The Broncos have made moves after moves this offseason to add weapons to the offense. This has made Broncos Country incredibly excited about what this offense could be in 2020. Fans of the Broncos had to sit through a poor offense last year that scored just 17.0 points a game. This year, the Broncos could score around 24 points per game – a difference of a touchdown per game from the previous season.
Only 12 teams in the NFL scored 24 or more points in 2019. For the Broncos to make that jump into the 24-PPG club, the new pieces on offense will have to play at a high level. This would be good news for Broncos fans, but it would also be good news for fantasy football GMs.
With fantasy football drafts going on right now, (yes, this early) it’s interesting to note how the fantasy community is looking at the 2020 Broncos. In this series, we’ll look at the current ADP (average draft position) in 12-team PPR leagues for the Broncos offensive players at Footballguys.com. For those of you that don’t know, I have worked for Footballguys.com since 2005 and it’s where you can find all my fantasy football opinions.
Today, we look at Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton. Where is he going in drafts, and what is the reasoning behind his ADP?
Courtland Sutton | WR22 | 5.05
The fantasy football community is super excited about the potential for Sutton in 2020. He posted his first 1,000-yard season in 2019, and Sutton did it with three different quarterbacks (Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Drew Lock) throwing him passes.
Sutton was able to get a taste as the No. 1 receiver for the Broncos when the team traded away Emmanuel Sanders. He did not post a 100-yard game after the trade, but that taste of double-coverage should help Sutton this year – especially now because he’s the “OG” at the position with rookies like Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler joining him.
Sutton is currently going off the board as the No.22 fantasy wide receiver in the fifth round (fifth pick) in 12-team PPR leagues. He’s going right behind guys like Keenan Allen (Chargers) and D.K. Metcalf (Seahawks), while going off the board right in front of guys like T.Y. Hilton (Colts) and Stefon Diggs (Bills).
Fantasy GMs might start taking Sutton a little bit higher in drafts as the season draws near. First, the buzz/hype about the Broncos offense is getting a little bit out of hand – especially if you listen to Colin Cowherd. Second, the team might feature Sutton a bit more in the preseason which always changes draft position. Finally, the training camp reports about Sutton should be incredibly positive – and I’ll be right there reporting on my observations each day. All of these factors mean you may not be able to get Sutton in the fifth round for much longer.
Last Year’s Comparison
Last season, the No. 22 fantasy player at the position was Robert Woods from the Rams. In 2019, Woods led Los Angeles in targets with 140 looks. Woods was eighth overall among NFL receivers in targets and finished the year with 90 catches for 1,134 receiving yards but only two receiving touchdowns. He did do something Sutton shouldn’t do and that’s have 17 carries in 2019.
I certainly feel comfortable projecting Sutton for more than two receiving touchdowns. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sutton reach a number five times as high. Touchdowns are still king in fantasy football and 10 receiving touchdowns is going to almost automatically put Sutton in the top-10 conversation. In addition to more touchdowns, I like projecting Sutton for around 85 catches and 1,200 yards receiving – which puts him in the range of where Woods was last year. With more touchdowns, Sutton should rank higher than No. 22 overall at the end of the season.
Right now, fantasy GMs see Sutton as a low-end WR2 for the upcoming season. It’s fair to project him for borderline WR1 numbers in 2020. There is also potential there for Sutton to finish the season as a top-12 fantasy receiver.
Overvalued or Undervalued?
I make no bones about it; I love the upside that Sutton represents for the Broncos and for fantasy GMs in 2020 and beyond. I truly believe he’s only shown us the tip of the iceberg in the pros and could post career-best numbers this season.
With that being said, it will not surprise anyone when I say Sutton is undervalued in drafts at this time.
In fact, Sutton could be seriously undervalued if he plays up to his talent and the offense meshes quickly at the start of the regular season.
This comes down to two things. First, how does Pat Shurmur craft an offense that features Sutton while also using the plethora of other weapons? Second, how does Lock improve his game to help Sutton and the passing game?
When Shurmur’s offense was at its best with the Giants in 2018, Odell Beckham Jr. finished the year as the No. 16 fantasy receiver. He snared 72 passes for 1,052 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Those are all numbers that Sutton could surpass this season, immediately putting him in the top-15 conversation.
He’s already established chemistry with Lock, and that should carry into this season. All this adds up to one plan if you’re considering Sutton for your fantasy team – get him at a value while you can.
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