In the NFL’s most competitive division, no team has undergone a more transformative offseason than the Denver Broncos. To kick off the league year, Denver sent a package of draft picks and players for veteran signal-caller Russell Wilson, providing the team with stability under center for the first time since Peyton Manning. But while Wilson will lead the offense, his supporting cast faces some important questions heading into training camp.
In this series, we look at the most important fantasy-football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity remains king in fantasy as you can’t deliver production without getting on the field. As such, the first step when evaluating value involves projecting — correctly — which players will win training-camp battles.
Here, we present our picks to win the Broncos’ training-camp battles ahead of your 2022 fantasy drafts.
Melvin Gordon vs. Javonte Williams
The Broncos entered the 2021 season with a battle at the running-back position as well. That competition too featured veteran Melvin Gordon and talented youngster Javonte Williams. But while many understandably assumed one or the other would eventually take the reins, each finished with the same number of carries (203) and nearly an identical number of total touches (231 versus 246). Gordon ended the season with the edge in total touchdowns (10 versus seven) while Williams had the slight edge in yards from scrimmage (1,219 versus 1,131).
Our pick to win: Javonte Williams
As a rookie, Williams took a backseat to Gordon at times. However, with a season under his belt and a new coaching staff in place, the priorities should shift in favor of the second-year pro. Williams already saw more targets than his veteran teammate in 2021, and running backs should see even more work as pass catchers under new headman Nathaniel Hackett. Gordon shouldn’t disappear from the stat sheet, but Williams should end up as the clear No. 1 if he remains healthy.
Greg Dulcich vs. Albert Okwuegbunam
The Broncos paid an understandable price to acquire Wilson, but it involved sending starting tight end Noah Fant to the Seattle Seahawks. Fant’s absence leaves an important role in the new-look offense up for grabs without a clear front-runner as the team approaches training camp.
Our pick to win: Albert Okwuegbunam
Albert Okwuegbunam’s development helped put the Broncos at ease when trading away Fant. “Big O” took major strides in 2021, setting career highs in every major receiving category. Denver liked Greg Dulcich enough to spend a Day 2 pick on him, but rookie tight ends rarely produce. All of which favors Okwuegbunam over the course of the upcoming season.