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Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Riser: Javonte Williams, RB DEN

Will Javonte Williams live up to his lofty dynasty ADP? We examine Denver’s sophomore runner and his rising value.

Javonte Williams

Summer and the off-season are upon us. As dynasty owners, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Risers and Fallers series, we break down some of the fantasy-relevant dynasty players, including rookies, and look at their values while providing actionable advice on what to do with them.

Javonte Williams, RB DEN (June 2021 Rank=61.86, Current Rank=11.86)

Williams’s stock has risen almost as fast as the bids Rob Walton placed to become the new owner of the Denver Broncos. The soon-to-be second-year running back has climbed 50 spots in the DLF overall rankings. That is no small feat.

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Data Courtesy of DLF Dynasty Rankings History Comparison App.

The re-signing of Melvin Gordon in April will somewhat slow the hype train down for perhaps one more season, but make no mistake, Williams’s breakout is looming. He now sits as the RB4 in the current DLF positional rankings for running backs. Last year at this time, the rookie was not even in the top ten.

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Data Courtesy of DLF RB Rankings.

Williams now finds himself ahead of the likes of Najee Harris and Dalvin Cook amongst others in the current DLF running back rankings.

The Future is Bright

Williams just turned 22 on April 25th. Given the success that both he and veteran Gordon saw in 2021, the best is yet to come. The 2022 season will likely be Gordon’s last in Denver, leaving the backfield all to Williams. The North Carolina alum finished 13th in rushing yards despite splitting time with Gordon, who finished 11th himself – not too shabby for one backfield. The duo combined for an impressive 1,821 yards on the ground.

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Data Courtesy of Sports Reference.

The dynamic tandem also combined for 12 rushing touchdowns and accumulated an additional 529 yards plus five touchdowns in the receiving game. This will leave a ton of meat on the bone for Williams once Gordon departs via retirement or signs with another team in 2023. The ADP spike mirrors the rankings increase and have these future expectations built into the cost.

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Data Courtesy of DLF ADP Over Time App.

Williams’s jump is impressive. Hopefully you were able to get in on the action before his increase in rankings, ADP, and cost to acquire. One other factor we must consider here is the lack of depth at the running back position in dynasty leagues. The days of the workhorse running back are long gone so the fact that Williams has a chance to have this job to himself factors in here as well.

Split Decision?

Williams and Gordon tied for 16th in the NFL for rushing attempts in 2021 with 203. Both players went over 900 yards and the elder of the two had double the touchdowns (eight to four) but the youngster doubled up his mentor in 20-plus yard carries to the tune of six to three.

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Data Courtesy of NFL.com.

The workload likely won’t be split as evenly in 2022 as Gordon just recently 29, and carries a lot of miles on his frame, having 1,761 career regular-season touches. If we are lucky, the goal-line work will pivot to Williams this season and for a good part of his future.

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Data Courtesy of Team Rankings.

The Denver Broncos ranked in the top ten of rushing play percentage by team and are eighth overall throughout the past three seasons. They are a run-first team. Perhaps the acquisition of Russell Wilson will change that some, but it should not negatively impact Williams.

We can expect Denver to continue to be run-heavy, especially in today’s sense of the term in a passing league.

Williams had the best fantasy season out of all the rookies not named Najee Harris in 2021. That trend should continue in 2022 and I like Williams to flirt with a top-five finish.

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Data Courtesy of DLF Yearly Data App.

Travis Etienne didn’t play a snap and Trey Sermon was a major disappointment but it was good to see Williams lived up to the draft capital (35th overall) Denver had invested in him. The future is bright.

Conclusion/Course of Action

I am a fan of Williams and am definitely in the market if the price is right. His value will continue to rise if the future plays out as anticipated. Buying now may be wise even if you feel like you have to overpay to acquire the young stud. Below are some trades that have gone down of late.

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Data Courtesy of DLF Trade Finder

These trades should give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay to put Williams on your roster. Is it a lot? It sure is, but it could pay handsome dividends long-term. No risk it, no biscuit. Go get him.

Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Riser: Javonte Williams, RB DEN
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Gregory Massa
25 days ago

Do you think a 50/50 split, or close to it, is plausible/likely? Unless MG starts to fade he’s been very consistent during his tenure in Denver.

Mark Boutot
25 days ago

I’m not quite sure I understand what I would call the “out-sized love” of Javonte Williams, certainly not to the tune of a top-5 dynasty ranking. In Williams, we have someone who took a backseat, or, at best, took a side-by-side seat to Michael Carter for three years at NC. He never, in any one season, out-rushed Carter. Now, this is not a knock against Carter but it will probably come off as one, but Carter was SO GOOD in his rookie year that the Jets decided to TRADE UP in the second round in this year’s draft to select this season’s best rookie RB in Breece Hall. And yet, for three seasons at NC, Williams could never command the backfield all to himself?

In addition, (or additionally, if you prefer) who is to say that if this really will be Gordon’s last season in Denver and that he is supposed to leave for good after the season, theoretically opening up a huge opportunity for Williams next season, that the Broncos won’t draft / sign someone else to share the backfield with Williams in 2023 and beyond?

I can see a similar situation playing out in Green Bay with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Although not all of the numbers are “exactly similar” (i.e., age, college usage, productivity in the NFL…), I would say the situations are pretty darn close and yet, Dillon is ranked no where near as high as Williams is. It’s what I see as a dissimilar interpretation of two nearly similar situations and I do not understand the discrepancies in the rankings of the two players, Williams and Dillon.

Jacob Johnson
24 days ago

Shurmur isn’t the OC.

Rodolfo Jacinto
24 days ago

Too late to buy now.

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