Rookie React: Javonte Williams may just be this year’s Jonathan Taylor


Mercifully, the poking, prodding and Wonderlic-ing has ceased. With player destinations finally set, this wannabe soothsayer forges ahead previewing what newly drafted contributors could accomplish in their fresh digs for fantasy/betting audiences. Today’s rookie under the microscope: Javonte Williams.

Current fantasy ADP: 58.13, RB26 

Current player props: +3300 to win OROY (DraftKings

Javonte Williams Fantasy Outlook

Upsides: A rolling wooden barrel downhill, Williams is a tremendously powerful one-cut back who piles up the yards after contact. Last season with the UNC Tar Heels, he tallied a 4.59 YAC per attempt, RB9 among Division I rushers, while forcing a missed tackle on an almost unfathomable 48.0% of his touches. His brawn and open-field shake are truly unique characteristics that should translate seamlessly to Denver’s rushing attack. Also equipped with useful hands and pass-blocking chops, he’s a well-prepared back who should step in and command at least 10-12 touches per game from the onset. Some scouts believed he was the most talented RB in this year’s draft class, for good reason. 

Downsides: Melvin Gordon is a prickly thorn. Though he finished last season on a high note, the 28-year-old veteran is unlikely to command another 62.9% of the opportunity share. Still, he’s a hindrance, a trusted backfield option who mitigates Williams’ immediate upside. Denver’s offensive line, which finished in the bottom-10 in run-blocking efficiency, adjusted line yards and stuff percentage, is another concern. However, investments to improve it via the NFL Draft could pay instant dividends. 

Fearless forecast: 201 carries, 882 rushing yards, 30 receptions, 221 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns 

2021 Could be a great one for Javonte Williams

Final word: At the current moment all the talk in the Mile High City is when, if ever, knight-in-shining-armor Aaron Rodgers will ride into town. Even if he doesn’t, Williams could be this year’s version of Jonathan Taylor, a wonderfully gifted rookie RB who flourishes over the second half of the season. Gordon’s days are undoubtedly numbered. It’s only a matter of time before the UNC product overtakes him on the depth chart, potentially driving fantasy backers into the winner’s circle. At his Round 5 valuation in 12-team leagues, he’s destined to profit. Heck, firing off a ticket from him to snag Offensive Rookie of the Year honors at 33/1 is an equally shrewd move. Ignore the naysayers. By the end of October, Juggernaut Javonte throttles the competition.

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