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RB Javonte Williams runs strong in Week 1 preseason start

Broncos RB Javonte Williams got five carries in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. We recap his performance.

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Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams drills during training camp on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos had a massive 33-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 of the preseason, but the biggest storyline from the team involves the running back situation. Head coach Vic Fangio revealed Melvin Gordon is dealing with a minor groin injury and could miss some time, meaning the running back role might be easier to overtake. Javonte Williams is expected to be the No. 2 running back, but anything can happen at this position.

Javonte Williams Week 1 preseason stats

5 carries, 29 yards, 0 TD

Analysis

Williams did not get a lot of work, which could mean the Broncos have already seen enough in training camp to not want to risk his health much this preseason. But he did run strong and made people miss, with three avoided tackles per Pro Football Focus. Damarea Crockett saw most of the carries in this game. Royce Freeman matched Williams on carries. It seems the North Carolina product is firmly entrenched in the No. 2 spot at the moment.

Fantasy implications

With Gordon set to miss time with a minor groin injury, Williams could win more time while he’s out. The Broncos are likely to still roll with Gordon once he’s healthy, but there’s a reason they took Williams in the second round. Gordon is an expiring contract, so Williams is clearly the future running back in Denver unless someone else emerges. He’s good to have on your bench in fantasy leagues this year, especially dynasty versions.