The Denver Broncos have provided fantasy football managers with three choices at the running back position, but which one of the three should you start: Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine, or Jaleel McLaughlin? We’ll break down the fantasy outlook for each player entering Week 13.
Should You Start Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine, or Jaleel McLaughlin This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say that Williams is the player to start. His projected 13.2 points include 48 rushing yards, six receptions, and 27 receiving yards. His projected stat line outperforms the consensus projections of McLaughlin’s 7.4 points and Perine’s 7.2 points.
My ranking for these three running backs aligns with the consensus. Williams is still receiving the bulk of the carries among the running backs. And even though Perine has an added receiving threat, neither he nor McLaughlin figures to be as productive as Williams.
Fantasy Outlook for Williams This Week
Williams was part of an impressive Broncos rushing unit last week that ran for a season-high 169 yards against the Cleveland Browns, the league’s top defense. Williams led the way with 18 carries and 65 rush yards for Denver, who has rushed the ball at least 38 times in three of its last four games.
There are fair and legitimate concerns about starting Williams. For one, Denver is still waiting for Williams’ first rushing touchdown of the season, and we’re through Week 12. For another, out of the backfield, he’s caught just five passes for 22 yards over his last two games.
But the fact that he remains the Broncos’ top option at the running back, as evidenced by his being on the field for a season-high 70% of Denver’s offensive snaps, is apparent.
The Broncos have a tough defense facing them this weekend in the Houston Texans, who have held six of its last seven opponents under 100 rushing yards. But if the Broncos are going to continue to run the ball as much as possible, expect Williams to be handling those duties.
Fantasy Outlook for Perine This Week
Perine has undoubtedly opened the eyes of some fantasy football managers with his performance last week, finishing with 55 rushing yards on seven carries. It was quite a surprising effort for a running back who had just five carries for 30 yards over his previous five games.
The Week 12 effort also pushed his rush attempts total (37) over his receptions total (33) for the season.
All that said, Perine hasn’t been on the field for 40% of the Broncos’ offensive snaps in any of their last six games. It’s difficult to throw support to a player who is only on the field for 18 snaps, as was the case with Perine last week.
The PFN Start/Sit Optimizer projects Perine to finish with 17 rushing yards, two receptions, and 16 receiving yards.
Fantasy Outlook for McLaughlin This Week
McLaughlin continues to be productive when he’s on the field. He’s averaging nearly six yards a carry for the season.
But, once again, he just isn’t on the field for very long. McLaughlin has not been on the field for more than 11 offensive snaps in any of Denver’s last five games.
The PFN Start/Sit Optimizer projects McLaughlin to finish with 40 rushing yards and one reception for 10 receiving yards.
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