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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2020 Draft Rankings
Melvin Gordon III Note
Melvin Gordon III photo 48. Melvin Gordon III RB - (vs . LV)
He left the Chargers at the right time, as they're going to be going through a transitional period. Instead, he joins a now-exciting Broncos offense that suddenly has tons of firepower. You don't add Gordon in free agency if you don't plan on using him as your lead back. The potential upside is that new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has been a one-back kind of guy, so it's possible that Phillip Lindsay is just there to give Gordon breathers when he needs them. With Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Noah Fant out there are receiving threats, Gordon should see a lot of light fronts this year. He's a middling RB2 with RB1 upside if they decide to give him 15-plus touches per game.
8 weeks ago
Courtland Sutton Note
Courtland Sutton photo 50. Courtland Sutton WR - (vs . LV)
What a year for Sutton in 2019, eh? He didn't finish as high as some thought (WR19), but it was a miracle he finished there if you were to go back and watch some of the passes he came down with. His 125 targets were the 15th most among wide receivers, though it's hard to see that continuing. He had zero competition for targets last year, which is why he saw over 50 percent of the ones that went to wide receivers. He'll now have to contend with first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, who's the most polished receiver who's come out in the last five years, and second-round pick KJ Hamler in the starting lineup. That's not to mention Melvin Gordon, who's an established pass-catcher out of the backfield. Sutton is clearly a star, but this offense is now littered with talented pass catchers. There were just two games all last year Sutton saw fewer than seven targets, but I think that number goes up this year. He was a middling WR2 last year with those high target totals, yet he's being drafted essentially where he finished last year, and that's despite the improved talent around him. If Sutton wants to finish better than a low-end WR2/high-end WR3, he's going to need double-digit touchdowns, and that's just not something I can predict given the talent around him.
8 weeks ago
Phillip Lindsay Note
Phillip Lindsay photo 99. Phillip Lindsay RB - (vs . LV)
I don't think I've ever seen someone glanced over as easily as Lindsay in both real life and fantasy. Over the last two years, here are the only players who have more rushing yards than him: Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, and Todd Gurley.
8 weeks ago
Noah Fant Note
Noah Fant photo 116. Noah Fant TE - (vs . LV)
It was a successful rookie year for Fant. So many fantasy players have seemingly forgotten it typically takes a few years for tight ends to become someone you can rely on. He saw 66 targets his rookie year and ranked 15th in expected fantasy points among tight ends. The discerning part is that he didn't tally more than four targets in any game with Drew Lock. In fact, he averaged just 2.8 targets per game with him, while averaging 4.7 targets per game with the other quarterbacks. We've now watched the Broncos add three talented pass-catching options in Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Melvin Gordon this offseason, which won't help his target share go up. On top of that, they selected Okwuegbunam in the fourth round, who happens to be Lock's old college tight end who he loved targeting in the red zone. Fant is still the top tight end on this team, but I cannot say he's a lock to see 70-plus targets in 2020. That puts him outside the starting tight end territory, and knowing his ceiling might be around 80-85 targets, I would probably look elsewhere in the TE10-15 range for someone with true breakout potential.
8 weeks ago
Jerry Jeudy Note
Jerry Jeudy photo 125. Jerry Jeudy WR - (vs . LV)
Over the last five years, I haven't scouted a wide receiver who was more pro-ready and well-rounded than Jeudy. With essentially no offseason, it's going to be difficult for him to walk in and develop instant chemistry with Drew Lock. At the same time, everyone on the team is learning a new offense, as Pat Shurmur has walked in as the offensive coordinator. Still, it'll be hard for him to overtake Courtland Sutton as the team's leader in targets. Jeudy can play many roles, including being the deep threat down the field, playing the possession-style role, or moving into the slot, which he did regularly at Alabama. Sutton isn't someone who'll move into the slot very often, which is a good thing for Jeudy, as Shurmur's slot receivers have done damage in the past. Again, the negative is that fellow rookie KJ Hamler is also a slot presence who's going to get some playing time. There's a path to Jeudy being a Terry McLaurin-like fantasy option this year, but his path to targets is not as easy. If Sutton stays on the field, Jeudy will be too inconsistent to trust on a weekly basis. He's still not a bad on to have on your bench as a WR4/5, because the talent is there.
8 weeks ago
Drew Lock Note
Drew Lock photo 161. Drew Lock QB - (vs . LV)
Well, there's one thing that's for certain. If Lock can't get it done with the skill-position players around him now, he never will. The Broncos went out and signed Melvin Gordon in free agency, then drafted top wideout Jerry Jeudy in the first round, speedster KJ Hamler in the second round, then Lock's former teammate Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round. Pair them with Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, and Noah Fant, and you suddenly have one of the most talented rooms in the league. It's tough to judge anything we saw from Lock in his rookie season, as he was asked to start late in the season, and it was a different coordinator. What we do know is that Pat Shurmur is his new offensive coordinator, and he's produced some solid quarterback play in his time. The last time he was a coordinator was 2017 when he coached Case Keenum to a 68 percent completion rate, 22 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. My concern with Lock is that this is still Vic Fangio's team, and their defense should be very good. If Fangio doesn't give full reigns to Shurmur, we're likely to see a defensive-minded, run-heavy offense, which would cripple Lock's fantasy appeal. The high end for Lock's pass attempts is likely in the 525-attempt range, which isn't great for a quarterback with limited mobility. He's a great target in 2QB leagues, but I wouldn't trust him as an every-week starter in 1QB formats.
8 weeks ago
Denver Broncos Note
Denver Broncos photo 207. Denver Broncos DST - (vs . LV)
Brandon McManus Note
Brandon McManus photo 254. Brandon McManus K - (vs . LV)
McManus bounced back from a few sub-par years, hitting 85.3% of his field-goal attempts and all but one of his extra-point attempts. The biggest difference for McManus was that he saw 34 field-goal tries, second-most of his career. With more offensive weapons for Drew Lock and a sturdy defense, McManus should again see plenty of chances. In the thin air in Denver, he's a decent bet to finish as a top-12 kicker, though should probably be drafted only in 15-team leagues.
7 weeks ago
KJ Hamler Note
KJ Hamler photo 281. KJ Hamler WR - (vs . LV)
It's tough to like a rookie who's likely the fifth option in the passing game, right? I'll tell you that Hamler is a baller and can play both in the slot and on the perimeter. He's likely going to break a few plays this year that have you wondering if he's worth a pickup, but we must always go back to the fact that he's the fifth option (Sutton, Jeudy, Fant, Gordon all ahead) on a run-heavy team that will only come on the field in 3WR sets. If there's an injury to one of Jeudy or Sutton, he's someone I'd snag off waivers, but you don't need to draft him.
8 weeks ago
Royce Freeman Note
Royce Freeman photo 297. Royce Freeman RB - (vs . LV)
Freeman carved out a role on the short side of a platoon with Phillip Lindsay in the first half of the season, particularly with his involvement as a receiver. But the Broncos turned over nearly full control of the backfield to Lindsay toward the latter half of the season, and Freeman lost nearly all value. Now, with Melvin Gordon in the fold, it's nearly impossible to see Freeman adding any fantasy value absent multiple injuries. There's no reason to be concerned about him other than in extremely deep leagues.
7 weeks ago
DaeSean Hamilton Note
DaeSean Hamilton photo 344. DaeSean Hamilton WR - (vs . LV)
He's buried with the acquisitions of Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. I'd argue that Hamilton had his chance to make a dent in the league last year, as he was the clear-cut No. 2 wide receiver behind Courtland Sutton but didn't really earn much with his role. He saw 52 targets but caught just 53 percent of them for 297 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos said no thanks to his 5.5 yards per target through the first two years of his career. He's has more talent than what we've seen, but he's not an enticing option in fantasy football.
8 weeks ago
Tim Patrick Note
Tim Patrick photo 391. Tim Patrick WR - (vs . LV)
Albert Okwuegbunam Note
Albert Okwuegbunam photo 425. Albert Okwuegbunam TE - (vs . LV)
Nick Vannett Note
Nick Vannett photo 473. Nick Vannett TE - (vs . LV)
Jeff Driskel Note
Jeff Driskel photo 546. Jeff Driskel QB - (vs . LV)