Williams might have cost himself -- and the Broncos -- a TD in Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh. He capped off a 49-yard, 2nd-quarter scamper by spiking the ball in the end zone. That drew a delay-of-game penalty for a loss of 5 yards -- from the 2-yard line back to the 7. Williams then carried for 2 yards on the next play before a sack and a short completion brought a FG try.
Otherwise, Williams gained just 10 yards on his other 6 rushing attempts in a tough rushing matchup. He edged Melvin Gordon 3-2 in targets, hauling in all 3 for 25 yards. Gordon edged Williams 9-8 in carries and played 11 more snaps overall.
The time share will continue to complicate the fantasy values for both backs. Week 6 at least brings a neutral matchup with the Raiders (14th in Football Outsiders run-defense DVOA).
Like his teammate Melvin Gordon, Williams ran effectively against Baltimore, carrying 7 times for 48 yards (6.9 YPC). He also caught all 3 of his targets for 11 yards.
This was the 4th straight game where Williams saw fewer carries than the week before. The negative game script had a lot to do with that, as Denver trailed for the entire second half. They also had Drew Lock under center which certainly did not help. There was little chance to see any sort of volume for the rookie RB.
Going forward, expect to see more box scores like this one. Williams has looked the part at times but won’t see any sort of workhorse role with Gordon in the picture. More Drew Lock means more inefficient offense. When Teddy comes back the downside could be minimized. That said, 10ish carries each week is the most likely scenario unless something drastic happens.
In what many had hoped would be a breakout performance, it was more of the same for Williams. He produced just 29 yards on his 12 carries. He did see a season high 4 targets, catching 3 for 33 yards.
Whether it's scripted or just a general plan, Williams stayed in the 14-15 opportunity range in Week 3, just like he saw in the first two games.
Melvin Gordon isn't going away in this backfield just yet. If Gordon were to have his role dramatically downsized or if he were to go away, Williams would be a compelling start most weeks.
After Melvin Gordon outproduced Williams on the ground in Week 1, it was Williams who ran for nearly 5 yards per carry against the Jaguars on his way to 74 total yards. For the 2nd week in a row, the Denver RBs were within 1 touch of each other, making this an almost even timeshare. Overall, in a game Denver controlled, it was a bit disappointing that the RBs only had 26 carries, but it seems they wanted to keep things balanced the entire way.
Looking ahead, it seems reasonable that Williams will continue to share work with Gordon, since they’ve both been playing well. However, it’s also possible that Denver eventually wants to turn more of the backfield over to their rookie. Also, it was a bit discouraging that after playing 50% of the snaps in Week 1, Gordon out-snapped Williams 59% to 41% in this contest.
Williams put together a decent debut, rushing for 45 yards on 14 carries in the Week 1 win over the Giants. He out-touched veteran RB Melvin Gordon (11 carries) in that department, and looked good in the times that he was in there. Williams hit the holes hard and proved to be slippery and tough to bring down.
It’s promising to see Williams get the touches out of the backfield like he did, and he was pretty much toe-to-toe with Gordon before MG ripped off a 70-yarder late in the game. Williams should continue to cut into Gordon’s production, proving that the preseason hype was for real. A dream matchup against a Jaguars defense that allowed 3 TDs to RBs last week awaits him. He becomes a sneaky option in DFS this weekend.