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Player Outlooks (2022)
QB Russell Wilson: A new team for Wilson feels like it will be a breath of fresh air as he enters his age-33/34 season, and that’s partly due to him orchestrating the same offense—under new Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett—that has led to Aaron Rodgers winning back-to-back NFL MVP awards. In general, Wilson has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the league over the past decade, and we’re expecting him to quickly click with a very balanced group of weapons in Denver. While best ranked in the QB8-QB10 range, Wilson can easily finish as a top-five option this season.
RB Javonte Williams: If not for the Broncos re-signing Melvin Gordon, Williams would have been ranked as a midrange RB1 in the featured role of a Russell Wilson-led offense. However, the pendulum has already swung too far in the opposite direction with the second-year runner’s stock dropping to the third round for some, and there are still plenty of positives to check off heading into 2022—including the fact that both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon were big-time contributors together in the same system. Plus, Williams should be unleashed if Gordon ever goes down.
RB Melvin Gordon: Gordon should again push for 200+ touches for what is expected to be a very balanced offense, and for his part, the veteran says he’s not handing over the starting job to Williams. We believe there will be enough work for Gordon—who still has plenty left in the tank entering his age-29 campaign—to be a strong FLEX with RB2 upside. And he’d perhaps vault into the RB1 ranks in the event of a Williams injury.
RB Mike Boone: The lack of playing time for Boone last year makes him somewhat of a forgotten man, but he was brought in by general manager George Paton in the 2021 offseason and could have a chance to earn a role under a new coaching staff. The soon-to-be 27-year-old has averaged 5.5 yards per carry on 75 career attempts, though standalone value could be difficult to come by behind Williams/Gordon.
WR Courtland Sutton: The valuing of Denver’s wideouts is probably the most difficult aspect of redraft rankings for 2022, and any one of Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, or Tim Patrick feels like they could end up as the top option. Based on a few factors, we’d say Sutton has the best chance to be the clear No. 1—if one were to emerge—because of his touchdown upside, and Russell Wilson has notably talked up him as someone you can throw the ball up to and have him come away with it. Sutton caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019.
WR Jerry Jeudy: The charges against Jeudy following his arrest for a domestic dispute were dismissed at the end of last month, so the likelihood of an NFL suspension would seem to be significantly lessened (though apparently still possible). On the field, Jeudy is a very smooth route runner that can quickly become a favorite of Russell Wilson, but his floor feels lower than Sutton or Patrick—and we’re still waiting for him to fully look like they guy we saw at Alabama. The price (43.3 ADP on Underdog in particular) feels very rich.
WR Tim Patrick: A rare in-season extension for Patrick is notable because of both the size of the investment (three years, $34 million) and the fact that it was given by a general manager (George Paton) that wasn’t even with the Broncos for the first two seasons of the wideout’s career. Patrick was mentioned in the same sentence as Courtland Sutton when Russell Wilson talked up the jump-ball targets he has in Denver, and it wouldn’t be at all a shock if he established himself as a preferred option over Jerry Jeudy. Denver will be a top offense to watch this summer.
WR KJ Hamler: Hamler compared his role as a deep threat to former Russell Wilson favorite Tyler Lockett, and he’s the under-the-radar option with the talent to make it a heavy four-man rotation for the Broncos. Because he is the expected No. 4 wideout, though, Hamler will be a volatile FLEX that may need a chunk play to hit in any given week. He’ll at least be a cheap DFS option considering his big-play ability.
WR Seth Williams: Williams only saw one target in two games last season (though it was a 34-yard reception), so he faces an uphill battle for 2022 value behind the clear top four in Denver. That said, we were high on him coming out of Auburn, and Williams is a worthwhile dynasty stash with plus size and an impressive vertical skillset.
WR Montrell Washington: Drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Washington could contribute more as a returner than wide receiver in Year 1—but he’s a name to file away as a potential deep threat for Russell Wilson. Redraft value appears unlikely due to the names ahead of him on the depth chart and development time he might need coming out of Samford.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam: The arrow for Okwuegbunam was pointing up following the trade of Noah Fant (and for Russell Wilson), and it’s still pointing up now for an offense that should be one of the league’s best. However, Denver’s new regime selecting UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich in the third round limits the upside, and Albert O still needs to add some polish with Nathaniel Hackett calling him “more of a receiver right now.” Consider him a volatile TE2 dependent on big-play upside.
TE Greg Dulcich: Hackett was adamant about getting Dulcich in the 2022 NFL Draft, and all the head coach has done since then is talk up the rookie as someone that is “dynamic” while expressing excitement about his field-stretching ability. Okwuegbunam might have the advantage for playing time this season because of his experience and the usual learning curve for rookie tight ends, but Dulcich has a chance to rise dependent on how the roles are defined in the preseason.
Best 2022 value: WR Tim Patrick (FantasyPros ECR: WR62)
For those with our 2022 draft guide, Patrick has risen quite a bit in the rankings since release after flashing at OTAs—and it’s notable that Broncos reporter Cecil Lammey said he’s “for sure” ahead of Jerry Jeudy as the No. 2 wideout. If that turns out to be the case, Patrick will be a home-run value at his current ranking, which has steadily climbed to start the summer.
Best dynasty investment: WR KJ Hamler
There are a few options to choose from here, but we’ll go with Hamler as a guy not many are talking about considering his talent level. The former Penn State standout says he is “well ahead of schedule” in return from a torn ACL, and he brings pure speed to the position that Sutton, Jeudy, and Patrick don’t have.
Stat to know
In five games with more than 15 touches last season, Javonte Williams went for fantasy point totals of 11.1, 18.6, 26.8. 20.8, and 10.1.