After rushing for a season-high 145 yards in last week’s win over the Green Bay Packers as a team, it’s clear the ground game remains a big part of the Denver Broncos‘ offense. But which Denver running back is the right choice to start on your fantasy football team this week — Javonte Williams or Jaleel McLaughlin? Let’s take a look.
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Fantasy Outlook for Javonte Williams This Week
Williams is coming off his best game of the season in last week’s win over Green Bay. He finished with season-highs in offensive snaps (31), rush attempts (15), rush yards (82), and yards per carry (5.5).
Although the Broncos will not likely give up on their running back-by-committee plan, Williams appears to clearly be their top choice at the position. Over his last two games, Williams had 25 carries for 134 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry.
MORE: Fantasy Football Updated RB Rest-of-Season Rankings Week 8
One thing working against Williams is his inability to get in the end zone. No player has more touches this season without scoring at least one touchdown than Williams (77), who has nearly 30 more touches than the No. 2 person on this list — Dalvin Cook (48).
By the way, last season, the leader among running backs with the most touches without scoring a touchdown was … Javonte Williams (63).
Fantasy Outlook for Jaleel McLaughlin This Week
McLaughlin was only on the field for 10 offensive snaps last week, his fewest in a game since Week 2 vs. the Commanders (three). Could this be a telling sign that Williams is going to start receiving more of the work than McLaughlin, who was on the field for 21 offensive snaps in each of the previous two games?
To his credit, McLaughlin did make the most of his time on the field, averaging nine yards a carry last week (45 rush yards on five carries). He touched the ball on six of the 10 offensive plays he participated in (five carries, one reception).
He also has something Williams is missing right now: a touchdown, although that did come back in Week 2 against Washington.
Which Broncos RB Should You Start?
Playing any Broncos running back is a risky move this week, with the Chiefs’ defense proving to be a stingy unit so far. If Kansas City jumps ahead early, it could force Russell Wilson into a long day of throwing the football.
But, if a choice has to be made, then it’s pretty clear that Williams is the safest of your options here. His play is on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds the end zone, although he has not found the end zone since his rookie season in 2021.
PFN’s Fantasy Start/Sit Optimizer has weighed in, and it projects Williams to rack up 11.6 fantasy points this week, while McLaughlin’s projected fantasy points are 7.3.
For this week — and probably going forward until further notice — it seems as though Williams is the right choice to start.
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