Courtland Sutton should be considered the No. 1 receiver for the Broncos this season, but he has plenty of competition for targets. Sutton is worth drafting as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues with a pick in Round 4 or 5. This offseason, Denver added running back Melvin Gordon as a free agent and standout rookies in Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and Albert Okwuegbunam. Noah Fant will also command targets, and Sutton could struggle to reach his ceiling, even in his third year in the NFL. He was a solid contributor in 2019, and he should continue to improve with quarterback Drew Lock, who is entering his first full season as a starter. And new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur should use Sutton as much as possible. Sutton didn't post great numbers with Lock - he averaged 12.0 PPR points in five starts with Lock compared to 14.1 PPR points in 11 starts with Joe Flacco and Brandon Allen - but that's a connection that should flourish with time. If Sutton can dominate targets, he's in line for a breakout season. Most likely, Sutton will be good, not great, as a quality No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
The Broncos doubled-up on wide receiver during the first two rounds of the draft, adding Jerry Jeudy of Alabama and KJ Hamler of Penn State to complement Sutton, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. Sutton took a huge step in Year 2, flashing the ability to outmuscle defenders for the deep ball and make contested catch-and-runs like a true WR1. He struggled a bit, however, following the trade of Emmanuel Sanders, which enabled defenses to double- and triple-team him regularly with no established options opposite him. Though his targets per game were nearly identical before and after the Sanders trade, Sutton averaged 80.6 yards on 5.1 catches per game with Sanders on the roster as compared to 62.7 yards on 4.0 catches per game without him. Catching passes from two quarterbacks making their professional debuts certainly didn't help, but Sutton came into this offseason needing reinforcements in the receiving corps. Early draft picks at a player's own position typically spells doom, but Jeudy's technical prowess and Hamler's sub-4.3-40 speed will more likely help Sutton, freeing him up for one-on-ones, which he has shown the ability to dominate.
Sutton caught 72 of 124 targets for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. He added 38 yards passing and 17 yards rushing on three carries. Sutton continued his climb to a true WR1 with an impressive sophomore campaign, improving across statistical categories. Concerning, however, was the fact that his numbers, much like the end of 2018, fell off in the absence of Emmanuel Sanders. In seven games with Sanders opposite him, Sutton averaged 5.1 catches on 7.7 targets per game for 80.6 yards and 0.4 touchdowns. In nine games without Sanders, Sutton averaged 4.0 catches on 7.8 targets per game for 60.9 yards and 0.3 touchdowns as pass defenses shifted heavily toward him. Sutton definitely has the ability to be a dominant receiver -- diving touchdowns over the likes of Denzel Ward and Casey Hayward come to mind -- but the drop-off warrants consideration. The fact that eight of those Sanders-less games were played with quarterbacks making their first career starts doubtlessly impacted Sutton's statistics, but the differences also show a real need for Denver to acquire a strong WR2 opposite Sutton in the offseason. Assuming Denver acquires that receiver, along with the continued development of the likes of Noah Fant and DaeSean Hamilton, Sutton could be a darkhorse potential top-10 receiver in 2020.
Sutton caught four of eight targets for 52 yards during Sunday's 16-15 win over the Raiders. He temporarily left the game with a head injury but returned, Brandon Krisztal of KOA Colorado reports. The Broncos weren't doing much on offense early in the contest when Sutton skied for a 19-yard reception between two defenders in the second quarter, kick-starting a field-goal drive. Sutton ended 2019 with 72 catches for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. His full value is not reflected in the numbers as he drew 13 defensive penalties this season, second-best in the league, but he slowed down the stretch as teams endeavored to take him away with Denver lacking other established weapons. He was held under 55 yards in four of his last six games and topped 100 yards only twice during the season. Expect him to make strides in 2020 with more of a rapport built with Drew Lock and a stronger WR2 high on Denver's shopping list.
Sutton was forced out of Sunday's game against the Raiders with a possible concussion, Zac Stevens of TheDNVR.com reports. Prior to his exit, Sutton hauled in four of his eight targets for 52 yards. In his absence, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick are next up for the Broncos' wideout targets.
Sutton reeled in five of 10 targets for 41 receiving yards during Sunday's 27-17 win against Detroit. The second-year wideout from SMU has banked 10 targets in each of his past two outings after failing to exceed nine targets in any game between Weeks 1 and 14. Though Sutton has seen elevated involvement of late, his production has been down over the past three weeks with Drew Lock commanding the offense. Sutton racked up 74 yards and two touchdowns in their first mutual start Week 13 against the Chargers, but since then he has averaged just 51.3 receiving yards per game with zero scores. Prior to Lock's first start Dec. 1, Sutton had averaged 75.6 receiving yards per game with four TDs. In the regular-season finale, Sutton and the Broncos receiving corps will face an Oakland defense that conceded zero passing TDs and allowed just one Chargers player to exceed 60 receiving yards Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||32||27.63|
|4||10/02||@New York Jets||25||23.50|
|5||10/11||@New England Patriots||1||12.76|
|7||10/25||Kansas City Chiefs||4||16.68|
|10||11/15||@Las Vegas Raiders||22||22.63|
|11||11/22||Los Angeles Chargers||3||16.13|
|12||11/29||New Orleans Saints||27||24.71|
|13||12/07||@Kansas City Chiefs||4||16.68|
|16||12/27||@Los Angeles Chargers||3||16.13|
|17||01/03||Las Vegas Raiders||22||22.63|
|3 Year Avg||104||57||908||5||40||15.93||120|