Javonte Williams, Mike Boone Updated Fantasy Outlook After Melvin Gordon Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2021

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 21: Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) runs after making a catch during the first quarter of the National Football League game between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns on October 21, 2021, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos will be without their leading rusher Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Broncos ruled out running back Melvin Gordon on Saturday because of shoulder and hip injuries.

It's a major loss for the team, and one that left fantasy players wondering how it will impact fellow running backs Javonte Williams and Mike Boone.

Williams has RB2 potential going forward. The Broncos, despite having Gordon atop the depth chart, felt compelled to use a second-round pick on the former North Carolina Tar Heel. His strength and explosiveness makes him an instant threat to be a fantasy mainstay with Gordon sidelined.

"Javonte, he's an explosive runner," his offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told reporters on June 16. "He did a really nice job in the passing game with regard to protection. He [also] displayed an ability to catch the ball [in college], which are all things that we've seen in the training. You never really know how a guy learns until you work with him. Having worked with him now, he's a quick learner and he's got great instincts with regard to football. It shows up on the field."

You should expect it to show up on the field in the form of RB2 fantasy production.

While Gordon leads the Broncos with 605 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, Williams has been impressive in his own right.

Williams has rushed for 568 yards and two touchdowns, while also making 27 receptions for 193 yards and one score. His 4.9 yards-per-carry average is the best on the team ahead of Gordon's mark of 4.5.

Fantasy managers have waited all year for Williams to be unleashed, and he will finally have that opportunity Sunday.

Boone has appeared in four games this season but has not had a carry. In three prior seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Boone rushed for 379 yards and four touchdowns. 

While Williams should be in all fantasy lineups until Gordon returns, Boone is likely best left on the waiver wire.