The Broncos have placed WR Emmanuel Sanders on IR after an MRI confirmed a torn left Achilles. It's a massive loss for a team with playoff aspirations. Sanders leads Denver in all major receiving categories, accounting for 23.7% of the team's targets, 27.5% of the catches, 29.0% of the receiving yards and 26.7% of the receiving TDs. Sanders' target share rose to 28.6% without Demaryius Thomas over the past 4 games. So there's a lot of meat on the bone for WRs Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick to pick. Sutton is easily the best target bet going forward and looks like a weekly WR3 with upside the rest of the way. Hamilton is worth adding in deeper leagues -- although it's getting late in the season to be rolling the dice on a guy like him.
Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders injured his left leg in Wednesday's practice. "Not putting any weight on his left leg. Not good," The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala tweeted. We'll update Sanders' status when we learn more, but he obviously appears to be in danger of missing this weekend's game against the 49ers. His absence would leave Courtland Sutton as Denver's #1 WR, with DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick behind him on the depth chart.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the team believes Sanders tore his Achilles. That'd be a season-ending injury. We'll look for confirmation.
The Broncos and Texans are close to finalizing a deal that will send WR Demaryius Thomas to Houston in exchange for a mid-round pick, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Texans need an outside WR to pair with DeAndre Hopkins after losing Will Fuller to a torn ACL. Thomas' best days are clearly behind him, but he's a veteran WR who will at least command some defensive attention. From a fantasy standpoint, he's no better than a WR3 the rest of the way. We wouldn't be surprised if rookie WR Keke Coutee out-targets Thomas going forward. The big winner here is WR Courtland Sutton, who becomes the clear #2 WR in Denver. He's been impressive with limited volume this year, averaging a big 19.1 yards per catch. Consider him a weekly WR3 with upside.
Update: The Texans are sending a 4th-round pick to Denver, and the teams will also swap 7th rounders.
The forecast for today's Rams-Broncos game calls for 1-3 inches of snow and temperatures in the 20s. It sounds like much of the snow will come before kickoff, though, and winds will be just 5-10 mph. We're not altering our projections for this game.
The Broncos have cut WR Carlos Henderson. That move shouldn't affect anyone's redraft roster for 2018, but it's noteworthy because Henderson arrived as a 3rd-round pick just last year. A thumb injury delayed the start to his rookie season, but Henderson let himself down with a poor offseason and camp. Denver, meanwhile, sports arguably 1 of the league's deepest WR groups after adding Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton in this year's draft. Dynasty owners who had been waiting on Henderson can go ahead and dump him.
The Broncos selected SMU WR Courtland Sutton with the 40th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Sutton certainly checks the size and athleticism boxes. He measured 6’3, 218 pounds and registered a 94th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. He was particularly impressive in the agility drills, which matches the tape. Sutton is extremely quick and agile for a man of his size. He’s coming off back-to-back 1,000+ yard, 10+ TD campaigns — although it’s worth noting that LSU transfer Trey Quinn finished with more targets, catches, yards and TDs this past year. Sutton isn’t a finished product — his route running needs work and he should be better in contested situations — but that frame and athleticism give him 1 of the highest ceilings in this WR class. Sutton is blocked by Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for now and doesn’t project to have much 2018 fantasy value. But Thomas will be 31 in December and Sanders turned 31 this past March. Both guys are also cuttable next offseason with less than $3 million in dead money.