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Fantasy camp battles: RB Melvin Gordon vs. Javonte Williams

The Denver Broncos have two good running backs on the depth chart. Who will win the camp battle between Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.

DENVER BRONCOS TRAINING CAMP, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

After five years with the Chargers, Melvin Gordon experienced a change of scenery last season by staying in the AFC West and signing with the Denver Broncos.

Successfully fending of Phillip Lindsay for carries, MelGor re-established himself as a top rushing threat in the league by finishing the 2020 season just shy of 1,000 rushing yards on 4.6 yards per carry and nine touchdowns. Entering this season, the veteran out of Wisconsin will have to fend off another young, hotshot running back for carries.

This time it’s rookie Javonte Williams from North Carolina. Williams boosted his draft stock as a junior for UNC in 2020, barreling his way to a season of 1,140 yards on 7.3 ypc and 19 touchdowns along with catching 25 passes out of the backfield.

With two battering ram running backs at their disposal, we’ll see who emerges as the primary bell cow come week one.

Latest camp news

Week 2 preseason recap: With Gordon sidelined due to a groin injury, Williams got the nod to open the game. The rookie did not light the world on fire, getting seven carries for 20 yards. He also had one reception for five yards. The Broncos aren’t going to unleash their full offense in preseason, but the early returns in the run game have not been great.

Week 1 preseason recap: Williams impressed Vic Fangio in Denver’s 33-6 preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, getting five carries for 27 yards on the afternoon. Gordon was held out of the game with a groin injury.

8/9/21: Gordon admitted on Friday that last year’s competition with Lindsay got into his head. Even with another running back competing for touches this camp, he’s indicated that he’s focused on just controlling what he can control to help the team.

Meanwhile, Williams has drawn nothing but praise during his first training camp with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur saying that he’s been terrific and has a bright future.

Next preseason game: vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Broncos still have to figure out their starting quarterback, so that means the starters are going to continue to get some run in the final preseason game. Williams will have another opportunity to wow the coaches here, but Royce Freeman is also emerging as a threat with Gordon still out.

Fantasy football verdict

Week 2 preseason: The Broncos took Williams in the second round for a reason. Gordon is a free agent and the team is unlikely to re-sign the 28-year old. That being said, the early production has not been promising. Williams will likely split carries with Gordon for most of the season when both players are healthy, but Freeman remains involved in the offense. This will never truly be a one-man backfield unless the injuries really start piling up.