The 2020 Denver Broncos set quarterback Drew Lock up with plenty of weapons and removed any sort of excuses for him. He flopped, predictably, because he isn’t as good as they hope he is. So, it would stand to reason that if the Denver Broncos could add a top-three quarterback in 2021 NFL Draft without having to move up or down, they should. That must be exactly why they didn’t! They added a cornerback at their #9 pick with Justin Fields still on the board. Sure, why not.
When the dust settled, the Denver Broncos added two fantasy football-relevant players to their existing room… and one last name. What can we expect from the Williamses (Seth and Javonte) in their rookie campaigns, for fantasy football?
FULL DENVER BRONCOS DRAFT RESULTS
|1||9||Patrick Surtain II||CB||Alabama|
|2||35||Javonte Williams||RB||North Carolina|
|3||105||Baron Browning||LB||Ohio State|
|7||237||Kary Vincent Jr.||CB||LSU|
|7||239||Jonathon Cooper||DE||Ohio State|
|7||253||Marquiss Spencer||DE||Mississippi State|
Round 2, Pick 35: Javonte Williams, Running Back, North Carolina (5’10” 222 pounds)
RB1: Melvin Gordon
RB2: Javonte Williams
WR3: Mike Boone
WR4: Royce Freeman
Williams is a home run hitter without a “get away from everyone” top gear, so I guess he’s more of a “ground-rule double” hitter. That’s right, baseball metaphors in this football review. Javonte Williams is good and is a solid third running back in this class. He has above-average vision, and casts aside would-be tacklers with ease, and is a danger to take the ball 20+ yards if you let him hit the edge. Williams will beat nearly every LB to the edge, and then destroy safety angles en route to his massive gains. He’s not just a one-trick pony, as he is a powerful, decisive, agile runner.
Williams also has good hands and more than once put a defender on the ground with his route running. People compare Williams to Nick Chubb, but I see more of Chubb’s teammate, Kareem Hunt, in him. The Thunder of a Thunder & Lightning approach at UNC.
The Denver Broncos jettisoned Phillip Lindsay this offseason, replacing his depth chart spot with Mike Boone. They then shoved Royce Freeman even further down the depth chart by adding Javonte Williams between incumbent starter Melvin Gordon and Mike Boone. It’s hard to say that Javonte Williams won’t get a lot of opportunities, given running back fragility, but outside of that, he could get a shot to take Melvin Gordon’s job. Or, at least, a good chunk of his touches.
Prior to adding Gordon, the Broncos gave Lindsay 259 touches, and Royce Freeman 175. This feels more like how the 2021 split will go. The Broncos did their best to give Lindsay the requisite 175 touches they want to give their RB2, but he was just really, really bad. But, Lindsay still got every chance at doing this last season, averaging double-digit touches as Gordon’s 1B. In the game that Gordon missed, that number jumped up to 23 touches. Javonte has a clear path to production should Gordon go down. If Melvin Gordon plays 16 17 games, Javonte still has the skills to steal touches from Gordon and carve out a niche all on his own.
2021 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
I like Javonte Williams. I like Javonte Williams’ landing spot (somewhat). And, I like Javonte’s draft price! Right now, he goes in the second-half of round 12, just before Eno Benjamin and Marlon Mack. He’s a speculative dart throw right now, but I like him as just that. In deeper leagues, Williams could carve out a solid lower-end flex role, and in shallow leagues, he’s the kind of “break glass in case of emergency” stash where you stash someone else’s handcuff. I like his opportunities this season, it just might take some time for him to carve out a role that’s useful for fantasy football.
Round 6, Pick 219: Seth Williams, Wide Receiver, Auburn (6’2” 224 pounds)
WR1: Courtland Sutton
WR2: Jerry Jeudy
WR3: K.J. Hamler
WR4: Seth Williams
WR5: Tim Patrick
If you like Tylan Wallace, can I offer you a bigger, stronger, lankier version of him? Seth Williams is a good case study for why guys list their 5’11” frames as 6’0” on dating apps, as that extra height really made me fall in love with Seth Williams. Throw in his 95th-percentile wingspan and you have a guy who absolutely dominates at the point of attack. He also runs extremely easily with long strides once he gets going (like Colin Kaepernick). Before the catch, he’s a bit messy in his route running and relied a lot on his size to bully guys.
Williams is a guy that I’m looking to add in the second half of all my rookie drafts. He is the guy I am allowing myself into my top-ten based solely on the highlights, as a treat. Last year that guy was Chase Claypool, so…
It’s going to be difficult for Williams to find reliable targets in his first year with Drew Lock. Probably because “Drew Lock” and “reliable targets” only go together with the word “difficult.” Lock is wildly scattershot and likely drags down this whole wide receiver room. Throw in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam’s return, and you have a recipe for a whole lot of nothing coming out of Seth Williams his rookie year, without injuries.
2021 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
As much as it pains me to say, the path to consistent targets for Seth Williams is a tough one to find. I’m not particularly excited for his rookie year production without significant injury to another player on the team that causes the targets to shift down the depth chart.
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