing yards and 2 scores, all while earning more carries than Williams. Gordon finished the game with 24 carries to Williams’ 15. It was one of the more lopsided backfield splits we’ve seen this year.

Gordon has been one of the most underrated running backs in fantasy football this year. He is the RB19 on a points-per-game basis in half-PPR. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry (above his career 4.1 ypc average) and currently has 882 scrimmage yards in 12 games.

No, he’s not ultra flashy. And no, he doesn’t break the tackles or rattle off the long runs that Williams does. But Gordon is good enough to get the job done when asked.

If Williams is limited in any way on Sunday, Gordon could be in line for a huge game against the Bengals.

Gordon and Williams fantasy expectations

Let’s start with the matchup. The Bengals have been one of the best defenses against the run in recent weeks, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to the RB position over the last month. Running backs have only scored 1 scrimmage touchdown against them in the previous four weeks.

However, the Bengals are dealing with a large number of injuries and COVID-19 cases, including the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, DE Trey Hendrickson, and LB Logan Wilson. Those three players have combined for 168 tackles this year, with Wilson leading the team with 92. Their defense has taken a big blow, which could create more opportunities for Williams and Gordon to find success.

If you roster either of these running backs, they need to be locked into your starting lineups. If Williams plays, he and Gordon should both be treated as solid RB2s with RB1 potential depending on how the touchdowns fall. However, if Williams misses this week, Gordon becomes a fringe RB1, even in a tough matchup. The Broncos’ offense runs through their running backs, and I’m trusting both of them.

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