Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, Javonte Williams was regarded as one of the top running back prospects. He possessed a well-rounded skill set, including excellent vision, the ability to create yards after contact, and reliable pass-catching ability. His performances in college drew attention from NFL scouts and analysts, and he was projected to be selected in the early rounds of the draft.
With the Denver Broncos selecting Williams in the second round, they added a dynamic playmaker to their backfield. Williams joined a running back room that included Melvin Gordon, forming a potentially potent duo. Throughout the 2021 NFL season, Williams showcased his skills, contributing as a rusher and receiver. He displayed his physicality, elusiveness, and ability to break tackles, making him an exciting player to have in dynasty formats.
In 2022, the fantasy world was expecting a big season from him with a new coach and QB at the helm. However, the Broncos’ season didn’t go as planned, and a slow start hindered Williams’ production through the first three weeks. In week 4, he suffered tears to his posterolateral corner (PLC), lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Many in the fantasy space inaccurately compare Javonte’s injury to JK Dobbins’. It’s a complicated injury, so let’s dive in.
The real challenge in predicting (and comparing) these players is the involvement of the PLC. The PLC is actually an umbrella term for 11 different pieces of anatomy. We’re not privy to which of these are involved and to what severity. We learned late, for instance, that JK Dobbins also tore a hamstring muscle (one of the 11 PLC structures) with his catastrophic knee injury. That changes our expectations dramatically and helps explain his troubled 2022 campaign.
While we won’t know entering the 2023 season exactly what Javonte is rehabbing, we already see the differences in these players’ off-season’s. Broncos camp reports have been very positive for Javonte’s participation, and, unlike Dobbins, Javonte isn’t starting the season on the PUP.
Interestingly, Denver only brought in NFL journeyman Samaje Perine to back up Javonte while vets including Zeke, Fournette, and Hunt remained free agents.
The prudent move in redraft formats is to avoid or draft at ADP, but I might be a taker one or 2 rounds early. In dynasty formats, it may be wise to package him with other assets and acquire a solid contributor, but I wouldn’t necessarily be selling low.
I hope this update provides clarity on his injury and assists you in making decisions regarding rostering him. Looking for more updates? Find us on www.gridironratings.com , and get weekly updates every Wednesday on the Next Man Up podcast with Apple Podcasts or Spotify!