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Denver Broncos Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Shark Bites are the latest fantasy football news & NFL updates. Draft Sharks has been in business since 1999. And when we started, redraft was the dominant form of fantasy football. Check out what we've learned about this most basic form of fantasy football along the way.

Broncos HC Sean Payton said recently that his backfield is an open competition heading into the season. "All these guys, they're all competing for different roles, spots," Payton said. "We never put a cap on what they're competing for. I wanna see it. And then we'll go by what we see."

Broncos GM George Paton believes QB Bo Nix is "game-ready" to start as a rookie. Paton pointed to Nix's 61 college starts and the fact that he's already 24 years old. That advanced age might be a knock against Nix's ultimate ceiling, but it certainly helps his chances of hitting the ground running this season. With only QBs Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham in his way, Nix has a good chance to win the Week 1 starting job. He's a fine target in both redraft and dynasty superflex leagues.

The Broncos selected Notre Dame RB Audric Estime in Round 4 of the NFL Draft. A four-star prospect, Estime chose Notre Dame over others like Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia, and Nebraska. After a quiet freshman season behind Kyren Williams, the New York native split carries in 2022. The result? Team-highs in yards (920), yards per carry (5.9), and TDs (11). His production then rose across the board last fall. He flashed top-notch power with 4.27 yards after contact per attempt and tallied a strong Elusive Rating from PFF (126.5). The raw numbers turned up several career highs (209 carries, 1,341 yards, 18 TDs). While Estime caught all 26 of his college targets, we don’t forecast much of a receiving ceiling in the NFL. He also lacks the top-end speed to rip off explosives at the next level. Estime’s 4.71 forty-time at the NFL Combine was disappointing, but his Relative Athletic Score of 6.58 shows the strength of his complete profile. At 221 pounds, he tallied an 86th-percentile vertical and an 87th-percentile broad jump. Also note: Estime’s ten-yard split placed him in the 53rd percentile. The rookie joins a crowded backfield in Denver alongside Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin, and Samaje Perine – although Williams and Perine are both scheduled to be free agents next offseason.

The Broncos spent the second pick of Round 4 on Oregon WR Troy Franklin. The No. 3 WR in the 2021 recruiting class broke out as a sophomore in 2022, leading the Ducks with 61 catches, 891 yards, and 9 TDs. He blasted by those numbers this past year, finishing top-6 in the country in receiving yards (1,383) and TDs (14). Franklin’s 3.32 yards per route ranked sixth among 286 qualifying WRs. His 87.3 Pro Football Focus receiving grade ranked 15th. Franklin was dominant going deep, averaging a huge 17.1 yards per catch and ranking top-10 in the nation in catches (14), receiving yards (558), and TDs (7) on targets 20+ yards downfield. He ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and looks at least that fast on tape. Franklin regularly ran by DBs in man coverage and defeated angles vs. zone coverage. That speed also makes him a weapon after the catch. The concerns: Franklin is a wiry 6’2, 176-pounder and struggles with drops (8.0% career drop rate). He’s not a good bet to emerge as a No. 1 WR in the NFL. But his big-play ability gives him the potential to score a bunch of fantasy points without big target volume. Franklin’s dynasty value obviously takes a big hit after he fell to Round 4. But he landed with the team that drafted his QB of the past two years, Bo Nix, in Round 1. The Broncos traded away WR Jerry Jeudy this offseason. They still have WR Courtland Sutton under contract through 2025. He has been a subject of trade rumors, however, and sports a cuttable dead-cap number ($3.825 million) for the final year of his deal. WR Marvin Mims arrived in the second round of 2023 but has yet to truly break through. Ultimately, there's room for Franklin to earn a prominent role over the next few years. He'll carry upside if he slides far enough in your rookie draft. Expect his rookie ADP to decline vs. where it was pre-NFL Draft. How much that declines will be key to whether you should target him.

The Broncos selected Oregon QB Bo Nix in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. Nix hit the college scene as one of the top 2019 recruits. Success never arrived at Auburn, though. Across three seasons, Nix never topped 2,500 yards or 20 TDs. You can put some of the blame on an underwhelming supporting cast. Or a coaching staff that simply didn’t highlight Nix’s strengths. Here’s how ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum reacted after Nix left Auburn. “I think he has an opportunity to have a really big year somewhere, under the right coach,” Finebaum predicted. “Now, who is the right coach? Certainly, someone who can mirror his game. That was really his problem this year, he was playing in a system that really didn’t suit him.” Well, a complete 180 happened in Oregon under HC Dan Lanning. Nix exploded in 2022 with 3,589 yards, 29 TDs, and only 7 INTs. He popped with an 82.3% adjusted completion rate and 8.8 yards per attempt. Nix’s numbers reached another level in 2023, as he enjoyed another campaign alongside Round 1 WR Troy Franklin. One thing to note: Nix wasn’t one to consistently push the ball downfield. 23% of his attempts at Oregon came on screens. And in 2023, his aDOT hit a shockingly low 6.8 yards. On tape, Nix looks like a polished pro whose timing, accuracy, and decision-making give him a chance to stick as a long-term starter. Landing in Denver gives Nix a good shot at starting Week 1, with Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson as his (meager) competition. This draft position boosts Nix as a dynasty rookie pick. Check our rookie rankings to see where he lands.

The Broncos acquired QB Zach Wilson from the Jets. Denver is sending just a sixth-round pick to New York and getting a seventh-round pick back. That measly return tells you all you need to know about Wilson's trade value. The second overall pick of the 2021 draft was a colossal bust for the Jets, completing just 57.0% of his passes at 6.3 yards per attempt with 23 TDs vs. 25 INTs. Wilson's 5.67 adjusted yards per pass attempt ranks 39th among 41 qualifying QBs over the last three seasons. He joins Jarrett Stidham in Denver to give the Broncos one of the least inspiring QB rooms in the league. Denver remains a candidate to add a QB in this week's draft. The team has commonly been linked to Oregon's Bo Nix.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton is skipping voluntary OTAs as he angles for a new contract, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Sutton has just $2 million guaranteed left on his current deal. The 28-year-old is coming off a solid 2023 season, leading the Broncos with 59 catches, 772 yards, and 10 TDs. Sutton has been rumored as a trade candidate for multiple years now, but it's tough to imagine Denver trading him after shipping WR Jerry Jeudy to Cleveland earlier this offseason. We'll see where the contract situation goes, but it's far too early to worry about Sutton's holdout extending into the regular season. The bigger concern for his 2024 fantasy value is Denver's QB situation. Jarrett Stidham currently tops the depth chart.

The Broncos signed WR Josh Reynolds to a two-year, $14 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Reynolds ranked third among Lions last year in both receiving yards (608) and TDs (5), fending off Jameson Williams for the No. 2 WR job. He's developed into a reliable receiver. But he's also never topped 618 yards across his seven NFL seasons. Reynolds should find plenty of snaps for a Broncos team with Marvin Mims, Tim Patrick, Brandon Johnson, and Phillip Dorsett behind No. 1 WR Courtland Sutton. But he's not an exciting fantasy option. If Reynolds is the most significant WR addition Denver makes this offseason, Mims will have every chance to earn a major role in his second season.

Oregon QB Bo Nix measured in at just over 6'2, 214 pounds at the NFL Combine. He threw in front of scouts but passed on athletic testing. Nix stayed at college for five years, although his career took off following a 2022 transfer to Oregon. Over the past two seasons, he’s combined for 8,101 yards and 74 TDs (27 games). NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah believes Nix will start "pretty early on," citing his accuracy, decision-making, and experience. While Nix isn't a top-end athlete, he showed flashes of being able to evade heavy pressure on tape. Recent Round 1 buzz suggests at least a chunk of teams view him as a long-term starter. We're just not buying into a high-end fantasy ceiling here.

Jets GM Joe Douglas confirms that the team has granted QB Zach Wilson's request to seek a trade, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Duh. It would pretty obviously be best for both sides if Wilson moves on for the final year of his rookie contract. (His fifth-year option remains available ... but who's picking that up?) We're certainly not betting on any team giving up much to land Wilson -- or him suddenly turning fantasy-relevant. But we'll be curious to see where he lands. We'll also be watching to see who backs up Aaron Rodgers for the Jets. That player figures to be worth keeping in mind for late in superflex drafts.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (concussion) got in a limited practice on Wednesday. He has a good chance to be cleared for this weekend's game vs. the Raiders, but we'll keep you updated on Sutton's progress through the protocol.

Jets QB Zach Wilson (concussion) is out for Sunday's game vs. the Patriots. QB Trevor Siemian will presumably close out this Jets season that was doomed when QB Aaron Rodgers went down in the opener. Siemian isn't a fantasy option but has at least been peppering RB Breece Hall and WR Garrett Wilson with targets.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (concussion) is out for Sunday's game vs. the Chargers. WRs Jerry Jeudy (illness) and Marvin Mims (hamstring) are listed as questionable. Jeudy didn't practice on Friday but should be fine by Sunday. Mims' availability looks much shakier after being added to the injury report on Thursday and then missing practice on Friday. We'll look for updates on those guys on Sunday morning.

Broncos Edge Baron Browning missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a concussion. That makes him look likely to miss Sunday's game against the Chargers. Fortunately for Denver, Edge Nik Bonitto appears to be trending toward returning after missing the past two games. he followed a limited Wednesday workout with a full practice Thursday. Missing Browning won't be good, but the swap shouldn't mean a significant difference for the Broncos team defense in a high-upside matchup with Easton Stick and the Chargers.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton (concussion) did not practice on Wednesday. He's unlikely to be cleared in time to play vs. the Chargers this weekend, but we'll keep you updated on his progress through the protocol.

Jets QB Zach Wilson (concussion) is out for Thursday night's game vs. the Browns. QB Trevor Siemian will get the start. He mustered just 4.4 yards per pass attempt against the Commanders' league-worst pass defense last week and is not a viable Week 17 starter even in Superflex leagues.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton sustained a concussion in the first quarter of Sunday night's game vs. the Patriots. He'll finish this one without a catch. This is the first documented concussion for Sutton. We'll track his progress through the protocol this coming week.

Jets QB Zach Wilson (concussion) is out for Sunday's game vs. the Commanders. QB Trevor Siemian will make his first start of the season in that one. He's completed just 49% of his passes at 4.5 yards per attempt across two appearances this year. Even against Washington's league-worst pass defense, Siemian is a low-end QB2.

Jets QB Zach Wilson has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a head injury. Per the CBS broadcast, Wilson went to the locker room before halftime to get treated for dehydration. Trevor Siemian has taken over under center.

Update: Wilson has a concussion, the team announced.

Broncos RB Javonte Williams didn't just let you down with his production in Saturday night's loss to the Lions. He saw his playing time and route participation tumble. It started with Denver putting Jaleel McLaughlin on the field to open the game. Williams took over for the second possession and still led the backfield in playing time and touches. But his 48% playing time for the game marked his lowest since a Week 6 return from a quad injury. That followed three straight games of 60%+. His biggest dip came in the passing game. Williams ran a route on just 25.7% of QB Russell Wilson's dropbacks. That marked a significant fall vs. three straight outings of 40.5% or more. Williams ran just nine routes vs. eight for Samaje Perine and five for Jaleel McLaughlin. Combine that with now seven straight games of averaging less than 3.9 yards per carry, and it's tough to see Williams as more than an "if you need him" starter for a Week 16 matchup with the Patriots. We'll see about his role and performance in that game before declaring his usability for a better matchup with the Chargers in Week 17. Perine drew just 1 target for the game but caught it for 11 yards and averaged 6.2 yards across his 6 carries. That followed a 5-catch Week 14 and couldn't have hurt his chances at getting playing time the rest of the way. McLaughlin garnered just 4 touches for the game. He has topped 6 touches just once in his past eight games.

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