2022 Broncos Fantasy Football Preview: Tim Patrick’s injury clears path for Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy

After being misplaced within the wilderness at QB since Peyton Manning’s retirement, the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson this offseason, answering the one greatest query that they had as an offense. There are nonetheless some questions left to reply — this can be a gifted offensive core, however not essentially a confirmed one on the key spots outdoors of QB. If you are trying for an offense to make the leap the best way the Rams did a 12 months in the past, the Broncos are an excellent wager, however determining their hierarchy at RB and WR is more durable than you may hope at this level.

2021 Review

Records: 7-10 (22)
PPG: 19.7 (23)
YPG: 330.5 (19)
Pass YPG: 211.4 (19)
Rush YPG: 119.1 (13)
PAPG: 31.8 (24)
RAPG: 26.8 (14)

2021 Fantasy finishes

QB: Teddy Bridgewater* QB23, Drew Lock* QB43
RB: Javonte Williams RB17, Melvin Gordon RB18
WR: Tim Patrick WR42, Courtland Sutton WR44, Jerry Jeudy WR83
TE: Noah Fant* TE12, Albert Okwuegbunam TE28
*No longer with group

Number to know: 67.3

That was the Broncos’ passer score on makes an attempt 20-plus yards down the sector final season, good for twentieth within the NFL. The Seahawks ranked first with a 116.8 mark, so if that is all you knew in regards to the swap from the Lock/Bridgewater combo to Wilson, you’d have fairly good motive to be excited. And it wasn’t only a one-season factor, clearly — the Seahawks rank third within the NFL in passer score on deep makes an attempt from 2019 by 2021, whereas the Broncos truly drop to twenty seventh.

And it isn’t just like the Broncos have not had the personnel for it. Sure, none of Denver’s receivers can match up with DK Metcalf bodily, however between Sutton, Jeudy, Patrick, Noah Fant, and Okwuegbunam, there hasn’t precisely been a scarcity of playmaking on this offense. Drew Lock simply could not join on these deep makes an attempt, whereas Teddy Bridgewater simply wasn’t prepared to take the probabilities as usually as he in all probability ought to have (and wasn’t nice when he did.)

Wilson has been probably the greatest deep-ball passers within the league all through his profession, and I do not see any motive to suppose that will not proceed to be true in Denver. There’s clearly a ton of upside on this offense now, so the query is which of the receivers is more likely to reap the benefits of it essentially the most. Sutton is a pure match as a downfield playmaker, besides he has averaged simply 4.7 targets per recreation when Jeudy has been energetic and his manufacturing completely cratered when Jeudy returned from injury final season:

Jeudy clearly has a ton of upside because the No. 15 decide within the 2020 draft, however he additionally has simply 5 video games with greater than 70 yards in two NFL seasons. In truth, Patrick has been fairly a bit extra productive than Jeudy over the previous two seasons — Patrick’s injury approaching the cusp of a possibility to play with the very best QB of his profession is a merciless accident.

There goes to be a variety of manufacturing on this passing recreation, and you will need publicity to it consequently. However, that requires projecting at the very least one of many group’s receivers — together with Okwuegbunam, who has tons of upside with Fant out of the image as properly — to do one thing they’ve by no means carried out earlier than. That contains working again Williams, who has tons of upside but in addition sees the return of Gordon, who truly had extra carries per recreation final season.

2021 Offseason

Draft Picks

2. (64) Nik Bonitto, OLB
3. (80) Greg Dulcich, TE
4. (115) Damarri Mathis, DB
4. (116) Eyioma Uwazurike, DE
5. (152) Delarrin Turner-Yell, SAF
5. (162) Montrell Washington, WR
5. (171) Luke Wattenberg, OL
6. (206) Matt Henningsen, DE
7. (232) Faion Hicks, CB

Additions

QB Russell Wilson, LB Randy Gregory, CB K’Waun Williams, DL DJ Jones, LB Alex Singleton

Key losses

TE Noah Fant, QB Teddy Bridgewater, QB Drew Lock, DL Shelby Harris, CB Kyle Fuller, S Kareem Jackson, CB Bryce Callahan,

Available Opportunity

0 carries, 0 RB targets, 6 WR targets, 102 TE targets

2022 Preview

Rankings

Chris Towers’ projections

QB Russell Wilson PA: 555, YD: 4110, TD: 31, INT: 11; RUSH — ATT: 68, YD: 273, TD: 2
RB Javonte Williams CAR: 227, YD: 1000, TD: 8, TAR: 56, REC: 44, YD: 355, TD: 2
RB Melvin Gordon CAR: 136, YD: 586, TD: 5, TAR: 39, REC: 29, YD: 224, TD: 1
WR Jerry Jewdy TAR: 128, REC: 82, YD: 993, TD: 7
WR Courtland Sutton TAR: 113, REC: 67, YD: 894, TD: 6
WR KJ Hamler TAR: 67, REC: 39, YD: 573, TD: 3
TE Albert Okwuegbunam TAR: 89, REC: 64, YD: 704, TD: 5

Biggest Question

Just how good can this offense be?

There are going to be a variety of expectations for this offense, particularly with younger guys like Javonte Williams and Jerry Jeudy. Both have vital upside but in addition vital competitors for touches. Williams has to take care of the returning Melvin Gordon, who truly had the identical variety of carries as Williams in a single fewer recreation, whereas Jeudy is competing with Sutton, to not point out Okwuegbunam. If Wilson turns this right into a top-five offense, there must be sufficient factors to go round, and each Jeudy and Williams have top-12 upside. If the offense takes a while to gel with a brand new QB and training employees, there could possibly be some rising pains.

One sleeper, one breakout and one bust

Okwuegbunam has the best dimension and athleticism to be a distinction maker on the tight finish place, however he hasn’t made a lot of an impression on the NFL stage after being caught behind Fant the primary two seasons of his profession. He’s obtained an opportunity to interrupt out now, though he clearly finds himself in a crowded receiving corps competing for targets. What I like about making Okwuegbunam the man you goal from this offense is that the bar is clearly a lot decrease to be Fantasy related at tight finish than broad receiver – the No. 37 WR outscored the No. 7 tight ends final season. If targets are going to be break up pretty evenly, get the man who would not want a lot of them to be good.

I’m stunned to see Jamey, Dave, and Heath all rank Sutton forward of Jeudy. I perceive that Sutton is a extra confirmed participant and Jeudy has struggled to make a lot of an impression in two seasons, however Sutton’s position diminished drastically when Jeudy was wholesome final season, and I am unable to simply ignore that. Both could possibly be viable beginning Fantasy choices with Wilson, however I feel Jeudy has the potential to be a extra well-rounded possibility, able to making performs each down the sector and with the ball in his arms. Ultimately, regardless of which of Wilson’s presumed main choices you are betting on, you are betting on somebody doing one thing they’ve both by no means carried out (Jeudy) or have not carried out since 2019 (Sutton). I’ll wager on pedigree and age in Jeudy if their value is similar.

Williams was removed from being value a first-round decide as a rookie, however that is in all probability what you may should pay to amass him. I do not doubt he has that upside, but it surely’s asking lots from Williams to imagine he’ll make that leap after largely splitting time with Gordon final 12 months. It can be simpler to make that assumption if Williams had seen a big improve in enjoying time as his rookie season went on, however he truly had fewer carries than Gordon over the ultimate 5 video games of the season, 68 to 63. This offense may take an enormous step ahead, and the No. 1 RB could possibly be vastly priceless if it does. For what it is value, this can be a new teaching employees, so final 12 months’s utilization might not be indicative of something in regards to the coming season, nonetheless, the truth that they in the end opted to convey Gordon again is a detrimental mark for Williams, and I’m not so positive he is such a can’t-miss expertise that I can overlook pink flags and query marks within the first spherical.

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