Let’s take a look at what to expect from Jerry Jeudy as you prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season.
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Dynasty Fantasy Football Advice: Jerry Jeudy (2023 Fantasy Football)
|Denver Broncos||Jerry Jeudy||67||100||972||14.5||67||6||15||170.7||21st||11.4, 21st|
Jerry Jeudy was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft after an extremely productive career at Alabama. Unfortunately for Jeudy, the NFL has not been so kind as to provide him with proven quarterback play to take full advantage of his exemplary route-running.
So although he finished as Denver’s leading receiver in his first season with 856 receiving yards and 52 catches on 110 targets, the path to get there was not pretty. He was 57th in points per game and 45th in points scored. He actually scored fewer fantasy points than Tim Patrick despite playing one more game than the former undrafted free agent.
The big issue was that Jeudy was not used heavily inside the 10-yard line. Patrick out-targeted him 8-2 from inside the 10. The other glaring issue was inaccurate throws. Only 59% of his targets and air yards were deemed catchable — the third-worst mark in the league.
But the fact that there were so many targets and opportunities present demonstrated Jeudy’s talent and was a reason to believe he could improve in Year 2 with a semblance of upgraded quarterback play.
And things looked great for Jeudy early on, as he came out the gates red-hot with six catches for 72 yards in Week 1 (19% target share). But alas, the breakout season was to be delayed after he suffered a high ankle sprain that put him on ice till Week 8.
He would go on to lead the Broncos in targets the rest of the way — 16% target share — but it was by an extremely small margin. The targets were essentially flat across the board between all receivers and tight ends. Jeudy also saw only three targets in the red zone while operating more from the slot than he did his rookie season (66% versus 33%).
Entering Year 3, expectations were sky-high for both Courtland Sutton and Jeudy after the team acquired quarterback Russell Wilson. Little do they know (or anybody for that matter) that Wilson would orchestrate the 32nd-ranked scoring offense in 2023. Woof.
And, like in 2021, Jeudy dealt with injuries once again. He played over 60% of the snaps in just 11 games and missed essentially four games after getting hurt early on in two separate contests. However, Jeudy impressed tremendously down the stretch when healthy. No player scored more fantasy points in points per reception (PPR) with a sub-75% overall route participation than Jeudy. He also finished 13th in target rate per route run (23%).
And in Jeudy’s last six games: 25% target share and finished fifth in receiving yards overall. From Week 10 onward, the Broncos wide receiver led the NFL in yards per route run (2.71). He also scored six receiving TDs — including three versus Kansas City — after failing to hit paydirt at all in the 2021 season.
Entering Year 4, Jeudy will be 24 years old, and he will likely remain a Denver Bronco — despite a flurry of trade rumors — after the team picked up his fifth-year option. From an overall offensive efficiency standpoint, I can’t possibly envision Wilson playing worse than he did in 2022 under Sean Payton’s coaching. There are also quiet rumors that Sutton is being floated in trade talks, fully solidifying the franchise’s faith in Jeudy as their looked-and-loaded No. 1 wide receiver. Sutton honestly might be cooked, Tim Patrick is coming off a torn ACL, and K.J. Hamler can never stay healthy. Jeudy’s only real competition is rookie second-rounder Marvin Mims, who the Broncos selected with their first draft pick in the Sean Payton era.
Jeudy’s dynasty trade value is WR23 in the FantasyPros Trade Value Chart, two spots lower than my ranking at WR21.
General Outlook for 2023 and Rest of Career
Obviously, any upgraded quarterback play is great for Jeudy because he easily projects as the No. 1 WR on the offense from a volume perspective. And last year, he finally showed that he could score fantasy points finishing as the WR21, after failing to crack the top-45 his first two years in the league. With great route-running and separation skills to boot, Jeudy’s dynasty stock should continue to rise. Jeudy’s yards per route run versus man coverage (4.19) led all WRs last season. Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp were the only two WRs to accomplish that feat since 2020.
Quickly glancing at Jeudy’s three-year body of work — 250+ targets, 150+ catches, 2200+ yards, 8.5 yards per target and 56 yards per game — some of his closest lower-end first-round player production comps include Brandon Aiyuk, Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Maclin and Sammy Watkins.
Watkins never reached his true potential, Maclin’s best year as a pro in the NFL came in Year 5, and Holmes went nuclear in his fourth season with 1248 receiving yards and 79 receptions. Needless to say, Jeudy’s upside and relatively upward trajectory provide enough reason to aggressively pursue him in the dynasty. Very possible that the best is yet to come, as we still have yet to see him with above-average quarterback play.
His three receiving TDs per year have really been his glaring weakness because his overall counting stats and individual efficiency numbers are solid.