Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock Injury Impacts

The Injuries

The Broncos’ offense suffered two massive blows in Week 2, losing their quarterback, Drew Lock, and top receiver, Courtland Sutton, to injuries. The team had already lost Phillip Lindsay to turf toe in Week 1, so their offense is now in shambles. Let’s get into the specifics of each injury.

Sutton suffered a torn ACL, and he will miss the rest of the 2020 season. There’s no doubt about that timeline. However, since the injury occurred early on, I expect him to make a full recovery for the 2021 season.

As for Lock, he has some labrum damage in his shoulder. After an MRI, the Broncos have ruled him out for a minimum of two weeks, at which point they’ll reevaluate him. He could miss up to six weeks with this injury. Unfortunately, the Broncos are already 0-2, and I doubt they’ll rush Lock back in what looks like a lost season. They have a bye in Week 8, and I think Lock misses the full six weeks with this shoulder injury. I believe he will return in Week 9, but even that isn’t guaranteed.

Redraft Impact

Sutton is a painless drop in redraft leagues. He’ll miss the entire season, so you can drop him from your redraft rosters. As for the rest of the Broncos’ receiving corps, Jerry Jeudy is the biggest beneficiary from Lock’s absence. He’s undoubtedly already owned in every redraft league, but he should be a solid WR3 moving forward, even with Jeff Driskel at quarterback. Similarly, I see tight end Noah Fant gaining a few more targets without Sutton, although he was already a TE1 before this injury.

Speaking of Driskel, I wouldn’t bother looking his way in redraft leagues. He’s not a viable streaming candidate in 1QB formats. He’s worth a waiver claim in a superflex or 2QB league, but I wouldn’t be confident in starting him unless I had no other options. He’ll be ranked close to last among quarterbacks in my weekly rankings.

The Broncos have a few other receiving weapons, but I don’t think any are redraft viable. K.J. Hamler is the next man up on their depth chart, and he should step into a clear starting role without Sutton. Hamler already played 62% of snaps in Week 2 in his first NFL game, so he was part of the Broncos’ game plan even with Sutton healthy. With that said, I can’t possibly trust any receiving options outside of Fant or Jeudy in a Driskel-led offense. Leave Hamler on redraft waiver wires except in the deepest leagues.

Dynasty Impact

Let’s start by looking at the Broncos’ quarterback situation in dynasty leagues. I doubt that Driskel will get a chance at the starting job long-term, no matter how well he plays. We’ve already seen Driskel play some games for the Bengals and the Lions. He wasn’t anything special in his 12 games and eight starts. Driskel threw for 1,688 yards, 10 touchdowns, and six interceptions, and he completed 59.4% of his passes. He does provide some rushing upside, but it’s clear that he’s not an NFL starting quarterback. However, Driskel is now a must-own in dynasty superflex leagues, since he’ll start at least a few games.

As for Lock, I assume he’ll reclaim the starting job for the rest of the 2021 season when he’s healthy again. The Broncos drafted him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and I think he’ll get a chance to start in 2021 over any potential free-agent acquisitions. Unfortunately, the Broncos are a complete dumpster fire, and now could be in contention for some of the top quarterback prospects. 

Like almost any team, the Broncos would choose Trevor Lawrence over Lock long-term, but I believe they would consider Justin Fields and Trey Lance as well. Lock now carries massive risk in dynasty superflex formats, as he could lose his starting job in 2021. We haven’t seen enough from Lock for him to get another job elsewhere, so he needs to hope that the Broncos can win some games in 2020.

Sutton is also a tricky dynasty asset now. He’s going into a contract year in 2021, and the Broncos now have Jeudy on the roster. I expect that Jeudy will be the Broncos’ WR1 going into 2021. Therefore, I’m not sure that Sutton will be Denver long-term, although I expect him to have a strong comeback in 2021. There’s nothing you can do with Sutton other than hold him, as his value will completely tank for a few months.

Jeudy is now impossible to buy, and he’s a strong hold both in 2020 and beyond. I loved him coming out of Alabama, and now he’s going to get a chance to play as the WR1 early on in his rookie year. Hang onto him in dynasty leagues. His perfect prospect profile should start to pay off, even with Driskel at quarterback.

Lastly, now is the time to sell K.J. Hamler. Sutton will return and reclaim a starting role in this offense in 2021. The Broncos also have Fant at tight end and will likely still have Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay at running back. I never saw Hamler as a volume option, and his value will decline the second the season ends. Either sell right now or wait for him to have a strong game and then sell. I have no interest in Hamler long-term, and I’ll gladly take a 2021 second-round rookie pick for him.

Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Karp. I love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out at any time! I take fantasy questions and help with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.


Columbia SPS Sports Management graduate.

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