With Melvin Gordon ruled out for Week 13, the Javonte Williams era in Denver could be on the verge of reaching a new stage. The split between Gordon and Williams has limited the fantasy football ceiling of both players. Can fantasy managers trust Williams today as an RB1, and how might his performance impact his future split with Gordon?
The Broncos haven’t committed to a workhorse
Williams is the future at running back for the Broncos, but fantasy managers might be disappointed that he hasn’t seen more opportunities. Gordon has averaged 12.3 rushing attempts and 2 receptions per game. Meanwhile, Williams is averaging 10.6 rushing attempts and 2.5 receptions per contest. Neither player has established himself as the lead back yet.
Williams is currently the fantasy RB26 in standard-scoring leagues, while Gordon sits in the next tier above him. The former Los Angeles Chargers rusher is the RB19. It’s been a backfield capable of producing two fantasy-relevant players. There have been just three games this season in which one player has exceeded 100 total yards, though. Gordon did so in Week 1, while Williams has reached the mark in two of his last three games.
Gordon was ruled out for Week 13, making Williams the workhorse for at least one week.
Former Minnesota Vikings running back Mike Boone is expected to serve as his backup. Boone has yet to register a carry this season and has just 1 reception for 3 yards, so he’s unlikely to make an impact. He’ll be an insurance policy who comes in if Williams needs a breather. Damarea Crockett was activated from the practice squad to help those in 32-team leagues.
Javonte Williams is in a tempting fantasy matchup against the Chiefs
The Broncos face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. The Chiefs allow the 12th-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs in standard-scoring leagues.
Kansas City has faced the fifth-fewest rushing attempts in the NFL, but they are allowing the eighth-most receptions to RBs. That has allowed the 16th-most points per game in points per reception (PPR) scoring.
Gordon has been a better red-zone running back, and that will always be a big part of his game when he’s active. He has 24 attempts inside the 20-yard line compared to 17 for Williams. Inside the red zone, Gordon has 52 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, while Williams has 22 yards and 2 touchdowns. Increased opportunities could greatly benefit Williams’ fantasy week.
With Gordon in the lineup, Williams has been a back-end RB2. But with Gordon out, Williams could vault into RB1 territory. The rookie is in a great position to thrive.
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