Denver Broncos 2021 Fantasy Preview

Denver Broncos

2020 Record: 5-11

2021 Over/Under: o/u 8.5

2021 Divison Odds : +500

2021 Super Bowl Odds: +2800

As you prepare for the fantasy season, whether it be your home league, a big money squad or with us at Champions Round, we want you to be as prepared as possible heading into the season. And most of all we want to see you win! 

The Denver Broncos are an intriguing team for a lot of reasons and there is some reason for optimism in Colorado. The Broncos have a very good young nucleus on offense and defense that should be amongst one of the better units in the league. They also have the 6th easiest strength of schedule and could start the season 3-0 (@NYG, @JAX, NYJ). 

However, if you’re expecting big things from Denver this season you’re saying that either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater has a successful season. I would personally bet against that happening, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Broncos also play in one of the more difficult divisions in the NFL. Going against the Chiefs and Chargers without top flight QB probably isn’t ideal. 

Champions Round “JUICE” Projections

2021 Expected Record: 8-9

2021 Expected Points Per Game: 20.5

2021 Expected Points Allowed Per Game: 20.1

QB

Drew Lock - Rank: QB31

JUICE Projections: 232-415 Passing, 56% Completion, 2463 Passing Yds., 13 TD, 13 INT; 144 Rushing Yds, 1 Rush TD

Teddy Bridgewater - Rank: QB33

JUICE Projections: 109-184 Passing, 59% Completion, 1151 Passing Yds., 7 TD, 4 INT; 104 Rushing Yds, 1 Rush TD

Lock, heading into his third season in Denver, is the presumed starter. The Broncos brass would love to see Lock take a giant leap forward this season. If he doesn’t impress early, the job is Bridgewater’s. In reality both QBs are probably buying time until the Broncos can either trade for Aaron Rodgers after the season or take a QB in the 2022 draft. 

It’s not as if Lock and Bridgewater won’t have weapons to throw too. One of the reasons the Broncos are so tantalizing to fantasy analysts is their offensive playmakers have unlimited potential. It’s tough to say which QB would be better in this offense. Lock loves to push the ball down the field and is wildly inaccurate, though his big play rate is amongst the best in the league. Meanwhile, Teddy B is efficient. Given the Broncos defense, I would probably start Bridgewater. 

In terms of fantasy, both QBs don’t hold much value at all in redraft and dynasty leagues. In SuperFlex leagues I would probably also avoid them both. There’s too many other good options. In best ball formats you could take both QBs at the end of your drafts and maybe you strike gold given the weapons. But again, I doubt it. 

The good news for fantasy players is that some of the Broncos’ weapons are still worth selecting!

RB

Melvin Gordon - Rank: RB23

JUICE Projections: 215 carries, 989 Rushing Yds, 8 Rush TD; 27 receptions, 171 Receiving Yds, 2 Rec. TD

Gordon is still projected to have a good fantasy season in 2021. A lot depends on how quickly second-round draft pick Javonte Williams gets up to speed. 

The former Wisconsin star was productive in 2020 with the Broncos and should be the starter come Week 1. His receiving skills are decent and he’s still more than capable of scoring in the red zone. 

My hunch is that our projections are hair too high on Gordon and that Williams gets more volume than anticipated.

Javonte Williams - Rank: RB37

JUICE Projections: 135 carries, 648 Rushing Yds, 5 Rush TD; 19 receptions, 119 Receiving Yds, 1 Rec. TD

When drafting in the 5th and 6th rounds of your home leagues, do you want to take the floor of Gordon or the ceiling of Williams? I’m usually a go for it type of guy. Why play it safe? 

Williams is an electric back who should be more efficient running the ball than Gordon and is a good receiver. There’s a decent chance, especially if Gordon gets injured, that Williams is a league winning type of pick. 

Obviously a lot depends on the volume piece here and how quickly Gordon is phased out of the offense, if he is at all. If I had to bet right now I would say Williams is the lead back in Denver by Week 8.

WR

Courtland Sutton - Rank: WR38

JUICE Projections: 64 receptions, 772 Receiving Yds, 5 Rec. TD

Sutton had a dynamic season in 2019 and was a clear major breakout candidate heading into 2020. Unfortunately he tore his ACL early in the season. So how will he fare in 2021? I’m a little skeptical of drafting WRs playing with Lock and Bridgewater, so unless he drops to me a little bit I’m probably not going up to grab him. However, we’ve seen receivers thrive with terrible QB play before. Just look at Allen Robinson’s entire career. Sutton is a top flight talent who will benefit from playing alongside Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and Noah Fant. He may not get the sort of volume you want from a WR2, but his fantasy points per reception should be very high.

Jerry Jeudy - Rank: WR46

JUICE Projections: 61 receptions, 750 Receiving Yds, 4 Rec. TD

Jeudy was an all world talent at Alabama and flashed some of that potential in 2020. However, he was plagued by drops and poor QB play. That being said, Jeudy is a buy for me in all formats right now. His ADP is right and his ceiling is that of a top end WR2. There’s just too much talent. 

Tim Patrick - Rank: WR85

JUICE Projections: 36 receptions, 443 Receiving Yds, 3 Rec. TD

Patrick has been excellent for the Broncos. Should Sutton or Jeudy go down, Patrick would have a big role. I like him in dynasty and best ball a lot. In other formats he’s probably a decent late round stash.

TE

Noah Fant - Rank: TE11

JUICE Projections: 58 receptions, 600 Receiving Yds, 4 Rec. TD

Fant should take a big step forward this season and projects as a low end TE1 in all formats. Should he end up seeing a larger target share than anticipated, we could be looking at a big season. Fant should be one of the top red zone targets for the Broncos and is heading into his third year, which has traditionally been a year in which Tight Ends break out. 

TL;DR 2021 Denver Broncos

  • If the Broncos find production at QB, the Broncos could have a winning record
  • Bet on Javonte Williams, not Melvin Gordon
  • Noah Fant should be a TE1 this season
  • Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are worth the gamble if they drop a bit.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your drafts! Next Up: the Detroit Lions!