2022 Projections: Denver Broncos

When we loosely compare players, most people feel they have a good idea of what kind of production to expect. We may think “With Russell Wilson, Denver (currently sitting at +1700 NFL Betting Odds to win the Super Bowl) can surely support two top-20 WRs and two high RB2s at the same time.” But, there may just not be room for that kind of production. I make projections to ground myself and help to understand what is actually possible, probable, or realistic. So, in this series, I will be going through each NFL team and making median projections for their 2022 seasons with their most fantasy-relevant players. I may be able to discern if certain players are being undervalued immediately but in most cases, I will need to finish more teams to get a good idea. 

First, I’ll just touch on my process. I start by looking at the team and individual player trends over the last two to three seasons. I get stats like target shares, rush attempt shares, yards per carry, yards per reception, completion percentage, touchdown shares, etc. As well as team-focused metrics like pass-to-rush play ratio (this is team pass attempts divided by team rush attempts), pass-to-rush touchdown ratio, and plays per game. I then use these past trends to predict what will be in store for 2022. Here are my projections for the Denver Broncos’ fantasy-relevant players. 

Scoring: Full PPR, six-point passing touchdowns, .04 points per pass yard, 0.1 points per rush/rec yards. 

The Denver Broncos made a great trade this offseason and pulled in an elite QB in Russell Wilson, and this will change how their team operates. This could make projecting a challenge but it is not much different from any other team. I took Russell Wilson’s averages, increased the Broncos pass to run ratio, and turned up the pace of play just a little. The result is a cooking Russ Wilson that averages 23.6 ppg and projects to be a back-end QB1 to high QB2. Russ does not have the rush upside he used to so he needs high touchdown volume to be elite. But, these are still the Broncos and the RBs will still touch the ball plenty.

Even though the touches will be very split Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon can both be usable backs. I do think that people are underestimating the effect that Melvin’s presence has on Javonte’s touches as his ADP of RB12 seems very high for the stats I am projecting. On the other hand, Melvin Gordon seems undervalued and is a great grab at his ADP of RB36. This discrepancy in ADP does not make sense to me because both are hampered by each other and were in a 50/50 split in 2021. And, if either gets hurt the healthy player will be a top ten back. So, Gordon being drafted so much later is hard to grasp. I think Javonte should be drafted lower and Gordon should be drafted higher.

Now for the receiving group, it is all too easy to compare Courtland Sutton to D.K. Metcalf and Jerry Jeudy to Tyler Lockett. But these players are not the same. Sutton is close to DK, I will concede there, and say he can be used in similar ways but he does not possess the speed that Metcalf does. I think Sutton will be a big beneficiary of the Wilson acquisition which is why I gave him an increased target share. Jerry Jeudy is not close to Tyler Lockett. He could develop into a high-level talent but he simply is not there yet. However, Jeudy is a talented player and will still earn a solid target share. I do like Sutton more though. Tim Patrick is a top WR3 in the league and could easily be a WR2 on many teams, but unfortunately, he is stuck behind two superior talents. I still have him carving out a respectable 15% target share and believe he should be owned in most leagues.

If Jeudy or Sutton suffered an injury Patrick could quickly step into a 20% target share role. Lastly the tight end, Albert O. Albert was maybe the single biggest riser following the Wilson trade as he saw a massive QB boost as well as having the only TE in front of him traded away. He now sits alone atop the depth chart and I have him pegged for a solid 13.6% target share. I think historically Wilson has preferred WRs to TEs and I would bet that trend continues in Denver, especially considering the weapons Russell has to work with.

So all in all, I am lukewarm on Wilson’s ADP of AB9 that feels about his ceiling to me. I am out on Javonte unless we see him closer to RB18, very in on Melvin Gordon at RB36, and would gladly draft him as high as RB22 if he starts to move up. For the WRs I like Sutton’s ADP better than Jeudy’s but do not dislike either and am loving Tim Patrick at WR59. Lastly, Albert O at TE15 is a solid mark, and could easily see him being a top-12 tight end for 2022.

Previous Teams: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns

Wow, you read all the way through! Thank you, I really appreciate you using your time to enjoy my content. If you would like to talk to me about my article or ask me any generic dynasty or trade questions. You can find me on Twitter @ChrisMiles1017, DFF Draft Director. Shoot me a DM, they are always open. Come join the #DFFArmy where I provide #Dynasty, #Redraft, and #Analytics content for @DFF_Dynasty. Thank you so much!

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