The Denver Broncos enter the 2023 season as one of the most uncertain offenses in Fantasy Football after failing in large part during the first season of the Russell Wilson era in 2022. The good news is that Denver has since traded for head coach Sean Payton. As we saw last season with Brian Daboll and the Giants and Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins, among other examples, the right play caller and offensive system can change everything. That is the plan this year for Denver and if Payton works his magic like he is capable of, there are going to be Fantasy Football value plays littered across the Broncos roster at every position.
- AFC West: | |
Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Broncos' entire team outlook, including a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, key player projections, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for notable Broncos players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.
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Broncos 2023 team outlook
By Chris Towers
The Broncos tried to jump-start their rebuild by trading for Russell Wilson, and they somehow dropped from 23rd to 32nd in scoring in his first season. Now they're hoping Sean Payton can revive Wilson's career and the Broncos offense after a year off from coaching.
Burning question: Can Wilson bounce back?
During his time in Seattle, Wilson established himself as arguably the most efficient quarterback in the NFL, but he sported a career-low touchdown rate of just 3.3% in his first season in Denver, with his 7.3 yards per attempt the second-worst mark of his career. Wilson struggled to avoid sacks and was one of the worst red-zone passers in the league. Payton's track record suggests this offense should be better, but it's fair to wonder if Wilson just can't play at that level anymore now that he's in his mid-30s. If he can't, little else matters for this offense.
Broncos player projections
|QB||Russell Wilson||PA: 571, YD: 3994, TD: 25, INT: 11; RUSH -- ATT: 44, YD: 200, TD: 1|
|RB||Javonte Williams||CAR: 222, YD: 890, TD: 7; TAR: 69, REC: 55, YD: 383, TD: 2|
|RB||Samaje Perine||CAR: 156, YD: 623, TD: 5; TAR: 46, REC: 37, YD: 274, TD: 1|
|WR||Jerry Jeudy||TAR: 120, REC: 74, YD: 963, TD: 6|
|WR||Courtland Sutton||TAR: 114, REC: 67, YD: 800, TD: 6|
|WR||Marvin MIms||TAR: 23, REC: 13, YD: 151, TD: 1|
|TE||Greg Dulcich||TAR: 80, REC: 50, YD: 547, TD: 3|
2023 NFL Draft class
Strength of Schedule rankings by Dave Richard
- QB PSoS: 24th easiest
- RB PSoS: 11th easiest
- WR PSoS: 19th easiest
- TE PSoS: 17th easiest
|1||Sep 10, 2023||vsLas Vegas||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|2||Sep 17, 2023||vsWashington||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|3||Sep 24, 2023||@Miami||1:00 pm||Hard Rock Stadium|
|4||Oct 1, 2023||@Chicago||1:00 pm||Soldier Field|
|5||Oct 8, 2023||vsN.Y. Jets||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|6||Oct 12, 2023||@Kansas City||8:15 pm||AMZN||GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium|
|7||Oct 22, 2023||vsGreen Bay||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|8||Oct 29, 2023||vsKansas City||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|10||Nov 13, 2023||@Buffalo||8:15 pm||ESPN||Highmark Stadium|
|11||Nov 19, 2023||vsMinnesota||8:20 pm||NBC||Empower Field at Mile High|
|12||Nov 26, 2023||vsCleveland||4:05 pm||FOX||Empower Field at Mile High|
|13||Dec 3, 2023||@Houston||4:05 pm||NRG Stadium|
|14||Dec 10, 2023||@L.A. Chargers||4:25 pm||SoFi Stadium|
|15||Dec 17, 2023||@Detroit||TBA||—||Ford Field|
|16||Dec 24, 2023||vsNew England||8:15 pm||NFLN||Empower Field at Mile High|
|17||Dec 31, 2023||vsL.A. Chargers||4:25 pm||Empower Field at Mile High|
|18||Jan 7, 2024||@Las Vegas||TBA||—||Allegiant Stadium|
Broncos 2023 player outlooks
By Heath Cummings unless otherwise noted
QB Russell Wilson
The Broncos have done just about everything they could to inspire hope in a Wilson bounceback season.
They replaced Nathaniel Hackett with Sean Payton, added Marvin Mims to the receiving corps in the draft, and added Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey to bolster the offensive line. There should also be some help in the form of regression. Wilson's 3.3% touchdown rate from last year was the lowest of his career and nearly three points below his career average. If he'd matched his career rate last year, he would have thrown 12 more touchdown passes and his 2022 wouldn't look nearly as abysmal.
We're buying halfway back in, ranking Wilson as a high-end QB2 who should be drafted in the double-digit rounds.
RB Javonte Williams
Williams is working his way back from tearing his ACL, PLC, and LCL in October. There have been reports that he could be ready for Week 1 and also speculation that he will start the year on the PUP.
You should watch his participation in camp very closely. If Williams is 100% for the start of the season, we'd expect him to lead a committee with Samaje Perine and be a solid No. 2 running back. Because questions about his knee will likely linger into camp, we would be more comfortable waiting until Round 6 to draft him.
Williams could be a sneaky Dynasty buy, especially for teams who aren't invested in winning in 2023. While it could be a tough season, we would expect him to be 100% by the end of the year and he won't even turn 24 until next April.
RB Samaje Perine
By Dave Richard
Known for being an excellent player in passing situations, Perine proved in 2022 he can handle being the main guy in an offense, averaging 15.4 non-PPR/20.4 PPR points in two starts with Joe Mixon sidelined.
After signing in Denver this offseason, Perine should fit in not only as the Broncos' passing-downs RB but also as a full-time starter for however many games rusher Javonte Williams misses in his recovery from a torn ACL. Also, the track record of running backs catching passes in Payton's offenses is prolific, adding to Perine's appeal. If Williams participates in camp, Perine is a good insurance policy with a modest weekly PPR floor (think Round 9 or 10).
But if Williams is slow in his return and Perine begins 2023 as the Broncos' lead back, then he can serve as an early-season RB2 with some pretty good upside before settling as their pass-downs back (think Round 6 or 7).
WR Jerry Jeudy
When you look at Jeudy's 2022 stats, even per game, they don't quite tell the story of just how special the receiver was when healthy.
He played at least 60% of the snaps in 11 games last year and scored at least 14 PPR Fantasy points in eight of them. He began the season with 20.2 Fantasy points against Seattle and ended the season with a five-game stretch averaging 20.1 FPPG.
There is a wide range of opinions on the staff as to where Jeudy should be drafted, but you'll have to take him in Round 4 if you want to make sure you get him. If he stays healthy and Russell Wilson bounces back, he can provide value even at that cost.
WR Courtland Sutton
We think Sutton should be drafted as a bench receiver, somewhere after pick 100. Sutton's upside over the past two seasons has been almost entirely dependent on Jerry Jeudy being hurt.
The duo has run 586 career routes together and Jeudy has scored 228 PPR Fantasy points on those routes while Sutton has scored 120. Now the Broncos are getting Tim Patrick back and traded up to draft Marvin Mims. It's entirely possible that Sutton is not even the No. 2 target earner in this offense. At the same time, Jeudy has missed nine games over the past two seasons and left multiple games early as well.
It's also possible Jeudy gets hurt again and Sutton performs like a top-20 Fantasy wide receiver.
WR Marvin Mims
Mims is a big-play receiver who should help stretch the field for Russell Wilson once he is fully acclimated to the NFL. In rookie-only drafts he's a borderline first-round pick who could fall to the mid-second in two-quarterback leagues.
In redraft, we're not drafting Mims before Round 15, but that could change if he makes a splash in the preseason. There's a new regime in Denver and Mims is the only wide receiver they actually chose, and they traded up to get him. You don't have to squint very hard to see how Mims could fit into the Tyler Lockett mold and that is exactly the type of wide receiver Wilson has thrived with.
WR KJ Hamler
Hamler will battle Tim Patrick and Marvin Mims for the WR3 role this season. For now, we aren't advising that you draft Hamler in redraft because we don't expect him to win that battle. Because he's still just 24 years old and hasn't played enough to prove anything definitive, he's a fine stash in deeper Dynasty leagues. His best-case scenario might be on a different roster.
TE Greg Dulcich
We're drafting Dulcich in the double-digit rounds as a borderline No. 1 tight end with top-eight upside.
His first task will be winning a camp battle with Albert Okwuegbunam and Adam Trautman to be the team's No. 1 tight end. We expect him to win that job and build on a rookie campaign that saw him average 41 receiving yards per game and score double-digit Fantasy points in five of his 10 games.
In Dynasty, Dulcich is a top-12 option who could vault into the top six if he wins the job and starts the season performing like a Fantasy starter.
The Broncos defense only outscored the Saints, Falcons, Raiders and Bears in 2022. Part of that is because the offense was so bad, and part of it is because they did not score a defensive touchdown all year. We'd expect both of those factors to improve, and the Broncos are hoping the addition of Vance Joseph at defensive coordinator will help as well. We like them as a top-10 defense that should get off to a good start against the Raiders, especially if Jimmy Garoppolo's foot isn't healed. They also get the Commanders in Week 2, which makes them one of the top draft-to-stream options if they aren't drafted as a starter.