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Will Javonte Williams live up to early ADP?

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In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Frank Schwab and Liz Loza take a deep dive on the Broncos backfield for the 2022 season.

Video Transcript

FRANK SCHWAB: We all love Javonte Williams. We saw him when he gets his chance, and oh my god, this guy is super talented. And of course he's going to take over 80% of the backfield, right? I don't know. Melvin Gordon didn't go away last year.

LIZ LOZA: No, he's not.

FRANK SCHWAB: So you have to-- your price point on Javonte Williams is basically what end of the first, pretty much, maybe early second if you get really lucky. You're drafted a guy like that knowing that you might cede to a 700-yard back in Melvin Gordon, who still played well last year. Melvin Gordon--

LIZ LOZA: Missed one game only.

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, and as far-- as much as we like to slog the Broncos for not giving Javonte more chances and all that, Melvin Gordon played well. He earned his way on the field. What's so different this year?

I get it-- different coaching staff. Maybe it does change. But before I draft Javonte Williams aggressively, I love the talent. I have to tell myself, am I going down the same road? Am I ignoring that, for a guy to reach his true ceiling, you're having to compete with a guy who might get 700 yards on the same backup, 800, whatever it's going to be.

I think that Javonte Williams is a guy this year it applies to because Zeke Gibson, they're going to be at different price points. And I might talk myself into that later on. But last year was first, second round. And that's the guys I'm talking about with this lesson I learned. These are your foundation guys.

And if you have an AJ Dillon taking away from Aaron Jones, what's really your upside there? And that's the question I'm asking Javonte right now.

LIZ LOZA: Well, the upside I think for Aaron Jones this year is the amount of work he's going to get in the receiving game.

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, he might catch [INAUDIBLE], like really. You look at that offense, wow.

LIZ LOZA: So in a PPR friendly format, like, I think Aaron Jones is actually an incredible value right now. I'm going to give you some names because you make a very valid and important point about price right now and how Zeke and Antonio Gibson are slipping largely because they were drafted too high or didn't ROI given where they were drafted heading into last year.

So looking at ADP quickly, all right, Javonte Williams right now is the ninth running back overall. I am with you on Javonte Williams. I have him ranked outside of my top 12. I was high on Melvin Gordon last year. I think I said this on the pad last week when we had Melvin Gordon on Ekeler's Edge.

Also interesting to have Melvin Gordon on Ekeler's Edge because the situation he is in now and was last year was very similar to what he dealt with when he was with the Chargers and Austin in particular. So it was a little tense. I'm going to be honest. I felt a little awkward at times.

But Melvin Gordon-- and maybe he said this because he wanted Austin to know. Who knows? I don't want to play psychologist too much. But he said he had spent the summer training with Frank Gore in Florida, and that is who he was modeling his career after. Did not blink, was completely serious.

Everything we're seeing-- [INAUDIBLE] one game because of a hip injury. That was it. When he came back, he was right back to sharing the load, right? Why-- and now he's on another-- they resigned him to another short deal. So last year was on a one-year prove, but he seemed to have proved it. I agree with you. I don't think Javonte Williams is going to have top 10 opportunity, not talent, unless Gordon gets hurt.

FRANK SCHWAB: And that can happen to anybody. You could talk yourself into any [INAUDIBLE] back, like if this guy gets hurt. He's said about 15 backs in the league. So yeah, for me it's more, I had to read the room on each one of these guys and say, this is going to be a true 80%, 90-- Najee Harris. But you don't worry about his playing time at all.

Like, he is their guy. No doubt, the volume is going to be there. Ekeler is another guy I don't think-- I don't think he's going to get much taken away from the rookie there. Or, I mean, these guys who go high, so that's who I'm talking about, these top guys.