The Broncos offense is likely to be one of the keys to the fantasy season. With Russell Wilson and a new coaching staff in place they project to play faster and throw the ball more than in recent seasons. There are a ton of talented weapons in Denver which inevitably means someone will disappoint their fantasy managers, but until we see them hit the field it is hard to know who that will be.
A number of Broncos players are being drafted with premium picks in fantasy. The team’s top two receivers, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, are both going off the board as top-50 selections on Underdog and many other Broncos skill players are trendy picks in fantasy ciricles.
See which Wide Receiver tier we have Jerry Jeudy in our Positional Tiers.
Reasons to Draft Jerry Jeudy
Every receiver on the Broncos is worth drafting due to the upside of the offense. Despite the crowded WR room, Jeudy has the potential to be the top option in the passing game which gives him an extremely high ceiling for fantasy purposes.
After suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 1 of last year, Jeudy returned for the second half of the season and posted really strong per route metrics. He was better than Courtland Sutton in targets per route run, yards per target, passer rating when targeted, and yards after catch per reception. These stats back up what I have always believed – Jerry Jeudy is the most talented receiver on the Broncos.
Russell Wilson should take this offense to a level not seen since the Peyton Manning years which gives a boost to every pass catcher. The market currently views Courtland Sutton as the best fantasy asset at WR and he is being drafted a full round before Jeudy on Underdog. This gap has been widening in recent weeks which makes Jeudy look like the better value in drafts given his talent and upside scenarios are just as good (and I would argue better) than Sutton’s.
|Targets||Receptions||Yards||TD||Slot %||Wide %|
|Jerry Jeudy - 2021||54||38||467||0||76.40%||23.20%|
Jerry Jeudy Fantasy Upside Case
If Jeudy is a starter in 2-WR sets and is used in a variety of roles he has a good chance to lead the Broncos in targets. In a scenario where he sees 120+ targets from Russell Wilson he should smash his late fourth round ADP and has top-12 upside at the position.
The general consensus is that the Broncos will be a high powered offense who play in a lot of shootouts. If that turns out to be true, both Jeudy and Sutton should easily surpass 1,000 yards. Although Sutton is likely to see more deep targets, Jeudy has game-breaking ability after the catch which gives him the weekly ceiling we look for in fantasy football.
Reasons to Avoid Jerry Jeudy
There is some uncertainty about whether or not Jeudy will be an every down player. After returning from his injury last season he was on the field for just 60-70% of the offensive snaps in most contests. If he gets pigeonholed into only playing the slot and is off the field for 2-WR sets then he may just not see the raw volume needed to justify his current draft cost. While I believe that would be a mistake by the Denver coaching staff, we know it is dangerous to assume rational coaching.
There is also some concern about how well Jeudy’s skill set matches with his new QB. Wilson has traditionally excelled at throwing the ball down the field and outside the numbers. Jeudy is more of a technician who succeeds in the short to intermediate areas of the field as well as over the middle. He also struggled against man coverage last season which could lead to limited opportunities on the outside running the routes that Wilson loves to target. Some of those struggles may have been due to the injury, but it is difficult to know at this point.
If Jeudy and Wilson just don’t mesh well, it could turn out that Sutton and Tim Patrick are the receivers that we want to have on our fantasy teams.
Jerry Jeudy Fantasy Downside Case
As I mentioned above, if Jeudy is a part-time player who doesn’t run the routes that Wilson likes to target, he could easily disappoint relative to his draft cost. There is also the possibility that he sees decent volume but is an afterthought in the red zone and ends the year with just a few TDs which would really cap his ceiling in standard and half-PPR formats.
We should start to get more answers as the offseason rolls on and the Broncos open training camp. In Jeudy’s case, I will be paying close attention to where he is lining up in practice and how often he is on the field in 2-WR sets.