Shark Bites

The Broncos believe TE Jake Butt is ready to play a "significant role" this season, according to ESPN's Jeff Legwold. Butt spent his rookie year on IR after suffering a torn ACL in his final college game. It was a rough ending to an impressive career at Michigan that saw Butt start 37 games and win the 2016 Mackey Award as the nation's top TE. The 6'6, 250-pounder certainly has the potential to develop into a quality NFL starter. We'll see if he can become a fantasy factor behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders this season.

The Broncos selected Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Hamilton turned in an uber-impressive freshman season back in 2014, leading his squad with 82 catches and 899 yards. He didn’t reach either of those marks over the last 3 years, though, falling behind Chris Godwin and Mike Gesicki in the pecking order. Hamilton played primarily from the slot at Penn State and figures to do the same as a pro. He goes 6’1, 203 pounds with a 63rd percentile SPARQ score. Scouts consider Hamilton 1 of the best route runners in this WR class, and he’s also strong in contested situations. Denver has now added WRs Hamilton, Courtland Sutton and Carlos Henderson over the past 2 drafts. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both cuttable next offseason.

The Broncos selected Oregon RB Royce Freeman with the 71st overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Freeman was a 4-year producer for the Ducks, tallying 1,365+ rushing yards and 16+ TDs 3 separate times. He left school with a 5.9 yards-per-carry average. Freeman also contributed in the passing game, totaling 79 catches for 814 yards (10.3 YPC) and 4 scores over the past 4 seasons. The 6’0, 229-pounder tested as a 55th percentile athlete at the Combine and was especially impressive with a 72nd percentile time in the 3-cone, a drill that’s been predictive of NFL success for RBs. Freeman lands in a good spot in Denver, where he’s capable of immediately pushing Devontae Booker for the lead job.

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.

The Broncos spent the 5th pick of the NFL Draft on N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb. We'll see exactly how he fits into Denver's front, though Chubb seems more likely to stay at DE rather than OLB -- where Denver already sports Von Miller and Shane Ray. Chubb's arrival should certainly help the team defense and presents plenty of IDP upside. He racked up 10 sacks each of the past 2 seasons and tallied 44 total tackles for loss over that span.

3:12pm EST 12/31/17

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) is active for today's must-win game against the Raiders. He’s gutting it out at less than 100%, making him a risk/reward Week 17 fantasy play.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) will play against the Raiders today, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Gordon was optimistic about his status all along and got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. But Rapoport confirms that Gordon is dealing with a "mild" high-ankle sprain and says there was "doubt" early in the week whether he'd be able to play. So it's safe to say that he won't be at 100% today and is at risk of an in-game aggravation. It makes Gordon more of a risk/reward RB2 than his usual RB1.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Raiders after putting in limited practices on Thursday and Friday. He’s been optimistic about his availability all along. We’ll look for an update on Gordon Sunday morning. Chargers-Raiders doesn’t kick off until 4:25 pm ET.

The Chargers listed RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) as limited in Thursday's practice. The media didn't see him doing much during the open portion of practice. But it looks like he's serious about playing through his ankle injury this weekend. We'll get another update on Gordon's progress tomorrow.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) missed practice again on Thursday. The team's plan has been to test that injured ankle on Friday. Gordon has remained optimistic that he'll play against the Raiders this weekend, but we'd consider him no better than 50/50 at this point.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon vowed Wednesday, "I'll be ready to play" against the Raiders on Sunday, according to ESPN's Eric Williams. His coach isn't quite so sure yet. “He’s day-to-day,” HC Anthony Lynn said. “If it’s something he can play with, then he’ll play. But right now we won’t know until the end of the week.” Gordon is dealing with a sprained left ankle. We'll track his progress throughout the week.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon (ankle) is "optimistic" that he'll be able to play against the Raiders this weekend, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Gordon is believed to be dealing with a high-ankle sprain, but swelling has reportedly been minimal. We'll continue to keep a close eye on his status throughout the week. If he ends up active on Sunday, he'll be a risk/reward fantasy play. If not, Branden Oliver will be a RB2 option as the Chargers' lead back.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon injured his ankle late in Sunday's win over the Jets. HC Anthony Lynn didn't have an update afterward, saying that they'll need to monitor Gordon throughout the week. That suggests at least some question about his availability for the regular-season finale vs. Oakland. With RB Austin Ekeler's broken hand, Branden Oliver would be left as the Chargers' lead back if Gordon can't go.

Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) is off the final injury report after a full week of practice. He should remain Detroit’s lead back against the Bengals on Sunday. Riddick has totaled 27 carries and 14 catches over the past 3 weeks.

Lions RB Theo Riddick (wrist) put in a full practice on Wednesday. He'll be ready to go for this weekend's game against the Bengals. Riddick has racked up 27 carries and 14 catches over the past 3 weeks and should continue to serve as Detroit's lead back.

Lions RB Theo Riddick left in the 4th quarter of Saturday's win over the Bears with a wrist injury. The team has yet to provide further details, but it's a worrisome issue given that Riddick had surgery on both wrists last offseason. Before exiting, he continued to work as Detroit's top back. Riddick played all 30 of the team's 1st-half offensive snaps and finished with 8 carries for 49 yards plus 3 catches (on 3 targets) for 12 yards. Tion Green carried another 10 times for 35 yards, while Ameer Abdullah garnered just 1 rush -- plus 3 catches -- in his return from a neck injury. We'll see about Riddick's status heading into a Week 16 trip to Cincinnati.

The Broncos have ruled S Justin Simmons out for Thursday night's game against the Colts because of an ankle injury he suffered while celebrating during Sunday's win over the Jets. The Denver Post reports that Simmons is also likely to land on IR. That's not a huge loss for IDP owners or the defense but could further hamper the Broncos' TE coverage, an area that has been a defensive weakness anyway. Simmons' status is good news for Colts TE Jack Doyle this week.

Broncos insider Troy Renck reports that RB Devontae Booker was limited by the flu in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. He played just 11 snaps and handled only 3 touches after averaging 28.8 and 10.6, respectively, over his previous 5 games. RB C.J. Anderson piled up 110 total yards on 19 touches vs. Miami, but it sounds like we can't count on that type of volume again as long as Booker is healthy.

Broncos DT Domata Peko (knee) and DE Derek Wolfe (neck) each left Sunday's loss to the Raiders on a cart and did not return. Each player will face further testing on Monday. Neither would be a big loss for IDP owners, but losing them would hurt an already shaky defense.

Broncos OLB Shane Ray (wrist) and DT Domata Peko (illness) are active for today's game against the Raiders. Both entered today questionable. Both are also low-level IDP options, at best, that you shouldn't have been waiting on.

 
 
 

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