Coming into the season, we expected Melvin Gordon to be the obvious alternative in case something happened to Javonte Williams, however circumstances in Denver may have already changed by Week 4. Because, with Williams leaving Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a knee injury, it was Mike Boone who got the first opportunity for the Broncos.
That’s because Gordon’s fumble issues cropped up again Sunday, leading to a defensive touchdown for the Raiders. Boone ultimately only ended up with three carries for 20 yards, but he still figures to be one of the most coveted players on the waiver wire heading into Week 5, given Williams’ injury and Gordon’s struggles.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I think Boone is going to be the starter for the Broncos, though. Gordon was penalized for his fumbles and probably has a pretty short leash, but you have to think the Broncos will give him the first crack at a lead role if Williams has to miss time, given how much of a leash they’ve given him so far. And, it looks like there’s a real chance Williams will have to miss some time – we don’t know as of Sunday afternoon, but the fact that he was carted to the locker room and ruled out almost immediately certainly isn’t a good sign.
Even if it isn’t a long-term injury, the Broncos play Thursday in Week 5 against the Colts – who could be missing Jonathan Taylor after he left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury of his own. It seems pretty likely Gordon and Boone are both going to have expanded roles in Week 5, and while Gordon is rostered pretty much everywhere (92%), Boone is available pretty much everywhere. And, he figures to see double-digit touches in a timeshare with Gordon, at least – and it’s at least possible he remains the top option if Gordon has truly cost himself with his fumbles.
Whether that means Boone should be the top option on waivers depends on both what we hear about Williams’ long-term status plus what the Broncos say about the Gordon/Boone split. If Nyheim Hines (75% rostered) is available in your league, I’d take him over Boone, but I would probably prioritize Boone over either Deon Jackson or Phillip Lindsay, the Colts other RB options to help replace Taylor.
Here’s who else we’ll be chasing on the waiver wire for Week 5.
Week 5 Early Waiver Targets (Add/Drop)