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Mile High Morning: Will Javonte Williams be a fantasy league-winning running back?


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With many fantasy football drafts approaching, one question keeps coming up: How productive will Javonte Williams be in 2022? As the second-year running back will share snaps with Melvin Gordon III for a second consecutive season, fantasy managers are trying to determine if they can rely on Williams to lead them to victory.

NBC Sports’ Matthew Berry and PointsBet’s Jay Croucher discussed this question, determining that Williams is one of the top running backs in the league — though they noted that his fantasy value may depend on Gordon.

"The reason I love Javonte Williams is that he has a high floor — I think his worst-case scenario, health permitting, is basically what he did last year, which was fine," Croucher said. "Then he also has a high ceiling. Because if Melvin Gordon gets hurt, how many guys are more valuable in fantasy than Javonte Williams? Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey — anyone else?"

"He's in that top-five running back conversation, there's no question about it," Berry agreed.

As it stands now, Berry ranked Williams as the RB15 in fantasy.

"If I had to pencil in a projection, I would say 65-35 [percent snap share], Williams to Gordon," Berry said. "They do want Williams to be the guy, and he's the more explosive player at this part of their career, but Melvin Gordon last year looked pretty good. … I think [Williams is] a mid-tier RB2, but to your point, he has potentially league-winning upside if something were to happen to Melvin Gordon."

Croucher pointed to Williams' explosiveness and ability to break tackles as a massive upside, noting that if given the chance, he can be a league-winning player.

"Javonte Williams led the league in [broken tackles] last season," Croucher said. "He was basically the most explosive running back in terms of breaking tackles and making guys miss. So he clearly has the talent. If he has the opportunity, then he can win your league."

Below the Fold’s Marc Ross picked the Broncos as the team that will enjoy the biggest turnaround in 2022. He pointed to the addition of Russell Wilson as a game-changing move for Denver that could pay off.

"The Denver Broncos haven't had a winning season since 2016 and haven't made the postseason since 2015, when they won Super Bowl 50," Ross wrote. "It feels like all of that is about to change. Coming off a seven-win season, the Broncos made one of the biggest moves of the offseason when they traded for Russell Wilson, who does few things better than winning. Wilson had at least 10 victories in eight of his 10 seasons in Seattle. Denver will remember real quick how it feels to not only win in the regular season -- by the way, they have the NFL's easiest first eight games (.412 opposing win percentage in 2021) -- but deep in January."

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